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Predictors of retention in care in HIV-infected patients in a large hospital cohort in Italy

  • Roberta Prinapori (a1) (a2), Barbara Giannini (a3), Niccolò Riccardi (a2), Francesca Bovis (a4), Mauro Giacomini (a3), Maurizio Setti (a5), Claudio Viscoli (a2) (a6), Stefania Artioli (a1) and Antonio Di Biagio (a6)...

Retention in care is a key feature of the cascade of continuum of care, playing an important role in achieving therapeutic success and being crucial for reduction of HIV transmission. The aim of this study was to evaluate the rate of retention in care in a large referral centre in the North of Italy and to identify predictors associated with failed retention. All new HIV-infected subjects were consecutive enrolled from 1 January 2008 to 31 December 2014. Demographics, immune-virological status, hepatitis co-infection and timing of initiation of combined antiretroviral therapy (cART) data were collected at baseline and at the time of last observation. Failed retention in care was defined as lack of laboratory data, clinical visits and drug dispensation for more than 6 months from the last visit. Cox regression analysis was used. Multivariate analysis of variables with P<0.05 in univariate analysis was performed. We enrolled 269 patients (mean age 46.1 years). Males were 197 (73%), Italian 219 (81%) with mean length of disease of 5.1 years. cART was prescribed for 257 patients (95%). The rate of retention in care was 78.4% and the rate of virological suppression was 75%. Predictors of being loss to follow-up were foreign origin (P = 0.048), CD4+ count <200/mmc (P = 0.001) and not being treated for HIV infection (P = 0.0004). Predictors of cART efficacy were shorter duration of HIV infection and baseline HIV-RNA <100 000 copies/ml. These findings underline the necessity to improve retention in care by identifying groups at increased risk of being loss to follow-up. Retention in care of vulnerable population is crucial to reach 90-90-90 UNAIDS endpoint.

Corresponding author
Author for correspondence: Niccolò Riccardi, E-mail:
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Epidemiology & Infection
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