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The averted infections ratio: a novel measure of effectiveness of experimental HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis agents

Dunn, DT; Glidden, DV; Stirrup, OT; McCormack, S; (2018) The averted infections ratio: a novel measure of effectiveness of experimental HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis agents. The Lancet HIV , 5 (6) e329-e334. 10.1016/S2352-3018(18)30045-6. Green open access

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Abstract

Tenofovir disoproxil fumarate combined with emtricitabine is a highly effective oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) agent for preventing the acquisition of HIV. This effectiveness has consequences for the design and analysis of trials assessing experimental PrEP regimens, which now generally include an active-control tenofovir disoproxil fumarate plus emtricitabine group, rather than a placebo group, as a comparator. Herein, we describe major problems in the interpretation of the primary measure of effectiveness proposed for these trials, namely the ratio of HIV incidence in the experimental agent group to that in the active-control group. We argue that valid interpretation requires an assumption about one of two parameters: either the incidence among trial participants had they not received PrEP or the effectiveness of tenofovir disoproxil fumarate plus emtricitabine within the trial. However, neither parameter is directly observed because of the absence of a no-treatment group, thus requiring the use of external evidence or subjective judgment. We propose an alternative measure of effectiveness based on the concept of averted infections, which incorporates one of these parameters. The measure is simple to interpret, has clinical and public health relevance, and is a natural preservation-of-effect criterion for assessing statistical non-inferiority. Its adoption could also allow the use of smaller sample sizes, currently a major barrier to the assessment of experimental PrEP regimens

Type: Article
Title: The averted infections ratio: a novel measure of effectiveness of experimental HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis agents
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/S2352-3018(18)30045-6
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1016/S2352-3018(18)30045-6
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Inst of Clinical Trials and Methodology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Inst of Clinical Trials and Methodology > MRC Clinical Trials Unit at UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health > Infection and Population Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10050291
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