MP3 program director Han-Zhu Qian, M.D., Ph.D.
Sten. H. Vermund, M.D., Ph.D., principal investigator, and program director Han-Zhu Qian, M.D., Ph.D., received a $2 million R01 grant funded by the National Institutes of Health. The Method for Prevention Packages Program (MP3) pilot study will eva luate the feasibility, acceptability and potential efficacy of multi-component test and link-to-care (TLC)-based HIV intervention packages among men who have sex with men (MSM) in China and will result in the design of a multi-site, randomized clinical trial to eva luate its impact on HIV seroincidence among Chinese MSM. If this project proves effective, it will not only be used in Beijing, but adopted in future public health programs in up to a dozen Chinese cities.
Vanderbilt University will work with the National Center for AIDS/STD Control and Prevention in China (NCAIDS), China Centers for Disease Control, and the Chaoyang Chinese AIDS Volunteer Group (CCAVG), one of the largest non-governmental organizations of MSM in China. CCAVG provides HIV outreach, education and testing services to its extensive membership of 50,000 HIV-positive MSM. The University of Connecticut and Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine are program partners.
The MP3 will utilize a series of short text messages and social networking to reach out to the MSM population, which is the largest population of HIV-positive individuals in China, to suggest and encourage participants to get tested and learn their statuses. Under this program, if participants test positive they are linked to clinics or programs for care and antiretroviral treatment and potentially reduce an individual’s infectiousness to others
“If found to be successful, TLC will provide us with additional means to prevent HIV by reducing an individual’s level of infectiousness to others,” said VIGH Director Vermund. “We expect this method will reduce transmission and save lives.”
According to VIGH faculty member and MP3 program director Han-Zhu Qian, “One of the most promising concepts is the expansion of HIV testing through the extensive CCAVG network to cover a much higher proportion of infected men with antiretroviral therapy, thereby reducing their infectiousness to others.
The MP3 program starts in 2011 and runs through 2016.
There is no proven effective prevention intervention specifically for men who have sex with men (MSM). One of the most promising concepts is the expansion of HIV testing and care to cover a much higher proportion of infected men with antiretroviral therapy, thereby reducing their infectiousness to others. Bundling partially effective prevention measures and optimizing combinations of interventions may have a substantial impact on HIV seroincidence, compared to isolated, individually applied strategies. The rapid rise of the HIV epidemic among Chinese MSM and the comprehensive public health networks in China
provide a unique environment for conducting a large scale community-based clinical trial. The goal of this
study is to develop and pilot test a package of Test and Link-to-Care (TLC)-based HIV interventions for preparation of future community-level randomized clinical trial in Chinese MSM. The specific aims of this MP-3 proposal are: (1) To conduct a systematic review of the literature and conduct mathematical modeling to guide the development of HIV prevention interventions for MSM in China; (2) To conduct a pilot study to eva luate the feasibility, acceptability, and potential efficacy of a multi-component TLC intervention packages among MSM in China; and (3) To refine and finalize menu-driven HIV prevention packages and design a multi-site randomized clinical trial to eva luate its impact on HIV seroincidence among Chinese MSM. Our team represents Chinese and American experts in prevention clinical trials, community participatory researchers, MSM prevention and care, and epidemiological modeling. Based on our prior substantial work with MSM in China
, we have enhanced our group with consultants and collaborators who bring novel subject domain knowledge.
In developing a culturally competent and potentially effective intervention package for Chinese MSM by the end of this project, we will also obtain essential preliminary data for judging the feasibility of a full clinical trial. The design of such a trial will enable us to seek partnerships with the HIV Prevention Trials Network or others for the full clinical trial. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: These sustainable intervention packages, if proven feasible and effective, will be adopted in future research and public health programs for preventing new HIV infections among HIV-uninfected MSM, even as we are improving the lives of HIV-infected MSM.