People Living with HIV Achieving Viral Suppression

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Department of Public Health

Calendar Year 2019
Target: 85% of newly diagnosed HIV cases achieving viral suppression within 12 months of diagnosis

This metric measures how many persons newly diagnosed with HIV in San Francisco achieve viral suppression within twelve months of their diagnosis. Achieving viral suppression is the ultimate outcome in the HIV treatment cascade and continuum of care for HIV, which starts with getting people diagnosed, linked to care, continuously engaged in medical care, and on an antiretroviral therapy regimen. Achieving and maintaining viral suppression is important because it leads to better health outcomes for the patient and reduces risk of HIV transmission by over 90 percent.


How San Francisco is Performing

San Francisco’s Getting to Zero mission is to achieve zero new HIV infections, zero HIV deaths, and zero HIV stigma by 2020. The San Francisco Department of Public Health has been expanding its outreach efforts and activities to get people living with HIV linked to care and retained in care to achieve viral suppression. Since 2012, the proportion of individuals who are newly diagnosed and achieve viral suppression within twelve months of their diagnosis has increased from 57 percent in 2012 to 85 percent in 2017. Not only are 85 percent of persons newly diagnosed with HIV achieving viral suppression with twelve months, but half of them achieved viral suppression in less than two months, improved from six months in 2011. In November 2018, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention awarded San Francisco an $8 million grant over the next four years to help eliminate HIV through Project OPT-IN. With this grant, the city will work with community-based organizations to increase outreach for the homeless, and provide intensive case management and other support services. 

How Performance is Measured

All laboratories and testing facilities in San Francisco, both public and private, are mandated to report all HIV-related tests (including viral load and CD4 tests) to DPH. When a positive laboratory test is received, it is matched against data for San Francisco, California, and the nation to verify whether the laboratory result is from a person with a new or known HIV diagnosis. Subsequent laboratory tests are matched to the HIV case registry and updated in the HIV/AIDS reporting system. Medical care received outside of San Francisco may also be captured and updated in this reporting system by the State Office of AIDS. Viral suppression is defined as a viral load of less than 200 copies/ml at the patient's last viral load test.

Additional Information

Read more about HIV/AIDS in San Francisco.

Read more about the Getting to Zero San Francisco initiative.


Please visit DataSF for the scorecard data.