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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

CUNY Studies the Association of Neighborhood Characteristics with HIV Viral Suppression

Dr. Ellen Wiewel, a CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy alumna, along with professors Drs. Luisa N. Borrell, Heidi E. Jones, and Andrew Maroko studied the neighborhood characteristics associated with achievement and maintenance of hiv viral suppression among persons newly diagnosed with HIV in New York City. The findings were published in the journal AIDS Behavior.

The research team investigated the effect of neighborhood characteristics on achievement and maintenance of HIV viral suppression among New York City residents aged 13 years and older diagnosed between 2006 and 2012. The team linked individual records from the New York City HIV surveillance registry (n = 12,547) to U.S. Census and American Community Survey data by census tract of residence. Multivariable proportional hazards regression models indicated the likelihood of achievement and maintenance of suppression by neighborhood characteristics including poverty, accounting for neighborhood clustering and for individual characteristics. In adjusted analyses, there were no neighborhood factors associated with achievement of suppression. However, residents of high- or very-high-poverty neighborhoods were less likely than residents of low-poverty neighborhoods to maintain suppression.

The team concluded that there was an association of higher neighborhood poverty with lesser maintenance of suppression. Assistance with post-diagnosis retention in care, antiretroviral therapy prescribing, or adherence targeted to residents of higher-poverty neighborhoods may improve maintenance of viral suppression in New York City.