Even though remarkable progress has been achieved, HIV/AIDS continues to be a major global health priority. HIV discordant relationship is one of the emerging issues in HIV prevention endeavour. In Ethiopia, very little is known about HIV-serodiscordant couples particularly how they manage their sexual relationship and fertility desire. Therefore, we conduct this study with the aim of exploring the experiences of HIV discordant couples about their sexual life, and fertility desire in the context of long-term relationships in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
A grounded theory approach was employed using in-depth interviews among 36 informants in ART/PMTCT centers of three public hospitals, a health center and one PLHIV association in Addis Ababa. Theoretical sampling was used to recruit 28 clients who lived in a discordant relationship and eight health care providers as key informants. Data collection and analysis were undertaken simultaneously using a constant comparison. The analysis was facilitated using OpenCode software.
A grounded theory pertaining to sexual life and desire to have a child among HIV discordant couples emerged as “maintaining the relationship” as a core category. Couples pass through a social process of struggle to maintain their relationship. The causal conditions for couples to enter into the process of struggle to maintain their relationship were collectively categorized as “Entering in-to a transition” (knowing HIV serostatus) and this includes mismatch of desire to have a child, controversy on safe sex versus desire to have a child, and undeniable change in sexual desire and practice through time were the features in entering into-transition. Then after the transition, couples engaged in certain actions/strategies that are categorized as “dealing with discordancy” such as entertaining partner’s interest by scarifying once self interest to maintain their relationship.
HIV discordant couples’ relationship is filled with controversies of maintaining relationship versus fear of getting infected. The findings of this study have suggested the need to view discordant couple’s actions as a process of maintaining their relationship in the context of eminent risks. Further study should be done among HIV discordant couples to assess the fitness of the current model in different setups and population. In addition, a study could begin to test the hypotheses proposed in this study.
Isoniazide preventive therapy (IPT) is given to individuals with latent infection of tuberculosis (TB) to prevent the progression to active disease. One of the primary reasons for failure of IPT is poor adherence.
A cross sectional study was conducted in four hospitals in Addis Ababa. Data were collected using a pre-tested interviewer-administered structured questionnaire. Bivariate and multivariate analysis was done to identify predictors of IPT.
A total of 319 (97.5%) individual participated in this study. Within seven days recall period, self-reported dose adherence rate was 86.5%. Individual who received explanation about IPT from health care providers (OR = 7.74; 95%CI: 3.144, 19.058); who had good feeling/comfortable to take IPT in front of other people [OR = 5.981, 95%CI (2.308, 15.502)] and who attended clinical appointment regularly (OR = 4.0; 95%CI: 1.062, 15.073) were more likely to adhere to IPT. Participants who developed IPT related adverse effect were 93% less likely to adhere to the prescribed doses (OR = 0.065; 95%CI: 0.024, 0.179).
The prevalence of self reported dose adherence over the past 7 days was higher. Non-adherence was observed among respondent who were not provided with sufficient information about IPT. The health care providers need to strengthen their educational and counseling efforts to convince the patient before putting them on IPT. To enhance adherence, health education efforts should focus on the importance of IPT, the details of the regimen and adverse effects.
Adherence; TB; Isoniazid Preventive Therapy; HIV; Ethiopia
Diagnostic disclosure of HIV/AIDS to a child is becoming an increasingly common issue in clinical practice. Nevertheless, some parents and health care professionals are reluctant to inform children about their HIV infection status. The objective of this study was to identify the proportion of children who have knowledge of their serostatus and factors associated with disclosure in HIV-infected children receiving HAART in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
A cross-sectional study was conducted in five hospitals in Addis Ababa from February 18, 2008–April 28, 2008. The study populations were parents/caretakers and children living with HIV/AIDS who were receiving Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) in selected hospitals in Addis Ababa. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis were carried out using SPSS 12.0.1 statistical software.
A total of 390 children/caretaker pairs were included in the study. Two hundred forty three children (62.3%) were between 6–9 years of age. HIV/AIDS status was known by 68 (17.4%) children, 93 (29%) caretakers reported knowing the child's serostatus two years prior to our survey, 180 (46.2%) respondents said that the child should be told about his/her HIV/AIDS status when he/she is older than 14 years of age. Children less than 9 years of age and those living with educated caregivers are less likely to know their results than their counterparts. Children referred from hospital's in-patient ward before attending the HIV clinic and private clinic were more likely to know their results than those from community clinic.
