Access to sustained HIV medical care is critical to achieving viral suppression. However, a variety of factors may impede or facilitate retention in care or becoming virally suppressed. Though retention and suppression are often treated separately, this study examined both in a cohort of 921 HIV+ women of color who participated in eight demonstration programs across the US. For women who met the inclusion criteria, 83% (n=587) were retained and 73% (n=357) were virally suppressed. Average age of women retained was 40.9, and 41.9 for those virally suppressed. The majority were African American/Black or Hispanic/Latina, single, and had no children less than 18 years of age, had health insurance, a high school degree or higher, were stably housed, and unemployed. Some factors associated with retention in care were indecision about seeking HIV medical care (AOR=0.42) and having children under the age of 18 (AOR=0.59). Some factors associated with being virally suppressed were living with others (AOR=0.58), current substance abuse (AOR=0.38), and fair/poor health (AOR=0.40). The findings suggest different processes and social mechanisms may influence retention and viral suppression. Interventions seeking to improve retention in care may require tailored program components and strategies that focus on improving viral suppression.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases