BACKGROUND: Only a few recent reports have examined longitudinal adherence patterns in US clinics and its impact on immunological and virological outcomes among large cohorts initiating contemporary antiretroviral therapy (ART) in US clinics.METHODS: We followed all persons with HIV (PLWH) in a California clinic population initiating ART between 2010 and 2017. We estimated longitudinal adherence for each PLWH by calculating the medication possession ratio within multiple 6-month intervals using pharmacy refill records.RESULTS: During the study, 2315 PWLH were followed for a median time of 210.8 weeks and only 179 (7.7%) were lost-to-follow-up. The mean adherence was 84.9%. Age (Hazard Ratio (HR): (95% confidence interval): 1.25 (1.20-1.31) per 10-year increase) and Black race (HR: 0.62 (0.53-0.73) vs. White) were associated with adherence in the cohort. A 10% percent increase in adherence increased the odds of being virally suppressed by 37% (OR and 95% CI: 1.37 [1.33-1.41]) and was associated with an increase in mean CD4 count by 8.54 cells/ul in the next 6-month interval (p-value <0.0001).CONCLUSIONS: Our study shows that despite large improvements in retention in care, demographic disparities in adherence to ART persist. Adherence was lower among younger patients and black patients. Our study confirmed the strong association between adherence to ART and viral suppression but could only establish a weak association between adherence and CD4 count. These findings reaffirm the importance of adherence and retention in care and further highlight the need for tailored patient-centered HIV Care Models as a strategy to improve PLWH's outcomes.
View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0263742
View details for PubMedID 35157724