Introduction More than 8 00 000 individuals are HIV-infected in Brazil and a small increase of new infections (4%) was observed in past years. Nowadays, more than half (64%) of people living with HIV in Brazil are receiving antiretroviral treatment (ARVT). The epidemiological and clinical profiles of HIV patients in medium-sized brazilian cities are unknown, and it is necessary to study them to allow comparisons. The present study aims to identify the profile of HIV-infected individuals in a public health unit, from 2013 to 2016.
Methods A descriptive study was carried out in a public health care unit, which has specialised care for HIV-infected and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The population of interest in this study were patients (319 patients) infected with HIV and under ARVT. Individuals whose registry was in duplicate (n=1), whose ARVT started before 2013 (n=8), and those who abandoned ARVT (n=26) were excluded. Demographic data (age, sex and self-identified sexual identity) and information on the patients‘ clinical situation (HIV diagnosis year, ARVT start date, presence of undetectable viral load (VL) and time to undetectable VL) were obtained. Descriptive analysis of quantitative variables was performed using the Stata software, version 12.0.
Results Among the 285 patients included in the study, most of them were male (89.44%), aged 20–29 years (47.35%) and self-identified their sexual identity as homosexual (69.01%). Most of the diagnoses were performed in the year 2015 (39.08%) and the majority of the patients had an undetectable VL (78.95%). The mean time for VL to become and remain undetectable after starting ARVT was 7.49 (+6.74) months.
Conclusion The present study reflects the epidemiology of HIV infection in Brazil, with concentration of the disease in young adults and men who have sex with men. The virological response to ARVT is directly related to adherence to regular treatment and should be the target investment of health services specialised to people with HIV/AIDS.