Study: Many People with HIV Fail to Achieve Durable Viral Suppression

The data included more than 21,500 children and adolescents 17 years of age and younger with HIV and more than 255,000 adults with HIV, all of whom began receiving ART between 2010 and 2019.

A recent National Insititutes of Health study suggests that new efforts are needed to help people with HIV suppress the virus, despite the progress in achieving the global target of 95% viral suppression, according to a press release.

The researchers analyzed data from 148 International epidemiology Databases to Evaluate AIDS(ieDEA) treatment sites in 31 countries on 5 continents to properly estimate the proportions of children, adolescents, and adults who were virally suppressed 1, 2, or 3 years after initiating antiretroviral therapy (ART). The data included more than 21,500 children and adolescents 17 years of age and younger with HIV and more than 255,000 adults with HIV, all of whom began receiving ART between 2010 and 2019. Further, viral suppression was defined as having fewer than 1000 copies of HIV per milliliter of blood.

The researchers estimated the percentages of children and adults who were virally suppressed based on the data from those alive and had viral load measurements for up to 3 years of ART. Estimating viral suppression among people who had fallen out of HIV care during a 3-year interval was done by looking to a Zambian study of viral suppression rates in a similar population. The researchers then calculated an adjustment to viral suppression rates in the ieDEA population, according to the study.

The research team assessed that among adults, 79% were virally suppressed after 1 year of ART, 72% after 2 years, and 65% after 3 years. Among children and adolescents, 64% were virally suppressed after 1 year of ART, 62% after 2 years, and 59% after 3 years.

These viral suppression rates help conclude the amount that global HIV treatment programs need to go to reach and sustain the UNAIDS 2030 targets, according to the study. Additionally, the even lower rates of viral suppression among children and adolescents with HIV underscore the need to improve durable viral suppression in these age groups, according to the study.

REFERENCE

Too many people with HIV fail to achieve durable viral suppression. NIH. November 30, 2021. Accessed November 30, 2021. https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/too-many-people-hiv-fail-achieve-durable-viral-suppression