ResearchPad - hiv-epidemiology https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Confidential, accessible point-of-care sexual health services to support the participation of key populations in biobehavioural surveys: Lessons for Papua New Guinea and other settings where reach of key populations is limited]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14720 To achieve the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets at a national level, many countries must accelerate service coverage among key populations. To do this, key population programs have adopted methods similar to those used in respondent-driven sampling (RDS) to expand reach. A deeper understanding of factors from RDS surveys that enhance health service engagement can improve key population programs. To understand the in-depth lives of key populations, acceptance of expanded point-of-care biological testing and determine drivers of participation in RDS surveys, we conducted semi-structured interviews with 111 key population participants (12–65 years) were purposefully selected from six biobehavioral surveys (BBS) in three cities in Papua New Guinea. Key populations were female sex workers, men who have sex with men, and transgender women. Four reasons motivated individuals to participate in the BBS: peer referrals; private, confidential, and stigma-free study facilities; “one-stop shop” services that provided multiple tests and with same-day results, sexually transmitted infection treatment, and referrals; and the desire to know ones’ health status. Biobehavioral surveys, and programs offering key population services can incorporate the approach we used to facilitate key population engagement in the HIV cascade.

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<![CDATA[Vulnerability profiles and prevalence of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections among adolescent girls and young women in Ethiopia: A latent class analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14613 Adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) aged 15–24 years have among the highest risk for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STI) across sub-Saharan Africa. A latent class analysis (LCA) was conducted to identify intersecting social- and structural-level determinants of HIV/STI acquisition among AGYW in Ethiopia.MethodsAGYW were recruited from venues using time-location sampling, completing an interviewer-administered behavioral survey and biological testing for HIV, syphilis, and chlamydia. LCA was used to identify distinct groups, defined by social- and structural-level determinants of HIV/STI risk, among AGYW. Prevalence ratios (PR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) compared differences in HIV/STI prevalence by group.ResultsA total of 1,501 AGYW were enrolled across Addis Ababa (March–May 2018) and Gambella (June–July 2019). We identified three patterns of vulnerability defined by schooling status, migration history, food insecurity, orphan status, social support, and employment. We labeled these groups as “highly vulnerable” (representing ~21% of the population), “stable, out-of-school, migrated” (~42%), and “stable, in-school, never migrated” (~37%). STI prevalence was nearly two-fold higher among AGYW in the “highly vulnerable” group compared to AGYW in the “stable, in-school, never migrated” group (PR 1.93; 95% CI 1.33, 2.80).ConclusionsCharacterizing patterns of vulnerability among AGYW that reflect higher-level social and structural factors can help facilitate early identification of AGYW at the highest risk of HIV/STI acquisition, thus differentiating groups of AGYW who may most benefit from targeted HIV prevention interventions during adolescence and early adulthood. ]]> <![CDATA[Trends and determinants of ever having tested for HIV among youth and adults in South Africa from 2005–2017: Results from four repeated cross-sectional nationally representative household-based HIV prevalence, incidence, and behaviour surveys]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14605 HIV testing contributes to the prevention and control of the HIV epidemic in the general population. South Africa has made strides to improve HIV testing towards reaching the first of the UNAIDS 90–90–90 targets by 2020. However, to date no nationally representative analysis has examined temporal trends and factors associated with HIV testing among youth and adults in the country.AimThis study aimed to examine the trends and associations with ever having tested for HIV among youth and adults aged 15 years and older in South Africa using the 2005, 2008, 2012 and 2017 nationally representative population-based household surveys.MethodsThe analysis of the data collected used multi-stage stratified cluster randomised cross-sectional design. P-trend chi-squared test was used to identify any significant changes over the four study periods. