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      Willingness to use HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis among gay men, other men who have sex with men and transgender women in Myanmar

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          Abstract

          Introduction: HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) has emerged as a key component of contemporary HIV combination prevention strategies. To explore the local suitability of PrEP, country-specific acceptability studies are needed to inform potential PrEP implementation. In the context of Myanmar, in addition to resource constraints, HIV service access by gay men, other men who have sex with men, and transgender women (GMT) continues to be constrained by legislative and community stigma and marginalization. We aimed to determine PrEP acceptability among GMT in Myanmar and explore the factors associated with willingness to use PrEP.

          Methods: GMT were recruited in Yangon and Mandalay through local HIV prevention outreach programmes in November and December 2014. Quantitative surveys were administered by trained peer educators and collected data on demographics, sexual risk, testing history and PrEP acceptability. A modified six-item PrEP acceptability scale classified self-reported HIV undiagnosed GMT as willing to use PrEP. Multivariable logistic regression identified factors associated with willingness to use PrEP.

          Results: Among 434 HIV undiagnosed GMT, PrEP awareness was low (5%). PrEP acceptability was high, with 270 (62%) GMT classified as willing to use PrEP. GMT recruited in Mandalay (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 1.79; 95%CI = 1.05–3.03), who perceived themselves as likely to become HIV positive (aOR = 1.82; 95%CI = 1.10–3.02), who had more than one recent regular partner (aOR = 2.94; 95%CI = 1.41–6.14), no regular partners (aOR = 2.05; 95%CI = 1.10–3.67), more than five casual partners (aOR = 2.05; 95%CI = 1.06–3.99) or no casual partners (aOR = 2.25; 95%CI = 1.23–4.11) were more likely to be willing to use PrEP. The association between never or only occasionally using condoms with casual partners and willingness to use PrEP was marginally significant (aOR = 2.02; 95%CI = 1.00–4.10). GMT who reported concern about side effects and long-term use of PrEP were less likely (aOR = 0.35; 95%CI = 0.21–0.59) to be willing to use PrEP.

          Conclusions: This is the first study to assess PrEP acceptability in Myanmar. Findings suggest PrEP is an acceptable prevention option among GMT in Myanmar, providing they are not required to pay for it. Implementation/demonstration projects are needed to explore the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of PrEP as a prevention option for GMT in Myanmar.

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          Most cited references 36

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          Preexposure chemoprophylaxis for HIV prevention in men who have sex with men.

          Antiretroviral chemoprophylaxis before exposure is a promising approach for the prevention of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) acquisition. We randomly assigned 2499 HIV-seronegative men or transgender women who have sex with men to receive a combination of two oral antiretroviral drugs, emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (FTC-TDF), or placebo once daily. All subjects received HIV testing, risk-reduction counseling, condoms, and management of sexually transmitted infections. The study subjects were followed for 3324 person-years (median, 1.2 years; maximum, 2.8 years). Of these subjects, 10 were found to have been infected with HIV at enrollment, and 100 became infected during follow-up (36 in the FTC-TDF group and 64 in the placebo group), indicating a 44% reduction in the incidence of HIV (95% confidence interval, 15 to 63; P=0.005). In the FTC-TDF group, the study drug was detected in 22 of 43 of seronegative subjects (51%) and in 3 of 34 HIV-infected subjects (9%) (P<0.001). Nausea was reported more frequently during the first 4 weeks in the FTC-TDF group than in the placebo group (P<0.001). The two groups had similar rates of serious adverse events (P=0.57). Oral FTC-TDF provided protection against the acquisition of HIV infection among the subjects. Detectable blood levels strongly correlated with the prophylactic effect. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00458393.).
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            Antiretroviral preexposure prophylaxis for heterosexual HIV transmission in Botswana.

            Preexposure prophylaxis with antiretroviral agents has been shown to reduce the transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) among men who have sex with men; however, the efficacy among heterosexuals is uncertain. We randomly assigned HIV-seronegative men and women to receive either tenofovir disoproxil fumarate and emtricitabine (TDF-FTC) or matching placebo once daily. Monthly study visits were scheduled, and participants received a comprehensive package of prevention services, including HIV testing, counseling on adherence to medication, management of sexually transmitted infections, monitoring for adverse events, and individualized counseling on risk reduction; bone mineral density testing was performed semiannually in a subgroup of participants. A total of 1219 men and women underwent randomization (45.7% women) and were followed for 1563 person-years (median, 1.1 years; maximum, 3.7 years). Because of low retention and logistic limitations, we concluded the study early and followed enrolled participants through an orderly study closure rather than expanding enrollment. The TDF-FTC group had higher rates of nausea (18.5% vs. 7.1%, P<0.001), vomiting (11.3% vs. 7.1%, P=0.008), and dizziness (15.1% vs. 11.0%, P=0.03) than the placebo group, but the rates of serious adverse events were similar (P=0.90). Participants who received TDF-FTC, as compared with those who received placebo, had a significant decline in bone mineral density. K65R, M184V, and A62V resistance mutations developed in 1 participant in the TDF-FTC group who had had an unrecognized acute HIV infection at enrollment. In a modified intention-to-treat analysis that included the 33 participants who became infected during the study (9 in the TDF-FTC group and 24 in the placebo group; 1.2 and 3.1 infections per 100 person-years, respectively), the efficacy of TDF-FTC was 62.2% (95% confidence interval, 21.5 to 83.4; P=0.03). Daily TDF-FTC prophylaxis prevented HIV infection in sexually active heterosexual adults. The long-term safety of daily TDF-FTC prophylaxis, including the effect on bone mineral density, remains unknown. (Funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health; TDF2 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00448669.).
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              Pre-exposure prophylaxis to prevent the acquisition of HIV-1 infection (PROUD): effectiveness results from the pilot phase of a pragmatic open-label randomised trial

