Impact of pharmacy type on HIV viral suppression: A retrospective cross-sectional cohort study

Joshua P. Havens, Harlan Sayles, Nada Fadul, Sara H. Bares

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. People with HIV (PWH) use various pharmacy types beyond traditional local pharmacies. Some specialized pharmacies offer additive adherence services such as refill reminders, expedited delivery, and adherence packaging. Methods. This single-center, retrospective cohort study evaluated the impact of pharmacy type on the gain or loss of HIV viral suppression (VS; HIV RNA ≤50 copies/mL). Patients (≥19 years) were categorized by VS and pharmacy type: HIV-specialized (additive adherence/delivery services) vs traditional (without adherence/delivery services). Fisher exact tests examined the effect of pharmacy type on differences in VS between years, and logistic regression models identified possible predictors of gaining or losing VS. Results. During 2017.2018, no differences were observed for the gain or loss of VS across pharmacy types (VS gain vs continued viremia, P = .393; VS loss vs continued VS, P = .064). Predictors for the gain of VS included antiretroviral therapy adherence as percentage of days covered (PDC; adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.05; P < .001) and Federal Poverty Level 100%.138% (FPL; aOR, 0.17; P = .032). Predictors for the loss of VS included use of protease inhibitor (aOR, 2.85; P = .013), ≥1 other illicit substance including tobacco (aOR, 2.96; P = .024), PDC (aOR, 0.95; P < .001), FPL 139%.200% (aOR, 0.09; P = .031), and CD4 >200 cells/ccm (aOR, 0.19; P = .013). Conclusions. The gain or loss of VS among PWH in this retrospective cohort was not impacted by pharmacy transitions within the 2-year study period. However, PDC, FPL, illicit substance use, protease inhibitor use, and CD4 >200 cells/ccm were identified as factors associated with changes in VS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalOpen Forum Infectious Diseases
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020


  • Adherence services
  • HIV viral suppression
  • Specialty pharmacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Clinical Neurology


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