• Hepatitis B virus infection among men who have sex with men and transgender women living with or at risk for HIV: a cross sectional study in Abuja and Lagos, Nigeria

      Adeyemi, Olusegun A; Mitchell, Andrew; Shutt, Ashley; Crowell, Trevor A; Ndembi, Nicaise; Kokogho, Afoke; Ramadhani, Habib O; Robb, Merlin L; Baral, Stefan D; Ake, Julie A; et al. (Springer Nature, 2021-07-06)
      Background: Despite the development of a safe and efficacious hepatitis B vaccine in 1982, the hepatitis B virus (HBV) remains a public health burden in sub-Saharan Africa. Due to shared risk factors for virus acquisition, men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender women (TGW) living with HIV are at increased risk of HBV. We estimated the prevalence of HBV and associated factors for MSM and TGW living with or without HIV in Nigeria. Methods: Since March 2013, TRUST/RV368 has recruited MSM and TGW in Abuja and Lagos, Nigeria using respondent driven sampling. Participants with HIV diagnosis, enrollment as of June 2015, and available plasma were selected for a cross-sectional study and retrospectively tested for hepatitis B surface antigen and HBV DNA. Logistic regression models were used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for factors associated with prevalent HBV infection. Results: A total of 717 MSM and TGW had a median age of 25 years (interquartile range [IQR]: 21–27), 5% self-reported HBV vaccination, 61% were living with HIV, 10% had prevalent HBV infection and 6% were HIV-HBV co-infected. HIV mono-infected as compared to HIV-HBV co-infected had a higher median CD4 T cell count [425 (IQR: 284–541) vs. 345 (IQR: 164–363) cells/mm3, p = 0.03] and a lower median HIV RNA viral load [4.2 (IQR: 2.3–4.9) vs. 4.7 (IQR: 3.9–5.4) log10copies/mL, p < 0.01]. The only factor independently associated with HBV was self-report of condomless sex at last anal intercourse (OR: 2.2, 95% CI: 1.3, 3.6). HIV infection was not independently associated with HBV (OR: 1.0, 95% CI: 0.7–1.6). Conclusion: HBV prevalence was moderately high but did not differ by HIV in this cohort of MSM and TGW. Recent condomless sex was associated with elevated HBV risk, reinforcing the need to increase communication and education on condom use among key populations in Nigeria. Evaluating use of concurrent HIV antiretroviral therapy with anti-HBV activity may confirm the attenuated HBV prevalence for those living with HIV.
    • Oral sex practices among men who have sex with men and transgender women at risk for and living with HIV in Nigeria

      Robbins, Sarah J; Dauda, Wuese; Kokogho, Afoke; Ndembi, Nicaise; Mitchell, Andrew; Adebajo, Sylvia; Gaydos, Charlotte A; Peel, Sheila; Ramadhani, Habib O; Robb, Merlin L; et al. (Public Library of Science, 2020-09-04)
      Background: Men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender women (TGW) are at risk for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including those of the oropharynx. We estimated the prevalence and factors associated with oral sex practices and characterized oropharyngeal STIs among a cohort of MSM and TGW in Nigeria. Methods: From 2013 to 2018, TRUST/RV368 recruited MSM and TGW into HIV/STI diagnosis and treatment at community-based clinics in Nigeria. Participants who completed HIV testing and oral sex questions at enrollment were selected. Cross-sectional analyses with bivariate and multivariable logistic regression models estimated odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Oropharyngeal swab testing for Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG) and Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) began in 2014 and for those with diagnostic results at enrollment, the unadjusted association of oral sex practices with oropharyngeal STIs was conducted. Results: A total of 1342 participants had a median age of 25 years (interquartile range: 22-29), 58% were living with HIV, and 69% reported oral sex practices. Factors associated with increased odds of engaging in oral sex included living with HIV (adjusted [a]OR: 1.4, 95% CI: 1.1-1.8), self-identifying as a woman (aOR:1.8, 95% CI: 1.1-2.8), mobile phone ownership (aOR:2.3, 95% CI: 1.3-3.9), receptive anal sex (aOR:1.7, 95% CI:1.3-2.3) and multiple male sexual partners (2 to 4 vs. ≤1, aOR:1.5, 95% CI: 1.0-2.2; 5+ vs ≤1, aOR:2.9, 95% CI:1.9-4.3). Oropharyngeal STI prevalence was 7% (52/752) and higher among those who engaged in oral sex compared to those who did not (unadjusted OR: 2.5, 95% CI:1.2-5.3). Conclusions: Oral sex was common and associated with an increased odds of oropharyngeal STIs among MSM and TGW from Nigeria. In the absence of screening and treatment guidelines, condoms continue to be the mainstay for oral STI prevention. A pre-exposure prophylaxis for bacterial STIs would complement current prevention strategies to curb transmission.