HIV Prevalence and Incidence among Sexually Active Females in Two Districts of South Africa to Determine Microbicide Trial Feasibility

Abstract

Background The suitability of populations of sexually active women in Madibeng (North-West Province) and Mbekweni (Western Cape), South Africa, for a Phase III vaginal microbicide trial was evaluated.

Methods Sexually active women 18–35 years not known to be HIV-positive or pregnant were tested cross-sectionally to determine HIV and pregnancy prevalence (798 in Madibeng and 800 in Mbekweni). Out of these, 299 non-pregnant, HIV-negative women were subsequently enrolled at each clinical research center in a 12-month cohort study with quarterly study visits.

Results HIV prevalence was 24% in Madibeng and 22% in Mbekweni. HIV incidence rates based on seroconversions over 12 months were 6.0/100 person-years (PY) (95% CI 3.0, 9.0) in Madibeng and 4.5/100 PY (95% CI 1.8, 7.1) in Mbekweni and those estimated by cross-sectional BED testing were 7.1/100 PY (95% CI 2.8, 11.3) in Madibeng and 5.8/100 PY (95% CI 2.0, 9.6) in Mbekweni. The 12-month pregnancy incidence rates were 4.8/100 PY (95% CI 2.2, 7.5) in Madibeng and 7.0/100 PY (95% CI 3.7, 10.3) in Mbekweni; rates decreased over time in both districts. Genital symptoms were reported very frequently, with an incidence of 46.8/100 PY (95% CI 38.5, 55.2) in Madibeng and 21.5/100 PY (95% CI 15.8, 27.3) in Mbekweni. Almost all (>99%) participants said that they would be willing to participate in a microbicide trial.

Conclusion These populations might be suitable for Phase III microbicide trials provided that HIV incidence rates over time remain sufficiently high to support endpoint-driven trials.

Citation

Nel, A.; Louw, C.; Hellstrom, E.; Braunstein, S.L.; Treadwell, I.; Marais, M.; de Villiers, M.; Hugo, J.; Paschke, I.; Andersen, C.; van de Wijgert, J. HIV Prevalence and Incidence among Sexually Active Females in Two Districts of South Africa to Determine Microbicide Trial Feasibility. PLoS ONE (2011) 6 (8) e21528. [DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0021528]

HIV Prevalence and Incidence among Sexually Active Females in Two Districts of South Africa to Determine Microbicide Trial Feasibility

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