HIV Care Trajectories as a Novel Longitudinal Assessment of Retention in Care.


Consistent engagement in care is associated with positive health outcomes among people living with HIV (PLWH). However, traditional retention measures ignore the evolving dynamics of engagement in care. To understand the longitudinal patterns of HIV care, we analyzed medical records from 2008 to 2015 of PLWH ≥ 18 years-old receiving care at a public, hospital-based HIV clinic (N = 2110). Using latent class analysis, we identified five distinct care trajectory classes: (1) consistent care (N = 1281); (2) less frequent care (N = 270); (3) return to care after initial attrition (N = 192); (4) moderate attrition (N = 163); and (5) rapid attrition (N = 204). The majority of PLWH in Class 1 (73.9%) had achieved sustained viral suppression (viral load ≤ 200 copies/mL at last test and > 12 months prior) by study end. Among the other care classes, there was substantial variation in sustained viral suppression (61.1% in Class 2 to 3.4% in Class 5). Care trajectories could be used to prioritize re-engagement efforts.

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