ResearchPad - sexuality-groupings 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[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[Acceptability of smartphone applications for global positioning system (GPS) and ecological momentary assessment (EMA) research among sexual minority men]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c58d65bd5eed0c484031c98

Background

Emerging research is using global positioning system (GPS) and ecological momentary assessment (EMA) methods among sexual minority men (SMM), a population that experiences multiple health disparities. However, we are not aware of any research that has combined these approaches among SMM, highlighting the need for acceptability and feasibility research. The purpose of this study was to examine the acceptability of implementing GPS and EMA research protocols using smartphone applications among SMM as well as related socio-demographic correlates.

Methods

Data come from a sample of SMM on a popular geosocial-networking app in Paris, France (n = 580). We assessed the acceptability of implementing GPS and EMA research protocols on smartphone apps as well as socio-demographic characteristics (i.e., age, sexual orientation, country of origin, employment status, and relationship status). We examined the anticipated acceptability of GPS and EMA data collection methods as well as socio-demographic correlates of acceptability of GPS and EMA methods.

Results

We found that over half (54.1%) of the sample was willing to download a smartphone app for GPS-based research and we found that almost 60% of the participants were willing to download a smartphone app for EMA-based research. In total, 44.0% reported that they were willing to download both GPS and EMA apps. In addition, we found that older participants were less willing to download a smartphone app for EMA research than younger participants aged 18–24 (40–49 years: aPR = 0.40; 95% CI = 0.20, 0.78) and students were more willing to download smartphone apps for both GPS and EMA research (aPR = 1.41; 95% CI = 1.02, 1.95).

Conclusion

Results from this study suggest that using smartphone apps to implement GPS and EMA methods among some SMM are acceptable. However, care should be taken as segments of SMM are less likely to be willing to engage in this type of research.

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<![CDATA[Beliefs, attitudes and funding of assisted reproductive technology: Public perception of over 6,000 respondents from 6 European countries]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c79afccd5eed0c4841e3787

Background

Fertility rates in Europe are among the lowest in the world, which may be attributed to both biological and lifestyle factors. Cost and reimbursement of fertility treatments vary across Europe, although its citizens enjoy wide access to fertility care. Since few regional studies evaluating public support for fertility treatment exist, we conducted the Listening IVF and Fertility in Europe (LIFE) survey to ascertain public perception of in vitro fertilization (IVF) and gamete donation as a treatment for infertility among European men and women.

Methods and findings

This survey was distributed via an online questionnaire to 8,682 individuals who were voluntary participants in an online research panel residing in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, or the UK. The survey covered items to determine respondents’ beliefs regarding IVF and its success, the need for public funding, the use of IVF among modern families with different lifestyles, and the support for gamete donation. Results were analyzed by age, country of origin, sex, and sexual orientation. A total of 6,110 (70% of total) men and women responded. Among all respondents, 10% had undergone IVF treatment and 48% had considered or would consider IVF in case of infertility. Respondents estimated IVF mean success rate to be 47% and over half of respondents believed that availability of IVF would encourage people to delay conception. Although 93% of respondents believed that IVF treatment should be publicly funded to some extent, a majority believed that secondary infertility or use of fertility treatments allowing to delay parenthood should be financed privately. Survey respondents believed that the mean number of stimulated IVF cycles funded publicly should be limited 2 to 3 (average 2.4). 79% of respondents were willing to pay for IVF if needed with a mean amount of 5,400 € for a child brought to life through IVF. According to respondents, mean minimum and maximum ages for IVF should be 29 and 42 years old, respectively. The current survey showed support for egg and sperm donation (78%), for IVF in single women (61%) and for same-sex female couples (64%). When analyzing the results per group (i.e., sex, age, sexual orientation, and countries), youngest age groups, homosexuals, bisexuals, German respondents, and men had similar overall positive attitudes and beliefs toward IVF and opinions on public funding. Perceived limits to availability were stronger in women.

Conclusion

Overall, the survey results demonstrate a positive attitude among respondents in an online panel toward IVF, gamete donation, and support for public funding for fertility treatment. These findings could potentially drive discussions between patients and prescribers to explore IVF treatment and among legislators and payers to support public funding for these procedures.

