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1.  Concomitant Socioeconomic, Behavioral, and Biological Factors Associated with the Disproportionate HIV Infection Burden among Black Men Who Have Sex with Men in 6 U.S. Cities 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e87298.
Background
American Black men who have sex with men (MSM) are disproportionately affected by HIV, but the factors associated with this concentrated epidemic are not fully understood.
Methods
Black MSM were enrolled in 6 US cities to evaluate a multi-component prevention intervention, with the current analysis focusing on the correlates of being newly diagnosed with HIV compared to being HIV-uninfected or previously diagnosed with HIV.
Results
HPTN 061 enrolled 1553 Black MSM whose median age was 40; 30% self-identified exclusively as gay or homosexual, 29% exclusively as bisexual, and 3% as transgender. About 1/6th (16.2%) were previously diagnosed with HIV (PD); of 1263 participants without a prior HIV diagnosis 7.6% were newly diagnosed (ND). Compared to PD, ND Black MSM were younger (p<0.001); less likely to be living with a primary partner (p<0.001); more likely to be diagnosed with syphilis (p<0.001), rectal gonorrhea (p = 0.011) or chlamydia (p = 0.020). Compared to HIV-uninfected Black MSM, ND were more likely to report unprotected receptive anal intercourse (URAI) with a male partner in the last 6 months (p<0.001); and to be diagnosed with syphilis (p<0.001), rectal gonorrhea (p = 0.004), and urethral (p = 0.025) or rectal chlamydia (p<0.001). They were less likely to report female (p = 0.002) or transgender partners (p = 0.018). Multivariate logistic regression analyses found that ND Black MSM were significantly more likely than HIV-uninfected peers to be unemployed; have STIs, and engage in URAI. Almost half the men in each group were poor, had depressive symptoms, and expressed internalized homophobia.
Conclusions
ND HIV-infected Black MSM were more likely to be unemployed, have bacterial STIs and engage in URAI than other Black MSM. Culturally-tailored programs that address economic disenfranchisement, increase engagement in care, screen for STIs, in conjunction with safer sex prevention interventions, may help to decrease further transmission in this heavily affected community.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0087298
PMCID: PMC3909083  PMID: 24498067
2.  Development of Methods for Cross-Sectional HIV Incidence Estimation in a Large, Community Randomized Trial 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e78818.
Background
Accurate methods of HIV incidence determination are critically needed to monitor the epidemic and determine the population level impact of prevention trials. One such trial, Project Accept, a Phase III, community-randomized trial, evaluated the impact of enhanced, community-based voluntary counseling and testing on population-level HIV incidence. The primary endpoint of the trial was based on a single, cross-sectional, post-intervention HIV incidence assessment.
Methods and Findings
Test performance of HIV incidence determination was evaluated for 403 multi-assay algorithms [MAAs] that included the BED capture immunoassay [BED-CEIA] alone, an avidity assay alone, and combinations of these assays at different cutoff values with and without CD4 and viral load testing on samples from seven African cohorts (5,325 samples from 3,436 individuals with known duration of HIV infection [1 month to >10 years]). The mean window period (average time individuals appear positive for a given algorithm) and performance in estimating an incidence estimate (in terms of bias and variance) of these MAAs were evaluated in three simulated epidemic scenarios (stable, emerging and waning). The power of different test methods to detect a 35% reduction in incidence in the matched communities of Project Accept was also assessed. A MAA was identified that included BED-CEIA, the avidity assay, CD4 cell count, and viral load that had a window period of 259 days, accurately estimated HIV incidence in all three epidemic settings and provided sufficient power to detect an intervention effect in Project Accept.
Conclusions
In a Southern African setting, HIV incidence estimates and intervention effects can be accurately estimated from cross-sectional surveys using a MAA. The improved accuracy in cross-sectional incidence testing that a MAA provides is a powerful tool for HIV surveillance and program evaluation.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0078818
PMCID: PMC3827276  PMID: 24236054
3.  HIV-1 Transmission during Early Antiretroviral Therapy: Evaluation of Two HIV-1 Transmission Events in the HPTN 052 Prevention Study 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e71557.
