ResearchPad - syphilis https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![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[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[Urea-mediated dissociation alleviate the false-positive Treponema pallidum-specific antibodies detected by ELISA]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8823e2d5eed0c484639234

The serological detection of antibodies to Treponema pallidum is essential to the diagnosis of syphilis. However, for the presence of cross-reaction, the specific antibody tests [e.g., enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)] always have false-positive results. In this study, we derived and validated the dissociation of urea in an attempt to alleviate the situation of false-positive antibodies to T. pallidum detected by ELISA. Six serum samples that were false-positive antibodies to T. pallidum detected by ELISA, and 16 control serum samples (8 sera positive for both specific IgG and IgM, and 8 IgG-positive and IgM-negative sera) were collected to select the appropriate dissociated concentration and time of urea. Our goal was to establish improved an ELISA method based on the original detection system of ELISA. The sensitivity of the improved ELISA was evaluated by 275 serum samples with class IgM-positive antibodies to T. pallidum. At 6 mol/L with 10 minutes dissociation of urea, 6 samples with false-positive antibodies to T. pallidum were converted to negative, and compared with true-positive antibodies to T. pallidum. The sensitivity of the improved ELISA was 100% by detecting the class IgM-positive antibodies to T. pallidum in sera of patients with syphilis. Considering the importance at the diagnosis of syphilis, antibodies to T. pallidum in serum samples should be retested by the improved ELISA method to avoid false-positive results.

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<![CDATA[Profile of the tprK gene in primary syphilis patients based on next-generation sequencing]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c784fecd5eed0c484007915

Background

The highly variable tprK gene of Treponema pallidum has been acknowledged to be one of the mechanisms that causes persistent infection. Previous studies have mainly focused on the heterogeneity in tprK in propagated strains using a clone-based Sanger approach. Few studies have investigated tprK directly from clinical samples using deep sequencing.

Methods/Principal findings

We conducted a comprehensive analysis of 14 primary syphilis clinical isolates of T. pallidum via next-generation sequencing to gain better insight into the profile of tprK in primary syphilis patients. Our results showed that there was a mixture of distinct sequences within each V region of tprK. Except for the predominant sequence for each V region as previously reported using the clone-based Sanger approach, there were many minor variants of all strains that were mainly observed at a frequency of 1–5%. Interestingly, the identified distinct sequences within the regions were variable in length and differed by only 3 bp or multiples of 3 bp. In addition, amino acid sequence consistency within each V region was found among the 14 strains. Among the regions, the sequence IASDGGAIKH in V1 and the sequence DVGHKKENAANVNGTVGA in V4 showed a high stability of inter-strain redundancy.

Conclusions

The seven V regions of the tprK gene in primary syphilis infection demonstrated high diversity; they generally contained a high proportion sequence and numerous low-frequency minor variants, most of which are far below the detection limit of Sanger sequencing. The rampant variation in each V region was regulated by a strict gene conversion mechanism that maintained the length difference to 3 bp or multiples of 3 bp. The highly stable sequence of inter-strain redundancy may indicate that the sequences play a critical role in T. pallidum virulence. These highly stable peptides are also likely to be potential targets for vaccine development.

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<![CDATA[Topical treatment with gallium maltolate reduces Treponema pallidum subsp. pertenue burden in primary experimental lesions in a rabbit model of yaws]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c366801d5eed0c4841a6d64

Background

Gallium is a semi-metallic element known since the 1930s to have antimicrobial activity. This activity stems primarily from gallium's ability to mimic trivalent iron and disrupt specific Fe(III)-dependent pathways, particularly DNA synthesis (due to inhibition of ribonucleotide reductase). Because of its novel mechanism of action, gallium is currently being investigated as a new antibacterial agent, particularly in light of the increasing resistance of many pathogenic bacteria to existing antibiotics. Gallium maltolate (GaM) is being developed as an orally and topically administrable form of gallium. Yaws is a neglected tropical disease affecting mainly the skin and skeletal system of children in underprivileged settings. It is currently the object of a WHO-promoted eradication campaign using mass administration of the macrolide azithromycin, an antibiotic to which the yaws agent Treponema pallidum subsp. pertenue has slowly begun to develop genetic resistance.