The proportion of disclosure of HIV/AIDS diagnosis to HIV-infected children is low. Strengthening referral linkage and health education tailored to educated caregivers are recommended to increase the rate of disclosure.
The World Health Organization recommends isoniazid preventive therapy (IPT) for preventing tuberculosis in HIV-infected adults, although few countries have instituted this policy. Both IPT and highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) used separately result in reductions in tuberculosis risk. There is less information on the combined effect of IPT and HAART. We assessed the effect of IPT, HAART or both IPT and HAART on tuberculosis incidence in HIV-infected adults in South Africa.
Two clinical cohorts of HIV-infected patients were studied. Primary exposures were receipt of IPT and/or HAART and the primary outcome was incident tuberculosis. Crude incident rates and incident rate ratios were calculated and Cox proportional hazards models investigated associations with tuberculosis risk.
Among 2778 HIV-infected patients followed for 4287 person-years, 267 incident tuberculosis cases were diagnosed [incidence rate ratio (IRR) = 6.2/100 person-years; 95% CI 5.5–7.0]. For person-time without IPT or HAART, the IRR was 7.1/100 person-years (95% CI 6.2–8.2); for person-time receiving HAART but without IPT, the IRR was 4.6/100 person-years (95% CI 3.4–6.2); for person-time after IPT but prior to HAART, the IRR was 5.2/100 person-years (95% CI 3.4–7.8); during follow-up in patients treated with HAART after receiving IPT the IRR was 1.1/100 person-years (95% CI 0.02–7.6). Compared to treatment-naive patients, HAART-only patients had a 64% decreased hazard for tuberculosis [adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) = 0.36; 95% CI 0.25–0.51], and patients receiving HAART after IPT had a 89% reduced hazard (aHR = 0.11; 95% CI 0.02–0.78).
Tuberculosis risk is significantly reduced by IPT in HAART-treated adults in a high-incidence operational setting in South Africa. IPT is an inexpensive and cost-effective strategy and our data strengthen calls for the implementation of IPT in conjunction with the roll-out of HAART.
HAART; isoniazid; preventive treatment; sub-Saharan Africa; tuberculosis
The prevention and control of high blood pressure or other cardiovascular diseases has not received due attention in many developing countries. This study aims to describe the epidemiology of high blood pressure among adults in Addis Ababa, so as to inform policy and lay the ground for surveillance interventions.
Addis Ababa is the largest urban centre and national capital of Ethiopia, hosting about 25% of the urban population in the country. A probabilistic sample of adult males and females, 25–64 years of age residing in Addis Ababa city participated in structured interviews and physical measurements. We employed a population based, cross sectional survey, using the World Health Organization instrument for stepwise surveillance (STEPS) of chronic disease risk factors. Data on selected socio-demographic characteristics and lifestyle behaviours, including physical activity, as well as physical measurements such as weight, height, waist and hip circumference, and blood pressure were collected through standardized procedures. Multiple linear regression analysis was performed to estimate the coefficient of variability of blood pressure due to selected socio-demographic and behavioural characteristics, and physical measurements.
A total of 3713 adults participated in the study. About 20% of males and 38% of females were overweight (body-mass-index ≥ 25 kg/m2), with 10.8 (9.49, 12.11)% of the females being obese (body-mass-index ≥ 30 kg/m2). Similarly, 17% of the males and 31% of the females were classified as having low level of total physical activity. The age-adjusted prevalence (95% confidence interval) of high blood pressure, defined as systolic blood pressure (SBP) ≥ 140 mmHg (millimetres of mercury) or diastolic blood pressure (DBP) ≥ 90 mmHg or reported use of anti-hypertensive medication, was 31.5% (29.0, 33.9) among males and 28.9% (26.8, 30.9) among females.
High blood pressure is widely prevalent in Addis Ababa and may represent a silent epidemic in this population. Overweight, obesity and physical inactivity are important determinants of high blood pressure. There is an urgent need for strategies and programmes to prevent and control high blood pressure, and promote healthy lifestyle behaviours primarily among the urban populations of Ethiopia.
