Palumbo PJ, Zhang Y, Clarke W, Breaud A, Sivay M, Cummings V, Hamilton EL, Guo X, Ogendo A, Kayange N, Panchia R, Dominguez K, Chen YQ, Sandfort TGM, Eshleman SH. Uptake of Antiretroviral Treatment and Viral Suppression among Men Who Have Sex with Men and Transgender Women in Sub-Saharan Africa in an Observational Cohort Study: Hptn 075. Int J Infect Dis. 2021
OBJECTIVES: HPTN 075 enrolled men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender women (TGW) in sub-Saharan Africa. Persons in HIV care or on antiretroviral treatment (ART) were not eligible to enroll. We evaluated antiretroviral (ARV) drug use, viral suppression, and drug resistance in this cohort over a 12-month follow-up period. METHODS: Assessments included 64 participants with HIV (39 MSM, 24 TGW, one gender not specified). ARV drugs were detected using a qualitative assay. Viral load (VL) and drug resistance testing were performed using commercial assays. RESULTS: Over 12 months, the proportion of participants using ARV drugs increased from 28.1% to 59.4% and the proportion with VLs <400 copies/mL increased from 21.9% to 57.8%. The rate of ART failure (detection of drugs without viral suppression) was similar at screening and 12 months (12.0% and 11.1%, respectively) and was similar among MSM and TGW. Two participants developed HIV drug resistance during follow-up. CONCLUSIONS: Over 12 months, ARV drug use in the cohort more than doubled and viral suppression increased nearly three-fold without a significant increase in ART failure or drug resistance. These results suggest that ART can be successfully scaled up for HIV prevention and treatment in this high-risk population.