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis was conducted to determine factors associated with HIV testing in each of the survey periods.ResultsEver having tested for HIV increased substantially from 2005 (30.6%, n = 16 112), 2008 (50.4%, n = 13 084), 2012 (65.5%, n = 26 381), to 2017 (75.2%, n = 23 190). Those aged 50 years and older were significantly less likely to ever have tested for HIV than those aged 25–49 years. Those residing in rural areas were significantly less likely to have tested for HIV as compared to people from urban areas.There was a change in HIV testing among race groups with Whites, Coloureds and Indian/Asians testing more in 2005 and 2008 and Black Africans in 2017. Marriage, education and employment were significantly associated with increased likelihood of ever testing for HIV. Those who provided a blood specimen for laboratory HIV testing in the survey rounds and were found to have tested positive were more likely to have ever tested for HIV previously.ConclusionThe results show that overall there has been an increase in ever having an HIV test in the South African population over time. The findings also suggest that for South Africa to close the testing gap and reach the first of the UNAIDS 90–90–90 targets by 2020, targeted programmes aimed at increasing access and utilization of HIV testing in young people, males, those not married, the less educated, unemployed and those residing in rural areas of South Africa should be prioritised. ]]> <![CDATA[Determinants of HIV testing among Filipino women: Results from the 2013 Philippine National Demographic and Health Survey]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13810 The prevalence of having ever tested for HIV in the Philippines is very low and is far from the 90% target of the Philippine Department of Health (DOH) and UNAIDS, thus the need to identify the factors associated with ever testing for HIV among Filipino women.MethodsWe analysed the 2013 Philippine National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS). The NDHS is a nationally representative survey which utilized a two-stage stratified design to sample Filipino women aged 15–49. We considered the following exposures in our study: socio-demographic characteristics of respondent and her partner (i.e., age of respondent, age of partner, wealth index, etc.), sexual practices and contraception (i.e., age at first intercourse, condom use, etc.), media access, tobacco use, HIV knowledge, tolerance to domestic violence, and women’s empowerment. The outcome variable is HIV testing. We used logistic regression for survey data to study the said associations.ResultsOut of 16,155 respondents, only 372 (2.4%) have ever tested for HIV. After adjusting for confounders, having tertiary education (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 2.15; 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 1.15–4.04), living with partner (aOR = 1.72; 95% CI: 1.19–2.48), tobacco use (aOR = 1.87; 95% CI: 1.13–3.11); belonging to the middle class (aOR = 2.72; 95% CI: 1.30–5.67), richer (aOR = 3.00; 95% CI: 1.37–5.68), and richest (aOR = 4.14; 95% CI: 1.80–5.91) populations, having weekly television access (aOR = 1.75; 95% CI: 1.04–2.94) or internet access (aOR = 2.01; 95% CI: 1.35–3.00), living in a rural area (aOR = 1.87; 95% CI: 1.34–2.61); and being a Muslim (aOR = 2.30; 95% CI: 1.15–4.57) were associated with ever testing for HIV.ConclusionsThe low percentage of respondents who test for HIV is a call to further strengthen efforts to promote HIV testing among Filipino women. Information on its determinants can be used to guide the crafting and implementation of interventions to promote HIV testing to meet DOH and UNAIDS targets. ]]> <![CDATA[Feasibility of establishing an HIV vaccine preparedness cohort in a population of the Uganda Police Force: Lessons learnt from a prospective study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Ne890bb8a-5661-4c39-82f7-6f40a2e69675

Background

Members of uniformed armed forces are considered to be at high risk for HIV infection and have been proposed as suitable candidates for participation in HIV intervention studies. We report on the feasibility of recruitment and follow up of individuals from the community of the Uganda Police Force (UPF) for an HIV vaccine preparedness study.

Methods

HIV-negative volunteers aged 18–49 years, were identified from UPF facilities situated in Kampala and Wakiso districts through community HIV counselling and testing. Potential volunteers were referred to the study clinic for screening, enrolment and quarterly visits for one year. HIV incidence, retention rates were estimated and expressed as cases per 100 person years of observation (PYO). Rate ratios were used to determine factors associated with retention using Poisson regression models.