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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[Trends in HIV care cascade engagement among diagnosed people living with HIV in Ontario, Canada: A retrospective, population-based cohort study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c390ba4d5eed0c48491da7e

Background

The HIV cascade is an important framework for assessing systems of care, but population-based assessment is lacking for most jurisdictions worldwide. We measured cascade indicators over time in a population-based cohort of diagnosed people living with HIV (PLWH) in Ontario, Canada.

Methods

We created a retrospective cohort of diagnosed PLWH using a centralized laboratory database with HIV diagnostic and viral load (VL) test records linked at the individual-level. Individuals enter the cohort with record of a nominal HIV-positive diagnostic test or VL test, and remain unless administratively lost to follow-up (LTFU, >2 consecutive years with no VL test and no VL test in later years). We calculated the annual percent of diagnosed PLWH (cohort individuals not LTFU) between 2000 and 2015 who were in care (≥1 VL test), on ART (as documented on VL test requisition) or virally suppressed (<200 copies/ml). We also calculated time from diagnosis to linkage to care and viral suppression among individuals newly diagnosed with HIV. Analyses were stratified by sex and age. Upper/lower bounds were calculated using alternative indicator definitions.

Results

The number of diagnosed PLWH increased from 8,859 (8,859–11,389) in 2000 to 16,110 (16,110–17,423) in 2015. Over this 16-year period, the percent of diagnosed PLWH who were: in care increased from 81% (63–81%) to 87% (81–87%), on ART increased from 55% (34–60%) to 81% (70–82%) and virally suppressed increased from 41% (23–46%) to 80% (67–81%). Between 2000 and 2014, the percent of newly diagnosed individuals who linked to care within three months of diagnosis or achieved viral suppression within six months of diagnosis increased from 67% to 82% and from 22% to 42%, respectively. Estimates were generally lower for females and younger individuals.

Discussion

HIV cascade indicators among diagnosed PLWH in Ontario improved between 2000 and 2015, but gaps still remain—particularly for younger individuals.

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<![CDATA[Gender identity is indexed and perceived in speech]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c254565d5eed0c48442c687

This study investigates a possible relationship between perceived and self-ascribed gender identity and the respective acoustic correlates in a group of young heterosexual adult speakers. For the production study, a sample of 37 German speaking subjects (20 males, 17 females) filled out a questionnaire to assess their self-ascribed masculinity/femininity on two scales. A range of acoustic parameters (acoustic vowel space size, fundamental frequency, sibilant spectral characteristics) were measured in speech collected from a picture describing task. Results show that male speakers judging themselves to be less masculine exhibited larger vowel spaces and higher average fundamental frequency.For the perception experiment, a group of 21 listeners (11 males, 10 females) judged masculinity of single word male stimuli drawn from the collected speech sample. A significant correlation between speakers’ self-ascribed and listeners’ attributed gender identity was found with a stronger relationship for female listeners. Acoustic parameters used by listeners to attribute gender identity include those used by speakers to index masculinity/femininity.The investigation demonstrates the importance of including self-ascribed gender identity as a potential source of inter-speaker variation in speech production and perception even in a sample of heterosexual adult speakers.

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<![CDATA[Knowledge, interest, and anticipated barriers of pre-exposure prophylaxis uptake and adherence among gay, bisexual, and men who have sex with men who are incarcerated]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c141ed1d5eed0c484d28626

Criminal justice (CJ) settings disproportionately include populations at high risk for acquiring HIV, and CJ-involved individuals are often at the intersection of multiple overlapping risk factors. However, few studies have examined attitudes about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) among incarcerated men who have sex with men (MSM). This study explored interest in, knowledge of, and barriers to PrEP uptake among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men at the Rhode Island Department of Corrections. Using semi-structured interviews, 26 MSM were interviewed about PrEP knowledge, interest, timing preferences for provision (e.g. before or after release), and barriers to uptake and adherence during community re-entry. Interviews were coded and analyzed using a general inductive approach. Participants demonstrated low initial knowledge of PrEP but high interest after being told more about it. Participants self-identified risk factors for HIV acquisition, including condomless sex and substance use. In addition, participants preferred provision of PrEP prior to release. Post-release barriers to PrEP uptake and adherence included 1) concerns about costs of PrEP medications; 2) anticipated partner or family disapproval; 3) lack of access to transportation; 4) unstable housing; 5) compounding impacts of multiple hardships leading to a de-prioritization of PrEP and 6) fears of future re-incarceration. These results point to the need for future PrEP interventions among incarcerated populations that address incarceration and PrEP related barriers during community re-entry via wraparound services that address PrEP and incarceration-related barriers.

