BMC infectious diseases 2017 07 2617(1) 522 doi 10.1186/s12879-017-2612-5
Combined prevention interventions, including early antiretroviral therapy initiation, may substantially reduce HIV incidence in hyperendemic settings. Our aim was to assess the potential short-term impact of combined interventions on HIV spreading in the adult population of Mbongolwane and Eshowe (KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa) using sex- and age-specific scenarios, and age-targeted interventions.
A mathematical model was used with data on adults (15-59 years) from the Mbongolwane and Eshowe HIV Impact in Population Survey to compare the effects of various interventions on the HIV incidence rate. These interventions included increase in antiretroviral therapy (ART) coverage with extended eligibility criteria, increase in voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC), and implementation of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) among women.
With no additional interventions to the ones in place at the time of the survey (ART at CD4 < 350 and VMMC), incidence will decrease by 24% compared to the baseline rate. The implementation of "ART at CD4<500" or "ART for all" would reduce further the incidence rate by additional 8% and 15% respectively by 4 years and 20% and 34% by 10 years. Impacts would be higher with age-targeted scenarios than without. CONCLUSIONS
In Mbongolwane and Eshowe, implementation of the new South African guidelines, recommending ART initiation regardless of CD4 count, would accelerate incidence reduction. In this setting, combining these guidelines, VMMC, and PrEP among young women could be an effective strategy in reducing the incidence to low levels.