Despite the fact that Ethiopia has scale up antiretroviral treatment (ART) program, little is known about the patient satisfaction with ART monitoring laboratory services in health facilities. We therefore aimed to assess patient satisfaction with laboratory services at ART clinics in public hospitals.
Hospital based, descriptive cross sectional study was conducted from October to November 2010 among clients attending in nine public hospitals ART clinics in Addis Ababa Ethiopia. Patients’ satisfaction towards laboratory services was assessed using exit interview structured questionnaire. Data were coded and entered using EPI info 2002 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Atlanta, GA) and analyzed using SPSS version 15 software (SPSS INC, Chicago, IL, USA).
A total of 406 clients were involved in the study. Of these 255(62.8%) were females. The overall satisfaction rate for ART monitoring laboratory services was (85.5%). Patients were satisfied with measures taken by health care providers to keep confidentiality and ability of the person drawing blood to answer question (98.3% and 96.3% respectively). Moreover, the finding of this study revealed, statistical significant associations between the overall patients’ satisfaction with waiting time to get blood drawing service, availability of ordered laboratory tests and waiting time to get laboratory result with (p < 0.05). Patients receiving blood drawing service less than 30 minute were 7.59 times (95% CI AOR: 3.92–14.70) to be more satisfied with ART monitoring laboratory services compared to those who underwent for more than 30 minutes.
Overall, the satisfaction survey showed, most respondents were satisfied with ART monitoring laboratory services. However, factors such as improving accessibility and availability of latrines should be taken into consideration in order to improve the overall satisfaction.
Patient satisfaction; ART; Laboratory services; Ethiopia
Over the past decade there is a trend of fast development in the private hospital sector in Ethiopia. This important component of the health care system has received policy attention and federal government is a promoter for private health care. Yet lack of basic data on the factors affecting the growth of private health care provision in the country and no studies are available on this issue in Ethiopia. The aim of this study is to get some preliminary insights on the factors affecting the growth and development of private hospital sector in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia with perspective of provider.
A hospital based qualitative study was conducted in 25 for-profit hospitals in Addis Ababa using key informant in-depth interviews and secondary data was collected from Federal Ministry of Health and Addis Ababa City Health Administration and private hospital providers.
The findings of the study suggest that private hospital sector is expanding significantly in recent years in Ethiopia. The active role of government is a catalyst for the growth of private facilities in the country. Factors outside the health are growing disposable income, improvements in literacy, road networks, population growth and long standing diseases, all contribute to the trend. But private providers are facing many problems, like availability of trained manpower, escalation of costs, availability and quality of drugs and financing mechanisms.
Private hospital sector is expanding in Ethiopia. But private providers are vulnerable to imperfections in the existing market structure. Government and professional bodies need to make a concerted effort to address these issues and design appropriate strategies to promote and regulate this sector effectively.
Private hospital sector; Development; Providers
Symptom management for persons living with HIV (PLHIV) or AIDS is an important part of care management. Limited information about symptom prevalence exists about HIV infected persons in South Africa, in particular in the context of antiretroviral treatment (ART). The aim of this study was to assess HIV symptoms and demographic, social and disease variables of people living with HIV in South Africa.
In 2007 607 PLHIV, sampled by all districts in the Eastern Cape Province and recruited through convenience sampling, were interviewed by PLHIV at health facilities, key informants in the community and support groups.
Two-thirds of the PLHIV (66%) classified themselves with being given an AIDS (advanced stage of HIV) diagnosis, 48% were currently on ART, 35% were currently on a disability grant for HIV/AIDS and for 13% the disability grant had been stopped. Participants reported that on the day of the interview, they were experiencing an average of 26.1 symptoms out of a possible 64. In a regression model with demographic and social variables, higher HIV symptom levels were associated with lower educational levels, higher age, urban residence and not on a disability grant, lack of enough food and having a health insurance, and in a regression model with demographic, social and disease variables only being on ART, lack of enough food and having a health insurance were associated with HIV symptoms.
Symptom assessment provides information that may be valuable in evaluating AIDS treatment regimens and defining strategies to improve quality of life. Because of the high levels of symptoms reported, the results imply an urgent need for effective health care, home- and community-based as well as self-care symptom management to help patients and their families manage and control AIDS symptoms.
