There are two concurrent and novel major research pathways toward strategies for HIV control: (1) long-acting antiretroviral therapy (ART) formulations and (2) research aimed at conferring sustained ART-free HIV remission, considered a step toward an HIV cure. The importance of perspectives from people living with HIV on the development of new modalities is high, but data are lacking. We administered an online survey in which respondents selected their likelihood of participation or nonparticipation in HIV cure/remission research based on potential risks and perceived benefits of these new modalities. We also tested the correlation between perceptions of potential risks and benefits with preferences of virologic control strategies and/or responses to scenario choices, while controlling for respondent characteristics. Of the 282 eligible respondents, 42% would be willing to switch from oral daily ART to long-acting ART injectables or implantables taken at 6-month intervals, and 24% to a hypothetical ART-free remission strategy. We found statistically significant gender differences in perceptions of risk and preferences of HIV control strategies, and possible psychosocial factors that could mediate willingness to switch to novel HIV treatment or remission options. Our study yielded data on possible desirable product characteristics for future HIV treatment and remission options. Findings also revealed differences in motivations and preferences across gender and other sociodemographic characteristics that may be actionable as part of research recruitment efforts. The diversity of participant perspectives reveals the need to provide a variety of therapeutic options to people living with HIV and to acknowledge their diverse experiential expertise when developing novel HIV therapies.
Keywords: HIV cure research; HIV remission; United States; antiretroviral therapy (ART); long-acting ART; oral daily ART; people living with HIV.