Methods

Because yaws transmission is mainly due to direct skin contact with an infectious skin lesion, we evaluated the treponemicidal activity of GaM applied topically to skin lesions in a rabbit model of yaws. Treatment efficacy was evaluated by measuring lesion diameter, treponemal burden in lesion aspirates as determined by dark field microscopy and amplification of treponemal RNA, serology, and immunohistochemistry of biopsied tissue samples.

Results

Our results show that topical GaM was effective in reducing treponemal burden in yaws experimental lesions, particularly when applied at the first sign of lesion appearance but, as expected, did not prevent pathogen dissemination.

Conclusion

Early administration of GaM to yaws lesions could reduce the infectivity of the lesions and thus yaws transmission, potentially contributing to current and future yaws control campaigns.

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<![CDATA[Fetal and infant mortality of congenital syphilis reported to the Health Information System]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c390b99d5eed0c48491d6f8

Background

Congenital syphilis (CS) is a major cause of mortality in several countries, especially in Latin America and the Caribbean. This study aimed to analyze fetal and infant mortality of CS reported to the Health Information System in a State in Northeastern Brazil.

Methods and results

This was a cross-sectional study that analyzed the deaths of CS from 2010 to 2014 through the linkage of the Mortality Information System (SIM) and the Notifiable Diseases Information System (Sinan). The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 23.0 was used to calculate the rates of Fetal, Perinatal, Neonatal (early and late), and Postneonatal Mortality. Simple linear regression was performed. Fisher's exact test or Pearson's chi-square test were used for comparison of proportions and Student's t-test was used for comparison of means.

Of the 414 cases reported to the SIM as deaths possibly caused by CS, 44 (10.6%) presented CS as the underlying cause. From 2010 to 2014 the Infant Mortality Rate of CS was 16.3 per 100,000 live births (y = 0.65x + 14.33, R2 = 0.2338, p = 0.003). There was an 89.4% underreporting of deaths. Perinatal deaths and fetal deaths of CS accounted for 87.7% and 73.9% of total deaths, respectively.

Conclusions

The results of the study revealed a significant Fetal and Infant Mortality rate of CS and demonstrated the importance of using the linkage method in studies that involve the analysis of secondary data obtained from mortality and disease reporting systems. The underreporting of CS as a cause of fetal and infant mortality leads to unawareness of the reality of deaths from this disease, hindering the development of public policies aimed at its prevention.

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<![CDATA[Gene target selection for loop-mediated isothermal amplification for rapid discrimination of Treponema pallidum subspecies]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c032de3d5eed0c4844f88c5

We show proof of concept for gene targets (polA, tprL, and TP_0619) that can be used in loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assays to rapidly differentiate infection with any of the three Treponema pallidum subspecies (pallidum (TPA), pertenue (TPE), and endemicum (TEN)) and which are known to infect humans and nonhuman primates (NHPs). Four TPA, six human, and two NHP TPE strains, as well as two human TEN strains were used to establish and validate the LAMP assays. All three LAMP assays were highly specific for the target DNA. Amplification was rapid (5–15 min) and within a range of 10E+6 to 10E+2 of target DNA molecules. Performance in NHP clinical samples was similar to the one seen in human TPE strains. The newly designed LAMP assays provide proof of concept for a diagnostic tool that enhances yaws clinical diagnosis. It is highly specific for the target DNA and does not require expensive laboratory equipment. Test results can potentially be interpreted with the naked eye, which makes it suitable for the use in remote clinical settings.

