Unwillingness of patients in Ghana to interrupt antiretroviral therapy for HIV cure research

the H-CRIS Massive Action Team

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: Though antiretroviral therapy (ART) has reduced HIV infection into a manageable chronic disease, it does not provide for a cure. HIV cure trials may carry risks for patients who are generally doing well on ART, making it imperative that their input is sought as various types of cure methods and trials are designed. Few studies have sought the views of African patients on HIV cure studies. The objective of this study was to determine the views and preferences of people living with HIV (PLWH) in Ghana on cure research. Methods: We used a questionnaire to interview 251 PLWH in Ghana about their willingness to engage in HIV cure research. We investigated their motivations, the types of cure they would prefer and which risks were acceptable to them. Results: Most participants were enthusiastic about participating in cure research and driven by both altruistic and personal motives. Patients preferred a cure where they would continue follow-up with their doctor (88%) compared to being assured that they have been completely cured and did not need further follow-up (11%). The vast majority of the respondents were risk averse. Most patients (67%) would decline to interrupt ART as part of a protocol for HIV cure research. In bivariate analysis, participants above the age of 40 years were more likely to agree to treatment interruption during cure studies (OR 2.77; 95% CI 1.21-.6.34. p ​= ​0.0159). Conclusions: Our results show that preferred cure modalities and risk tolerance for patients in Africa may be different from those of other parts of the world. Extensive social science and behavioural studies are needed on the continent to help inform future cure trials.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100027
JournalJournal of Virus Eradication
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2021

Keywords

  • Antiretroviral therapy
  • Cure perception
  • HIV cure Research
  • Latency

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