HIV Infection Care and Viral Suppression Among People Who Inject Drugs, 28 U.S. Jurisdictions, 2012-2013

Debra L. Karcha, *, Kristen Mahle Graya, Jing Shib, H. Irene Halla
a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Atlanta, GA, 30329, USA
b ICF International, Inc, Atlanta, GA, 30329, USA

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© Karch et al. Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0) (, which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 1600 Clifton Road NE, MS E-47 Atlanta, GA 30329, USA; Tel: (404) 639-5174; Fax: (404) 639-8046; Email:



Assess outcomes along the care continuum for HIV-infected people who inject drugs (PWID), by type of facility and stage of infection at diagnosis.


Data reported by 28 jurisdictions to the National HIV Surveillance System by December 2014 were used to identify PWID aged ≥13 years, diagnosed with HIV infection before December 31, 2013. Analyses used the CDC definition of linkage to care (LTC), retention in care (RIC), and viral suppression (VS), and are stratified by age, sex, race/ethnicity, and type of facility and stage of HIV infection at diagnosis.


Of 1,409 PWID diagnosed with HIV in 2013, 1,116 (79.2%) were LTC with the lowest percentages among males (78.4%); blacks (77.5%) ages 13-24 years (69.0%); those diagnosed in early stage infection (71.6%); and at screening, diagnostic, or referral agencies (60.0%). Of 80,958 PWID living with HIV in 2012, 40,234 (49.7%) were RIC and 34,665 (42.8%) achieved VS. The lowest percentages for RIC and VS were among males (47.1% and 41.3% respectively); those diagnosed with late stage disease (47.1% and 42.4%); and young people. Whites had the lowest RIC (47.0%) while blacks had the lowest VS (41.1%).


Enhanced LTC activities are needed for PWID diagnosed at screening, diagnostic or referral agencies versus those diagnosed at inpatient or outpatient settings, especially among young people and blacks diagnosed in early stage infection. Less than half of PWID are retained in care or reach viral suppression indicating the need for continued engagement and return to care activities over the long term.

Keywords: AIDS, Care continuum, Facility at diagnosis, HIV, Injection drug use, Stage of infection .