County-level predictors of retention in care status among people living with HIV in South Carolina from 2010 to 2016: A data-driven approach

Chengbo Zeng, Jiajia Zhang, Xiaowen Sun, Zhenlong Li, Sharon Weissman, Bankole Olatosi, Xiaoming Li

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Objective:The aim of this study was to examine the geospatial variation of retention in care (RIC) across the counties in South Carolina (SC) from 2010 to 2016 and identify the relevant county-level predictors.Design:Aggregated data on county-level RIC among HIV patients from 2010 to 2016 were retrieved from an electronic HIV/AIDS reporting system in SC Department of Health and Environmental Control. Sociological framework of health was used to select potential county-level predictors from multiple public datasets.Methods:Geospatial mapping was used to display the spatial heterogeneity of county-level RIC rate in SC. Generalized linear mixed effect regression with least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) was employed to identify county-level predictors related to the change of RIC status over time. Confusion matrix and area under the curve statistics were used to evaluate model performance.Results:More than half of the counties had their RIC rates lower than the national average. The change of county-level RIC rate from 2010 to 2016 was not significant, and spatial heterogeneity in RIC rate was identified. A total of 22 of the 31 county-level predictors were selected by LASSO for predicting county-level RIC status. Counties with lower collective efficacy, larger proportions of men and/or persons with high education were more likely to have their RIC rates lower than the national average. In contrast, numbers of accessible mental health centres were positively related to county-level RIC status.Conclusion:Spatial variation in RIC could be identified, and county-level factors associated with accessible healthcare facilities and social capital significantly contributed to these variations. Structural and individual interventions targeting these factors are needed to improve the county-level RIC and reduce the spatial variation in HIV care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S53-S64
StatePublished - May 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases

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