Telemedicine visits had been discovered to be as efficient as in-person visits in suppressing and controlling viral load in sufferers with HIV, in response to a retrospective examine printed in Open Discussion board Infectious Illnesses.
Investigators retrospectively reviewed the medical data of two teams of HIV sufferers, one who obtained care by way of telemedicine and one who obtained in-person care, between Might 2017 and April 2018. All sufferers lived in rural communities within the southeast United States. Sufferers in each teams had been matched in response to gender, age, and race. The principle outcomes measured had been charges and upkeep of viral suppression in the course of the examine interval.
The investigators included 200 in-person and 185 telemedicine sufferers with HIV within the remaining analyses; 82.1% of the sufferers with Black and 50.9% had been ladies. Imply CD4 rely was larger within the telemedicine group (643.9 cells/mm3) vs the in-person group (596.3 cells/mm3; P <.001). No important distinction was discovered between the teams’ viral load discount, viral load management, imply viral load, or imply change within the variety of sufferers who achieved viral suppression in the course of the examine interval.
Limitations of this examine embrace its observational design, which leaves room for choice bias, and the inclusion of solely sufferers with steady illness.
The investigators famous that the sufferers within the telemedicine group would have needed to journey not less than 3 hours for an in-person infectious illness session. In addition they cited analysis that sufferers with HIV who reside in rural areas usually tend to be recognized with superior illness, have larger mortality charges, have much less entry to care, and have decrease remedy retention charges. As medical outcomes had been comparable among the many telemedicine and in-person teams, the investigators suggest that telemedicine can take away the obstacles of geography and journey to high quality HIV care.
“Growth of telemedicine providers to rural areas significantly within the southern United States will present entry to specialty HIV care with related optimum viral suppression charges and a better discount in transmission charges, thus lowering the incidence of latest circumstances,” the examine authors conclude.
Lawal FJ, Omotayo MO, Lee TJ, Srinivasan Rao ASR, Vazquez JA. HIV remedy outcomes in rural Georgia utilizing telemedicine. Open Discussion board Infect Dis. Printed on-line Might 12, 2021. doi:10.1093/ofid/ofab234