Mariem Raho-Moussa, Sophie Abgrall et al. “Respective roles of migration and social deprivation for virological non-suppression in HIV-infected adults on antiretroviral therapy in France”, PLOS One, Mars 2019


Barriers to achieve sustained HIV virological suppression on antiretroviral therapy (ART) jeopardize the success of the 90:90:90 UNAIDS initiative which aims to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic. In France, where access to ART is free and universally available, we analyze the way in which social determinants of health (i.e. cultural, environmental) and economic factors might influence virological outcomes.

A cross-sectional study was performed in two hospitals located in Paris area. All consecutive people living with HIV (PLHIV) on ART for at least 6 months attending the outpatient clinics between 01/05/2013 and 31/10/2014 answered an individual score of deprivation, EPICES, retrieving information on health insurance status, economic status, family support and leisure activity. This score varies from 0 to 100 with deprivation state defined above 30.17. Factors associated with HIV viral load >50 copies/ml were assessed by logistic regression modeling with a backward stepwise selection to select the final multivariable model. Sensitivity analyses were performed using two other thresholds for virological non-suppression (100 or 200 copies/ml).

Overall, 475 PLHIV were included (53% male, median age 47 years, 66% not born in France mainly in a sub-Saharan African country). Half of French natives and 85% of migrants were classified as deprived. Median duration on ART was 9.7 years with virological suppression in 95.2% of non-deprived participants and in 83.5% of deprived ones (p = 0.001). The final multivariable model retained ART tiredness, younger age, a previous AIDS event and social deprivation (adjusted Odds Ratio, 2.9; 95%CI, 1.2–7.0) as determinants of virological non-suppression but not migration in itself. When using separate components of EPICES score, reporting economic difficulties and non-homeownership were associated with virological non-suppression. In addition to interventions focusing on cultural aspects of migration, social interventions are needed to help people with social vulnerability to obtain sustained responses on ART.