ResearchPad - hiv-diagnosis-and-management https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Interventions to improve self-management of adults living with HIV on Antiretroviral Therapy: A systematic review]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7726 Since its initial recognition, HIV has been responsible for around 35 million deaths globally. The introduction of Antiretroviral Therapy has helped to reduce mortality from HIV. However, the resulting increased longevity has influenced the experience of people living with HIV, which now manifests as a chronic condition requiring effective self-management. This review aimed to identify and evaluate the effectiveness of interventions to improve self-management of adults living with HIV on Antiretroviral therapy.MethodsThe review included published experimental studies addressing interventions to improve self-management of adults living with HIV on Antiretroviral Therapy. Studies were included if they addressed two or more outcomes of self-management, as defined by the Theory of Individual and Family Self-Management. The search covered four databases and was limited to papers published in the English language from 2001 to March 30, 2019. The reference lists of included studies were further searched for additional studies. Two independent reviewers using the Joanna Briggs Institute Meta-Analysis of Statistics Assessment and Review Instrument (JBI SUMARI) assessed the methodological quality of the reviewed papers. Data extraction was undertaken using the JBI SUMARI standardized data extraction tool. As the included papers were not homogeneous, it was not possible to conduct a meta-analysis. A narrative synthesis was undertaken to synthesize the findings of the included studies.ResultsThe search identified 337 articles from which 10 experimental and 2 quasi-experimental studies were included. The total participant sample in the included studies was 1661 adults living with HIV. The overall evidence quality of the findings was considered moderate. Many of the studies included in this review comprised multi-component interventions to improve self-management. Skills training, in conjunction with other forms of interventions, particularly phone counseling, was commonly employed and generally effective in improving self-management outcomes. Counseling with a symptom management manual was another employed and effective intervention, followed by technology-assisted self-management interventions. The most common outcomes measured were maintaining medication adherence and quality of life, followed by symptom management, self-efficacy, coping, and social support.ConclusionsInterventions to improve self-management varied across studies. However, promising outcomes achieved in the majority of studies through interventions comprising a combination of skills training, phone counseling, counseling with symptom management manuals, and technology-assisted interventions. ]]> <![CDATA[Barriers to linking high-risk jail detainees to HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N6cdd8894-eb56-44cf-b406-5a297c3ac14c

Individuals involved in the criminal justice (CJ) system continue to be at disproportionate risk for HIV infection, and often have a greater prevalence of substance use and sexual related risk behaviors relative to their non-CJ involved peers. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a once daily antiretroviral medicine, is an evidence-based approach for reducing the risk of contracting HIV but limited data exist regarding the use of PrEP among CJ populations, especially in the U.S. South. This study was conducted at the Pulaski County Regional Detention Facility (PCRDF) in Little Rock, Arkansas (AR), the largest county jail in the state. We explored knowledge about PrEP and HIV, perceptions about PrEP feasibility in both the jail and community settings and barriers to PrEP program implementation, through in-depth qualitative interviews with 21 jail detainees. We purposively sampled individuals based on specific self-reported risk behavior, including sexual risk (both heterosexual and same-sex) and drug related risk (e.g. IDU), among all eligible individuals. We identified five primary themes from the interviews: 1) accessing healthcare during community reentry was a low priority; 2) perception of risk and interaction with people with HIV was low; 3) there are many barriers to disclosing HIV risk behaviors in jail settings; 4) knowledge of PrEP is low but willingness to use is high; and 5) multiple barriers exist to PrEP uptake post-release. Our findings are contextually unique and therefore have important implications for future implementation of PrEP access either within jail settings or linkage to PrEP post release.

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<![CDATA[“It is always better for a man to know his HIV status” – A qualitative study exploring the context, barriers and facilitators of HIV testing among men in Nairobi, Kenya]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N633bb09e-858a-4016-b37a-13e5d588b21f

HIV testing services are an important component of HIV program and provide an entry point for clinical care for persons newly diagnosed with HIV. Although uptake of HIV testing has increased in Kenya, men are still less likely than women to get tested and access services. There is, however, limited understanding of the context, barriers and facilitators of HIV testing among men in the country. Data are from in-depth interviews with 30 men living with HIV and 8 HIV testing counsellors that were conducted to gain insights on motivations and drivers for HIV testing among men in the city of Nairobi. Men were identified retroactively by examining clinical CD4 registers on early and late diagnosis (e.g. CD4 of ≥500 cells/mm, early diagnosis and <500 cells/mm, late diagnosis). Analysis involved identifying broad themes and generating descriptive codes and categories. Timing for early testing is linked with strong social support systems and agency to test, while cost of testing, choice of facility to test and weak social support systems (especially poor inter-partner relations) resulted in late testing. Minimal discussions occurred prior to testing and whenever there was dialogue it happened with partners or other close relatives. Interrelated barriers at individual, health-care system, and interpersonal levels hindered access to testing services. Specifically, barriers to testing included perceived providers attitudes, facility location and set up, wait time/inconvenient clinic times, low perception of risk, limited HIV knowled ge, stigma, discrimination and fear of having a test. High risk perception, severe illness, awareness of partner’s status, confidentiality, quality of services and supplies, flexible/extended opening hours, and pre–and post–test counselling were facilitators. Experiences between early and late testers overlapped though there were minor differences. In order to achieve the desired impact nationally and to attain the 90-90-90 targets, multiple interventions addressing both barriers and facilitators to testing are needed to increase uptake of testing and to link the positive to care.

