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Original article

Elevated risk of viral rebound on ART in migrants living in France: role of socioeconomic factors

Sophie Abgrall, Mariem Raho-Moussa, Rémonie Seng, Mathilde Ghislain, Sophie Matheron, Gilles Pialoux, Cécile Goujard, Laurence Meyer, the ANRS CO9-COPANA study group

Corresponding author name: Sophie Abgrall
Corresponding author e-mail: sophie.abgrall@aphp.fr

Citation: Antiviral Therapy 2019; 24:541-552
doi: 10.3851/IMP3339

Date accepted: 17 November 2019
Date published online: 23 December 2019


Background: In Western countries, viral rebound on antiretroviral therapy (ART) appears to occur more frequently in migrants. We aimed to assess the respective roles of socioeconomic factors and migration on viral rebound in people living with HIV (PLHIV) in France.

Methods: We included PLHIV in France, enrolled from 2004 to 2008 in the French ANRS-COPANA cohort, who started a first ART and achieved undetectability (<50 copies/ml) within 1 year. Determinants of viral rebound were assessed using Cox models including geographical origin, HIV transmission group, and clinicobiological and sociodemographic data.

Results: Of 499 included individuals, 288 were born in France, 158 in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and 53 in another country. Kaplan–Meier probabilities of viral rebound-free survival were similar for men having sex with men (MSM) and heterosexuals born in France, and lower in migrants from SSA or other countries (P<0.001). The crude hazard ratio (HR) of viral rebound was 2.49 (95% CI, 1.59, 3.90) in migrants from SSA and 1.78 (0.94, 3.88) in migrants from other countries compared with MSM born in France. Educational level, financial difficulties and HIV status disclosure had the biggest impact on the difference between the crude and adjusted HRs for viral rebound in migrants. In multivariable analysis, viral rebound was no longer associated with geographical origin, but with protease inhibitor-containing ART, a VACS index ≥35 as a potential indicator of frailty, poor financial status (difficulties or debts) and non-disclosure to friend(s).

Conclusions: Socioeconomic factors affect outcomes on ART, even in the context of free access to HIV care and treatment. Patient-centred strategies should be encouraged with the intervention of social workers to address basic needs and promote social support for more socially vulnerable individuals.


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