Impact of early antiretroviral treatment on sexual behaviour: A randomised comparison

Lampe, Fiona C et al.

Background: Antiretroviral treatment (ART) reduces HIV infectiousness but the effect of early ART on sexual behaviour is unclear.

Methods: We assessed, within the START randomized trial that enrolled HIV-positive adults with CD4+ cell count greater than 500 cells/μl, the effect of early (immediate) versus deferred ART on: condomless sex with HIV-serodifferent partners (CLS-D); all condomless sex (CLS); HIV transmission-risk sex (CLS-D-HIV risk, defined as CLS-D and: not on ART or started ART <6 months ago or viral load greater than 200 copies/ml or no viral load in past 6 months), during 2-year follow-up. Month-12 CLS-D (2010–2014) was the primary outcome.

Results: Among 2562 MSM, there was no difference between immediate and deferred arms in CLS-D at month 12 [12.6 versus 13.1%; difference (95% CI): −0.4% (−3.1 to 2.2%), P = 0.75] or month 24, or in CLS. Among 2010 heterosexual men and women, CLS-D at month 12 tended to be higher in the immediate versus deferred arm [10.8 versus 8.3%; difference:2.5% (−0.1 to 5.2%), P = 0.062]; the difference was greater at month 24 [9.3 versus 5.6%; difference: 3.7% (1.0 to 6.4%), P = 0.007], at which time CLS was higher in the immediate arm (20.7 versus 15.7%, P = 0.013). CLS-D-HIV risk at month 12 was substantially lower in the immediate versus deferred arm for MSM [0.2 versus 11%; difference: −10.7% (−12.5 to −8.9%), P < 0.001] and heterosexuals [0.6% versus 7.7%; difference: −7.0% (−8.8 to −5.3%), P < 0.001], because of viral suppression on ART.

Conclusion: A strategy of early ART had no effect on condomless sex with HIV-serodifferent partners among MSM, but resulted in modestly higher prevalence among heterosexuals. However, among MSM and heterosexuals, early ART resulted in a substantial reduction in HIV-transmission-risk sex, to a very low absolute level.

December 5, 2019
Year of publication
2019
Resource types
Journal and research articles
Tags
START trial, HIV risk factors, early initiation of ART, HIV risk behavior

Similar Resources

This issue of the Southern African HIV Clinicians Society's "HIV Nursing Matters" online magazine focuses on vulnerable populations, including TB in prisons and intimate partner violence in the context of HIV.

This issue of the Southern African HIV Clinicians Society's "HIV Nursing Matters" online magazine focuses on key populations.

We conducted a longitudinal and cross-sectional analysis of depressive symptomology in iPrEx, a randomized, placebo-controlled trial of daily, oral FTC/TDF HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in men and transgender women who have sex with men.

Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) continue to have disproportionately high burdens of HIV infection in countries of low, middle, and high income in 2016.

Researchers from the Dutch pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) demonstration study, AmPrEP, have found an unexpectedly high rate of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in participants tested for it at baseline.

Sub-Saharan Africa bears more than two-thirds of the worldwide burden of HIV; however, data among transgender women from the region are sparse. Transgender women across the world face significant vulnerability to HIV.

The USAID- and PEPFAR-supported LINKAGES project is excited to announce the arrival of a new supple

The level of evidence for HIV transmission risk through condomless sex in serodifferent gay couples with the HIV-positive partner taking virally suppressive antiretroviral therapy (ART) is limited compared with the evidence available for transmission risk in heterosexual couples. The aim of the…

This supplement to Acta Paediatrica presents a series of meta-analyses and systematic literature reviews examining a variety of health effects potentially related to breastfeeding.

Adolescents newly diagnosed with HIV need to be rapidly incorporated into HIV care networks to have the best chances of remaining in care in the long term, research from the United States published in the June 1st edition of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes shows.