Use of a risk scoring tool to identify higherrisk HIV-1 serodiscordant couples for an antiretroviral-based HIV-1 prevention intervention

Irungu, Elizabeth M.; Heffron, Renee; Mugo, Nelly; Ngure, Kenneth; Katabira, Elly; Bulya, Nulu; Bukusi, Elizabeth; Odoyo, Josephine; Asiimwe, Stephen; Tindimwebwa, Edna; Celum, Connie; Baeten, Jared M.
October 2016
BMC Infectious Diseases;10/17/2016, Vol. 16, p1
Academic Journal
Background: Antiretroviral therapy (ART) and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) reduce HIV-1 transmission within heterosexual HIV-1 serodiscordant couples. Prioritizing couples at highest HIV-1 transmission risk for ART and PrEP would maximize impact and minimize costs. Methods: The Partners Demonstration Project is an open-label, delivery study of integrated PrEP and ART for HIV-1 prevention among high risk HIV-1 serodiscordant couples in Kenya and Uganda. We evaluated the feasibility of using a validated risk score that weighs a combination of easily measurable factors (age, children, marital status, male circumcision status, condom use, plasma HIV-1 levels) to identify couples at highest risk for HIV-1 transmission for enrollment. Couples scoring ≥5 met the risk score eligibility criteria. Results: We screened 1694 HIV-1 serodiscordant couples and enrolled 1013. Of the screened couples, 1331 (78.6 %) scored ≥5 (with an expected incidence >3 % per year) and 76 % of these entered the study. The median age of the HIV-1 uninfected partner was 29 years [IQR 26, 36] and 20 % were <25 years of age. The HIV-1 uninfected partner was male in 67 % of partnerships, 33 % of whom were uncircumcised, 57 % of couples had no children, and 65 % reported unprotected sex in the month prior to enrollment. Among HIV-1 infected partners, 41 % had plasma viral load >50,000 copies/ml. Conclusion: A risk scoring tool identified HIV-1 serodiscordant couples for a demonstration project of PrEP and ART with high HIV-1 risk. The tool may be feasible for research and public health settings to maximize efficiency and minimize HIV-1 prevention costs.


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