Introduction: We assessed trends in HIV Care Continuum outcomes associated with delayed disease progression and reduced transmission within a large Latin American cohort over a decade: clinical retention, combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) use and viral suppression (VS).
Methods: Adults from Caribbean, Central and South America network for HIV epidemiology clinical cohorts in seven countries contributed data between 2003 and 2012. Retention was defined as two or more HIV care visits annually, >90 days apart. cART was defined as prescription of three or more antiretroviral agents annually. VS was defined as HIV-1 RNA <200 copies/mL at last measurement annually. cART and VS denominators were subjects with at least one visit annually. Multivariable modified Poisson regression was used to assess temporal trends and examine associations between age, sex, HIV transmission mode, cohort, calendar year and time in care.
Results: Among 18,799 individuals in retention analyses, 14,380 in cART analyses and 13,330 in VS analyses, differences existed between those meeting indicator definitions versus those not by most characteristics. Retention, cART and VS significantly improved from 2003 to 2012 (63 to 77%, 74 to 91% and 53 to 82%, respectively; p<0.05, each). Female sex (risk ratio (RR)=0.97 vs. males) and injection drug use as HIV transmission mode (RR=0.83 vs. male sexual contact with males (MSM)) were significantly associated with lower retention, but unrelated with cART or VS. MSM (RR=0.96) significantly decreased the probability of cART compared with heterosexual transmission.
Conclusions: HIV Care Continuum outcomes improved over time in Latin America, though disparities for vulnerable groups remain. Efforts must be made to increase retention, cART and VS, while engaging in additional research to sustain progress in these settings.
Keywords: HIV Care Continuum; Latin America; cART use; cohort studies; retention; viral suppression.