Methods: We conducted a retrospective chart review of patients 18 years or older, who were newly diagnosed with HIV and receiving care at our Ryan White funded clinic between September 2014 and September 2016. We collected demographic information, comorbid conditions, clinic appointment data, and laboratory values. VLS suppression was defined as an HIV viral load <200 copies/ml at 3 months. Pearson Chi square analysis was done using SPSS to evaluate the association between these variables and VLS.
Results: A total of 183 patients were included in the study, 42 (23%) females, 39 (21%) white, 41 (22%) less than 25 years of age, 65 (36%) uninsured and 102 (56%) men who have sex with men. The majority 139 (76%) of patients lived below the 150% federal poverty limit. During 3 months follow up 113/183 (61%) were VLS. There were no statistically significant associations between age, gender, ethnicity, presence of mental health and substance abuse disorders, housing stability, education or poverty level level and VLS. 60/104 (56%) of those who were insured achieved VLS compared to 48/65 (73%) of those who were uninsured (P=0.033)
Conclusion: VLS was achieved in 61% of the HIV infected patients in eastern North Carolina. Patients without insurance had a statistically significantly higher rate of VLS as compared to those with insurance. It is noteworthy that patients who were uninsured received ambulatory medical and support services as well as medication assistance through Ryan White funding. Future prospective studies are needed to further evaluate the association between insurance status and VLS in federally funded clinics.
G. Kearney, None