BMJ Open | March 4, 2019
Objectives: Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG) and Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) increase the risk of HIV transmission among men who have sex with men (MSM). Diagnosis of NG/CT may provide an efficient entry point for prevention of HIV through the delivery of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP); however, the additional population-level impact of targeting PrEP to MSM diagnosed with NG/CT is unknown.
Design: An agent-based simulation model of NG/CT and HIV cocirculation among MSM calibrated against census data, disease surveillance reports and the US National HIV Behavioral Surveillance study.
Setting: Baltimore City, Maryland, USA.
Interventions: PrEP implementation was modelled under three alternative scenarios: (1) PrEP delivery at NG/CT diagnosis (targeted delivery), (2) PrEP evaluation at NG/CT screening/testing and (3) PrEP evaluation in the general community (untargeted).
Main outcome: The projected incidence of HIV after 20 years of PrEP delivery under two alternatives: when equal numbers of MSM are (1) screened for PrEP or (2) receive PrEP in each year.
Results: Assuming 60% uptake and 60% adherence, targeting PrEP to MSM diagnosed with NG/CT could reduce HIV incidence among MSM in Baltimore City by 12.4% (95% uncertainty range (UR) 10.3% to 14.4%) in 20 years, relative to no PrEP. Expanding the coverage of NG/CT screening (such that individuals experience a 50% annual probability of NG/CT screening and evaluation for PrEP on NG/CT diagnosis) can further increase the impact of targeted PrEP to generate a 22.0% (95% UR 20.1% to 23.9%) reduction in HIV incidence within 20 years. When compared with alternative implementation scenarios, PrEP evaluation at NG/CT diagnosis increased impact of PrEP on HIV incidence by 1.5(95% UR 1.1 to 1.9) times relative to a scenario in which PrEP evaluation happened at the time of NG/CT screening/testing and by 1.6 (95% UR 1.2 to 2.2) times relative to evaluating random MSM from the community.
Conclusions: Targeting MSM infected with NG/CT increases the efficiency and effectiveness of PrEP delivery. If high levels of sexually transmitted infection screening can be achieved at the community level, NG/CT diagnosis may be a highly effective entry point for PrEP initialisation.
Downloadable Files:SS_PrEPand STI Final_0.PNG