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<![CDATA[Is there a fundamental flaw in Canada’s post-arrival immigrant surveillance system for tuberculosis?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8c1957d5eed0c484b4d464

Background

New immigrants to Canada with a history of tuberculosis or evidence of old healed tuberculosis on chest radiograph are referred to public health authorities for medical surveillance. This ostensible public health protection measure identifies a subgroup of patients (referrals) who are at very low risk (compared to non-referrals) of transmission.

Methods

To assess whether earlier diagnosis or a different phenotypic expression of disease explains this difference, we systematically reconstructed the immigration and transmission histories from a well-defined cohort of recently-arrived referral and non-referral pulmonary tuberculosis cases in Canada. Incident case chest radiographs in all cases and sequential past radiographs in referrals were re-read by three experts. Change in disease severity from pre-immigration radiograph to incident radiograph was the primary, and transmission of tuberculosis, the secondary, outcome.

Results

There were 174 cohort cases; 61 (35.1%) referrals and 113 (64.9%) non-referrals. Compared to non-referrals, referrals were less likely to be symptomatic (26% vs. 80%), smear-positive (15% vs. 50%), or to have cavitation (0% vs. 35%) or extensive disease (15% vs. 59%) on chest radiograph. After adjustment for referral status, time between films, country-of-birth, age and co-morbidities, referrals were less likely to have substantial changes on chest radiograph; OR 0.058 (95% CI 0.018–0.199). All secondary cases and 82% of tuberculin skin test conversions occurred in contacts of non-referrals.

Conclusions

Phenotypically different disease, and not earlier diagnosis, explains the difference in transmission risk between referrals and non-referrals. Screening, and treating high-risk non-referrals for latent tuberculosis is necessary to eliminate tuberculosis in Canada.

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<![CDATA[Economic and public health impact of decentralized HIV viral load testing: A modelling study in Kenya]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c803c61d5eed0c484ad883e

Kenya has the world’s 4th largest HIV burden. Various strategies to control the epidemic have been implemented, including the implementation of viral load (VL) testing to monitor HIV patients on ARVs. Like many resource limited settings, Kenya’s healthcare system faces serious challenges in effectively providing quality health services to its population. Increased investments to strengthen the country’s capacity to diagnose, monitor and treat diseases, particularly HIV and TB, continue to be made but are still inadequate in the face of global health goals like the UNAIDS 90:90:90 which require scaling up of VL tests amid existing constraints. In Kenya, there is an increase in the demand for VL tests amidst these existing constraints. The GeneXpert system is a diagnostic point-of-care technology that can quantify, amongst others, HIV VL. Currently, GeneXpert technology is widely distributed in Kenya for testing of tuberculosis. This study aimed to determine the economic and public health impact of incorporating VL test modules on the existing GeneXpert infrastructure. Markov models were constructed for different populations (non-pregnant adults, pregnant women and children). The scenarios analysed were 100% centralized VL testing compared to 50% GeneXpert plus 50% centralized VL testing, with time horizons of 5 years for the adult and child populations, and 31 months for the pregnant population. Incremental effectiveness was measured in terms of the number of HIV transmissions or opportunistic infections avoided when implementing the GeneXpert scenario compared to a 100% centralized scenario. The model indicated that, for all three populations combined, the GeneXpert scenario resulted in 117 less HIV transmissions and 393 less opportunistic infections. The cost decreased by $21,978,755 for the non-pregnant and pregnant adults and $22,808,533 for non-pregnant adults, pregnant adults and children. The model showed that GeneXpert would cost less and be more effective in terms of total cost per HIV transmission avoided and the total cost per opportunistic infection avoided, except for the pregnant population, when considered separately.

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<![CDATA[HIV self-testing in Spain: A valuable testing option for men-who-have-sex-with-men who have never tested for HIV]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6dc9f4d5eed0c48452a5cf

Background

We assessed the capacity of HIV self-testing to promote testing among untested men who have sex with men (MSM) and determined the most benefited subpopulations.