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<![CDATA[Acceptability of Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) among Male Sexually Transmitted Diseases Patients (MSTDP) in China]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da0bab0ee8fa60b77819

Voluntary Medical Male circumcision (VMMC) is an evidence-based, yet under-utilized biomedical HIV intervention in China. No study has investigated acceptability of VMMC among male sexually transmitted diseases patients (MSTDP) who are at high risk of HIV transmission. A cross-sectional survey interviewed 350 HIV negative heterosexual MSTDP in Shenzhen, China; 12.0% (n = 42) of them were circumcised at the time of survey. When the uncircumcised participants (n = 308) were informed that VMMC could reduce the risk of HIV infection via heterosexual intercourse by 50%, the prevalence of acceptability of VMMC in the next six months was 46.1%. Adjusted for significant background variables, significant factors of acceptability of VMMC included: 1) emotional variables: the Emotional Representation Subscale (adjusted odds ratios, AOR = 1.13, 95%CI: 1.06–1.18), 2) cognitive variables derived from Health Belief Model (HBM): perceived some chance of having sex with HIV positive women in the next 12 months (AOR = 2.48, 95%CI: 1.15–5.33) (perceived susceptibility), perceived severity of STD infection (AOR = 1.06, 95%CI: 1.02–1.10), perceived benefit of VMMC in risk reduction (AOR = 1.29, 95%CI: 1.16–1.42) and sexual performance (AOR = 1.45, 95%CI: 1.26–1.71), perceived barriers against taking up VMMC (AOR = 0.88, 95%CI: 0.81–0.95), and perceived cue to action (AOR = 1.41, 95%CI: 1.23–1.61) and self-efficacy (AOR = 1.38, 95%CI: 1.26–1.35) related to taking up VMMC. The association between perceived severity of STD infection and acceptability was fully mediated by emotional representation of STD infection. The relatively low prevalence of circumcision and high acceptability suggested that the situation was favorable for implementing VMMC as a means of HIV intervention among MSTDP in China. HBM is a potential suitable framework to guide the design of future VMMC promotion. Future implementation programs should be conducted in STD clinic settings, taking the important findings of this study into account.

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<![CDATA[Neonate Human Remains: A Window of Opportunity to the Molecular Study of Ancient Syphilis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db13ab0ee8fa60bcc96c

Ancient DNA (aDNA) analysis can be a useful tool in bacterial disease diagnosis in human remains. However, while the recovery of Mycobacterium spp. has been widely successful, several authors report unsuccessful results regarding ancient treponemal DNA, casting doubts on the usefulness of this technique for the diagnosis of ancient syphilis. Here, we present results from an analysis of four newborn specimens recovered from the crypt of “La Ermita de la Soledad” (XVI–XVII centuries), located in the province of Huelva in the southwest of Spain. We extracted and analyzed aDNA in three independent laboratories, following specific procedures generally practiced in the aDNA field, including cloning of the amplified DNA fragments and sequencing of several clones. This is the most ancient case, reported to date, from which detection of DNA from T. pallidum subspecies pallidum has been successful in more than one individual, and we put forward a hypothesis to explain this result, taking into account the course of the disease in neonate individuals.

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<![CDATA[Comparison of Serological Response to Doxycycline versus Benzathine Penicillin G in the Treatment of Early Syphilis in HIV-Infected Patients: A Multi-Center Observational Study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da3aab0ee8fa60b87884

Background

While doxycycline is recommended as an alternative treatment of syphilis in patients with penicillin allergy or intolerance, clinical studies to compare serological response to doxycycline versus benzathine penicillin in treatment of early syphilis among HIV-infected patients remain sparse.

Methods

We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of HIV-infected patients with early syphilis who received doxycycline 100 mg twice daily for 14 days (doxycycline group) and those who received 1 dose of benzathine penicillin (2.4 million units) (penicillin group) between 2007 and 2013. Serological responses defined as a decline of rapid plasma reagin titer by 4-fold or greater at 6 and 12 months of treatment were compared between the two groups.