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<![CDATA[Students from single-sex schools are more gender-salient and more anxious in mixed-gender situations: Results from high school and college samples]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c141ef2d5eed0c484d28f24

Gender segregation exists in all walks of life. One of the most common forms of institutionalized gender segregation is perhaps single-sex schooling. Because schooling experience has important influence on students’ psychosocial development, interest in gender-segregated education has been reviving over the globe. Skeptics of single-sex schooling have suggested that such schooling may increase students’ gender salience (awareness of gender in categorizations), reduce opportunities for mixed-gender interactions, and increase mixed-gender anxiety, but little evidence has been found. It is critical to explore how single-sex schooling is associated with these psychosocial outcomes in adolescents and young adults because they are in the developmental stage when the desire and need to establish mixed-gender relationships increase. We report two systematic studies on gender salience, mixed-gender friendships, and mixed-gender anxiety on 2059 high school students and 456 college students from single-sex or coeducational schools. Even with demographic background controlled, results suggested higher gender salience in single-sex school students in the high school sample, and greater mixed-gender anxiety and fewer mixed-gender friendships in these students in both samples. These differences were not moderated by student gender and were similar in first-year versus senior college students. Moreover, mixed-gender friendships, though not gender salience, appeared to engage in a possibly bi-directional mediation relationship with mixed-gender anxiety that is consistent with a vicious cycle of escalating anxiety and lack of mixed-gender interaction among single-sex school students. These findings help fill the knowledge gap about the correlates of gender-segregated schooling and shed light on the precursors of later social and achievement differences between single-sex and coeducational school students.

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<![CDATA[Incidence of sexually transmitted infections in men who have sex with men and who are at substantial risk of HIV infection – A meta-analysis of data from trials and observational studies of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c0ed782d5eed0c484f142c2

Background

Men who have sex with men (MSM) and who engage in condomless anal intercourse with casual partners are at high risk of acquiring sexually transmitted infections (STIs), but reliable epidemiological data are scarce. Studies on HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) enrol MSM who indicate that they engage in behaviour that puts them at high risk of acquiring HIV. Because they also screen for STIs at regular intervals, these studies may serve as a valuable source to estimate incidence rates of STIs in this subpopulation of MSM.

Methods

We systematically searched for trials and observational studies of PrEP in MSM that reported data on the incidence of STIs during the study period. Incidence rates were calculated as events per 100 person-years (py) with 95% confidence intervals (CI). Data from individual studies were pooled building subgroups along study types and geography. We performed sensitivity analyses, including data only from studies that met pre-defined quality criteria.

Results

Twenty-four publications on 20 studies were included. The majority of studies reported that sexual behaviour and/or STI incidence remained stable or decreased during the study period. For syphilis, incidence rates ranged from 1.8/100py to 14.9/100py, the pooled estimate was 9.1/100py (95%-CI: 7.7–10.9). Incidence rates for gonorrhoea and chlamydia of any site ranged from 13.3/100py to 43.0/100py and 15.1/100py to 48.5/100py, respectively. Considering only studies that met the criteria for sensitivity analysis yielded pooled estimates of 39.6/100py (95%-CI: 32.9–47.6) and 41.8/100py (95%-CI: 33.9–51.5), respectively. The overall estimate for hepatitis C incidence was 1.3/100py (95%-CI: 1.0–1.8).

Conclusions

Despite partly heterogeneous results, the data depict high incidence rates of STIs among MSM who engage in higher-risk sexual behaviours such as condomless sex with casual partners. This subpopulation of MSM requires access to STI screening at close intervals. By offering access to structures that provide regular STI monitoring and prompt treatment, PrEP may not only decrease HIV incidence but also have beneficial effects in decreasing the burden of STIs.

