Purpose: Among young men who have sex with men (YMSM), aged 13-24 years, Blacks/African Americans and Hispanics/Latinos are disproportionately affected by HIV, accounting for 58% and 21%, respectively, of diagnoses of HIV infection in the United States. In the District of Columbia (DC), YMSM of color are also disproportionately affected by HIV. National goals are that 80% of HIV-infected persons be retained in HIV care. We analyzed DC surveillance data to examine retention among YMSM living with HIV infection in DC.
Methods: We characterized correlates of retention in HIV care (≥2 clinical visits, ≥3 months apart, within 12 months of diagnosis) among YMSM in DC to inform and strengthen local HIV care efforts. We analyzed data from DC HIV surveillance system for YMSM aged 13-29 years diagnosed between 2005 and 2012 and alive in 2013. We also combined demographic and clinical variables with sociodemographic data from the U.S. American Community Survey (ACS) by census tracts.
Results: From 2005 to 2012, 1034 YMSM were diagnosed and living with HIV infection in DC; 83% were Black or Latino. Of the 1034 YMSM, 910 (88%) had census tract data available and were included in analyses (72% Black, 10% Latino, and 17% White); among the 854 (94%) linked to care, 376 (44%) were retained in care. In multivariate analyses, retention in care was less likely among 19-24 year YMSM compared with 13-18-year-old YMSM (adjusted prevalence ratios [aPR] = 0.89, 95% confidence intervals [CI] 0.80-0.99).
Conclusion: Retention in HIV care was suboptimal for YMSM. Increased retention efforts are warranted to improve outcomes and reduce age and racial/ethnic disparities.
Keywords: District of Columbia; HIV/AIDS; YMSM; health disparities; retention in care.