Improving Estimation of HIV Viral Suppression in the United States: A Method to Adjust HIV Surveillance Estimates From the Medical Monitoring Project Using Cohort Data
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has estimated human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) viral suppression (VS) using 2 data sources. The National HIV Surveillance System estimate (50% of HIV-diagnosed persons in 2012) is derived from viral load reporting from a subset of jurisdictions that vary yearly. The Medical Monitoring Project (MMP) estimate (42% of HIV-diagnosed persons in 2012) is based on a sample of persons receiving HIV care during the first 4 months of each year. We developed the cohort-adjustment method to reconstruct VS estimates, accounting for persons receiving care later in the year. Using the HIV Outpatient Study cohort, we assessed timing of care receipt, demographics, and VS at last test (<200 vs. ≥200 copies/mL), standardizing MMP to HIV Outpatient Study data using multivariable regression models and yielding adjusted VS estimates. We estimated that 52% (95% CI: 48, 56) of HIV-diagnosed persons achieved VS in 2012. Differences from previously published estimates were due to: 1) 23% underestimation of persons receiving HIV care, and 2) lower VS rates among persons receiving care outside versus inside the 4-month MMP sampling period (79% vs. 88%). This methodology yielded VS estimates closer to the National HIV Surveillance System estimate than previously published. Use of more, geographically diverse cohort data may enable assessment of temporal trends.