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<![CDATA[Trends and emerging directions in HIV risk and prevention research in the Philippines: A systematic review of the literature]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c117b7dd5eed0c484699690

Background

The Philippines is experiencing one of the fastest growing epidemics globally. Evidence-based public health policies are needed. To describe the public health literature on HIV risk groups and prevention approaches in the Philippines, we reviewed published empirical studies with HIV-related outcomes.

Methods

Based on an a priori systematic review protocol, we searched PubMed, PsycINFO and CINAHL databases for quantitative studies conducted in the Philippines that reported on HIV risk groups factors and interventions to prevent HIV. The search included studies published as of April 2018.

Results

We identified 755 records, screened 699 unique titles and abstracts, and conducted full text review of 122 full reports of which 51 articles met inclusion criteria. The majority were cross-sectional studies describing HIV and STI prevalence and risk factors in samples recruited from the Philippines. Four HIV prevention programs conducted in the Philippines were identified, all of which reported improvements on HIV knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors. Overall, female sex workers (FSWs) constituted the primary study population, and few studies reported data from men who have sex with men (MSM), people who inject drugs (PWIDs), and youth. No studies reported on transgender populations. Most studies were focused on examining condom use-related outcomes and STI history, few had biomarkers for HIV, and none addressed biomedical HIV prevention strategies.

Conclusion

This review identifies an agenda for future HIV research that is needed to address the growing and shifting nature of the HIV epidemic in the Philippines.

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<![CDATA[Health-related regional and neighborhood correlates of sexual minority concentration: A systematic review]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b49f0b4463d7e3adec7b97e

Background

A growing literature explores spatial patterns of regional and neighborhood correlates of sexual minority (e.g., lesbian, gay, bisexual) concentration. Such patterns have implications for health and wellbeing if there are differences in health-promoting or health-hindering resources in neighborhoods or regions. We conducted a systematic review to assess sexual minority concentration in relation to area unit characteristics.

Methods

We included only records published after 1973 and made no exclusions by geography or language. We searched 11 databases (Academic Search Complete, CINAHL, Embase, GeoBase, GeoRef, LGBT Life, PsycINFO, PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, Sociological Abstracts, Web of Science) on November 19–21, 2016. We searched reference lists of included records. We used the following inclusion criteria: (1) Record is a quantitative study (that is, it uses statistics to describe or associate two or more variables); (2) Record is about (a) migration or internal migration of, (b) area unit selection by, or (c) concentration of sexual minority people (defined by identity, behavior, or attraction); (3) Criterion 2 is linked to the characteristics of regions or neighborhoods (at any spatial scale).

Results

Dual independent coding resulted in 51 records meeting inclusion criteria from the original pool of 5,591. From these records, we identified the 647 reported results linking sexual minority concentration with area unit characteristics. Of these, 132 were unadjusted relationships between sexual minority concentration and four theory-informed domains of neighborhood influence on health. We identified greater concentration of sexual minorities in regions with more resources and in more urban regions. A limited but troubling literature at the neighborhood level suggested potentially higher concentrations of sexual minorities in neighborhoods with fewer resources.

Conclusions

There are substantial gaps in the literature. We discuss the implications of our findings and gaps in relation to key theories of sexual minority health.

Registration

The review was not registered with PROSPERO because it was not eligible for registration at the time of the research project’s initiation due to the outcome of interest.

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<![CDATA[Community-based strategies to strengthen men’s engagement in the HIV care cascade in sub-Saharan Africa]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5aab0ee8fa60bdf3c2

Monica Sharma and colleagues discuss evidence-based approaches to improving HIV services for men in sub-Saharan Africa.

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<![CDATA[Generational analysis of trends in unprotected sex in France among men who have sex with men: The major role of context-driven evolving patterns]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4fab0ee8fa60bdb8ad

Objective

Using a generational approach, this study analyses how unprotected anal intercourse has evolved since 1991 in France across different generations of men who have sex with men (MSM) whose sexual lives began at different periods in the history of the HIV epidemic.

Design

Data were collected from 18–59 year-old respondents to the French Gay Press surveys Enquêtes Presse Gay, conducted repeatedly between 1991 and 2011 (N = 32,196) using self-administered questionnaires distributed in gay magazines and over the internet.