Results

We screened 560 to enroll 500 volunteers between November 2015 and May 2016. One HIV seroconversion occurred among 431 PYO, for an incidence rate of 0.23/100 PYO (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.03–1.64). Overall, retention rate was 87% at one year, and this was independently associated with residence duration (compared to <1 year, 1 to 5 years adjusted rate ratio (aRR) = 1.19, 95%CI: 1.00–1.44); and >5 years aRR = 1.34, 95%CI: 0.95–1.37); absence of genital discharge in the last 3 months (aRR = 1.97, 95% CI: 1.38–2.83, absence of genital ulcers (aRR = 1.90, 95%CI: 1.26–2.87, reporting of new sexual partner in the last month (aRR = 0.57, 95%CI: 0.45–0.71, being away from home for more than two nights (aRR = 1.27, 95%CI: 1.04–1.56, compared to those who had not travelled) and absence of knowledge on HIV prevention (aRR = 2.67, 95%CI: 1.62–4.39).

Conclusions

While our study demonstrates the feasibility of recruiting and retaining individuals from the UPF for HIV research, we did observe lower than anticipated HIV incidence, perhaps because individuals at lower risk of HIV infection may have been the first to come forward to participate or participants followed HIV risk reduction measures. Our findings suggest lessons for recruitment of populations at high risk of HIV infection.

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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[Voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) for prevention of heterosexual transmission of HIV and risk compensation in adult males in Soweto: Findings from a programmatic setting]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8acc83d5eed0c48498f8f2

Background

Clinical trials have clearly shown a reduction in HIV acquisition through voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC). However, data assessing risk compensation under programmatic conditions is limited.

Methods

This was a prospective cohort of HIV seronegative males aged 18–40 years receiving VMMC between November 2012 and July 2014. HIV serostatus was determined pre and post VMMC. Risk compensation was defined as a decrease in condom use at last sex act and/or an increase in concurrent sexual relationships, both measured twelve months post-circumcision.

Results

A total of 233 males were enrolled and underwent voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) for prevention against HIV. There was no evidence of risk compensation post-circumcision as defined in this study. Significant increases in proportion of participants in the 18–24 years age group who knew the HIV status of their sexual partner (39% to 56%, p = 0.0019), self-reported condom use at last sex act (21% to 34%, p = 0.0106) and those reporting vaginal sexual intercourse in the past 12 months (67% to 79%, p-value = <0.0001) were found. In both 18–24 and 25–40 years age groups, there was a significant increase in perception of being at risk of contracting HIV (70% to 84%, p-value = <0.0001).

Conclusion

No significant risk compensation was observed in this study on comparing pre-and post-circumcision behaviour. An increase in proportion of participants in the 18–24 years age group who had vaginal intercourse in the first 12 months post-circumcision as a possibility of risk compensation was minimal and negated by an increase in proportion of those reporting using a condom at the last sex act, increase in knowledge of partner’s HIV status and lack of increase in alcohol post-circumcision.

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<![CDATA[Food insecurity and violence in a prospective cohort of women at risk for or living with HIV in the U.S.]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c89779fd5eed0c4847d31be

Background

Food insecurity and violence are two major public health issues facing U.S. women. The link between food insecurity and violence has received little attention, particularly regarding the temporal ordering of events. The present study used data from the Women’s Interagency Human Immunodeficiency Virus Study to investigate the longitudinal association of food insecurity and violence in a cohort of women at risk for or living with HIV.

Methods

Study participants completed six assessments from 2013–16 on food insecurity (operationalized as marginal, low, and very low food security) and violence (sexual or physical, and psychological). We used multi-level logistic regression, controlling for visits (level 1) nested within individuals (level 2), to estimate the association of experiencing violence.

Results

Among 2,343 women (8,528 visits), we found that victims of sexual or physical violence (odds ratio = 3.10; 95% confidence interval: 1.88, 5.19) and psychological violence (odds ratio = 3.00; 95% confidence interval: 1.67, 5.50) were more likely to report very low food security. The odds of experiencing violence were higher for women with very low food security at both the current and previous visit as compared to only the current visit. HIV status did not modify these associations.

Conclusions

Food insecurity was strongly associated with violence, and women exposed to persistent food insecurity were even more likely to experience violence. Food programs and policy must consider persistent exposure to food insecurity, and interpersonal harms faced by food insecure women, such as violence.