Methods

An online questionnaire was disseminated on several gay websites in Spain from September 2012 to April 2013. We used Poisson regression to estimate factors associated with the intention to use self-testing if already available. Among those who reported intention of use, we assessed several aspects related to the testing and linkage to care process by type of barrier reported: low perceived risk (LR), structural barriers (SB) and fear of testing positive (FTP).

Results

Of 2589 never-tested MSM, 83% would have used self-testing if already available. Intention of use was associated with age ≥30 (adj.PR, 95%CI: 1.05, 1.01–1.10), having had protected (adj.PR, 95%CI: 1.15, 1.02–1.30) or unprotected (adj.PR, 95%CI: 1.21, 1.07–1.37) anal intercourse and reporting FTP (adj.PR, 95%CI: 1.12, 1.05–1.20) or SB to access HIV testing (adj.PR, 95%CI: 1.23, 1.19–1.28). Among those who reported intention of using a self-testi, 78.3% declared it their preferred option (83.8% in the SB group; p<0.001), and 56.8% would always use this testing option (60.9% among the SB group; p = 0.001). In the case of obtaining a positive self-test, 69.3% would seek confirmatory testing, 15.3% would self-test again before taking any decision and 13.0% reported not being sure of what they would do.

Conclusion

HIV self-testing in Spain has the potential of becoming a highly used testing methodology for untested MSM and could represent the gateway to testing especially among older, at risk MSM who report SB or FTP as main barriers to testing.

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<![CDATA[“Even if she’s really sick at home, she will pretend that everything is fine.”: Delays in seeking care and treatment for advanced HIV disease in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6dc9efd5eed0c48452a55d

Introduction

HIV prevalence in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is estimated to be 1.2%, and access to HIV testing and treatment remains low across the country. Despite advances in treatment, HIV continues to be one of the main reasons for hospitalisation and death in low- and middle-income countries, including DRC, but the reasons why people delay seeking health-care when they are extremely sick remain little understood. People in Kinshasa, DRC, continue to present to health-care facilities in an advanced stage of HIV when they are close to death and needing intensive treatment.

Methods

This qualitative study was conducted in one health-care facility in Kinshasa. A total of 24 in-depth interviews with purposively selected health-care workers, patients and care-givers were conducted. Patients were currently or previously hospitalised with advanced HIV, defined as CD4 count <200 cells/μl. Patients included those who had previously started antiretroviral treatment (ART), and those who had not. Participant observation was also carried out. Interviews were audio-recorded, translated from French and Lingala into English, transcribed, coded and thematically analysed using NVivo.

Results

The main reasons for delaying access to health-care were stigmatisation, religious beliefs and limited economic resources. Stigmatisation meant that people feared disclosing their HIV status and thus did not receive support from their families. Religious leaders were reported to have encouraged people not to take ART. Patients delayed seeking treatment as they could not afford it, and health-care workers believed that staff at other facilities in Kinshasa were delaying HIV diagnoses for economic benefit.

Conclusions

Delays in accessing care and treatment linked to stigma, religious beliefs and economic factors contribute to explaining the persistence of advanced HIV within this context. Access to free HIV-testing, ART and treatment of opportunistic infections; counselling; training of health-care workers; support for care-givers and stigma reduction strategies are urgently needed to prevent unnecessary deaths.

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<![CDATA[Health system barriers to implementation of TB preventive strategies in South African primary care facilities]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6f14b4d5eed0c48467a684

Background

Isoniazid preventive therapy (IPT) is a key component of TB/HIV control, but few countries achieve high IPT coverage.

Methods

Using a behavioural COM-B design approach, the intervention consisted of a training on IPT guidelines and tuberculin skin testing (TST), identification of the optimal IPT implementation strategy by the health care workers (HCWs) of 3 primary care clinics, and a 2-month mentoring period. Using routine register data, TST and IPT uptake was determined 3 months before and 5 months after the intervention. Records were reviewed to identify factors associated with IPT initiation and HCW fidelity to the guidelines. A survey among HCWs was conducted to determine barriers to IPT.

Results

Two clinics implemented TST-guided IPT for all clients receiving HIV care, one clinic decided against use of TST. According to routine register data, the proportion of clients initiating IPT increased substantially at the clinic not opting for TST (6% vs 36%), but minimally (34% vs 37% and 0.7% vs 3%) in the two other clinics. TST uptake did not increase (0 vs 0% and 0.5%). In addition to poor IPT uptake, HCW fidelity to investigation for TB and timing of IPT initiation was poor, with only 68% of symptomatic patients investigated and IPT initiation delayed to a median of 374 days post-ART initiation. In multivariate analysis, pregnancy (aOR 18.62, 95% CI 6.99–53.46), recent HIV diagnosis (aOR 3.65, 95% CI 1.73–7.41), being on ART (aOR 9.44, 95% CI 3.05–36.17), and CD4 <500 cells/mm3 (aOR 2.19, 95% CI 1.22–4.18) were associated with IPT initiation. Time needed to perform a TST, motivating patients to return for TST reading, and low IPT patient awareness were the main barriers to IPT implementation.