              Summary Background Randomised placebo-controlled trials have shown that daily oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) with tenofovir–emtricitabine reduces the risk of HIV infection. However, this benefit could be counteracted by risk compensation in users of PrEP. We did the PROUD study to assess this effect. Methods PROUD is an open-label randomised trial done at 13 sexual health clinics in England. We enrolled HIV-negative gay and other men who have sex with men who had had anal intercourse without a condom in the previous 90 days. Participants were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive daily combined tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (245 mg) and emtricitabine (200 mg) either immediately or after a deferral period of 1 year. Randomisation was done via web-based access to a central computer-generated list with variable block sizes (stratified by clinical site). Follow-up was quarterly. The primary outcomes for the pilot phase were time to accrue 500 participants and retention; secondary outcomes included incident HIV infection during the deferral period, safety, adherence, and risk compensation. The trial is registered with ISRCTN (number ISRCTN94465371) and ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT02065986). Findings We enrolled 544 participants (275 in the immediate group, 269 in the deferred group) between Nov 29, 2012, and April 30, 2014. Based on early evidence of effectiveness, the trial steering committee recommended on Oct 13, 2014, that all deferred participants be offered PrEP. Follow-up for HIV incidence was complete for 243 (94%) of 259 patient-years in the immediate group versus 222 (90%) of 245 patient-years in the deferred group. Three HIV infections occurred in the immediate group (1·2/100 person-years) versus 20 in the deferred group (9·0/100 person-years) despite 174 prescriptions of post-exposure prophylaxis in the deferred group (relative reduction 86%, 90% CI 64–96, p=0·0001; absolute difference 7·8/100 person-years, 90% CI 4·3–11·3). 13 men (90% CI 9–23) in a similar population would need access to 1 year of PrEP to avert one HIV infection. We recorded no serious adverse drug reactions; 28 adverse events, most commonly nausea, headache, and arthralgia, resulted in interruption of PrEp. We detected no difference in the occurrence of sexually transmitted infections, including rectal gonorrhoea and chlamydia, between groups, despite a suggestion of risk compensation among some PrEP recipients. Interpretation In this high incidence population, daily tenofovir–emtricitabine conferred even higher protection against HIV than in placebo-controlled trials, refuting concerns that effectiveness would be less in a real-world setting. There was no evidence of an increase in other sexually transmitted infections. Our findings strongly support the addition of PrEP to the standard of prevention for men who have sex with men at risk of HIV infection. Funding MRC Clinical Trials Unit at UCL, Public Health England, and Gilead Sciences.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                J Int AIDS Soc
                J Int AIDS Soc
                ZIAS
                zias20
                Journal of the International AIDS Society
                Taylor & Francis
                1758-2652
                2017
                26 July 2017
                : 20
                : 1
                Affiliations
                [ a ] Department of Disease Elimination, Burnet Institute , Melbourne, Australia
                [ b ] Department of International Development, Burnet Institute , Yangon, Myanmar
                [ c ] Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University , Melbourne, Australia
                [ d ] Yangon Regional Public Health Department , Yangon, Myanmar
                Author notes
                [ § ]Corresponding author: Bridget L. Draper, Burnet Institute , 85 Commercial Road, Melbourne 3000, Australia. Tele: +61 8506 2395. ( bridget.draper@ 123456burnet.edu.au )
                Article
                1355618
                10.7448/IAS.20.1.21885
                5577714
                28741332
                © 2017 Draper BL et al. licensee International AIDS Society

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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                Tables: 3, References: 47, Pages: 11
                Product
                Funding
                Funded by: Burnet Institute 10.13039/100008561
                Funded by: Burnet Institute 10.13039/100008561
                Funded by: Burnet Institute 10.13039/100008561
                The study was funded through internal Burnet Institute programme funds. The data collection was partly funded through donor funds allocated to evaluate the Myanmar Business Coalition on Aid (MBCA) HIV prevention outreach programme and internal funds from the Burnet Institute. The Burnet Institute receives support from the Victorian Operational Infrastructure Support Program.
                Categories
                Article
                Research Article

                Infectious disease & Microbiology

                transgender women, awareness, acceptability, burma, msm, prep

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