An Empiric HIV Risk Scoring Tool to Predict HIV-1 Acquisition in African Women

J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2016 Jul 1;72(3):333-43. doi: 10.1097/QAI.0000000000000974.


Objective: To develop and validate an HIV risk assessment tool to predict HIV acquisition among African women.

Design: Data were analyzed from 3 randomized trials of biomedical HIV prevention interventions among African women (VOICE, HPTN 035, and FEM-PrEP).

Methods: We implemented standard methods for the development of clinical prediction rules to generate a risk-scoring tool to predict HIV acquisition over the course of 1 year. Performance of the score was assessed through internal and external validations.

Results: The final risk score resulting from multivariable modeling included age, married/living with a partner, partner provides financial or material support, partner has other partners, alcohol use, detection of a curable sexually transmitted infection, and herpes simplex virus 2 serostatus. Point values for each factor ranged from 0 to 2, with a maximum possible total score of 11. Scores ≥5 were associated with HIV incidence >5 per 100 person-years and identified 91% of incident HIV infections from among only 64% of women. The area under the curve (AUC) for predictive ability of the score was 0.71 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.68 to 0.74), indicating good predictive ability. Risk score performance was generally similar with internal cross-validation (AUC = 0.69; 95% CI: 0.66 to 0.73) and external validation in HPTN 035 (AUC = 0.70; 95% CI: 0.65 to 0.75) and FEM-PrEP (AUC = 0.58; 95% CI: 0.51 to 0.65).

Conclusions: A discrete set of characteristics that can be easily assessed in clinical and research settings was predictive of HIV acquisition over 1 year. The use of a validated risk score could improve efficiency of recruitment into HIV prevention research and inform scale-up of HIV prevention strategies in women at highest risk.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Africa / epidemiology
  • Empirical Research*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology*
  • HIV Infections / transmission*
  • HIV Infections / virology
  • HIV-1* / isolation & purification
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Risk Assessment / methods*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sexual Partners