African American Women Less Likely To Achieve HIV Viral Suppression Interview with:
Dr. Ndidi Nwangwu-Ike
Center Disease Control

MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: CDC data has shown encouraging signs of a decrease in new HIV infections among black women in recent years. However, African American women continue to be far more affected by HIV than women of any other race or ethnicity, with a rate of new infection 20 times that of white women and nearly five times that of Hispanic women. Ensuring people with HIV are diagnosed and remain in care is key to controlling HIV in the nation. When used consistently, antiretroviral medication can keep HIV controlled at very low levels in the body (known as viral suppression), allowing people with HIV to live longer, healthier lives and reducing the likelihood they will transmit HIV to others. Our study finds that viral suppression among women diagnosed with HIV is low, with young women and black women the least likely to achieve viral suppression. Specifically, we found that:

o Of women newly diagnosed with HIV in 2012, 83 percent were linked to care within three months of diagnosis.

o Retention in care varied by age and race/ethnicity; overall, just over half of women (52 percent) diagnosed and living with HIV in 2011 received ongoing HIV care.

o Overall, only 44 percent of women diagnosed and living with HIV in 2011 had a suppressed viral load.

MedicalResearch: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Response: With fewer than half of American women diagnosed with HIV achieving viral suppression, the analysis underscores the need to improve care and treatment for all women, with a particular focus on younger women, and African American women.

MedicalResearch: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: It is important to understand why African American women are less likely to achieve viral suppression and adhere to medications in order to effectively tailor interventions for this population.


Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) Atract

Care and viral suppression among women, 18 US jurisdictions Interview with: Dr. Ndidi Nwangwu-Ike (2015). African American Women Less Likely To Achieve HIV Viral Suppression