(HealthDay News) – HIV health processes and outcomes are similar for all demographic and behavioral groups, according to a study published online Sept 26 in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Richard D. Moore, MD, MHS, from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues compared health process and outcomes in a diverse patient population with high rates of poverty, black race, and injection drug use in an inner-city HIV clinical practice. A total of 6,366 patients were followed from 1995–2010.

By 2010, the researchers observed no differences in outcomes by demographic or HIV risk group; 87% of participants were receiving antiretroviral therapy; the median HIV-1 RNA was less than 200 copies per mL; and median CD4 count was 475 cells/mm³. Opportunistic illness rates were 2.4 per 100 person-years of follow-up and mortality rates were 2.1 per 100 person-years. The injection drug users had a significantly lower median CD4 count (79 cells/mm³ lower) and higher HIV-1 RNA levels than other risk groups. A 28-year-old HIV-infected individual had an estimated 45.4 years of life remaining in 2009, with no difference based on demographic or behavioral risk group.

“We believe that our results reflect an effective model of care, and should continue in the United States if individuals with HIV infection are to have the maximal benefit possible from modern HIV care,” the authors write.

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