Results

During the study period, 123 and 271 patients in the doxycycline and penicillin group, respectively, completed 6 months or longer follow-up. Ninety-one and 271 patients in the doxycycline and penicillin group, respectively, completed 12 months or longer follow-up. Clinical characteristics were similar between the two groups, except that, compared with penicillin group, doxycycline group had a lower proportion of patients with secondary syphilis (65.4% versus 41.5%, P<0.0001) and a higher proportion of patients with early latent syphilis (25.3% versus 49.6%, P<0.0001). No statistically significant differences were found in the serological response rates to doxycycline versus benzathine penicillin at 6 months (63.4% versus 72.3%, P = 0.075) and 12 months of treatment (65.9% versus 68.3%, P = 0.681). In multivariate analysis, secondary syphilis, but not treatment regimen, was consistently associated with serological response at 6 and 12 months of follow-up.

Conclusions

The serological response rates to a 14-day course of doxycycline and a single dose of benzathine penicillin were similar in HIV-infected patients with early syphilis at 6 and 12 months of follow-up. Patients with secondary syphilis were more likely to achieve serological response than those with other stages.

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<![CDATA[Point-of-Care Tests to Strengthen Health Systems and Save Newborn Lives: The Case of Syphilis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db49ab0ee8fa60bd985e

Rosanna Peeling and colleagues describe their experience of introducing point-of-care testing to screen for syphilis in pregnant women living in low- and middle-income countries.

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<![CDATA[Effectiveness of Integrated HIV Prevention Interventions among Chinese Men Who Have Sex with Men: Evaluation of a 16-City Public Health Program]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da35ab0ee8fa60b8604a

To examine the impacts of a multi-city HIV prevention public health program (China Global Fund Round 5 Project) on condom use and HIV infection, we analyzed four yearly cross-sectional surveys from 2006 through 2009 among 20,843 men who have sex with men (MSM) in 16 Chinese cities. Self-reported condom use at last sex with a male partner increased from 58% in 2006 to 81% in 2009 (trend test, P<0.001). HIV prevalence increased from 2.3% in 2006 to 5.3% in 2009 (P<0.001). Multivariable logistic regression analysis showed that self-reported receipt of interventions was an independent predictor of increased condom use at last sex with a male partner over time (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.63 in 2006 to 2.33 in 2009; P<0.001), and lower HIV prevalence (aOR, 1.08 in 2006 to 0.45 in 2009; P<0.001). HIV prevalence increased from 2006–2009 for participants with no self-reported receipt of interventions (2.1% in 2006 to 10.3% in 2009) and less so for those with interventions (2.4% to 4.7%). This Chinese public health program had positive impacts on both behaviors and disease rate among MSM population. Escalation of the coverage and intensity of effective interventions is needed for further increasing condom use and for reversing the rising trend of HIV epidemic.

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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[HIV and Other Sexually Transmitted Infections among Men Who Have Sex with Men Recruited by RDS in Buenos Aires, Argentina: High HIV and HPV Infection]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db2dab0ee8fa60bd1a92

Background

The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of HIV and other STIs, among MSM from Buenos Aires (2007–2009).

Methods

Responding Driven Sampling was used for recruitment of MSM. Participants completed a structured web-based survey and provided biological samples.

Results

A total of 496 MSM were studied for HIV, HBV, HCV, and T pallidum infections. Chlamydia and HPV diagnoses were only performed in 98 and 109 participants, respectively. Prevalence of HIV was 17.3%, HBV 22.9%, HCV 7.5%, T pallidum 20.5%, HPV 83.5%, and C trachomatis 1.7%. In the year prior to the evaluation, 71% of the participants had had sex with men and/or trans and women (MMW) while 29% had not had sex with women (MM). Comparing MM to MMW, prevalence of HIV (30.7% vs. 11.9%, p<0.001), HBV (36.4% vs. 17.8%, p<0.001), T pallidum (32.1% vs. 15.7%, p<0.001), and HPV (88.3% vs. 70.4%, p = 0.039) were significantly higher among MM, whereas no significant differences were found for HCV and C trachomatis. The MM group had also significantly higher HIV incidence (5.60 vs. 4.28 per 100 persons-year, p = 0.032). HPV genotypes 16, 6, and 11 were the most frequently found; 40.7% of the MSM had more than one genotype and one high risk genotype was detected in 43.6% of participants.