Conclusion

Despite using a behavioural intervention framework including training and participatory development of the clinic IPT strategy, HCW fidelity to the guidelines was poor, resulting in low TST coverage and low IPT uptake under primary care conditions. To achieve the benefits of IPT, health system level approaches including TST-free guidelines and sensitization are needed.

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<![CDATA[‘We are the change’ - An innovative community-based response to address self-stigma: A pilot study focusing on people living with HIV in Zimbabwe]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6dca28d5eed0c48452a859

Introduction

Self-stigma–negative self-judgements resulting in shame, worthlessness and self-blame–may play a crucial role in emotional reactions and cause emotional distress among many people living with HIV and other chronic illnesses. Furthermore, self-stigma negatively impacts on self-agency, quality of life, adherence to treatment, and access to services. High levels of self-stigma have been reported across many countries, however few programmes or interventions exist to specifically tackle this phenomenon. This paper reports the findings of a pilot study carried out in Zimbabwe using a programme incorporating “Inquiry-Based Stress Reduction (IBSR): The Work of Byron Katie”–a guided form of self-inquiry which helps users to overcome negative thoughts and beliefs.

Objectives

The primary objective of this uncontrolled pilot study was to examine the potential role of the IBSR intervention in helping people living with HIV to overcome self-stigma and associated states.

Methods

23 people living with HIV (17 Female, 6 male, average age 41 years) were recruited from a local HIV support network, via open call for volunteers. All participants received the intervention, consisting of a 12-week facilitated programme using techniques derived from IBSR: The Work of Byron Katie. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected and analysed pre- and post-programme.

Results

After taking part in the intervention, participants reported significant improvements in factors including self-stigma (1-month follow-up vs baseline Z = 2.1, p = 0.039; 3-month follow-up vs baseline Z = 3.0, p = 0.003, n = 23, Wilcoxon Matched Pairs Signed Rank Test) and depression (1mo vs baseline Z = 3.7, p = <0.001; 3mo vs baseline Z = 3.3, p = 0.001). Qualitatively, participants reported improvements including lessened fears around disclosure of their HIV status, reduced feelings of life limitations due to HIV, and greater positive mentality. Improvements persisted at three-month follow-up.

Conclusion

With further development and larger comparative studies to confirm effects, the IBSR programme could become a novel tool to enable people living with HIV to support themselves in overcoming self-stigma.

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<![CDATA[Visual cues that predict intuitive risk perception in the case of HIV]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c76fe53d5eed0c484e5b8b2

Field studies indicate that people may form impressions about potential partners’ HIV risk, yet lack insight into what underlies such intuitions. The present study examined which cues may give rise to the perception of riskiness. Towards this end, portrait pictures of persons that are representative of the kinds of images found on social media were evaluated by independent raters on two sets of data: First, sixty visible cues deemed relevant to person perception, and second, perceived HIV risk and trustworthiness, health, and attractiveness. Here, we report correlations between cues and perceived HIV risk, exposing cue-criterion associations that may be used to infer intuitively HIV risk. Second, we trained a multiple cue-based model to forecast perceived HIV risk through cross-validated predictive modelling. Trained models accurately predicted how ‘risky’ a person was perceived (r = 0.75) in a novel sample of portraits. Findings are discussed with respect to HIV risk stereotypes and implications regarding how to foster effective protective behaviors.

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<![CDATA[Integrating hypertension screening at the time of voluntary HIV testing among adults in South Africa]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6730e3d5eed0c484f382ac

Background

Guidelines recommend integrating hypertension screening for HIV-infected adults, but blood pressure measurements may be dynamic around the time of HIV testing.

Methods

We measured a seated resting blood pressure in adults (≥18 years) prior to HIV testing, and again after receiving HIV test results, in an ambulatory HIV clinic in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. We assessed sociodemographics, smoking, body mass index, diabetes, substance abuse, and anxiety/depression. We used blood pressure categories defined by the Seventh Joint National Committee (JNC 7) classifications, which includes normal, pre-hypertension, stage 1 hypertension, and stage 2 hypertension.

