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J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2009 Dec;52(5):574-80. doi: 10.1097/QAI.0b013e3181b98537.

Virologic response differences between African Americans and European Americans initiating highly active antiretroviral therapy with equal access to care.

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Infectious Disease Clinical Research Program of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD, USA.



Studies comparing virologic response to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) between African Americans (AA) and European Americans (EA) have been confounded by differences in duration of HIV infection and access to health care. We evaluated virologic response to HAART between ethnicities in a large cohort with fewer confounders.


The odds of attaining viral suppression at 6- and 12-months post-HAART were determined by multivariate logistic regression for HIV-infected AA and EA prospectively followed in a large US military cohort. Time-to-event methods were used to compare maintenance of suppression.


A total of 1363 subjects (51% AA, 92% men) with viral load results available 6 months after HAART initiation were included. There was no difference between ethnicities in time from seroconversion to HIV diagnosis or HAART initiation or in HAART regimens. Adjusted for multiple demographic and HIV-related factors, AA had significantly lower odds of obtaining undetectable viral loads after 6 (odds ratio 0.6, 95% confidence interval 0.4-0.8, P < 0.001) and 12 months (odds ratio 0.6, 95% confidence interval 0.4-0.8, P = 0.002) of HAART. Once undetectable, there was no difference in time to virologic failure between AA and EA.


Despite similar durations of HIV infection and equal access to health care, AAs were significantly less likely to achieve viral suppression compared with EA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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