Objective: We sought to evaluate, which combinations of HIV prevention and care activities would have the greatest impact towards reaching the US Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE) plan goals of HIV incidence reduction.
Design: A stochastic network-based HIV transmission model for men who have sex with men (MSM), calibrated to surveillance estimates in the Atlanta area, a focal EHE jurisdiction.
Methods: Model scenarios varied HIV screening rates under different assumptions of how HIV-negative MSM would be linked to PrEP initiation, and rates of HIV care linkage and retention for those screening positive.
Results: A ten-fold relative increase in HIV screening rates (to approximately biannual screening for black and Hispanic MSM and quarterly for white MSM) would lead to 43% of infections averted if integrated with PrEP initiation. Improvements focused only on black MSM would achieve nearly the same outcome (37% of infections averted). Improvements to HIV care retention would avert 41% of infections if retention rates were improved ten-fold. If both screening and retention were jointly improved ten-fold, up to 74% of cumulative infections would be averted. Under this scenario, it would take 4 years to meet the 75% EHE goal and 12 years to meet the 90% goal for Atlanta MSM.
Conclusion: Reaching the EHE 75% incidence reduction goals by their target dates will require immediate and substantial improvements in HIV screening, PrEP, and ART care retention. Meeting these EHE goals in target jurisdictions like Atlanta will be possible only by addressing the HIV service needs of black MSM.