Advances in HIV antiretroviral therapy (ART) has reduced mortality in people living with HIV (PLHIV), resulting in an ageing population of PLHIV. Knowledge of demographic details such as age, geographical location and sex, will aid in the planning of training and resource allocation to effectively care for the future complex health needs of PLHIV.
An agent-based, stochastic, geographical model was developed to determine the current and future demographic of PLHIV in Australia. Data and parameters were sourced from Australia's National HIV Registry and peer reviewed literature. Processes that were simulated include progression to AIDS, mortality and internal migration.
The model estimates the mean age of PLHIV in Australia is increasing at a rate of 0.49 years each year. The expected proportion of PLHIV in over 55 years is estimated to increase from 25.3% in 2010 to 44.2% in 2020. Median age is lower in inner-city areas of the capital cities than in rural areas. The areas with the highest prevalence of HIV will continue to be capital cities; however, other areas will have greater percentage growth from 2010 to 2020.
The age of the population of people living with HIV is expected to increase considerably in the future. As the population of PLHIV ages, specialist clinical training and resource provision in the aged care sector will also need to be addressed.
The introduction of combination antiretroviral therapy (ART) has resulted in striking reductions in HIV-related mortality. Despite increased availability of ART, children remain a neglected population. This may be due to concerns that failure to adhere appears to be related to continued viral replication, treatment failure and the emergence of drug-resistant strains of HIV. This study determines the rates and factors associated with adherence to Antiretroviral (ARV) Drug therapy in HIV-infected children who were receiving Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 2008.
A cross-sectional study was conducted in five hospitals in Addis Ababa from February 18 – April 28, 2008. The study population entailed parents/caretaker and index children who were following ART in the health facilities. A structured questionnaire was used for data collection.
A total of 390 children respondents were included in the study with a response rate of 91%. The majority, equaling 205 (52.6%) of the children, were greater than 9 years of age. Fifty five percent of the children were girls. A total of 339 children (86.9%) as reported by caregivers were adherent to antiretroviral drugs for the past 7 days before the interview. Numerous variables were found to be significantly associated with adherence: children whose parents did not pay a fee for treatment [OR = 0.39 (95%CI: 0.16, 0.92)], children who had ever received any nutritional support from the clinic [OR = 0.34 (95%CI: 0.14, 0.79)] were less likely to adhere. Whereas children who took co-trimoxazole medication/syrup besides ARVs [OR = 3.65 (95%CI: 1.24, 10.74)], children who did not know their sero-status [OR = 2.53 (95%CI: 1.24, 5.19)] and children who were not aware of their caregiver's health problem [OR = 2.45 (95%CI: 1.25, 4.81)] were more likely to adhere than their counterparts.
Adherence to HAART in children in Addis Ababa was higher than other similar setups. However, there are still significant numbers of children who are non-adherent to HAART.
Northern Uganda experienced severe civil conflict for over 20 years and is also a region of high HIV prevalence. This study examined knowledge of, access to, and factors associated with use of family planning services among people living with HIV (PLHIV) in this region.
Between February and May 2009, a total of 476 HIV clinic attendees from three health facilities in Gulu, Northern Uganda, were interviewed using a structured questionnaire. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with another 26 participants. Factors associated with use of family planning methods were examined using logistic regression methods, while qualitative data was analyzed within a social-ecological framework using thematic analysis.
There was a high level of knowledge about family planning methods among the PLHIV surveyed (96%). However, there were a significantly higher proportion of males (52%) than females (25%) who reported using contraception. Factors significantly associated with the use of contraception were having ever gone to school [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 4.32, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.33-14.07; p = .015], discussion of family planning with a health worker (AOR = 2.08, 95% CI: 1.01-4.27; p = .046), or with one's spouse (AOR = 5.13, 95% CI: 2.35-11.16; p = .000), not attending the Catholic-run clinic (AOR = 3.67, 95% CI: 1.79-7.54; p = .000), and spouses' non-desire for children (AOR = 2.19, 95% CI: 1.10-4.36; p = .025). Qualitative data revealed six major factors influencing contraception use among PLHIV in Gulu including personal and structural barriers to contraceptive use, perceptions of family planning, decision making, covert use of family planning methods and targeting of women for family planning services.
