The differential impacts of non-locally acquired infections and treatment interventions on heterosexual HIV transmission in Hong Kong
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AbstractIntroduction: Heterosexual infections have contributed to a high proportion of the HIV burden in Asia and Eastern Europe. Human mobility and non-local infections are important features in some cities/countries. An understanding of the determinants of the sustained growth of the heterosexual HIV epidemics would enable the potential impacts of treatment-based interventions to be assessed.

Methods: We developed a compartmental model for heterosexual HIV transmissions, parameterized by clinical and surveillance data (1984-2014) in Hong Kong. HIV sequence data were included for examining genetic linkages and clustering pattern. We performed sensitivity analyses to evaluate effects of high-risk sexual partnership and proportions of non-locally acquired infections. Four hypothetical interventions (a) immediate treatment, (b) enhancement of retention in care, (c) HIV testing campaigns, and (d) test-and-treat strategy, were examined.

Results: Data of 2174 patients (723 female and 1451 male) diagnosed with HIV between 1984 and 2012 in Hong Kong were collected for model parameterization. Among 1229 sequences of non-MSM (men who have sex with men) patients, 70% were isolates and 17% were either dyads or triads. In base-base scenario, the total estimated number of new infections in 2012-2023 would be 672 for male and 452 for female. Following 100% retention in care intervention, the total proportion of averted new infections in 2012-2023 would be 7% for male and 10% for female. HIV testing campaign in 2012 and 2017 followed by 100% immediate treatment strategy would avert 5% and 9% of male and female new infections, respectively. In the epidemic model, an increase of high-risk sexual partnership from 6% to 9% would increase the epidemic growth (annual number of newly diagnosed and newly infected cases) by about 10%. If no non-locally acquired infection occurred as from 2012, the epidemic growth would slump. To control the heterosexual epidemic, periodic HIV testing at 5-year intervals with immediate treatment would avert 5-13% of annual new infections in 2013-2023.

Conclusions: Enhanced HIV testing with immediate treatment is most effective in controlling the heterosexual epidemic, the impacts of which might however be attenuated by any increase of non-locally acquired infection, assuming little variations of high risk partnership over time.
All Author(s) ListWong NS, Lee MP, Wong KH, Tsang OTY, Lee SS.
Journal namePLoS ONE
Volume Number15
Issue Number8
PublisherPublic Library of Science
Article numbere0237433
LanguagesEnglish-United Kingdom
KeywordsHIV, heterosexual transmission, epidemiology, modelling, Hong Kong

Last updated on 2021-15-09 at 00:02