In the HPTN 052 study, transmission between HIV-discordant couples was reduced by 96% when the HIV-infected partner received suppressive antiretroviral therapy (ART). We examined two transmission events where the newly infected partner was diagnosed after the HIV-infected partner (index) initiated therapy. We evaluated the sequence complexity of the viral populations and antibody reactivity in the newly infected partner to estimate the dates of transmission to the newly infected partners. In both cases, transmission most likely occurred significantly before HIV-1 diagnosis of the newly infected partner, and either just before the initiation of therapy or before viral replication was adequately suppressed by therapy of the index. This study further strengthens the conclusion about the efficacy of blocking transmission by treating the infected partner of discordant couples. However, this study does not rule out the potential for HIV-1 transmission to occur shortly after initiation of ART, and this should be recognized when antiretroviral therapy is used for HIV-1 prevention.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0071557
PMCID: PMC3782474  PMID: 24086252
4.  Correlates of HIV Acquisition in a Cohort of Black Men Who Have Sex with Men in the United States: HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) 061 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(7):e70413.
Background
Black men who have sex with men (MSM) in the United States (US) are affected by HIV at disproportionate rates compared to MSM of other race/ethnicities. Current HIV incidence estimates in this group are needed to appropriately target prevention efforts.
Methods
From July 2009 to October 2010, Black MSM reporting unprotected anal intercourse with a man in the past six months were enrolled and followed for one year in six US cities for a feasibility study of a multi-component intervention to reduce HIV infection. HIV incidence based on HIV seroconversion was calculated as number of events/100 person-years. Multivariate proportional hazards modeling with time-dependent covariates was used to identify correlates of HIV acquisition.
Results
Of 1,553 Black MSM enrolled, 1,164 were HIV-uninfected at baseline and included in follow-up. Overall annual HIV incidence was 3.0% (95% confidence interval (CI): 2.0, 4.4%) and 5.9% among men ≤30 years old (95% CI: 3.6, 9.1%). Men ≤30 years old reported significantly higher levels of sexual risk and were more likely to have a sexually transmitted infection diagnosed during follow-up. Younger men also were more likely to not have a usual place for health care, not have visited a health care provider recently, and to have unmet health care needs. In multivariate analysis, age ≤30 years (hazard ratio (HR): 3.4; 95% CI: 1.4, 8.3) and unprotected receptive anal intercourse with HIV-positive or unknown status partners (HR: 4.1; 95% CI: 1.9, 9.1) were significantly associated with HIV acquisition.
Conclusion
In the largest cohort of prospectively-followed Black MSM in the US, HIV incidence was high, particularly among young men. Targeted, tailored and culturally appropriate HIV prevention strategies incorporating behavioral, social and biomedical based interventions are urgently needed to lower these rates.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0070413
PMCID: PMC3724810  PMID: 23922989
5.  Estimation of HIV Incidence in a Large, Community-Based, Randomized Clinical Trial: NIMH Project Accept (HIV Prevention Trials Network 043) 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(7):e68349.
Background
National Institute of Mental Health Project Accept (HIV Prevention Trials Network [HPTN] 043) is a large, Phase III, community-randomized, HIV prevention trial conducted in 48 matched communities in Africa and Thailand. The study intervention included enhanced community-based voluntary counseling and testing. The primary endpoint was HIV incidence, assessed in a single, cross-sectional, post-intervention survey of >50,000 participants.
Methods
HIV rapid tests were performed in-country. HIV status was confirmed at a central laboratory in the United States. HIV incidence was estimated using a multi-assay algorithm (MAA) that included the BED capture immunoassay, an avidity assay, CD4 cell count, and HIV viral load.
Results
Data from Thailand was not used in the endpoint analysis because HIV prevalence was low. Overall, 7,361 HIV infections were identified (4 acute, 3 early, and 7,354 established infections). Samples from established infections were analyzed using the MAA; 467 MAA positive samples were identified; 29 of those samples were excluded because they contained antiretroviral drugs. HIV prevalence was 16.5% (range at study sites: 5.93% to 30.8%). HIV incidence was 1.60% (range at study sites: 0.78% to 3.90%).
Conclusions
In this community-randomized trial, a MAA was used to estimate HIV incidence in a single, cross-sectional post-intervention survey. Results from this analysis were subsequently used to compare HIV incidence in the control and intervention communities.
