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The HIV Treat Pillar: An Update and Summary of Promising Approaches

Nanette D Benbow, Eve D Mokotoff, Julia C Dombrowski Amy R Wohl, Susan Scheer

American Journal of Preventive Medicine

The Treat pillar of the Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. plan calls for comprehensive strategies to enhance linkage to, and engagement in, HIV medical care to improve viral suppression among people with HIV and achieve the goal of 95% viral suppression by 2025. The U.S. has seen large increases in the proportion of people with HIV who have a suppressed viral load. Viral suppression has increased 41%, from 46% in 2010 to 65% in 2018. An additional increase of 46% is needed to meet the Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. goal. The rate of viral suppression among those in care increased to 85% in 2018, highlighting the need to ensure sustained care for people with HIV. Greater increases in all steps along the HIV care continuum are needed for those disproportionately impacted by HIV, especially the young, sexual and racial/ethnic minorities, people experiencing homelessness, and people who inject drugs. Informed by systematic reviews and current research findings, this paper describes more recent promising practices that suggest an impact on HIV care outcomes. It highlights rapid linkage and treatment interventions; interventions that identify and re-engage people in HIV care through new collaborations among health departments, providers, and hospital systems; coordinated care and low-barrier clinic models; and telemedicine-delivered HIV care approaches. The interventions presented in this paper provide additional approaches that state and local jurisdictions can use to reach their local HIV elimination plans' goals and the ambitious Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. Treat pillar targets by 2030.