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<![CDATA[Empowering HIV-infected women in low-resource settings: A pilot study evaluating a patient-centered HIV prevention strategy for reproduction in Kisumu, Kenya]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c897736d5eed0c4847d26fe

Background

Female positive/male negative HIV-serodiscordant couples express a desire for children and may engage in condomless sex to become pregnant. Current guidelines recommend antiretroviral treatment in HIV-serodiscordant couples, yet HIV RNA viral suppression may not be routinely assessed or guaranteed and pre-exposure prophylaxis may not be readily available. Therefore, options for becoming pregnant while limiting HIV transmission should be offered and accessible to HIV-affected couples desiring children.

Methods

A prospective pilot study of female positive/male negative HIV-serodiscordant couples desiring children was conducted to evaluate the acceptability, feasibility, and effectiveness of timed vaginal insemination. Eligible women were 18–34 years with regular menses. Prior to timed vaginal insemination, couples were observed for two months, and tested and treated for sexually transmitted infections. Timed vaginal insemination was performed for up to six menstrual cycles. A fertility evaluation and HIV RNA viral load assessment was offered to couples who did not become pregnant.

Findings

Forty female positive/male negative HIV-serodiscordant couples were enrolled; 17 (42.5%) exited prior to timed vaginal insemination. Twenty-three couples (57.5%) were introduced to timed vaginal insemination; eight (34.8%) achieved pregnancy, and six live births resulted without a case of HIV transmission. Seven couples completed a fertility evaluation. Four women had no demonstrable tubal patency bilaterally; one male partner had decreased sperm motility. Five women had unilateral/bilateral tubal patency; and seven women had an HIV RNA viral load (≥ 400 copies/mL).

Conclusion

Timed vaginal insemination is an acceptable, feasible, and effective method for attempting pregnancy. Given the desire for children and inadequate viral suppression, interventions to support safely becoming pregnant should be integrated into HIV prevention programs.

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<![CDATA[Assessing the role of transmission chains in the spread of HIV-1 among men who have sex with men in Quebec, Canada]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c89773dd5eed0c4847d27bf

Background

Phylogenetics has been used to investigate HIV transmission among men who have sex with men. This study compares several methodologies to elucidate the role of transmission chains in the dynamics of HIV spread in Quebec, Canada.

Methods

The Quebec Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) genotyping program database now includes viral sequences from close to 4,000 HIV-positive individuals classified as Men who have Sex with Men (MSMs), collected between 1996 and early 2016. Assessment of chain expansion may depend on the partitioning scheme used, and so, we produce estimates from several methods: the conventional Bayesian and maximum likelihood-bootstrap methods, in combination with a variety of schemes for applying a maximum distance criterion, and two other algorithms, DM-PhyClus, a Bayesian algorithm that produces a measure of uncertainty for proposed partitions, and the Gap Procedure, a fast non-phylogenetic approach. Sequences obtained from individuals in the Primary HIV Infection (PHI) stage serve to identify incident cases. We focus on the period ranging from January 1st 2012 to February 1st 2016.

Results and conclusion

The analyses reveal considerable overlap between chain estimates obtained from conventional methods, thus leading to similar estimates of recent temporal expansion. The Gap Procedure and DM-PhyClus suggest however moderately different chains. Nevertheless, all estimates stress that longer older chains are responsible for a sizeable proportion of the sampled incident cases among MSMs. Curbing the HIV epidemic will require strategies aimed specifically at preventing such growth.

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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[Serum creatinine and estimated glomerular filtration rates in HIV positive and negative adults in Ethiopia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6c75bfd5eed0c4843d00e4

Background

Glomerular filtration rate estimating equations using serum creatinine are not validated in most African settings. We compared serum creatinine and estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) in HIV positive and negative adults and assessed the performance of eGFR equations ((Cockcroft and Gault (CG), Modification of Diet in Renal Disease (MDRD), and Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration (CKD-EPI)) compared to 24-hour creatinine clearance in HIV positive adults.

Methods

Data were collected on demographic, anthropometric, body composition, clinical parameters and serum creatinine in HIV positive and negative adults. 24-hour urine was collected from some of the HIV positive adults who volunteered. Bias was calculated as mean difference between 24-hr creatinine clearance and eGFR (eGFR– 24 hour creatinine clearance) and the accuracy of each eGFR equation was calculated as the percentage of estimates within 30% of creatinine clearance.

