Tenofovir Diphosphate in Dried Blood Spots in Pregnant and Postpartum Women with HIV in Kenya: A Novel Approach to Measuring Peripartum Adherence

Academic Article


  • Background:Adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) among pregnant and postpartum women with HIV (PWLWH) is critical to promote maternal health and prevent HIV transmission. Tenofovir diphosphate (TFV-DP) in dried blood spots (DBS) is an objective assessment of cumulative ART adherence that has not been fully assessed in PWLWH.Setting:Southwestern Kenya.Methods:PWLWH receiving tenofovir disoproxil fumarate-based ART from 24 health facilities provided DBS samples at 3 time points [pregnancy/early postpartum (PP), 6 months PP, and 9-12 months PP]. Thresholds for daily adherence were defined as TFV-DP in DBS ≥650 fmol/punch in pregnancy and ≥950 PP. Descriptive analysis is presented. Cluster adjusted χ2and t-tests were used to test for association with clinical and demographic factors.Results:A total of 419 DBS samples were collected from 150 PWLWH. Median TFV-DP in DBS was lowest, 552 fmol/punch [interquartile range (IQR), 395-759] in pregnancy and declined over time [914 (IQR, 644-1176) fmol/punch; early PP; 838 (IQR, 613-1063) fmol/punch 6 months PP; and 785 (IQR, 510-1009) fmol/punch 9-12 months; P < 0.001]. Only 42% of samples in pregnancy and 38.5% of samples in PP met thresholds for daily adherence. Clinical or demographic factors were not associated with suboptimal adherence levels.Conclusion:Cumulative ART exposure in PWLWH, quantified by TFV-DP in DBS, demonstrated a stepwise decrease (ie, adherence) PP. Most women demonstrated less than daily adherence throughout the peripartum period. Use of TFV-DP in DBS as a measure of cumulative ART adherence could help optimize health outcomes in PWLWH and their infants.
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    Author List

  • Abuogi LL; Castillo-Mancilla J; Hampanda K; Owuor K; Odwar T; Onono M; Helova A; Turan JM; Anderson PL
  • Start Page

  • 310
  • End Page

  • 317
  • Volume

  • 89
  • Issue

  • 3