A systematic review of the geospatial barriers to antiretroviral initiation, adherence and viral suppression among people living with HIV

Kiffer G. Card, Nathan J. Lachowsky, Keri N. Althoff, Katherine Schafer, Robert S. Hogg, Julio S.G. Montaner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: With the emergence of antiretroviral therapy (ART), Treatment as Prevention (TasP) has become the cornerstone of both HIV clinical care and HIV prevention. However, despite the efficacy of treatment-based programs and policies, structural barriers to ART initiation, adherence and viral suppression have the potential to reduce TasP effectiveness. These barriers have been studied using Geographic Information Systems (GIS). While previous reviews have examined the use of GIS for HIV testing-an essential antecedent to clinical care-to date, no reviews have summarised the research with respect to other ART-related outcomes. Methods: Therefore, the present review leveraged the PubMed database to identify studies that leveraged GIS to examine the barriers to ART initiation, adherence and viral suppression, with the overall goal of understanding how GIS has been used (and might continue to be used) to better study TasP outcomes. Joanna Briggs Institute criteria were used for the critical appraisal of included studies. Results: In total, 33 relevant studies were identified, excluding those not utilising explicit GIS methodology or not examining TasP-related outcomes. Conclusions: Findings highlight geospatial variation in ART success and inequitable distribution of HIV care in racially segregated, economically disadvantaged, and, by some accounts, increasingly rural areas-particularly in the United States. Furthermore, this review highlights the utility and current limitations of using GIS to monitor health outcomes related to ART and the need for careful planning of resources with respect to the geospatial movement and location of people living with HIV (PLWH).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalSexual Health
Volume16
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Keywords

  • HIV/AIDS
  • Treatment as Prevention
  • antiretroviral therapy
  • geographic information systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

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