Results

A total of 340 HIV positive and 100 HIV negative adults were included in this study. Creatinine clearance was determined for 46 of HIV positive adults. Serum creatinine increased with increasing age, weight, height, body surface area, fat free mass and grip strength in both HIV positive and negative adults (P<0.05). No difference was observed in eGFR between HIV positive and HIV negative adults. For all eGFR equations, the correlation between eGFR and 24-hr creatinine clearance was 0.45–0.53 and the accuracy within 30% of 24-hr creatinine clearance was 24–46%. Removing ethnic coefficient reduced the bias and improved accuracy of the CKD-EPI and the MDRD estimates.

Conclusion

Ethiopian HIV positive adults in the present study had good kidney function at the initiation of antiretroviral treatment. However, all eGFR equations overestimated 24-hr creatinine clearance in the study population. Creatinine based eGFR equations that accounts for low muscle mass and body surface area are needed.

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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[Exploring the contribution of exposure heterogeneity to the cessation of the 2014 Ebola epidemic]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5df34cd5eed0c4845810f8

The unexpected early cessation of the recent West Africa Ebola outbreak demonstrated shortcomings of popular forecasting approaches and has not been fully understood yet. A popular hypothesis is that public health interventions mitigated the spread, such as ETUs and safe burials. We investigate whether risk heterogeneity within the population could serve as an alternative explanation. We introduce a model for spread in heterogeneous host population that is particularly well suited for early predictions due to its simplicity and ease of application. Furthermore, we explore the conditions under which the observed epidemic trajectory can be explained without taking into account the effect of public health interventions. While the obtained fits closely match the total case count time series, closer inspection of sub-population results made us conclude that risk heterogeneity is unlikely to fully explain the early cessation of Ebola; other factors such as behavioral changes and other interventions likely played a major role. More accurate predictions in a future scenario require models that allow for early sub-exponential growth, as well as access to additional data on patient occupation (risk level) and location, to allow identify local phenomena that influence spreading behavior.

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<![CDATA[Cash transfers and HIV/HSV-2 prevalence: A replication of a cluster randomized trial in Malawi]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5ca315d5eed0c48441f0e5

Introduction

In this paper we perform a replication analysis of “Effect of a cash transfer programme for schooling on prevalence of HIV and herpes simplex type 2 in Malawi: a cluster randomised trial” by Sarah Baird and others published in “The Lancet” in 2012. The original study was a two-year cluster randomized intervention trial of never married girls aged 13–22 in Malawi. Enumeration areas were randomized to either an intervention involving cash transfer (conditional or unconditional of school enrollment) or control. The study included 1708 Malawian girls, who were enrolled at baseline and had biological testing for HIV and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) at 18 months. The original findings showed that in the cohort of girls enrolled in school at baseline, the intervention had an effect on school enrollment, sexual outcomes, and HIV and HSV-2 prevalence. However, in the baseline school dropout cohort, the original study showed no intervention effect on HIV and HSV-2 prevalence.

Methods

We performed a replication of the study to investigate the consistency and robustness of key results reported. A pre-specified replication plan was approved and published online. Cleaned data was obtained from the original authors. A pure replication was conducted by reading the methods section and reproducing the results and tables found in the original paper. Robustness of the results were examined with alternative analysis methods in a measurement and estimation analysis (MEA) approach. A theory of change analysis was performed testing a causal pathway, the effect of intervention on HIV awareness, and whether the intervention effect depended on the wealth of the individual.

Results

The pure replication found that other than a few minor discrepancies, the original study was well replicated. However, the randomization and sampling weights could not be verified due to the lack of access to raw data and a detailed sample selection plan. Therefore, we are unable to determine how sampling influenced the results, which could be highly dependent on the sample. In MEA it was found that the intervention effect on HIV prevalence in the baseline schoolgirls cohort was somewhat sensitive to model choice, with a non-significant intervention effect for HIV depending on the statistical model used. The intervention effect on HSV-2 prevalence was more robust in terms of statistical significance, however, the odds ratios and confidence intervals differed from the original result by more than 10%. A theory of change analysis showed no effect of intervention on HIV awareness. In a causal pathway analysis, several variables were partial mediators, or potential mediators, indicating that the intervention could be working through its effect on school enrollment or selected sexual behaviors.

