Retention in HIV Care and Viral Suppression: Individual- and Neighborhood-Level Predictors of Racial/Ethnic Differences, Florida, 2015

AIDS Patient Care STDS. 2017 Apr;31(4):167-175. doi: 10.1089/apc.2016.0197.


The objective of this study was to estimate racial/ethnic differences in retention in HIV care and viral suppression and to identify related individual and neighborhood determinants. Florida HIV surveillance records of cases aged ≥13 years diagnosed during the years 2000-2014 were analyzed. Retention in care was defined as evidence of ≥2 or more laboratory tests, receipts of prescription, or clinical visits at least 3 months apart during 2015. Viral load suppression was defined as a viral load of <200 copies/mL for the last test in 2015. Multi-level logistic regressions were used to estimate adjusted odds ratios (AORs). Of 65,735 cases, 33.3% were not retained in care, and 40.1% were not virally suppressed. After controlling for individual and neighborhood factors, blacks were at increased odds of nonretention in HIV care [AOR 1.29, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.23-1.35] and nonviral suppression (AOR 1.55, 95% CI 1.48-1.63) compared with whites. Black and Latino males compared with their female counterparts had higher odds of nonretention and nonviral suppression. Compared with their US-born counterparts, foreign-born blacks and whites, but not Latinos, had higher odds of nonretention and nonviral suppression. Blacks and whites in urban compared with rural areas had higher odds of both outcomes. Disparities in retention in care and viral suppression persist and are not accounted for by differences in age, sex, transmission mode, AIDS diagnosis, neighborhood socioeconomic status, rural/urban residence, or neighborhood racial composition. Further, predictors of poor retention in care and viral suppression appear to differ by race/ethnicity.

Keywords: human immunodeficiency virus; neighborhood; retention in care; treatment cascade; viral suppression.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • African Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Anti-HIV Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Blacks / statistics & numerical data
  • Continuity of Patient Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Ethnicity / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Florida / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy
  • HIV Infections / ethnology
  • HIV Infections / psychology
  • HIV Infections / virology
  • Hispanic or Latino / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Racial Groups / statistics & numerical data*
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Rural Population
  • Viral Load / drug effects*
  • Whites / statistics & numerical data


  • Anti-HIV Agents