We present a novel, patient-centric, longitudinal summary of patient progress through the HIV care continuum. Using this new approach, we compare person-time spent alive, in care, on antiretroviral therapy (ART) and virally suppressed among persons who inject drugs (PWID) and those who do not (non-IDU).
Prospective clinical observational cohort study.
We followed ART-naïve patients with detectable HIV viral loads who enrolled in the Johns Hopkins HIV Clinical Cohort from enrollment until the occurrence of several care continuum-related milestones, including ART initiation and viral suppression, and until several care continuum-related failures, including loss-to-clinic (LTC) and death. We added and subtracted cumulative incidence curves to estimate the proportion of the cohort in each of seven continuum stages across the 10 years following enrollment in clinical care.
PWID composed 32% of the study sample (n=1,443). Over ten years following enrollment in care, PWID and non-IDU spent only 23% and 37% of person-time in care, on ART and virally suppressed. PWID lost 8.9 more months of life compared to non-IDU and spent an additional 5.0 months on ART but not virally suppressed, and an additional 5.5 months in care but not on ART. There were not meaningful improvements in the 5-year restricted mean person-time differences comparing PWID to non-IDU across enrollment cohorts (2000-03, 2004-07, 2008-14).
Efforts to increase viral suppression among PWID should focus on increasing ART initiation and improving adherence to therapy.