June 21, 2013
According to Irene Hall, Ph.D., of CDC, and colleagues, results of a study show that disparities in all levels of HIV care exist based on age. The researchers used 2009 data from the National HIV Surveillance System to determine HIV prevalence and the proportion of individuals linked to care. Also, they used CDC's Medical Monitoring Project to examine the proportion of HIV-positive individuals retained in care, receiving antiretrovirals, and experiencing viral suppression.
The researchers estimated that 1,148,200 people were HIV-positive in 2009, including 18 percent who had not been diagnosed. Of this group, they estimated 44 percent were black, 19 percent Hispanic or Latino, and 33 percent white. The majority of individuals (61 percent) were ages 35-54; 7 percent were 13-24; 15 percent were 25-34; 14 percent were 55-64; and 4 percent were 65 or older. Men composed 76 percent of the individuals and an estimated 52 percent acquired the disease from sex with men. In the population, 82 percent had been diagnosed HIV-positive, 66 percent were linked to care, 37 percent were retained in care, 33 percent were taking antiretrovirals, and 25 percent had suppressed viral load.
The researchers found differences by age through the continuum of care. HIV-positive individuals ages 25-34 and 35-44 had lower rates of all aspects of care than older persons and much lower rates of viral suppression compared to individuals ages 55-64.
The full report, "Differences in Human Immunodeficiency Virus Care and Treatment Among Subpopulations in the United States," was published online in JAMA Internal Medicine (2013; doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.6841).