Sex, Race, and Geographic Region Influence Clinical Outcomes Following Primary HIV-1 Infection


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Abstract

Background.It is unknown whether sex and race influence clinical outcomes following primary human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection.Methods.Data were evaluated from an observational, multicenter, primarily North American cohort of HIV-1 seroconverters.Results.Of 2277 seroconverters, 5.4% were women. At enrollment, women averaged .40 log10 fewer copies/mL of HIV-1 RNA (P < .001) and 66 more CD4+ T cells/μL (P = .006) than men, controlling for age and race. Antiretroviral therapy (ART) was less likely to be initiated at any time point by nonwhite women and men compared to white men (P < .005), and by individuals from the southern United States compared to others (P = .047). Sex and race did not affect responses to ART after 6 months (P > .73). Women were 2.17-fold more likely than men to experience >1 HIV/AIDS-related event (P < .001). Nonwhite women were most likely to experience an HIV/AIDS-related event compared to all others (P = .035), after adjusting for intravenous drug use and ART. Eight years after diagnosis, >1 HIV/AIDS-related event had occurred in 78% of nonwhites and 37% of whites from the southern United States, and 24% of whites and 17% of nonwhites from other regions (P < .001).Conclusions.Despite more favorable clinical parameters initially, female HIV-1-seroconverters had worse outcomes than did male seroconverters. Elevated morbidity was associated with being nonwhite and residing in the southern United States.

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