Conclusions

Both MM and MMW are at high risk of infection for HIV and other STIs. Rates of HIV, HBV, T pallidum and HPV infections are higher in the MM group.

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<![CDATA[HIV Incidence and Predictors of Incident HIV among Men Who Have Sex with Men Attending a Sexual Health Clinic in Melbourne, Australia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da61ab0ee8fa60b9103e

Introduction

The aim of this study was to determine the risk factors for HIV infection and the incidence in men who have sex with men (MSM). It is important to identify subgroups of MSM in which preventive interventions such as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) offered at the time of their last negative test would be considered cost-effective.

Methods

We conducted a retrospective cohort study of MSM attending Melbourne Sexual Health Centre (MSHC) during 2007–2013 with at least two HIV tests within 12 months of each other. Demographic characteristics, sexual and other behaviours, and bacterial sexually transmitted infection (STI) diagnoses were extracted from the date of the last negative HIV test. HIV incidence rate (IR) per 100 person-years for each risk factor was calculated.

Results

Of the 13907 MSM who attended MSHC, 5256 MSM had at least two HIV tests and were eligible, contributing 6391 person-years follow-up. 81 new HIV diagnoses were identified within 12 months of an HIV negative test with an incidence of 1.3 (95% CI: 1.0–1.6) per 100 person-years. Significant associations with subsequent HIV infection were: rectal gonorrhea (HIV IR: 3.4 95% CI: 2.1–5.2), rectal chlamydia (HIV IR: 2.6 95% CI: 1.7–3.7), inconsistent condom use (HIV IR: 2.1 95% CI: 1.6–2.7), use of post-exposure prophylaxis (HIV IR: 2.3 95% CI: 1.7–3.1), and injecting drug use (HIV IR: 8.5 95% CI: 3.4–17.5).

Conclusion

The incidence of HIV was above 2.0% in subgroups of MSM with specific characteristics at the last HIV negative test. PrEP is considered cost effective at this incidence and could potentially be used along with other preventive interventions for these individuals in more than half of the population.

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<![CDATA[Thermal Restriction as an Antimicrobial Function of Fever]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db25ab0ee8fa60bd0283 ]]> <![CDATA[Rapid Syphilis Testing Is Cost-Effective Even in Low-Prevalence Settings: The CISNE-PERU Experience]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da07ab0ee8fa60b76576

Studies have addressed cost-effectiveness of syphilis testing of pregnant women in high-prevalence settings. This study compares costs of rapid syphilis testing (RST) with laboratory-based rapid plasma reagin (RPR) tests in low-prevalence settings in Peru. The RST was introduced in a tertiary-level maternity hospital and in the Ventanilla Network of primary health centers, where syphilis prevalence is approximately 1%. The costs per woman tested and treated with RST at the hospital were $2.70 and $369 respectively compared with $3.60 and $740 for RPR. For the Ventanilla Network the costs per woman tested and treated with RST were $3.19 and $295 respectively compared with $5.55 and $1454 for RPR. The cost per DALY averted using RST was $46 vs. $109 for RPR. RST showed lower costs compared to the WHO standard costs per DALY ($64). Findings suggest syphilis screening with RST is cost-effective in low-prevalence settings.

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<![CDATA[Factors Associated with HIV Infection in Married or Cohabitating Couples in Kenya: Results from a Nationally Representative Study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da7bab0ee8fa60b98773

Background

In order to inform prevention programming, we analyzed HIV discordance and concordance within couples in the Kenya AIDS Indicator Survey (KAIS) 2007.