Conclusions

The effect of intervention on HIV prevalence in the baseline schoolgirls was sensitive to the model choice; however, HSV-2 prevalence results were confirmed. We recommend that the results from the original published analysis indicating the impact of cash transfers on HIV prevalence be treated with caution.

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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[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[Epidemiology and factors associated with peripheral neuropathy among HIV infected patients in Gondar, Ethiopia: A cross-sectional study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c59fec5d5eed0c484135428

Background

Antiretroviral therapy has surely increased the life expectancy of people living with HIV. However, long term complications like HIV associated sensory neuropathy has a negative impact on quality of life among people living with HIV (PLHIV). In Ethiopia, lack of data on magnitude of the burden and predictors of HIV associated sensory neuropathy in many resource limited setting has led to under diagnosis and eventually under management of HIV-SN. Hence, this study was set out to establish the burden of HIV-associated sensory neuropathy and, its association with demographic, health and clinical characteristics among people living with HIV in Ethiopia.

Methods

Cross-sectional study was conducted to assess the prevalence of HIV-associated sensory neuropathy and the associated factors among adult HIV patients at University of Gondar Teaching Hospital, Gondar, Ethiopia. Brief Peripheral Neuropathy Screening tool validated by AIDs Clinical trial group was used for screening HIV-associated sensory neuropathy. Data were analyzed descriptively and through uni- and multivariate logistic regression.

Results

In total 359 adult PLHIV with a mean age of 36.5± 9.07 years participated, their median duration of HIV infection was 60 months (IQR 36–84) and their median CD4 count 143cells/μL (IQR 69.5–201.5). Age above 40 years, anti-tuberculosis regimen, tallness, and exposure to didanosine contained antiretroviral therapy were found to be associated with HIV-associated sensory neuropathy (AOR 1.82, 1.84, 1.98 and 4.33 respectively).

Conclusions

More than half of the HIV patients who attended HIV care clinic at University of Gondar hospital during the study period were found to present with peripheral sensory neuropathy. Higher age, tallness, TB medication, and didanosine in ART were significantly associated with HIV-SN as screened by effective diagnostic (BPNS) tool.

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<![CDATA[HIV prevalence and determinants of loss-to-follow-up in adolescents and young adults with tuberculosis in Cape Town]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c63392bd5eed0c484ae6139

TB remains a leading cause of mortality and morbidity in sub-Saharan Africa, due to the HIV epidemic. As TB treatment is lengthy, the completion of the full course of treatment may be especially challenging for young people. We therefore aimed to identify the extent of and reasons underlying loss to follow-up from TB treatment among young people in Cape Town. Accordingly, we reviewed the outcomes of young people treated for TB in Cape Town during 2009–2013, across three age groups: younger adolescents (10–14 years); older adolescents; (15–19 years) and young adults (20–24 years). We employed logistic regression analysis to identify risk factors for loss from TB care. 23,737 patients aged 10–24 were treated for drug sensitive TB over the study period. Of these, the HIV co-infection prevalence was 18.5% for younger adolescents, 12.9% for older adolescents and 33.1% for young adults. From age 16, HIV prevalence increased disproportionately among young women: by age 22, over 50% of women were TB/HIV co-infected compared to 14% of men. TB treatment success (cure plus completion) was 84.4%, while 1.7% of patients died, 9.5% were lost-to follow-up and 0.4% failed treatment. Being an older adolescent (aOR 1.75 [95% CI: 1.38–2.21]) or young adult (aOR: 1.96 [95% CI: 1.57–2.45]) increased the risk of loss-to-follow up, relative to being a younger adolescent. Further risk factors for loss from TB care were male gender (aOR: 1.33 [95% CI:1.20–1.46]), being a TB/HIV co-infected young person (aOR 1.74 [95% CI: 1.57–1.93]) and having had prior treatment for TB (aOR 3.17 [95% CI 2.87–3.51]). We identified risk factors for loss to follow-up and highlighted the need to focus on HIV prevention and retention in TB care among young people. TB care tailored to the needs of young people could improve patient retention, similar to improved outcomes reported by youth friendly HIV clinics.

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