Online Program

Spatial Analysis of Community HIV Viral Loads in an Urban Setting

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 2:50 p.m. - 3:10 p.m.

Weilin Zhou, MD, PhD, MPH, Bureau of Epidemiology, Office of Surveillance & Public Hlth Preparedness, Houston Health Department, Houston, TX
Hafeez Rehman, MD, MPH, CPH, Bureau of Epidemiology, Houston Health Department, Houston, TX
Salma Khuwaja, MD, MPH, DrPH, Bureau of Epidemiology, Houston Department of Health and Human Services, Houston, TX
Raouf Arafat, MD, MPH, Houston Health Department, Houston, TX

Background: Community HIV viral load (CVL) is a population-based measure of concentrations of plasma HIV-1 RNA. A CVL can be an indicator to assess the HIV treatment strategies and potential of HIV transmission in the community. Tracking trends in CVL over time could be used to monitor the progress of quality of HIV care. The objective of this study is to measure the changes in community HIV viral load between 2010 and 2014 in Houston/Harris County, TX.

Methods:All HIV cases reported to Enhanced HIV/AIDS Reporting System (eHARS) with current addresses in Houston/Harris County from 2010 to 2014 with at least one viral load test result were included in the study. Monitored Viral Load (MVL) and percent suppression were calculated using CDC Guidance on Community Viral loads and mapped using ArcGIS.

Results:Percent suppression was 63% in average, with the highest level at 67% in 2013. Spatial analysis showed a wide variability in MVL, with the highest level of MVL at Houston southeast area.  The level of MVL in each zip code and the number of zip code areas that had MVL (>400 copies/mL) showed a declining trend from 2010 to 2014.

Conclusions:Our study showed a declining trend of MVL and relatively high percent suppression, which may suggest that HIV treatment and control strategies had a visible impact in controlling CVL from 2010 to 2014.  Further studies would be considered to explain the difference between high and low MVL areas, and explore risk factors that might be related to high MVL.

Learning Areas:


Learning Objectives:
Describe the community viral load for HIV and its significance. Describe the changes in community viral load for HIV from 2010 to 2014 in Houston/Harris County. Discuss the implications of viral load trends for HIV in community.

Keyword(s): HIV/AIDS, Surveillance

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the staff epidemiologist of a few federally funded grants focusing on epidemiology of HIV/AIDs surveillance. Among my scientific interests has been the data collection, management and analysis in HIV/AIDS patients in Houston/Harris County area.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

Back to: 4324.0: HIV Viral Load Suppression