HIV and syphilis contact tracing networks offer efficient platforms for HIV treatment and prevention interventions, but intervention coverage within these networks has not been characterized.
HIV and syphilis sexual contact tracing networks among men who have sex with men (MSM) in North Carolina (NC).
Using surveillance data, we identified 2 types of “network events” that occurred between January 2013 and June 2017 among MSM in NC: being diagnosed with early syphilis or being named as a recent sexual contact of a person diagnosed with HIV or early syphilis. We estimated prevalent and incident HIV viral suppression among persons diagnosed with HIV before the network event, and we assessed the effect of contact tracing services on a 6-month cumulative incidence of viral suppression among previously HIV-diagnosed, virally unsuppressed persons. Using linked prescription claims data, we also evaluated prevalent and incident pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) use in an insured subset of HIV-negative network members.
Viral suppression prevalence among previously HIV-diagnosed persons was 52.6%. The 6-month cumulative incidence of viral suppression was 35.4% overall and 13.1 (95% confidence interval: 8.8 to 17.4) percentage points higher among persons reached than among those not reached by contact tracing services. Few HIV-negative persons had prevalent (5.4%) or incident (4.1%) PrEP use in the 6 months before or after network events, respectively.
Suboptimal viral suppression and PrEP use among MSM in NC in HIV/syphilis contact tracing networks indicate a need for intensified intervention efforts. In particular, expanded services for previously HIV-diagnosed persons could improve viral suppression and reduce HIV transmission within these networks.