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.
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.
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.
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)
Citation: Mujugira A, Baeten JM, Donnell D, Ndase P, Mugo NR, et al. (2011) Characteristics of HIV-1 Serodiscordant Couples Enrolled in a Clinical Trial of Antiretroviral Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis for HIV-1 Prevention. PLoS ONE 6(10): e25828. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0025828
Editor: Claire Thorne, UCL Institute of Child Health, University College London, United Kingdom
Received: July 6, 2011; Accepted: September 11, 2011; Published: October 5, 2011
This is an open-access article, free of all copyright, and may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose. The work is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication.
Funding: This study was supported through a research grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (grant ID # 47674). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
Competing interests: Author LO is an employee of DF/Net Research, Inc., which conducted the data management for the study. She has no competing interests and her inclusion as an author does not alter the authors' adherence to all the PLoS ONE policies on sharing data and materials.
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¶ Membership of the Partners PrEP Study Team is provided in the Acknowledgments.