Engagement-in-care during the first 5 years after HIV diagnosis: data from a cohort of newly HIV-diagnosed individuals in a large US city

AIDS Patient Care STDS. 2014 Sep;28(9):475-82. doi: 10.1089/apc.2013.0340. Epub 2014 Aug 1.


Initial descriptions of the HIV engagement continuum are limited by short-term follow-up and incomplete data. We evaluated engagement in a newly HIV-diagnosed cohort. Our goals were to assess long-term engagement-in-care, evaluate the effects of out-of-state migration on engagement estimates, and determine whether engagement has improved in more recently diagnosed individuals. This is a retrospective cohort study of individuals newly HIV-diagnosed at two large HIV care centers in the Denver metropolitan area from 2005 to 2009. Clinical data were obtained from three public HIV providers and two clinical trial groups. For statewide evaluation, we used mandated laboratory reporting databases for CD4 lymphocyte counts and HIV-1 RNA levels. From 2005 to 2009, 615 individuals were diagnosed with HIV. By 18 months after HIV diagnosis, 84% of the cohort had linked to care, 73% were retained in care, 49% were prescribed antiretroviral therapy, and 36% had viral suppression. By 5 years after HIV diagnosis, 55% of the cohort were retained in care, 37% had viral suppression, 15% had moved out of state, and 3% were deceased. When censoring for outmigration and death, 66% of the cohort were retained in care and 45% of the cohort had viral suppression 5 years after HIV diagnosis. Engagement-in-care 18 months after diagnosis was better in individuals diagnosed more recently. Retention in care declined while viral suppression increased over time after HIV diagnosis. Accounting for outmigration and death significantly increased estimates of engagement-in-care. Performance in the engagement continuum 18 months after diagnosis improved significantly in individuals more recently diagnosed with HIV.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Retroviral Agents / therapeutic use*
  • CD4 Lymphocyte Count
  • Colorado / epidemiology
  • Continuity of Patient Care*
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis*
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy*
  • HIV Infections / virology
  • HIV-1 / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Compliance / statistics & numerical data*
  • Population Surveillance
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Viral Load / statistics & numerical data*


  • Anti-Retroviral Agents