Multilevel, context-specific health interventions including an integration of family planning services into HIV clinics could help overcome some of the individual and structural barriers to accessing family planning services among PLHIV in Gulu. The integration also has the potential to reduce HIV incidence in this post-conflict region.
HIV/AIDS; contraception; mixed methods; Northern Uganda
People living with HIV (PLWH) who have positive tuberculin skin tests (TST) benefit from isoniazid preventive therapy (IPT) whereas those testing TST-negative do not. Revised World Health Organization guidelines explicitly state that assessment of TST is not a requirement for initiation of IPT. However, it is not known what proportions of patients will benefit from IPT if implemented without targeting according to TST status. We therefore determined the proportions of PLWH who test TST-positive.
We systematically reviewed the literature published between January 1990 and February 2012 to determine the proportions of patients without active tuberculosis attending HIV care services in low and middle-income countries who tested TST-positive (≥5 mm induration). Proportions were also determined for different CD4 count strata. Data from 19 studies with 9,478 PLWH from sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and Central and South America were summarized. The vast majority were not receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART). A sub-analysis was conducted of 5 studies (5,567 subjects) from high TB prevalence countries of PLWH with negative TB screens attending HIV care and treatment settings for whom CD4 stratified data were available. The median proportion of PLWH testing TST-positive overall was 22.8% (range, 19.5–32.6%). The median (range) proportions with CD4 cell counts of <200, 200–499 or ≥500 cells/µL who tested positive were 12.4% (8.2–15.3%), 28.4% (20.1–36.9%) and 37.4% (31.3–56.3%), respectively. Heterogeneity in the data precluded calculation of pooled summary estimates.
In most settings, if IPT is administered to PLWH pre-ART without assessment of TST status, only a minority of those treated are likely to benefit, especially among those with the lowest CD4 cell counts. This may be inefficient use of resources and cost-effectiveness analyses should take this into account. Local knowledge of TST response rates may help inform policies. New simple means of identifying those who will benefit from IPT are needed to permit appropriate targeting of this intervention.
HIV spread continues at high rates from infected persons to their sexual partners. In 2009, an estimated 2.6 million new infections occurred globally. People living with HIV (PLHIV) receiving treatment are in contact with health workers and therefore exposed to prevention messages. By contrast, PLHIV not receiving ART often fall outside the ambit of prevention programs. There is little information on their sexual risk behaviors. This study in Mombasa Kenya therefore explored sexual behaviors of PLHIV not receiving any HIV treatment.
Using modified targeted snowball sampling, 698 PLHIV were recruited through community health workers and HIV-positive peer counsellors. Of the 59.2% sexually-active PLHIV, 24.5% reported multiple sexual partners. Of all sexual partners, 10.2% were HIV negative, while 74.5% were of unknown HIV status. Overall, unprotected sex occurred in 52% of sexual partnerships; notably with 32% of HIV-negative partners and 54% of partners of unknown HIV status in the last 6 months. Multivariate analysis, controlling for intra-client clustering, showed non-disclosure of HIV status (AOR: 2.38, 95%CI: 1.47-3.84, p < 0.001); experiencing moderate levels of perceived stigma (AOR: 2.94, 95%CI: 1.50-5.75, p = 0.002); and believing condoms reduce sexual pleasure (AOR: 2.81, 95%CI: 1.60-4.91, p < 0.001) were independently associated with unsafe sex. Unsafe sex was also higher in those using contraceptive methods other than condoms (AOR: 5.47, 95%CI: 2.57-11.65, p < 0.001); or no method (AOR: 3.99, 95%CI: 2.06-7.75, p < 0.001), compared to condom users.
High-risk sexual behaviors are common among PLHIV not accessing treatment services, raising the risk of HIV transmission to discordant partners. This population can be identified and reached in the community. Prevention programs need to urgently bring this population into the ambit of prevention and care services. Moreover, beginning HIV treatment earlier might assist in bringing this group into contact with providers and HIV prevention services, and in reducing risk behaviors.
