(HealthDay News) – The proportion of perinatally HIV (PHIV)-infected youth on antiretroviral therapy (ART) has increased, leading to decreases in rates of viremia and advanced immunosuppression in recent years, according to a study published in the September issue of the Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society.

Allison L. Agwu, MD, from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and colleagues retrospectively studied 521 PHIV-infected youth, 12 years and older, followed at 16 HIV clinics participating in the HIV Research Network between 2002 and 2010.

The researchers found that, from 2002 and 2010, the median age of PHIV-infected youth in care increased from 14 to 18 years. The proportion of patients prescribed ART increased from 67.4% to 84%, with virologic suppression concurrently increasing from 35.5% to 63% (P trend<0.01). Factors independently associated with CD4 <200cells/mm³ included older age, black and Hispanic race/ethnicity, and increasing viremia. A higher likelihood of detectable viremia was independently associated with older age, black race and Hispanic ethnicity, while more recent year of evaluation and being prescribed ART were associated with a lower likelihood of viremia.

“Factors associated with advanced immunosuppression and viremia offer the chance to define strategies to optimize outcomes,” the authors write.

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