Methods

Trends in unprotected anal intercourse (i.e. condomless anal sex) with casual partners of unknown or different HIV serostatus (hereafter “UAId” in this manuscript) were studied. Responses were analysed according to year and then reorganised for age-cohort analyses by generation, based on the year respondents turned 18.

Results

UAId rates fell from 1991 to 1997, and then rose from 13.4% in 1997 to 25.5% in 2011 among seronegative respondents, and from 24.8% to 63.3%, respectively, among seropositive respondents. Both in seropositive and seronegative respondents, UAId increased over time for all generations, indicative of a strong period effect.

Conclusion

Analyses of data from several generations of MSM who started their sexual lives at different time points in the HIV epidemic, revealed very similar trends in UAId between generations, among both seropositive and seronegative respondents. This strong period effect suggests that sexual behaviours in MSM are influenced more by contextual than generational factors. The fact that prevention practices are simultaneously observed in different generations and that there are most likely underlying prevention norms among MSM, suggests that PrEP could become widely accepted by all generations of MSM exposed to the risk of HIV.

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<![CDATA[Stretching the Boundaries: Tanzanian Pharmacy Workers’ Views and Experiences of Providing STI Services for Men Who Have Sex with Men]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dae4ab0ee8fa60bbcbe3

Objective

To explore the views and experiences of providing assistance and treatment of sexually transmitted infections to same-sex practicing male clients among service providers at pharmacies and drugstores in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Previous research suggests that sexually transmitted infections are an increasing concern for this population. Due to stigma and discrimination, men who have sex with men face limited access to treatment, which might contribute to increased self-medication. However, limited research has been conducted on the role of the pharmaceutical service provider with regards to this population in sub-Saharan Africa.

Method

In January 2016, 16 service providers at private pharmacies and drugstores with previous experience of providing services to this population were purposively selected for open-ended face-to-face interviews. The analysis was guided by the grounded theory approach.

Results

The process that emerged was labelled “Stretching Boundaries for Pharmaceutical Responsibilities”. This reflected informants’ perceptions of themselves as being involved in a transition from having limited engagement in the care of same-sex practicing male clients to becoming regular service-providers to this group. Findings further revealed that the emotional commitment they developed for clients through this process led to a transgression of provider-client boundaries, which undermined objective decision-making when clients lacked prescription. Financial interests also emerged as an underlying motivation for providing incomplete or inaccurate drug dosages.

Conclusions

Further studies are required to better address incentives related to unregulated sale of drugs. Inter-professional networks between pharmacy and healthcare workers could support the development of targeted treatment for men who have sex with men and other key populations.

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<![CDATA[Poor Linkage to Care Despite Significant Improvement in Access to Early cART in Central Poland – Data from Test and Keep in Care (TAK) Project]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da8eab0ee8fa60b9ef59

Background

The main objective of the TAK project is investigating barriers in accessing HIV care after HIV-diagnosis at the CBVCTs of central Poland. Here we describe factors associated with and changes over time in linkage to care and access to cART.

Method

Data collected in 2010–2013 in CBVCTs were linked with HIV clinics records using unique identifiers. Individuals were followed from the day of CBVCTs visit until first clinical visit or 4/06/2014. Cox-proportional hazard models were used to identify factors associated with being linked to care and starting cART.

Results

In total 232 persons were diagnosed HIV-positive and 144 (62.1% 95%CI: 55.5–68.3) persons were linked to care. There was no change over time in linkage to care (p = 0.48), while time to starting cART decreased (p = 0.02). Multivariate factors associated with a lower rate of linkage to care were hetero/bisexual sexual orientation, lower education, not having an HIV-positive partner and not using condoms in a stable relationship. Multivariate factors associated with starting cART were lower education, recent year of linked to care, and first HIV RNA and CD4 cell count.

Conclusions

Benefits of linkage to care, measured by access to early treatment, steadily improved in recent years. However at least 1 in 3 persons aware of their HIV status in central Poland remained outside professional healthcare. Persons at higher risk of remaining outside care, thus target population for future interventions, are bi/heterosexuals and those with lower levels of education.

