Design: Few global studies have assessed HIV clinician-patient communication regarding cardiovascular disease (CVD) risks.
Methods: We conducted a multicountry, comparative, cross-sectional survey of HIV-infected individuals in 12 countries on 5 continents in 2010, with 100 to 200 enrollees per country. HIV-infected adults >17 years and on antiretroviral therapy were recruited in clinics and community organizations and surveyed via direct interview, telephone encounter, or online. Chi-square analyses were performed with an 80% power to detect a difference of >20%.
Results: Of 2035 participants, 37% were women. Prevalence of self-reported CVD risk factors was 28% overall, and greater CVD risk was present in 55% of patients in North America, 12% in Africa, and 26% to 28% on other continents. Only 19% of patients ever discussed CVD with their physician, and 31% had ever discussed hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, family history of CVD, or smoking; these findings were true for HIV clinicians in all regions of the world. Forty-four percent of smokers reported never discussing smoking with their HIV clinician.
Conclusion: We found that HIV clinicians worldwide are not sufficiently addressing CVD risk factors with their patients. Expanded training and education for HIV clinicians should include effective approaches to the mitigation of CV risk factors.