Methods

KAIS was a nationally representative population-based sero-survey that examined demographic and behavioral indicators and serologic testing for HIV, HSV-2, syphilis, and CD4 cell counts in 15,853 consenting adults aged 15–64 years. We analyzed interview and blood testing data at the sexual partnership level from married or cohabitating couples. Multivariable regression models were used to identify factors independently associated with HIV discordant and concordant status.

Results

Of 3256 couples identified in the survey, 2748 (84.4%) had interview and blood testing data. Overall, 3.8% of couples were concordantly infected with HIV, and in 5.8% one partner was infected, translating to 338,000 discordant couples in Kenya. In 83.6% of HIV-infected Kenyans living in married or cohabitating couples neither partner knew their HIV status. Factors independently associated with HIV-discordance included young age in women (AOR 1.5, 95% CI: 1.2–1.8; p<0.0001), increasing number of lifetime sexual partners in women (AOR 1.5, 95% CI: 1.3–1.8; p<0.0001), HSV-2 infection in either or both partners (AOR 4.1, 95% CI: 2.3–7.2; p<0.0001), and lack of male circumcision (AOR 1.6, 95% CI: 1.0–2.5; p = 0.032). Independent factors for HIV-concordance included HSV-2 infection in both partners (AOR 6.5, 95% CI: 2.3–18.7; p = 0.001) and lack of male circumcision (AOR 1.8, 95% CI: 1.0–3.3; p = 0.043).

Conclusions

Couple prevention interventions should begin early in relationships and include mutual knowledge of HIV status, reduction of outside sexual partners, and promotion of male circumcision among HIV-uninfected men. Mechanisms for effective prevention or suppression of HSV-2 infection are also needed.

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<![CDATA[Prevalence of condomless anal intercourse and recent HIV testing and their associated factors among men who have sex with men in Hangzhou, China: A respondent-driven sampling survey]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db50ab0ee8fa60bdbf14

Men who have sex with men (MSM) are a large high-risk population for HIV infection in recent years in China. A cross-sectional survey was conducted in Hangzhou, China, to determine rates of condomless anal intercourse (CAI), recent HIV testing (in the recent year) and associated factors using respondent-driven sampling. Questionnaires using face-to-face interviews were employed to collect data on sexual risk behaviors and HIV testing. Five hundred eleven MSM were recruited, of which 459 (89.8%) had anal intercourse in the past 6 months. Of these 459 participants, 457 (99.6%) answered whether they had taken an HIV test in the recent year, so only their data were analyzed. Weighted data were analyzed using bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis. The CAI rate with male partners in the past 6 months was 43.7% (95% confidence interval [CI], 34.0–51.5%), while the rate of condomless vaginal intercourse (CVI) was 21.6% (95% CI, 15.6–32.3%). The prevalence of recent HIV testing was 56.8% (95% CI, 48.7–66.5%), while the prevalence of HIV and syphilis were 8.8% and 6.5%, respectively. Multivariate analysis indicated that CAI was associated with earlier homosexual debut, suicidal inclinations, childhood sexual abuse, HIV testing in the recent year, and lower estimate of HIV prevalence. Recent HIV testing was associated with homosexual debut age, engaging in CAI with male partners in the past 6 months, having oral sex in the past 6 months, self-perceived higher likelihood of HIV infection, knowing about antiretroviral therapy for HIV/AIDS, receiving AIDS/sexually transmitted infection (STI) interventions in the past year, and syphilis infection. Given high prevalence of HIV and syphilis, high levels of CAI and CVI, and low HIV testing rate, the results indicated high risk of HIV infection and transmission among MSM. HIV prevention interventions should target MSM with early homosexual debut and psychosocial health problems, while HIV/AIDS education among MSM should focus on increasing knowledge of HIV risk, estimated HIV prevalence and antiretroviral therapy, and improving risk perception of HIV acquisition.

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