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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Comparing Self-Report Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis Adherence Questions to Pharmacologic Measures of Recent and Cumulative Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis Exposure.

  • Author(s): Blumenthal, Jill
  • Pasipanodya, Elizabeth C
  • Jain, Sonia
  • Sun, Shelly
  • Ellorin, Eric
  • Morris, Sheldon
  • Moore, David J
  • et al.

As pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) effectiveness is strongly linked to adherence, we sought to determine if certain self-report measures could be used to inform objective PrEP adherence. We studied participants from the TAPIR study (a multicenter randomized study of daily text messages to support adherence to PrEP In At-Risk), a 48-week randomized controlled trial of HIV-uninfected men who have sex with men (MSM) randomized to receive text message to support adherence versus standard of care. Self-reported medication adherence was assessed using several validated measures modified for PrEP. Objective PrEP adherence was determined through dried blood spot (DBS) measurement of intracellular tenofovir diphosphate (TFV-DP) and emtricitabine triphosphate (FTC-TP). A summary of adherence was estimated using responses to the seven adherence items at weeks 12 and 48 using confirmatory factor analysis. Correlations between self-report questions and drug concentrations were estimated with Pearson's correlations for continuous outcomes and point-biserial correlations for dichotomous outcomes. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analyses were conducted to assess the performance of self-report measures in predicting protective or perfect TFV-DP concentrations. Of the 369 participants who completed week 12 or 48 visits, the mean age was 35 (standard deviation 9 years), with 79% White, 12% Black, and 29% Hispanic. Correlations between self-report measures of adherence (both individual items and the adherence factor) and quantifiable FTC-TP and continuous TFV-DP concentrations showed that all self-report measures were significantly associated with these objective measures. Compared to a summary measure of self-reported adherence, the 4-week percent taken question medication recall was the only self-report item similarly or more strongly associated with recent adherence and long-term protective and perfect adherence at weeks 12 and 48. ROC analysis also showed that 4-week percent taken question had a reasonable AUC (0.798 at week 12 and 0.758 at week 48) in predicting protective TFV-DP concentrations. All single-item self-report questions assessing PrEP adherence were significantly associated with biomarker quantification, with the 4-week percent taken question performing best. Therefore, in the absence of drug concentration measurements, a 4-week self-report percent taken question may be a good single-item measure of PrEP adherence.

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