BOSTON – In San Francisco, a citywide program to get all persons with newly diagnosed HIV infections linked to care within 5 working days cut the time to first virologic suppression by more than half and reduced the median time from initiation of care to antiretroviral therapy from nearly 4 weeks to just 1 day, an infectious disease specialist reported.
“We saw significant improvements in time to ART [antiretroviral therapy] initiation and time to first virologic suppression in traditionally vulnerable populations, including racial and ethnic minorities and the homeless. However, disparities remain in some groups,”, of the University of California, San Francisco, and the San Francisco Department of Public Health, said at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections.
Under the program, all persons with confirmed HIV diagnoses are linked within 5 working days to care, and at the first care visit, have baseline labs collected, receive counseling, and undergo medical and psychosocial assessment. Patients then begin ART with tenofovir and emtricitabine plus either an integrase inhibitor or a boost of darunavir, with the option of a four-drug regimen if the HIV infection was suspected to have occurred while the patient was taking preexposure prophylaxis.