Trial Registration
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00203749
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0068349
PMCID: PMC3708944  PMID: 23874597
6.  Analysis of Genetic Linkage of HIV From Couples Enrolled in the HIV Prevention Trials Network 052 Trial 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2011;204(12):1918-1926.
Background. The HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) 052 trial demonstrated that early initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) reduces human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission from HIV-infected adults (index participants) to their HIV-uninfected sexual partners. We analyzed HIV from 38 index-partner pairs and 80 unrelated index participants (controls) to assess the linkage of seroconversion events.
Methods. Linkage was assessed using phylogenetic analysis of HIV pol sequences and Bayesian analysis of genetic distances between pol sequences from index-partner pairs and controls. Selected samples were also analyzed using next-generation sequencing (env region).
Results. In 29 of the 38 (76.3%) cases analyzed, the index was the likely source of the partner’s HIV infection (linked). In 7 cases (18.4%), the partner was most likely infected from a source other than the index participant (unlinked). In 2 cases (5.3%), linkage status could not be definitively established.
Conclusions. Nearly one-fifth of the seroconversion events in HPTN 052 were unlinked. The association of early ART and reduced HIV transmission was stronger when the analysis included only linked events. This underscores the importance of assessing the genetic linkage of HIV seroconversion events in HIV prevention studies involving serodiscordant couples.
doi:10.1093/infdis/jir651
PMCID: PMC3209811  PMID: 21990420
7.  Safety and Effectiveness of BufferGel and 0.5% PRO2000 Gel for the Prevention of HIV Infection in Women 
AIDS (London, England)  2011;25(7):957-966.
Objective
To determine the safety and effectiveness of BufferGel and 0.5% PRO2000 microbicide gels for the prevention of male to female HIV transmission
Design
Phase II/IIb, randomized, placebo-controlled trial with three double-blinded gel arms and an open label no gel arm.
Methods
Study participants from Malawi, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and USA were instructed to apply study gel ≤1 hour before each sex act and safety, sexual behavior, pregnancy, gel adherence, acceptability, and HIV serostatus were assessed during follow-up.
Results
The 3101 enrolled women were followed for an average of 20.4 months with 93.6% retention and 81.1% self-reported gel adherence. Adverse event rates were similar in all study arms. HIV incidence rates in the 0.5% PRO2000 Gel, BufferGel, Placebo Gel and No Gel arms were 2.70, 4.14, 3.91 and 4.02 per 100 women-years, respectively. HIV incidence in the 0.5% PRO2000 Gel arm was lower than the Placebo Gel arm (Hazard Ratio (HR)=0.7; p=0.10) and the No Gel arm (HR=0.67; p=0.06). HIV incidence rates were similar in the BufferGel and both Placebo Gel (HR=1.10; p=0.63) and No Gel control arms (HR=1.05; p=0.78). HIV incidence was similar in the Placebo Gel and No Gel arms (HR=0.97; p=0.89).
Conclusions
0.5% PRO2000 Gel demonstrated a modest 30% reduction in HIV acquisition in women. However, these results were not statistically significant and subsequent findings from the MDP 301 trial have confirmed that 0.5% PRO2000 has little or no protective effect. BufferGel did not alter the risk of HIV infection. Both products were safe.
doi:10.1097/QAD.0b013e32834541d9
PMCID: PMC3083640  PMID: 21330907
Microbicide; PRO 2000 Gel; BufferGel; HIV Prevention; Women
8.  Prevention of HIV-1 Infection with Early Antiretroviral Therapy 
The New England journal of medicine  2011;365(6):493-505.
Background
Antiretroviral therapy that reduces viral replication could limit the transmission of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) in serodiscordant couples.
Methods
In nine countries, we enrolled 1763 couples in which one partner was HIV-1–positive and the other was HIV-1–negative; 54% of the subjects were from Africa, and 50% of infected partners were men. HIV-1–infected subjects with CD4 counts between 350 and 550 cells per cubic millimeter were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive antiretroviral therapy either immediately (early therapy) or after a decline in the CD4 count or the onset of HIV-1–related symptoms (delayed therapy). The primary prevention end point was linked HIV-1 transmission in HIV-1–negative partners. The primary clinical end point was the earliest occurrence of pulmonary tuberculosis, severe bacterial infection, a World Health Organization stage 4 event, or death.
