Some Women With HIV Struggling to Achieve Viral Suppression

Overall, 71.2 percent have viral suppression, including 35.2 percent of those with high probability of viremia

WEDNESDAY, May 22, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A considerable proportion of women with HIV have a high probability of viremia above 200 copies/mL, according to a study published online May 17 in JAMA Network Open.

Seble G. Kassaye, M.D., from the Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, D.C., and colleagues conducted a prospective study of HIV-positive women with a minimum of five follow-up visits from 1994 to 2017. Women were categorized into groups based on their probability of achieving viral load suppression below 200 copies/mL.

The researchers identified three trajectory groups with low, intermediate, and high probability of viremia above 200 copies/mL (28.6, 39.4, and 32.0 percent, respectively). In these groups, the respective mean cumulative years of viral suppression were 18.7, 12.2, and 5.8 years, respectively. Younger age, African American race, Hispanic race/ethnicity, increased levels of depressive symptoms, drug use, lower CD4+ T-lymphocyte counts, and unstable housing were associated with a high probability of viremia. Overall, 71.2 percent of women demonstrated viral suppression between 2015 and 2017, including 89.6, 83.4, and 35.2 percent of those with low, intermediate, and high probability of viremia, respectively.

"So, the rosy picture is that 71 percent of the women achieved viral suppression, but the granular detail tells us that some women are doing very well, with 89.6 percent of the women in the low probability of viremia consistently suppressed in the recent years, but others are still struggling to get to viral suppression," Kassaye said in a statement.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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