Results

Among 5,428 adults, mean age was 31 years, 51% were male, and 35% tested HIV-positive. Before HIV testing, 47% (2,634) had a normal blood pressure, 40% (2,225) had prehypertension, and 10% (569) had stage 1 or 2 hypertension. HIV-infected adults had significantly lower blood pressure measurements and less hypertension, as compared to HIV-negative adults before HIV testing; while also having significantly elevated blood pressures after HIV testing. In a multivariable model, HIV-infected adults had a 30% lower odds of hypertension, compared to HIV-uninfected adults (aOR = 0.70, 95% CI: 0.57–0.85). In a separate multivariable model, HIV-infected adults with CD4 ≤200 cells/mm3 had a 44% lower odds of hypertension (aOR = 0.56, 95% CI: 0.38–0.83), as compared to adults with CD4 >200 cells/mm3. The mean arterial blood pressure was 6.5 mmHg higher among HIV-infected adults after HIV testing (p <0.001).

Conclusions

HIV-infected adults experienced a transient blood pressure increase after receiving HIV results. Blood pressure measurements may be more accurate before HIV testing and repeated blood pressure measurements are recommended after ART initiation before formally diagnosing hypertension in HIV-infected adults.

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<![CDATA[An outbreak of HIV infection among people who inject drugs linked to injection of propofol in Taiwan]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6730e4d5eed0c484f382b9

Introduction

The aim of this study was to report an HIV outbreak related to propofol-injection and the impact of regulating propofol on the HIV epidemic among people who inject drugs (PWID).

Methods

A retrospective cohort study of 252 PWID who were diagnosed with an HIV infection between 2014 and 2017 in Taiwan. The propofol information was collected by routine epidemic surveillance and interviews. We linked several national databases to collect other related factors, including methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) attendance and incarceration. The serums were tested for recent infection by the LAg‐avidity EIA assay and relationship of the trains by the Phylogenetic tree analysis. Analyses were conducted using the R Surveillance package for retrospective modeling for outbreak detection. A multiple logistic regression was used to evaluate the association between propofol-injection and other related factors.

Results

There were 28 cases reported with propofol-injection, all of which were reported in Central Taiwan. A total of 11 (50%) cases among 22 propofol-injectors with serums were recent infections, which were higher than that 33 (23.4%) of non-propofol group. The phylogenetic tree indicated that 6 propofol-injectors were grouped together with the same cluster in circular. The HIV epidemic curve among PWID revealed an outbreak of 82 in 2015, which then decreased to 43 in 2016 after propofol began to be regulated as a Schedule 4 controlled drug in August 2015. In a multiple logistic regression, attendance at methadone clinics was associated with a significantly higher risk for propofol-injection (adjusted OR = 2.43, 95% CI = 0.98–5.98), and HIV reported in the year 2015 was associated with an increased risk of propofol-injection (adjusted OR = 4, 95% CI = 1.08–14.86).

Conclusions

Our data indicate that the government regulation of propofol as a controlled drug strategy was associated with significant reduction in the spread of HIV among PWID.

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<![CDATA[Glycated haemoglobin threshold for dysglycaemia screening, and application to metabolic syndrome diagnosis in HIV-infected Africans]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5ca2aed5eed0c48441e88c

Background

Glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) test has been increasingly promoted as an alternative to fasting plasma glucose (FPG) or oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) to diagnose dysglycaemia but its performance in HIV-infected Africans has yet to be established. This study aimed to assess the diagnostic accuracy of HbA1c for dysglycaemia including FPG-defined and OGTT-defined dysglycaemia, and OGTT-defined diabetes in HIV-infected Africans, and the effect of HbA1c-predicted dysglycaemia on Joint Interim Statement (JIS)-based prevalent metabolic syndrome (MS).

Methods

A cross-sectional study included HIV-positive patients recruited across public healthcare facilities in the Western Cape. The recommended HbA1c cut-points were tested alongside the optimal cut-points obtained from receiver operating characteristic curve analyses, while the agreement between the MS criteria were assessed using kappa statistic.

Results

748 participants (157 men), median age 38 years, 93% on anti-retroviral drugs were included. The optimal HbA1c cut-points of 5.75% (39.3 mmol/mol) showed 54% sensitivity, 84% specificity for FPG-defined dysglycaemia, and 52% sensitivity, 85% specificity for OGTT-defined dysglycaemia. The HbA1c value of 5.85% (40.4 mmol/mol) (63% sensitivity, 99% specificity) was optimal for diabetes. The internationally advocated cut-point of 6.5% (48 mmol/mol) had 37% sensitivity and 99% specificity for diabetes, while HbA1c ≥5.7% (≥39 mmol/mol) yielded similar performance with the study-specific cut-point for any dysglycaemia. MS prevalence by the JIS criteria (28.2%) increased to 29.7% when using HbA1c ≥5.75% (≥39.3 mmol/mol) and to 32.9% with HbA1c ≥5.7% (≥39 mmol/mol); agreement between the original and modified criteria was generally good.

