HIV care and treatment of American Indians/Alaska natives with diagnosed HIV infection – 27 states and the District of Columbia, 2012

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The objective of this study was to measure linkage to care, retention in care, and suppressed viral load (VL) among American Indians/Alaska Natives (AIs/ANs) aged ≥13 years with diagnosed HIV infection. We used national HIV case surveillance data to measure linkage to care, defined as ≥1 CD4 or VL test ≤1 month after HIV diagnosis during 2013; retention in care, defined as ≥2 CD4 or VL tests ≥3 months apart during 2012; and suppressed VL, defined as <200 copies/mL at the most recent VL test during 2012. In 2013, 74.1% of AIs/ANs were linked to care. At year-end 2012, 46.9% of AIs/ANs were retained in care and 45.1% were virally suppressed. A lower percentage of females (41.3%), compared with males (46.5), were virally suppressed. By age group, the lowest percentage of virally suppressed AIs/ANs (37.5%) were aged 13–34 years. To improve individual health and to prevent HIV among AIs/ANs, outcomes must improve – particularly for female AIs/ANs and for AIs/ANs aged 13–34 years. Screening for HIV infection in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s testing recommendations can lead to improvements along the continuum of HIV care.

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