Results
As of February 21, 2011, a total of 39 HIV-1 transmissions were observed (incidence rate, 1.2 per 100 person-years; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.9 to 1.7); of these, 28 were virologically linked to the infected partner (incidence rate, 0.9 per 100 person-years, 95% CI, 0.6 to 1.3). Of the 28 linked transmissions, only 1 occurred in the early-therapy group (hazard ratio, 0.04; 95% CI, 0.01 to 0.27; P<0.001). Subjects receiving early therapy had fewer treatment end points (hazard ratio, 0.59; 95% CI, 0.40 to 0.88; P = 0.01).
Conclusions
The early initiation of antiretroviral therapy reduced rates of sexual transmission of HIV-1 and clinical events, indicating both personal and public health benefits from such therapy.
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1105243
PMCID: PMC3200068  PMID: 21767103
9.  HIV Surveillance in a Large, Community-Based Study: Results from the Pilot Study of Project Accept (HIV Prevention Trials Network 043) 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2011;11:251.
Background
Project Accept is a community randomized, controlled trial to evaluate the efficacy of community mobilization, mobile testing, same-day results, and post-test support for the prevention of HIV infection in Thailand, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. We evaluated the accuracy of in-country HIV rapid testing and determined HIV prevalence in the Project Accept pilot study.
Methods
Two HIV rapid tests were performed in parallel in local laboratories. If the first two rapid tests were discordant (one reactive, one non-reactive), a third HIV rapid test or enzyme immunoassay was performed. Samples were designated HIV NEG if the first two tests were non-reactive, HIV DISC if the first two tests were discordant, and HIV POS if the first two tests were reactive. Samples were re-analyzed in the United States using a panel of laboratory tests.
Results
HIV infection status was correctly determined based on-in country testing for 2,236 (99.5%) of 2,247 participants [7 (0.37%) of 1,907 HIV NEG samples were HIV-positive; 2 (0.63%) of 317 HIV POS samples were HIV-negative; 2 (8.3%) of 24 HIV DISC samples were incorrectly identified as HIV-positive based on the in-country tie-breaker test]. HIV prevalence was: Thailand: 0.6%, Tanzania: 5.0%, Zimbabwe 14.7%, Soweto South Africa: 19.4%, Vulindlela, South Africa: 24.4%, (overall prevalence: 14.4%).
Conclusions
In-country testing based on two HIV rapid tests correctly identified the HIV infection status for 99.5% of study participants; most participants with discordant HIV rapid tests were not infected. HIV prevalence varied considerably across the study sites (range: 0.6% to 24.4%).
Trial Registration
ClinicalTrials.gov registry number NCT00203749.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-11-251
PMCID: PMC3198953  PMID: 21943026
10.  Validation of Rapid HIV Antibody Tests in Five African Countries 
The sensitivity and specificity of three rapid HIV antibody tests were assessed at five clinical trial sites in Africa and one site in the United States using a minimum of 100 HIV antibody positive samples and 100 HIV antibody negative samples at each site. The overall sensitivity and specificity for the OraSure OraQuick, Abbott Determine, and Trinity Unigold tests were 99.3%, 99.8% and 98.5%, respectively, and 99.3%, 99.4%, and 99.5%, respectively. There were no instances at any site in which false negative or false positive results were obtained for the same sample on more than one rapid test kit. The results of this study provide assurance that for these diverse sites in Africa, the accuracy of these kits is quite good. Given the excellent accuracy, relatively fast turnaround time, and minimal infrastructure required, these rapid tests for HIV antibody provide a very attractive and accurate testing format.
doi:10.1177/1545109710368151
PMCID: PMC2989535  PMID: 20530471
HIV antibody; rapid test; sensitivity; specificity; Africa
11.  Emergence and persistence of nevirapine (NVP) resistance in breast milk after single-dose NVP administration 
AIDS (London, England)  2010;24(4):557-561.
OBJECTIVE
Single-dose nevirapine (sdNVP) can reduce the risk of HIV vertical transmission. We assessed risk factors for NVP resistance in plasma and breast milk from sdNVP-exposed Ugandan women.