Conclusions

This study agrees with the internationally recommended HbA1c cut-point for detecting dysglycaemia, but not for diabetes in HIV-infected Africans. In line with previous studies in general African populations, our findings suggest that similar factors interfere with HbA1c values regardless of HIV infection status. Replacing FPG-based with HbA1c-predicted dysglycaemia in the JIS criteria to diagnose MS is feasible in HIV-infected Africans.

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<![CDATA[Enhanced adherence counselling and viral load suppression in HIV seropositive patients with an initial high viral load in Harare, Zimbabwe: Operational issues]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c633956d5eed0c484ae64da

Background

In people living with HIV (PLHIV) who are on anti-retroviral therapy (ART), it is essential to identify persons with high blood viral loads (VLs) (≥1000 copies/ml), provide enhanced adherence counselling (EAC) for 3 months and assess for VL suppression (<1000 copies/ml).

Objective

Our study objectives were to determine the proportion who had a high viral load in those people who underwent viral load testing between 1 August 2016–31 July 2017 at Wilkins Hospital, Harare, Zimbabwe. Of those with high viral load to assess; a) the proportion who enrolled for EAC, the demographic and clinical characteristics associated with enrolment for EAC and, b) the proportion who achieved viral load suppression and demographic, clinical characteristics associated with viral load suppression.

Design

Retrospective cohort study using routinely collected programme data. Data was collected from PLHIV who were on ART and had a high viral load from 1 August 2016 to 31 July 2017.

Results

Of 5,573 PLHIV on ART between 1 August 2016 and 31 July 2017, 4787 (85.9%) had undergone VL testing and 646 (13.5%) had high VLs. Of these 646, only 489 (75.7%) were enrolled for EAC, of whom 444 (69%) underwent a repeat VL test at ≥ 3 months with 201 (31.2%) achieving VL suppression. The clinical characteristics that were independently associated with higher probability of VL suppression were: a) undergoing 3 sessions of EAC; b) being on 2nd line ART. Initial VL levels >5,000 copies/ml were associated with lower probability of viral suppression.

Conclusion

The routine VL testing levels were high, but there were major programmatic gaps in enrolling PLHIV with high VLs into EAC and achieving VL suppression. The full potential of EAC on achieving viral load suppression has not been achieved in this setting. The reasons for these gaps need to be assessed in future research studies and addressed by suitable changes in policies/practices.

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<![CDATA[Impact of lay health worker programmes on the health outcomes of mother-child pairs of HIV exposed children in Africa: A scoping review]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5ca2cfd5eed0c48441eb5e

Background

Increased demand for healthcare services in countries experiencing high HIV disease burden and often coupled with a shortage of health workers, has necessitated task shifting from professional health workers to Lay Health Workers (LHWs) in order to improve healthcare delivery. Maternal and Child Health (MCH) services particularly benefit from task-shifting to LHWs or similar cadres. However, evidence on the roles and usefulness of LHWs in MCH service delivery in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is not fully known.

Objectives

To examine evidence of the roles and impact of lay health worker programmes focusing on Women Living with HIV (WLH) and their HIV-exposed infants (HEIs).

Methods

A scoping review approach based on Arksey and O’Malley’s guiding principles was used to retrieve, review and analyse existing literature. We searched for articles published between January 2008 and July 2018 in seven (7) databases, including: MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO, Joanna Briggs, The Cochrane Library, EBM reviews and Web of Science. The critical constructs used for the literature search were “lay health worker”, “community health worker”, “peer mentor”, “mentor mother,” “Maternal and Child health worker”, “HIV positive mothers”, “HIV exposed infants” and PMTCT.

Results

Thirty-three (33) full-text articles meeting the eligibility criteria were identified and included in the final analysis. Most (n = 13, 39.4%) of the included studies were conducted in South Africa and used a cluster RCT design (n = 13, 39.4%). The most commonly performed roles of LHWs in HIV specific MCH programmes included: community engagement and sensitisation, psychosocial support, linkage to care, encouraging women to bring their infants back for HIV testing and supporting default tracing. Community awareness on Mother to Child Transmission of HIV (MTCT), proper and consistent use of condoms, clinic attendance and timely HIV testing of HEIs, as well as retention in care for infected persons, have all improved because of LHW programmes.

Conclusion

LHWs play significant roles in the management of WLH and their HEIs, improving MCH outcomes in the process. LHW interventions are beneficial in increasing access to PMTCT services and reducing MTCT of HIV, though their impact on improving adherence to ART remains scanty. Further research is needed to evaluate ART adherence in LHW interventions targeted at WLH. LHW programmes can be enhanced by increasing supportive supervision and remuneration of LHWs.

