Background: Direct comparisons between countries in core HIV care parameters are often hampered by differences in data collection.
Aim: Within the EuroSIDA study, we compared levels of antiretroviral treatment (ART) coverage and virological suppression (HIV RNA < 500 copies/mL) across Europe and explored temporal trends.
Methods: In three cross-sectional analyses in 2004-05, 2009-10 and 2014-15, we assessed country-specific percentages of ART coverage and virological suppression among those on ART. Temporal changes were analysed using logistic regression.
Results: Overall, the percentage of people on ART increased from 2004-05 (67.8%) to 2014-15 (78.2%), as did the percentage among those on ART who were virologically suppressed (75.2% in 2004-05, 87.7% in 2014-15). However, the rate of improvement over time varied significantly between regions (p < 0.01). In 2014-15, six of 34 countries had both ART coverage and virological suppression of above 90% among those on ART. The pattern varied substantially across clinics within countries, with ART coverage ranging from 61.9% to 97.0% and virological suppression from 32.2% to 100%. Compared with Western Europe (as defined in this study), patients in other regions were less likely to be virologically suppressed in 2014-15, with the lowest odds of suppression (adjusted odds ratio = 0.16; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.13-0.21) in Eastern Europe.
Conclusions: Despite overall improvements over a decade, we found persistent disparities in country-specific estimates of ART coverage and virological suppression. Underlying reasons for this variation warrant further analysis to identify a best practice and benchmark HIV care across EuroSIDA.
Keywords: Continuity of patient care; Epidemiology; Europe; HIV infection; Surveillance; Treatment outcome.