METHODS
Samples were analyzed using the Roche AMPLICOR HIV-1 Monitor Test Kit, v1.5, and the ViroSeq HIV-1 Genotyping System. NVP concentrations were determined by liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectroscopy.
RESULTS
HIV genotypes (plasma and breast milk) were obtained for 30 women 4 weeks after sdNVP (HIV subtypes: 15A, 1C, 12D, 2 recombinant). NVP resistance was detected in 12 (40%) of 30 breast milk samples. There was a non-significant trend between detection of NVP resistance in breast milk and plasma (p=0.06). There was no association of HIV resistance in breast milk with median maternal pre-NVP viral load or CD4 cell count, median breast milk viral load at 4 weeks, breast milk sodium >10 mmol/L, HIV subtype, or concentration of NVP in breast milk or plasma.
CONCLUSIONS
NVP resistance was frequently detected in breast milk 4 weeks after sdNVP exposure. In this study, we were unable to identify specific factors associated with breast milk NVP resistance.
doi:10.1097/QAD.0b013e3283346e60
PMCID: PMC3065236  PMID: 20057308
nevirapine; HIV-1; breast milk; Uganda; vertical transmission; nevirapine resistance
12.  Detection of Individuals with Acute HIV-1 Infection using the ARCHITECT® HIV Ag/Ab Combo Assay 
Background
We evaluated use of the ARCHITECT® HIV Ag/Ab Combo assay (HIV Combo; Abbott Diagnostics; available for sale outside of the U.S. only) for detection of acute HIV infection.
Methods
Samples were obtained from a behavioral intervention study (EXPLORE). HIV-uninfected men who have sex with men were enrolled and tested for HIV infection every 6 months. Samples from seroconverters collected at their last seronegative visit (n=217) were tested individually using two HIV RNA assays. Samples with detectable HIV RNA were classified as acute and were tested with HIV Combo. Samples from the enrollment visit (n=83) and the time of HIV seroconversion (n=219) were tested with HIV Combo as controls.
Results
Twenty-one (9.7%) samples from the last seronegative visit had detectable HIV RNA and were classified as acute. HIV Combo was positive for 13 (61.9%) of the acute samples. Samples not detected by HIV Combo had viral loads of 724 to 15,130 copies/ml. Expected results were obtained for positive and negative controls tested with HIV Combo.
Conclusions
HIV Combo detected nearly two-thirds of acute HIV infections identified in this high-risk population by non-pooled, HIV RNA assays. HIV Combo may be useful for high-throughput screening to identify individuals with acute HIV infection.
doi:10.1097/QAI.0b013e3181ab61e1
PMCID: PMC2744045  PMID: 19506484
acute infection; HIV-1; HIV Ag/Ab Combo assay
13.  Comparison of Results Obtained with Amplicor HIV-1 DNA PCR Test Version 1.5 Using 100 versus 500 Microliters of Whole Blood▿  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2008;46(3):1104-1105.
The Amplicor HIV-1 DNA PCR assay (Roche Diagnostics, Branchburg, NJ) requires 500 μl of whole blood for a diagnosis of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection, and this amount is often difficult to obtain from infants. A comparison was performed using 100 and 500 μl of whole blood from infants less than 18 months of age. The concordance rate for HIV DNA PCR-negative and -positive samples was 100% for the two different volumes.
doi:10.1128/JCM.02259-07
PMCID: PMC2268375  PMID: 18199786
14.  Comparison of Versions 1.0 AND 1.5 of the UltraSensitive AMPLICOR HIV-1 MONITOR Test for Subjects with Low Viral Load 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2004;42(6):2774-2776.
We compared the performance of two UltraSensitive AMPLICOR HIV-1 MONITOR kits (version 1.5 [v1.5] versus v1.0) by retesting 404 plasma samples with low viral loads (<3,000 copies/ml) with both kits. With 292 samples that initially had <50 copies/ml by the v1.0 kit, the v1.5 assay was more sensitive than the v1.0 assay for samples with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 RNA near the 50-copy/ml cutoff (P = 0.0146). Median numbers of copies per milliliter were similar for 112 samples with 50 to 3,000 copies/ml with no difference in sensitivity with a 200-copy/ml cutoff.
doi:10.1128/JCM.42.6.2774-2776.2004
PMCID: PMC427852  PMID: 15184467

Results 1-14 (14)