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<![CDATA[HIV drug therapy duration; a Swedish real world nationwide cohort study on InfCareHIV 2009-2014]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db51ab0ee8fa60bdc496

Background

As HIV infection needs a lifelong treatment, studying drug therapy duration and factors influencing treatment durability is crucial. The Swedish database InfCareHIV includes high quality data from more than 99% of all patients diagnosed with HIV infection in Sweden and provides a unique opportunity to examine outcomes in a nationwide real world cohort.

Methods

Adult patients who started a new therapy defined as a new 3rd agent (all antiretrovirals that are not N[t]RTIs) 2009–2014 with more than 100 observations in treatment-naive or treatment-experienced patients were included. Dolutegravir was excluded due to short follow up period. Multivariate Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate hazard ratios for treatment discontinuation.

Results

In treatment-naïve 2541 patients started 2583 episodes of treatments with a 3rd agent. Efavirenz was most commonly used (n = 1096) followed by darunavir (n = 504), atazanavir (n = 386), lopinavir (n = 292), rilpivirine (n = 156) and raltegravir (n = 149). In comparison with efavirenz, patients on rilpivirine were least likely to discontinue treatment (adjusted HR 0.33; 95% CI 0.20–0.54, p<0.001), while patients on lopinavir were most likely to discontinue treatment (adjusted HR 2.80; 95% CI 2.30–3.40, p<0.001). Also raltegravir was associated with early treatment discontinuation (adjusted HR 1.47; 95% CI 1.12–1.92, p = 0.005). The adjusted HR for atazanavir and darunavir were not significantly different from efavirenz. In treatment-experienced 2991 patients started 4552 episodes of treatments with a 3rd agent. Darunavir was most commonly used (n = 1285), followed by atazanavir (n = 806), efavirenz (n = 694), raltegravir (n = 622), rilpivirine (n = 592), lopinavir (n = 291) and etravirine (n = 262). Compared to darunavir all other drugs except for rilpivirine (HR 0.66; 95% CI 0.52–0.83, p<0.001) had higher risk for discontinuation in the multivariate adjusted analyses; atazanavir (HR 1.71; 95% CI 1.48–1.97, p<0.001), efavirenz (HR 1.86; 95% CI 1.59–2.17, p<0.001), raltegravir (HR 1.35; 95% CI 1.15–1.58, p<0.001), lopinavir (HR 3.58; 95% CI 3.02–4.25, p<0.001) and etravirine (HR 1.61; 95% CI 1.31–1.98, p<0.001).Besides the 3rd agent chosen also certain baseline characteristics of patients were independently associated with differences in treatment duration. In naive patients, presence of an AIDS-defining diagnosis and the use of other backbone than TDF/FTC or ABC/3TC increased the risk for early treatment discontinuation. In treatment-experienced patients, detectable plasma viral load at the time of switch or being highly treatment experienced increased the risk for early treatment discontinuation.

Conclusions

Treatment durability is dependent on several factors among others patient characteristics and ART guidelines. The choice of 3rd agent has a strong impact and significant differences between different drugs on treatment duration exist.

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<![CDATA[Anticipated Notification of Sexual Partners following STD Diagnosis among Men Who Have Sex with Men and Transgender Women in Lima, Peru: A Mixed Methods Analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da3dab0ee8fa60b88b0d

Background

New strategies to support partner notification (PN) are critical for STD control and require detailed understanding of how specific individual and partnership characteristics guide notification decisions.

Methods

From 2011 to 2012, 397 MSM and TW recently diagnosed with HIV, syphilis, or another STD completed a survey on anticipated notification of recent sexual partners and associated factors. Qualitative interviews were conducted with a subset of participants to provide further depth to quantitative findings. Prevalence ratios and generalized estimating equation (GEE) models were used to analyze participant- and partner-level factors associated with anticipated PN.

Results

Among all partners reported, 52.5% were described as “Very Likely” or “Somewhat Likely” to be notified. Anticipated notification was more likely for main partners than casual (adjusted Prevalence Ratio [aPR], 95% CI: 0.63, 0.54–0.75) or commercial (aPR, 95% CI: 0.44, 0.31–0.62) partners. Other factors associated with likely notification included perception of the partner as an STD source (aPR, 95% CI: 1.27, 1.10–1.48) and anticipated future sexual contact with the partner (aPR, 95% CI: 1.30, 1.11–1.52). An HIV diagnosis was associated with a lower likelihood of notification than non-HIV STDs (aPR: 0.68, 0.55–0.86). Qualitative discussion of the barriers and incentives to PN reflected a similar differentiation of anticipated notification according to partnership type and type of HIV/STD diagnosis.