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<![CDATA[Targeted HIV testing for male partners of HIV-positive pregnant women in a high prevalence setting in Nigeria]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b52a8d5eed0c4842bcdc0

Background

Partner HIV testing during pregnancy has remained abysmally low in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in Nigeria. Males rarely attend antenatal clinics with their female partners, limiting the few opportunities available to offer them HIV testing. In this study, we evaluated the scale-up of the Healthy Beginning Initiative (HBI), a community-driven evidenced-based intervention to increase HIV testing among pregnant women and their male partners. Our objectives were to determine the: (1) male partner participation rate; (2) prevalence of HIV among male partners of pregnant women; (3) factors associated with HIV positivity among male partners of HIV-positive pregnant women.

Methods

We reviewed program data of expectant parents enrolled in HBI in Benue State, north-central Nigeria. During HBI, trained lay health workers provided educational and counseling sessions, and offered free onsite integrated testing for HIV, hepatitis B virus and sickle cell genotype to pregnant women and their male partners who participated in incentivized, church-organized baby showers. Each participant completed an interviewer-administered questionnaire on demographics, lifestyle habits, and HIV testing history. Chi-square test was used to compare the characteristics of HIV-positive and HIV-negative male partners. Simple and multivariable logistic regression models were used to determine the association between participants' characteristics and HIV positivity among male partners of HIV-positive women.

Results

Male partner participation rate was 57% (5264/9231). Overall HIV prevalence was 6.1% (891/14495) with significantly higher rates in women (7.4%, 681/9231) compared to men (4.0%, 210/5264). Among the 681 HIV-positive women, 289 male partners received HIV testing; 37.7% (109/289) were found to be HIV-positive. In multivariate analysis, older age (adjusted odds ratio [aOR]: 2.45, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.27–4.72 for age 30–39 years vs. <30 years; aOR: 2.39, CI: 1.18–4.82 for age ≥40 years vs. <30 years) and self-reported daily alcohol intake (vs. never (aOR: 0.35, CI: 0.13–0.96)) were associated with HIV positivity in male partners of HIV-positive women.

Conclusion

The community-based congregational approach is a potential strategy to increase male partner HIV testing towards achieving the UNAIDS goal of 90% HIV screening. Targeting male partners of HIV-positive women for screening may provide a higher yield of HIV diagnosis and the opportunity to engage known positives in care in this population.

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<![CDATA[Factors affecting mortality among HIV positive patients two years after completing recommended therapy for Cryptococcal meningitis in Uganda]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b52d0d5eed0c4842bd096

Background

Cryptococcal meningitis (CCM) remains a leading cause of mortality amongst HIV infected patients in sub-Saharan Africa. When patients receive recommended therapy, mortality at 10 weeks has been reported to vary between 20 to 36%. However, mortality rate and factors affecting mortality after completing recommended therapy are not well known. We investigated mortality rate, and factors affecting mortality at 2 years among CCM patients following completion of recommended CCM therapy in Uganda.

Methods

A retrospective cohort study was conducted among HIV infected patients that had completed 10 weeks of recommended therapy for CCM (2 weeks of intravenous amphotericin B 1mg/kg and 10 weeks of oral Fluconazole 800mg daily) in the CryptoDex trial (ISRCTN59144167) between 2013 and 2015. Survival analysis applying Cox regression was used to determine the mortality rate and factors affecting mortality at 2 years.

Results

This study followed up 112 participants for 2 years. Mean age (±SD) was 34.9 ± 8, 48 (57.1%) were female and 80 (74.8%) had been on ART for less than 1 year. At 2 years, overall mortality was 30.9% (20 deaths per 100 person-years). Majority of deaths (61.8%) occurred during the first 6 months. In multivariable analysis, mortality was associated with ever being re-admitted since discharge after hospital-based management of CCM (aHR = 13.33, 95% CI: 5.92–30.03), p<0.001; and self-perceived quality of life, with quality of life 50–75% having reduced risk compared to <50% (aHR = 0.21, 95% CI: 0.09–0.5), p<0.001, as well as >75% compared to <50% (HR = 0.29, 95% CI: 0.11–0.81), p = 0.018.

Conclusion

There remains a considerable risk of mortality in the first two years after completion of standard therapy for CCM in resource-limited settings with risk highest during the first 6 months. Maintenance of patient follow up during this period may reduce mortality.

