What will it take to reduce HIV incidence in the United States: A mathematical modeling analysis

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Open Forum Infectious Diseases



The National HIV/AIDS Strategy has set ambitious goals to improve the epidemic in the United States. However, there is a paucity of useable program-level benchmarks tied to population-level epidemiologic goals. Our objective was to define tangible benchmarks for annual rates along the care continuum that are likely to translate to meaningful reductions in incidence.


We used a validated mathematical model of HIV transmission and care-engagement to characterize care continuum parameters that would translate into 50% reductions in incidence by 2025, compared to a base-case scenario of the current US care-continuum.


We generated a large pool of simulations in which rates of screening, linkage and retention in care were varied across wide ranges to evaluate permutations that halved incidence by 2025.


Among all simulations, 7% achieved a halving of incidence. It was impossible for our simulations to achieve this target if the annual rate of disengagement from care exceeded 20% per year, even at high rates of care-reengagement. When retention in care was 95% per year and people living with HIV (PLWH) out of care reengage within 1.5 years (on average), the probability of halving incidence by 2025 was approximately 90%.


HIV programs should aim to retain at least 95% of PLWH in care annually and reengage people living with HIV into care within an average of 1.5 years to achieve the goal of halving HIV incidence by 2025.

Perry A, Kasaie P, Dowdy DW, Shah M. What will it take to reduce HIV incidence in the United States: A mathematical modeling analysis. Open Forum Infect. Dis. 2018 Jan 06.

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD