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Characteristics of HIV-1 Serodiscordant Couples Enrolled in a Clinical Trial of Antiretroviral Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis for HIV-1 Prevention




 

Introduction

Stable heterosexual HIV-1 serodiscordant couples in Africa have high HIV-1 transmission rates and are a critical population for evaluation of new HIV-1 prevention strategies. The Partners PrEP Study is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of tenofovir and emtricitabine-tenofovir pre-exposure prophylaxis to decrease HIV-1 acquisition within heterosexual HIV-1 serodiscordant couples. We describe the trial design and characteristics of the study cohort.

Methods

HIV-1 serodiscordant couples, in which the HIV-1 infected partner did not meet national guidelines for initiation of antiretroviral therapy, were enrolled at 9 research sites in Kenya and Uganda. The HIV-1 susceptible partner was randomized to daily oral tenofovir, emtricitabine-tenofovir, or matching placebo with monthly follow-up for 24–36 months.

Results

From July 2008 to November 2010, 7920 HIV-1 serodiscordant couples were screened and 4758 enrolled. For 62% (2966/4758) of enrolled couples, the HIV-1 susceptible partner was male. Median age was 33 years for HIV-1 susceptible and HIV-1 infected partners [IQR (28–40) and (26–39) respectively]. Most couples (98%) were married, with a median duration of partnership of 7.0 years (IQR 3.0–14.0) and recent knowledge of their serodiscordant status [median 0.4 years (IQR 0.1–2.0)]. During the month prior to enrollment, couples reported a median of 4 sex acts (IQR 2–8); 27% reported unprotected sex and 14% of male and 1% of female HIV-1 susceptible partners reported sex with outside partners. Among HIV-1 infected partners, the median plasma HIV-1 level was 3.94 log10 copies/mL (IQR 3.31–4.53) and median CD4 count was 496 cells/µL (IQR 375–662); the majority (64%) had WHO stage 1 HIV-1 disease.

Conclusions

Couples at high risk of HIV-1 transmission were rapidly recruited into the Partners PrEP Study, the largest efficacy trial of oral PrEP. (ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00557245)

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Information in this article was accurate in October 5, 2011. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.