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Expanded antiretroviral treatment, sexual networks, and condom use: Treatment as prevention unlikely to succeed without partner reduction among men who have sex with men in China.

Expanded antiretroviral treatment, sexual networks, and condom use: Treatment as prevention unlikely to succeed without partner reduction among men who have sex with men in China.
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Lou J, Hu P, Qian HZ, Ruan Y, Jin Z, Xing H, Shao Y, Vermund SH,


Lou J, Hu P, Qian HZ, Ruan Y, Jin Z, Xing H, Shao Y, Vermund SH, (click to view)

Lou J, Hu P, Qian HZ, Ruan Y, Jin Z, Xing H, Shao Y, Vermund SH,

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PloS one 2017 04 1312(4) e0171295 doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0171295

Abstract
BACKGROUND
To project the impact of partner reduction on preventing new HIV infections among men who have sex with men (MSM) under varying conditions of enhanced HIV testing and treatment (T&T) and condom use in Beijing, China.

METHODS AND FINDINGS
A complex network model was fitted to predict the number of new HIV infections averted from 2014 to 2023 under four scenarios of sexual behavior risk reduction (S)-S1: Male sexual partners decrease (reduced by a random value m from 1-50) while condom use increases (risk constant p is a random value between 0.2 and 1]); S2: Both sexual partners and condom use decrease (m 1, 50; p 1, 1.8); S3: Sexual partners reduce (m 1, 10) while condom use increases or decreases (p 0.2, 1.8); S4: Only MSM with ≥100 male sexual partners reduce their partners (m 1, 50) while condom use increases (p 0.2, 1). HIV prevalence will reach 23.2% by 2023 among Beijing MSM if T&T remains at the 2013 level. The three most influential factors are: T&T coverage; partner reduction (m); and the background risk (p). Under scenarios 1-4 of sexual behavioral changes with enhanced T&T interventions, the cumulative HIV new infections prevented over the 10 years will be 46.8% for S1 (interquartile range [IQR] 32.4%, 60.1%); 29.7% for S2 (IQR 18.0%, 41.4%), 23.2% for S3 (IQR 12.2%, 37.0%) and 11.6% for S4 (IQR 4.0%, 26.6%), respectively. The reproduction number R0 could drop below 1 if there were a substantial reduction of male sexual partners and/or expanded condom use.

CONCLUSION
Partner reduction is a vital factor within HIV combination interventions to reduce HIV incidence among Beijing MSM, with substantial additional benefits derived from condom use. T&T without substantial partner reduction and increased condom use is less promising unless its implementation were extremely (and improbably) efficient.

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