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Despite progress in the prevention and treatment of HIV, persistent issues concerning the evaluation of continuum in care from the serological diagnosis to virologic success remain.
Considering the UNAIDS target 90-90-90 for 2020 for treatment and viral suppression of people living with HIV (PLVH), our purpose was to verify if, starting from diagnosis, the viral suppression rate of our cohort of new PLWH satisfied the above targets.
The aim of this retrospective study was to compare 2005-2017 data collected at the Perugia Infectious Diseases Clinic with the 2020 UNAIDS 90 targets and to identify risk factors that could be associated with failure to reach these targets.
Methods: We included all patients aged ≥15 undergoing HIV test at our clinic between January 2005 and December 2017. We evaluated the unclaimed tests, linkage to care, retention in ART and the viral suppression at 1 and 2 years from starting ART. Data were analyzed between Italians and foreigners.
Results: We observed 592 new diagnoses for HIV infection: 61.4% on Italian-natives, 38.5% on foreigners. Considering the continuum of care from diagnosis, 88 (15%) PLWHIV were lost to engagement in care: 55 (9.2%) patients didn’t withdraw the test and 33 (5.5%) didn’t link to care.
An antiretroviral treatment was started only on 78.8% of the new diagnoses (467/592) and a viral suppression was obtained at 2 years on 82% of PLWH who had started ART (383/467) namely only 64.7% of the new diagnoses instead of the hoped-for 81% of the UNAIDS target. We found no significant differences between Italians and foreigners
UNAIDS goal was very far to be reached. The main challenges were unreturned tests as well as the retention in ART. Rapid tests for a test-treat strategy and frequent phone communications in the first ART years could facilitate UNAIDS target achievement.
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