Regional differences in prevalence of HIV-1 discordance in Africa and enrollment of HIV-1 discordant couples into an HIV-1 prevention trial

Jairam R. Lingappa, Barrot Lambdin, Elizabeth Ann Bukusi, Kenneth Ngure, Linda Kavuma, Mubiana Inambao, William Kanweka, Susan Allen, James N. Kiarie, Joseph Makhema, Edwin Were, Rachel Manongi, David Coetzee, Guy de Bruyn, Sinead Delany-Moretlwe, Amalia Magaret, Nelly Mugo, Andrew Mujugira, Patrick Ndase, Connie CelumCraig Cohen, Carey Farquhar, Grace John-Stewart, Elly Katabira, Allan Ronald, Max Essex, Kenneth Fife, Saidi Kapiga, Alana deKock, Glenda Gray, James McIntyre, Helen Rees

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

113 Scopus citations


Background. Most HIV-1 transmission in Africa occurs among HIV-1-discordant couples (one partner HIV-1 infected and one uninfected) who are unaware of their discordant HIV-1 serostatus. Given the high HIV-1 incidence among HIV-1 discordant couples and to assess efficacy of interventions for reducing HIV-1 transmission, HIV-1 discordant couples represent a critical target population for HIV-1 prevention interventions and prevention trials. Substantial regional differences exist in HIV-1 prevalence in Africa, but regignal differences in HIV-1 discordance among African couples, has not previously been reported. Methodology & Principal Findings. The Partners in Prevention HSV-2/ HIV-1 Transmission Trial ("Partners HSV-2 Study"), the first large HIV-1 prevention trial in Africa involving HIV-1 discordant couples, completed enrollment in May 200). Partners HSV-2 Study recruitment data from 12 sites from East and Southern Africa were used to assess HIV-1 discordance among couples accessing couples HIV-1 counseling and testing, and to correlate with enrollment of HIV-1 discordant couples. HIV-1 discordance at Partners HSV-2 Study sites ranged from 8-31% of couples tested from the community. Across all study sites and, among all couples with one HIV-1 infected partner, almost half (49%) of couples were HIV-1 discordant. Site-specific monthly enrollment of HIV-1 discordant couples into the clinical trial was not directly associated with prevalence of HIV-1 discordance, but was modestly correlated with national HIV-1 counseling and testing rates and access to palliative care/basic health care (r=0.74, p=0.09). Conclusions/Significance. HIV-1 discordant couples are a critical target for HIV-1 prevention in Africa. In addition to community prevalence of HIV-1 discordance, national infrastructure for HIV-1 testing and healthcare delivery and effective community outreach strategies impact recruitment of HIV-1 discordant couples into HIV-1 prevention trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1411
JournalPloS one
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 9 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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