BACKGROUND: The consequences of low-level viremia in people with HIV are unclear. We used data from the US Military HIV Natural History Study to examine the association of low-level viremia (LLV) and serious non-AIDS events (SNAEs).

METHODS: Included participants initiated antiretroviral therapy after 1996 and had ≥3 viral loads (VLs) measured, using an assay with a lower limit of detection of <50 copies/mL, ≥6 months after antiretroviral therapy initiation. VLs were categorized as lower levels of LLV (51-199 copies/mL), higher level of low-level viremia (HLLV; 200-999 copies/mL), and (VF; ≥200 copies/mL on 2 or more successive determinations or a single VL ≥1000 copies/mL), and virologic suppression (VS; ie, VL <50 copies/mL). Viral blips (ie, VLs between 50 and 999 copies/mL that are preceded and succeeded by VL <50 copies/mL) were analyzed in the VS category. Cox proportional hazards models were used to examine the association of LLV and SNAEs, adjusted hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals are presented.

RESULTS: A total of 439 (17.4%) SNAEs were recorded among the 2528 participants (93% male, 40% Caucasian, 43% African American) followed for a median of 11 years. In 8.5% and 4.6% of the participants, respectively, LLV and HLLV were the highest recorded viremia strata. Compared with VS, SNAEs were associated with LLV (1.3 [1.2-1.4]), HLLV (1.6 [1.5-1.7]), and virologic failure (1.7 [1.7-1.8]).

CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study suggest that LLV is associated with the occurrence of SNAEs and needs further study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)ofae147
JournalOpen Forum Infectious Diseases
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2024


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