Introduction: Antiretroviral treatment (ART) and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) have demonstrated efficacy as new human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) prevention approaches for HIV-1 serodiscordant couples.
Methods: Among Kenyan HIV-1 serodiscordant heterosexual couples participating in a clinical trial of PrEP, we conducted a cross-sectional study and used descriptive statistical methods to explore couples' willingness to use antiretrovirals for HIV-1 prevention. The study was conducted before July 2011, when studies among heterosexual populations reported that ART and PrEP reduced HIV-1 risk.
Results: For 181 couples in which the HIV-1-infected partner had a CD4 count ≥350 cells per microliter and had not yet initiated ART (and thus did not qualify for ART under Kenyan guidelines), 60.2% of HIV-1 infected partners (69.4% of men and 57.9% of women) were willing to use early ART (at CD4 ≥350 cells per microliter) for HIV-1 prevention. Among HIV-1 uninfected partners, 92.7% (93.8% of men and 86.1% of women) reported willingness to use PrEP. When given a hypothetical choice of early ART or PrEP for HIV-1 prevention, 52.5% of HIV-1-infected participants would prefer to initiate ART early and 56.9% of HIV-1-uninfected participants would prefer to use PrEP.
Conclusions: Nearly 40% of Kenyan HIV-1-infected individuals in known HIV-1 serodiscordant partnerships reported reservations about early ART initiation for HIV-1 prevention. PrEP interest in this PrEP-experienced population was high. Strategies to achieve high uptake and sustained adherence to ART and PrEP for HIV-1 prevention in HIV-1 serodiscordant couples will require responding to couples' preferences for prevention strategies.