Trends of racial and ethnic disparities in virologic suppression among women in the HIV Outpatient Study, USA, 2010-2015

Angelica Geter*, Madeline Y. Sutton, Carl Armon, Marcus D. Durham, Frank J. Palella, Ellen Tedaldi, Rachel Hart, Kate Buchacz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


In the United States, women accounted for 19% of new HIV diagnoses in 2015 and were less likely to reach virologic suppression when compared to men. We assessed trends and disparities in virologic suppression among HIV-positive women to inform HIV treatment strategies. Data were from a prospective cohort of the HIV Outpatient Study and collected at nine United States HIV clinics. We included women aged 18 years, with 1 visit, who were prescribed antiretroviral therapy, and had 1 viral load test performed between 2010 and 2015. We defined virologic suppression as viral load <50 copies/mL and calculated adjusted prevalence ratios (aPR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) for virologic suppression by race/ethnicity and year of measure. Generalized estimating equations were used for multivariable analyses to assess factors associated with virologic suppression. Among 809 women (median age = 44 years), 482 (60%) were black, 177 (22%) white, 150 (19%) Hispanic/Latina. Virologic suppression was less prevalent among black women (73%) compared with Hispanic/Latina women (83%) and white women (91%). In multivariable analyses, not achieving virologic suppression was more likely among black women (aPR = 2.13; CI = 1.50–3.02) or Hispanic/Latina women (aPR = 1.66; CI = 1.08–2.56) compared with white women, and among women who attended public clinics (aPR = 1.42; CI = 1.07–1.87) compared with those who attended a private clinic. Between 2010 and 2015, virologic suppression among HIV-positive women increased from 68% to 83%, but racial/ethnic disparities persisted. Black and Hispanic/Latina women had significantly lower rates of virologic suppression than white women. Interventions targeting virologic suppression improvement among HIV-positive women of color, especially those who attend public clinics, are warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0189973
JournalPloS one
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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