BACKGROUND: Population-level prevalence of detectable HIV viraemia (PDV) has been proposed as a metric for monitoring the population-level effectiveness of HIV treatment as prevention. We aimed to characterise temporal changes in PDV in people who inject drugs (PWID) and men who have sex with men (MSM) in India and evaluate community-level and individual-level associations with cross-sectional HIV incidence. METHODS: We did a serial cross-sectional study in which baseline (from Oct 1, 2012, to Dec 19, 2013) and follow-up (from Aug 1, 2016, to May 28, 2017) respondent-driven sampling (RDS) surveys were done in MSM (ten community sites) and PWID (12 community sites) across 21 cities in India. Eligible participants were those aged 18 years or older who provided informed consent and possessed a valid RDS referral coupon. Annualised HIV incidence was estimated with validated multiple-assay algorithms. PDV was calculated as the percentage of people with detectable HIV RNA (>150 copies per mL) in a community site. Community-level associations were determined by linear regression. Multivariable, multilevel Poisson regression was used to assess associations with recent HIV infection. FINDINGS: We recruited 21 990 individuals in the baseline survey and 21 726 individuals in the follow-up survey. The median community-level HIV incidence estimate increased from 0·9% (range 0·0-2·2) at baseline to 1·5% (0·5-3·0) at follow-up in MSM and from 1·6% (0·5-12·4) to 3·6% (0·0-18·4) in PWID. At the community-level, every 1 percentage point increase in baseline PDV and temporal change in PDV between surveys was associated with higher annualised HIV incidence at follow-up: for baseline PDV β=0·41 (95% CI 0·18-0·63) and for change in PDV β=0·52 (0·38-0·66). After accounting for individual-level risk factors, every 10 percentage point increase in baseline PDV and temporal change in PDV was associated with higher individual-level risk of recent HIV infection at follow-up: adjusted risk ratio 1·85 (95% CI 1·44-2·37) for baseline PDV and 1·81 (1·43-2·29) for change in PDV. INTERPRETATION: PDV was temporally associated with community-level and individual-level HIV incidence. These data support scale-up of treatment as prevention programmes to reduce HIV incidence and the programmatic use of PDV to monitor community HIV risk potential. FUNDING: US National Institutes of Health, Elton John AIDS Foundation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases