Virologic suppression among HIV-infected US Air Force members in a highly-structured programme with free access to care

P. E. Matthews, T. Le, J. Delmar, J. F. Okulicz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The United States Air Force HIV programme has several features that may enhance antiretroviral therapy outcomes, including free access to healthcare and mandatory clinical visits every six months at a single centre. We evaluated viral load suppression (<50 copies/ml) after 12 months of initial antiretroviral therapy, with extension to 18 and 24 months. Active duty Air Force members were categorised by year of antiretroviral therapy initiation: 2000–2005 (n = 95, 36.1%) and 2006–2011 (n = 168, 63.9%). The median months from HIV diagnosis to initial antiretroviral therapy were shorter in the 2000–2005 group (2.4, IQR 1.2–5.9) compared with the 2006–2011 group (12.6, IQR 2.6–29.0; p < 0.001). Viral load suppression was greater in the 2006–2011 group compared with the 2000–2005 group at 12 months (93.2% versus 78.6%, p = 0.002) and 18 months (91.8% versus 80.3%, p = 0.03), and trended higher at 24 months (90.8% versus 82.5%; p = 0.15). Factors associated with viral load suppression at 12 months in multivariate models included antiretroviral therapy initiation during 2006–2011 (OR 5.22, 95% CI 1.50–18.18) and CD4 count at antiretroviral therapy initiation (OR 2.29, 95% CI 1.19–14.43 per 100 cells/µl increase). Structured programmes that minimise traditional barriers to care combined with the use of contemporary antiretroviral therapy regimens can achieve clinic-wide viral load suppression in =90% of patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)951-959
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of STD and AIDS
Issue number13
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • AIDS
  • Air Force
  • HIV
  • antiretroviral therapy
  • continuum of care
  • military
  • treatment
  • treatment cascade


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