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<![CDATA[Prevalence and correlates of lifetime and recent HIV testing among men who have sex with men (MSM) who use mobile geo-social networking applications in Greater Tokyo]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5217c1d5eed0c4847944f2

Men who have sex with men (MSM) are disproportionately burdened by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), accounting for 78% of all Japanese male HIV cases in 2016. Over 30% of newly identified HIV infections in Japan are diagnosed as AIDS annually, suggesting a large proportion of people living with HIV were unaware of their own infection status. An estimated two-thirds of Japanese men who have sex with men (MSM) are not attached to the gay community, and previous studies have largely sampled gay venues, thus, previous studies have likely failed to reach many men in this population. This study therefore examined HIV testing prevalence and correlates among MSM in Greater Tokyo who use gay mobile geo-social networking applications (gay mobile apps), which have been found to increase access to MSM not traditionally accessible through venue-based surveys. Among a sample of 1657 MSM recruited through advertisements on gay mobile apps, the prevalence of lifetime and six-monthly HIV testing was 72.8% and 29.7% respectively. In multiple regression analysis, higher lifetime HIV testing was associated with older age, education, HIV knowledge, anal intercourse with regular and casual male partners, and gay venue attendance. Testing was negatively associated with regular male partner condom use, marriage, residing outside central Tokyo and having both male and female partners. These results indicated that MSM who use gay mobile apps in Greater Tokyo do not meet the CDC yearly testing recommendations for high risk populations. Considering limited HIV prevention funding in Japan for MSM, moderate lifetime and recent testing, and the large number of gay mobile app users, utilization of popular gay mobile apps to promote nearby HIV testing facilities may be an effective prevention policy to target non-community attached MSM, particularly at-risk youth and individuals at risk of sudden-onset AIDS.

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<![CDATA[Active and latent tuberculosis among inmates in La Esperanza prison in Guaduas, Colombia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6448ebd5eed0c484c2f1cf

Introduction

Active tuberculosis (TB) and latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) are a public health threat in prisons around the world. The objectives of the study were to estimate the prevalence of LTBI and TB as well as to investigate TB transmission inside one prison, in Colombia.

Methods

A Cross-sectional study was conducted in inmates who agreed to participate. Inmates with respiratory symptoms (RS) of any duration underwent to medical evaluation and three sputum samples were taken for smear microscopy and culture for TB diagnosis. Drug susceptibility was analyzed using BACTEC MGIT 960 and GenoType MTBDRplus. Molecular genotyping of Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates was performed by 24-Locus MIRU-VNTR and spoligotyping. LTBI was evaluated according to the result of the tuberculin skin test (TST). Close contact investigation was conducted inside the prison for inmates that shared the cell with the index TB case.

Results

Among 301/2,020 (15%) inmates with RS of any duration, 8% were diagnosed with active TB. The prevalence of active TB was 1,026 cases/100,000 inmates. We isolated M. tuberculosis in 19/24 (79%) TB cases, 94.7% were susceptible to first line drugs and only one was monoresistant to isoniazid. The most prevalent sub-lineage was Haarlem (68.4%), followed by LAM (26.3%) and T superfamily (5.3%). 24-Locus MIRU-VNTR typing results alone or in combination with spoligotyping identified three clusters containing two isolates each. Two clusters corresponded to inmates that shared the same cell, but each one was located in different blocks of the prison. Inmates from the last cluster were in the same block in nearby cells. TST reading was performed in 95.6% inmates, and 67.6% had a positive reaction.

Conclusions

The prevalence of LTBI and TB was higher in prison than in the general population. Molecular genotyping suggests that TB in this prison is mainly caused by strains imported by inmates or endogenous reactivation.

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<![CDATA[Linkage to care of HIV positive clients in a community based HIV counselling and testing programme: A success story of non-governmental organisations in a South African district]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c50c48ad5eed0c4845e88ac

Introduction

Although current data projects South Africa potentially meeting the UN target to test 90% of all people living with HIV by 2020, linking them to HIV care remains a big challenge. In an effort to increase linkage to care (LTC) of HIV positive clients an innovative collaborative intervention between two non-governmental organisations was developed and implemented between 2016 and 2017. This paper investigated the outcome of this collaborative intervention.

Methods

We used a mixed methods approach to assess the outcome of the innovative relationship. This was done by analysing routine programmatic quantitative data on LTC between 2015 and 2017 and qualitatively interviewing five programme managers, four programme implementers and five HIV positive clients on their perceived success/failure factors. Qualitative data were analysed using thematic content analysis while LTC rates were descriptively analysed. Two consultative meetings presented draft findings to programme managers (n = 7) and implementers (n = 10) for feedback, results verification and confirmation.

Results

In 2015 cumulative LTC rate was 27% and it rose to 85% two years post-intervention in 2017. Six themes emerged as success factors at the health system and structural levels and these include: provision of client escort services, health facility human resource capacity strengthening, inter and intra-organisational teamwork, onsite LTC, facilitated and expedited jumping of queues and shifting administrative tasks to non-clinical staff to protect nurses’ time on ART initiation. These measures in turn ensured increased, affordable and swift ART initiation of clients while strengthening client support.

Conclusions

We concluded that multi-faceted interventions that target both health system challenges including staff shortages, efficiencies, and extended facility opening times, and structural inadequacies, including client time and resource limitations due to poverty or nature of jobs, can help to increase LTC.

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