Cumulative Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)-1 Viremia Is Associated With Increased Risk of Multimorbidity Among US Women With HIV, 1997-2019.



To evaluate the effect of cumulative human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 viremia on aging-related multimorbidity among women with HIV (WWH), we analyzed data collected prospectively among women who achieved viral suppression after antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation (1997-2019).


We included WWH with ≥2 plasma HIV-1 viral loads (VL) <200 copies/mL within a 2-year period (baseline) following self-reported ART use. Primary outcome was multimorbidity (≥2 nonacquired immune deficiency syndrome comorbidities [NACM] of 5 total assessed). The trapezoidal rule calculated viremia copy-years (VCY) as area-under-the-VL-curve. Cox proportional hazard models estimated the association of time-updated cumulative VCY with incident multimorbidity and with incidence of each NACM, adjusting for important covariates (eg, age, CD4 count, etc).


Eight hundred six WWH contributed 6368 women-years, with median 12 (Q1-Q3, 7-23) VL per participant. At baseline, median age was 39 years, 56% were Black, and median CD4 was 534 cells/mm3. Median time-updated cumulative VCY was 5.4 (Q1-Q3, 4.7-6.9) log10 copy-years/mL. Of 211 (26%) WWH who developed multimorbidity, 162 (77%) had incident hypertension, 133 (63%) had dyslipidemia, 60 (28%) had diabetes, 52 (25%) had cardiovascular disease, and 32 (15%) had kidney disease. Compared with WWH who had time-updated cumulative VCY <5 log10, the adjusted hazard ratio of multimorbidity was 1.99 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.29-3.08) and 3.78 (95% CI, 2.17-6.58) for those with VCY 5-6.9 and ≥7 log10 copy-years/mL, respectively (P < .0001). Higher time-updated cumulative VCY increased the risk of each NACM.


Among ART-treated WWH, greater cumulative viremia increased the risk of multimorbidity and of developing each NACM, and hence this may be a prognostically useful biomarker for NACM risk assessment in this population.





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Publication Info

Morton, Zoey P, C Christina Mehta, Tingyu Wang, Frank J Palella, Susanna Naggie, Elizabeth T Golub, Kathryn Anastos, Audrey L French, et al. (2023). Cumulative Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)-1 Viremia Is Associated With Increased Risk of Multimorbidity Among US Women With HIV, 1997-2019. Open forum infectious diseases, 10(2). p. ofac702. 10.1093/ofid/ofac702 Retrieved from

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Susanna Naggie

Professor of Medicine

Dr. Susanna Naggie completed her undergraduate degrees in chemical engineering and biochemistry at the University of Maryland, College Park, and her medical education at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She conducted her internal medicine and infectious diseases fellowship training at Duke University Medical Center, where she also served as Chief Resident. She joined the faculty in the Duke School of Medicine in 2009. She is a Professor of Medicine and currently holds appointments at the Duke University School of Medicine, at the Duke Clinical Research Institute, and at the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Dr. Naggie is a clinical investigator with a focus in clinical trials in infectious diseases and translational research in HIV and liver disease. She is a standing member of the DHHS Panel on Antiretroviral Guidelines for Adults and Adolescents and the CDC/NIH/IDSA-HIVMA Opportunistic Infections Guideline. She is the Vice Dean for Clinical and Translational Research and Director for the Duke Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute.

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