Feasibility of HIV Prevention Cohort Studies Among MSM in Sub-Saharan Africa
What is HPTN 075?
HPTN 075 aimed to determine the feasibility of recruiting and retaining men who have sex with men (MSM) in a multi-country prospective cohort study in preparation for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevention studies in sub-Saharan Africa.
Who participated in the study?
Men, regardless of HIV infection status, aged 18-44 years living in SSA who reported anal sex with a man in the past 3 months were recruited at four sites in Kenya, Malawi and South Africa. Transgender women (TGW) were not specifically recruited but were not excluded from recruitment for the study.
Why is HPTN 075 important?
MSM and TGW in SSA are at alarmingly high risk of HIV acquisition and transmission, and face two distinct structural disadvantages to accessing prevention and treatment. First, the major HIV prevention programs in SSA target heterosexual persons and pregnant women, and thus do not meet the specific prevention needs of MSM and TGW. Second, in many parts of SSA, MSM and TGW cannot safely seek HIV prevention or treatment services because of the social, cultural, and legal aspects of stigma, discrimination, and criminalization.
What happened during the study?
Participants were accrued over six months at four sites in SSA using convenience sampling strategies, with no replacement for participants lost to follow-up. Each participant was followed for 12 months, during which five study visits involving structured HIV behavioral assessments, medical examinations, and collection of biological samples were conducted (including enrollment and quarterly follow-up visits). Participants who did not complete 12 months of follow-up were contacted to explore reasons for no longer participating.