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Original article

An expanded HIV care cascade: ART uptake, viral load suppression and comorbidity monitoring among adults living with HIV in Asia

Rimke Bijker, Nagalingeswaran Kumarasamy, Sasisopin Kiertiburanakul, Sanjay Pujari, Oon Tek Ng, Ly Pehn Sun, Tuti Parwati Merati, Kinh Van Nguyen, Man Po Lee, Do Duy Cuong, Yu Jiun Chan, Jun Yong Choi, Jeremy Ross, Matthew Law, the IeDEA Asia-Pacific

Corresponding author name: Rimke Bijker
Corresponding author e-mail: r.bijker@unswalumni.com

Citation: Antiviral Therapy 2020; 25:275-285
doi: 10.3851/IMP3379

Date accepted: 06 January 2021
Date published online: 19 January 2021


Background: Comprehensive treatment and clinical management are central to improving outcomes for people living with HIV (PLHIV). We explored trends in HIV clinical care, treatment outcomes, and chronic kidney disease (CKD) and diabetes monitoring.

Methods: We included patients ≥18 years in care at ten clinical sites in eight Asian countries. Proportions of patients on antiretroviral therapy (ART), with annual viral load, and with viral load suppression (VLS; <1,000 copies/ml) were estimated by year for 2011–2016, stratified by country income level (lower-middle income [LMIC] and high-income countries [HIC]). Among those on ART in 2016 we evaluated factors associated with annual CKD and diabetes monitoring.

Results: Among 31,346 patients (67% male), the proportions of patients on ART (median ART initiation year 2011, IQR 2007–2013), with annual viral load and VLS had substantially increased by 2016 (to 94%, 42% and 92%, respectively, in LMIC and 95%, 97% and 93%, respectively, in HIC) with the larger increases over time seen in LMIC. Among those on ART in 2016, monitoring proportions in LMIC were 53% for CKD and 26% for diabetes compared with 83% and 59%, respectively, in HIC. Overall, a decreased odds of monitoring was observed for male gender, heterosexual HIV exposure, no viral load and LMIC. Diabetes monitoring was also decreased in those with viral failure.

Conclusions: Our findings highlight suboptimal monitoring of viral load, CKD and diabetes in PLHIV in Asia. There is a need for affordable and scalable monitoring options to improve the joint care for HIV and non-communicable diseases.


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