Discussion

Detailed attention to how partnership characteristics guide notification outcomes is essential to the development of new PN strategies. By accurately and thoroughly assessing the diversity of partnership interactions among individuals with HIV/STD, new notification techniques can be tailored to partner-specific circumstances.

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<![CDATA[Risk Factors Associated with Incident Syphilis in a Cohort of High-Risk Men in Peru]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da1dab0ee8fa60b7dbbb

Background

Syphilis is concentrated among high-risk groups, but the epidemiology of syphilis reinfection is poorly understood. We characterized factors associated with syphilis incidence, including reinfection, in a high-risk cohort in Peru.

Methods

Participants in the NIMH CPOL trial were assessed at baseline and 2 annual visits with HIV/STI testing and behavioral surveys. Participants diagnosed with syphilis also attended 4- and 9-month visits. All participants underwent syphilis testing with RPR screening and TPPA confirmation. Antibiotic treatment was provided according to CDC guidelines. Reinfection was defined as a 4-fold titer increase or recurrence of seroreactivity after successful treatment with subsequent negative RPR titers. The longitudinal analysis used a Possion generalized estimating equations model with backward selection of variables in the final model (criteria P <0.02).

Results

Of 2,709 participants, 191 (7.05%) were RPR-reactive (median 1:8, range 1:1–1:1024) with TPPA confirmation. There were 119 total cases of incident syphilis, which included both reinfection and first-time incident cases. In the bivariate analysis, the oldest 2 quartiles of age (incidence ratio (IR) 3.84; P <0.001 and IR 8.15; P <0.001) and being MSM/TW (IR 6.48; P <0.001) were associated with higher risk of incident syphilis infection. Of the sexual risk behaviors, older age of sexual debut (IR 12.53; P <0.001), not being in a stable partnership (IR 1.56, P = 0.035), higher number of sex partners (IR 3.01; P <0.001), unprotected sex in the past 3 months (IR 0.56; P = 0.003), HIV infection at baseline (IR 3.98; P <0.001) and incident HIV infection during the study period (IR 6.26; P = 0.003) were all associated with incident syphilis. In the multivariable analysis, older age group (adjusted incidence ratio (aIR) 6.18; P <0.001), men reporting having sex with a man (aIR 4.63; P <0.001), and incident HIV infection (aIR 4.48; P = 0.008) were significantly associated.

Conclusions

We report a high rate of syphilis reinfection among high-risk men who have evidence of previous syphilis infection. Our findings highlight the close relationship between HIV incidence with both incident syphilis and syphilis reinfection. Further studies on syphilis reinfection are needed to understand patterns of syphilis reinfection and new strategies beyond periodic testing of high-risk individuals based on HIV status are needed.

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<![CDATA[Characterization of a novel HIV-1 unique recombinant form between CRF07_BC and CRF55_01B in men who have sex with men in Guangzhou, China]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db52ab0ee8fa60bdc6c2

Here, we report the genetic diversity of HIV-1 and emergence of novel HIV-1 unique recombinant forms (URF) in both HIV-infected intravenous drug users (IDU) and men who have sex with men (MSM) in Guangzhou, China. We further characterized a novel URF strain isolated from an HIV-infected MSM, GD698. Near full-length genome (NFLG) phylogenic analysis showed that this novel URF was composed of CRF07_BC and CRF55_01B, with two recombinant breakpoints (nt 6,003 and 8,251 relative to the HXB2 genome) in the vpu/env and env genes, respectively. Twenty six percent of the genome is classified as CRF55_01B, spanning part of vpu and most of the env gene. The remaining 74% of the genome is classified as CRF07_BC. Both the backbone CRF07_BC sequence and CRF55_01B fragment were clustered with the HIV-1 isolates found in MSM. The emergence of the novel HIV-1 recombinant indicates the ongoing recombinants derived from the CRF07_BC and CRF55_01B isolates, and provides critical insights into our understanding of the dynamics and complexity of the HIV-1 epidemic in China.

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