Author(s): Torian LV, Wiewel EW
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Abstract In this era of effective antiretroviral therapy, early diagnosis of HIV and timely linkage to and retention in care are vital to survival and quality of life. Federal guidelines recommend regular monitoring of HIV-related laboratory parameters and initiation of antiretroviral treatment at specified thresholds. We used routinely reported laboratory data to measure intervals between visits by New York City residents newly diagnosed with HIV July 1 to September 30, 2005, and initiating care within 3 months of diagnosis. We measured regular care (≥1 visit every 6 months) and retention in care (last visit ≤6 months before close of analysis) through June 30, 2009. Patients were followed for 45-48 months. Seventy-seven percent (650/842) of patients initiated care within 3 months of diagnosis; 609 (93.7\%) made at least one subsequent visit; 45.4\% had regular care. Risk factors for not receiving regular care included age 13-24 versus 50+ (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 3.0, 95\% confidence interval [CI] 1.5, 6.0), black race (AOR 2.0, 95\% CI 1.4,2.8), eligibility for antiretroviral treatment (AOR 1.5, 95\% CI 1.1, 2.2), and injection drug use (IDU; AOR = 2.7. 95\% CI 1.0, 7.1). In a time-to-event analysis, risk factors for loss to care were age 13-24 versus 50+ at diagnosis (adjusted hazard ratio [AHR] 1.9, 95\% CI 1.1, 3.4), non-hospital site of care (AHR 1.4, 95\% CI 1.0, 2.0) and early stage (non-AIDS) disease (AHR 1.4, 95\% CI 1.0, 2.0). The analysis demonstrates how mandated reporting of HIV-related laboratory tests provides surveillance systems with the capacity to monitor utilization of care, identify deficits, and evaluate progress in programs designed to facilitate retention in care.
This article was published in AIDS Patient Care STDS
and referenced in Journal of Proteomics & Bioinformatics