We used antiretroviral (ARV) drug testing to evaluate the accuracy of self-reported data for HIV status and antiretroviral treatment (ART) among people who inject drugs enrolled in an HIV prevention trial. ARV drugs were detected in enrollment samples from 72/482 = 14.9% HIV-infected participants (39/52 = 75.0% who reported being on ART; 33/430 = 7.7% who reported not being on ART). Overall, 213/482 = 44.2% participants indicated that they were not aware of their HIV-positive status prior to study entry; of those, 30 had ARV drugs detected at enrollment, including 15 who also had ARV drugs detected at the screening visit. These participants were likely aware of their HIV-positive status at study entry but did not report this to study staff. This study shows that self-reported data on HIV testing history and ART may not be accurate and that ARV drug testing can help identify persons who are aware of their HIV-positive status and are on ART.
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The authors thank the HPTN 074 study team and participants for providing the samples and data used in this study. We also thank the laboratory staff who helped with sample management and testing. This work was supported by the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), and Office of AIDS Research, of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) [UM1-AI068613 (Eshleman); UM1-AI068617 (Donnell); and UM1-AI068619 (Cohen/El-Sadr)].
Conflict of Interest
None of the authors has a financial or personal relationship with other people or organizations that could inappropriately influence (bias) their work, with the following exceptions: Susan Eshleman has collaborated on research studies with investigators from Abbott; Abbott has provided reagents for collaborative research studies.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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Fogel, J.M., Zhang, Y., Palumbo, P.J. et al. Use of Antiretroviral Drug Testing to Assess the Accuracy of Self-reported Data from HIV-Infected People Who Inject Drugs. AIDS Behav 23, 2101–2108 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10461-018-2379-8