medRxiv | 03/02/2020
OBJECTIVE: We sought to evaluate which combinations of HIV prevention and care activities would have the greatest impact towards reaching the US Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE) plan goals of reducing HIV incidence at least 75% by 2025 and 90% by 2030. DESIGN: A stochastic HIV transmission model for men who have sex with men (MSM), calibrated to local surveillance estimates in the Atlanta area, a focal EHE target jurisdiction. METHODS: Model scenarios varied HIV screening rates relative to current levels, under different assumptions of how HIV-negative MSM would be linked to PrEP initiation, and also considered improvements to HIV care linkage and retention for those screening positive. RESULTS: A 10-fold relative increase in HIV screening rates (to approximately biannual screening for black and Hispanic MSM and quarterly for white MSM) would lead to 43% of infections averted if integrated with PrEP initiation. Improvements to HIV care retention would avert 41% of infections if retention rates were improved 10-fold. If both screening and retention were jointly improved 10-fold, up to 74% of cumulative infections would be averted. Under this scenario, it would take 4 years to meet the 75% EHE goal and 12 years to meet the 90% goal for MSM in Atlanta. CONCLUSIONS: Interventions to improve HIV screening linked with PrEP for those screening negative, and HIV care retention would have a substantial impact on HIV prevention. However, additional interventions may be necessary to reach the EHE goal of a 90% reduction in incidence for Atlanta MSM by 2030.