Background: The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) epidemic in Newark, New Jersey, is among the most severe in the United States. Prevalence ranges up to 3.3% in some groups. The aim of this study is to use a mathematical model of the epidemic in Newark to assess the impact of interventions along the continuum of care, leading to virologic suppression.
Methods: A model was constructed of HIV infection including specific care-continuum steps. The model was calibrated to HIV/AIDS cases in Newark among different populations over a 10-year period. Interventions applied to model fits were increasing proportions tested, linked and retained in care, linked and adherent to treatment, and increasing testing frequency, high-risk-group testing, and adherence. Impacts were assessed by measuring incidence and death reductions 10 years postintervention.
Results: The most effective interventions for reducing incidence were improving treatment adherence and increasing testing frequency and coverage. No single intervention reduced incidence in 2023 by >5%, and the most effective combination of interventions reduced incidence by approximately 16% (2%-24%). The most efficacious interventions for reducing deaths were increasing retention, linkage to care, testing coverage, and adherence. Increasing retention reduced deaths by approximately 27% (24%-29%); the most efficacious combination of interventions reduced deaths in 2023 by approximately 52% (46%-57%).
Conclusions: Reducing HIV deaths in Newark over a 10-year period may be a realizable goal, but reducing incidence is less likely. Our results highlight the importance of addressing leaks across the entire continuum of care and reinforcing efforts to prevention new HIV infections with additional interventions.
Keywords: HIV; care continuum; mathematical model.