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Urine point-Of-care tenofovir test demonstrates strong predictive clinical and research utility.

AIDS 2023 September 7
BACKGROUND: Preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) significantly reduces HIV infection risk but is dependent on adherence. Available approaches to measuring adherence have limitations related to accuracy, cost, practicality, and timeliness. This study compared the performance of two methods implementable in clinics and research studies (interview and urine point of care [POC] assay) to the gold-standard for measuring recent and longer-term adherence in dried blood spots (DBS).

METHODS: Participants were recruited from RADAR, a cohort study of young men who have sex with men, or via online advertisements. At 3 monthly visits, an interviewer administered 7-day timeline follow-back (TLFB) questionnaire, DBS samples were tested for tenofovir-diphosphate (TFV-DP) to estimate average dosing over the prior month and emtricitabine-triphosphate (FTC-TP) to assess recent dosing (past 2-3 days), and a urine POC TFV test to qualitatively assess recent adherence (past 4 days).

RESULTS: 83 PrEP-users contributed 167 observations. At visit 1, self-reported adherence was 87% (4+ doses in last 7 days), versus urine TFV (75%), DBS FTC-TP (77%), and DBS TFV-DP (66%). The objective measures of short-term adherence performed similarly well in predicting longer term adherence. In multivariable logistic regression analyses, the urine assay was a significant predictor of DBS TFV-DP (adjusted OR = 14.9, p < .001); self-report did not add significantly.

DISCUSSION: The urine POC TFV assay had excellent predictive values for adherence and self-report did not add significantly to prediction. The POC assay provides results in several minutes to enable same-visit counseling, requires no specialized training, and is projected to be low-cost.

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