PLHIV; Prevention of sexual transmission of HIV; Sexual behavior; Unsafe sex; Africa
Health and development organizations increasingly promote livelihood interventions to improve health and economic outcomes for people living with HIV (PLHIV) receiving treatment with antiretroviral therapy (ART). In-depth understanding about how PLHIV make labor decisions in the context of treatment for HIV – and treatment decisions in the context of their livelihoods – is essential to guiding intervention design and developing hypotheses for future research on livelihoods and ART. However, few studies have explored the perspectives of PLHIV regarding integration of livelihoods and ART in urban, resource-limited settings.
Qualitative interviews explored the livelihood experiences of food insecure ART patients in four Bolivian cities (n = 211). Topics included work-related barriers to ART adherence, HIV-related barriers to work, and economic coping mechanisms. Themes were identified using content coding procedures, with two coders to maximize reliability.
Participants reported complex economic lives often characterized by multiple economic activities, including both formal and informal labor. They struggled to manage ART treatment and livelihoods simultaneously, and faced a range of interpersonal and structural barriers. In particular, lack of HIV status disclosure, stigma, and discrimination were highly salient issues for study participants and likely to be unique to people with HIV, leading to conflict around requesting time off for clinic visits, resentment from co-workers about time off, and difficulties adhering to medication schedules. In addition, health system issues such as limited clinic hours or drug shortages exacerbated the struggle to balance economic activities with HIV treatment adherence.
Improved policy-level efforts to enforce existing anti-discrimination laws, reduce HIV-related stigma, and expand health services accessibility could mitigate many of the barriers discussed by our participants, improve adherence, and reduce the need for livelihoods interventions.
Objective. To describe the prevalence and correlates of dual-contraceptive methods use (condoms and an effective pregnancy prevention method) and barriers to their use among married persons living with HIV (PLHIV) in India. Methods. We conducted a quantitative survey (93 men, 97 women), 25 in-depth interviews, seven focus groups, and five key informant interviews. Results. Prevalence of dual- contraceptive method use increased from 5% before HIV diagnosis to 23% after diagnosis (P < 0.001). Condoms were the most common contraceptive method, with prevalence increasing from 13% before diagnosis to 92% after diagnosis (P < 0.001). Barriers to using noncondom contraceptives were lack of discussion about noncondom contraceptives by health care providers, lack of acceptability of noncondom contraceptives among PLHIV, and lack of involvement of husbands in family planning counseling. Conclusion. There is a need for interventions, including training of health care providers, to increase dual-contraceptive methods use among married PLHIV.
Prevention of Mother-to-Child HIV Transmission (PMTCT) is still the most effective intervention in combating new HIV infections. In 2008, revised national PMTCT guidelines that incorporated new policies on HIV counselling and testing, antiretroviral prophylaxis regimen and infant HIV diagnosis came into effect in Ethiopia. In the present study we have examined trends in PMTCT service utilization and assessed the rate of MTCT in relation to policy changes in the national PMTCT programme.
Reports from February 2004 to August 2009 were reviewed in 10 sub-cities in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The data was collected from May to October 2009.
The proportion of women who received HIV counselling and testing among new antenatal care attendees increased from 50.7% (95% CI 50.2-51.2) in 2007 to 84.5% (95% CI 84.1-84.9) in 2009 following the shift to routine opt-out testing. Nevertheless, in 2009 only 53.7% of the positive women and 40.7% of their infants received antiretroviral prophylaxis. The HIV prevalence among antenatal attendees decreased significantly from 10.5% in 2004 to 4.6% in 2009 in parallel to the increased number of women being tested. The HIV positive women were over 18 times (RR 18.5, p < 0.0001) more likely to be referred for treatment, care and support in 2009 than in 2004. The proportion of partners tested for HIV decreased by 14% in 2009 compared to 2004, although the absolute number was increasing year by year. Only 10.6% (95% CI 9.9-11.2) of the HIV positive women completed their follow up to infant HIV testing. The cumulative probability of HIV infection among babies on single dose nevirapine regimen who were tested at >=18 months was 15.0% (95% CI 9.8-22.1) in 2007, whereas it was 8.2% (95% CI 5.55-11.97) among babies on Zidovudine regimen who were tested at >=45 days in 2009.
The paper demonstrates trends in PMTCT service utilization in relation to changing policy. There is marked improvement in HIV counselling and testing service utilization, especially after the policy shift to routine opt-out testing. However, despite policy changes, the ARV prophylaxis uptake, the loss to follow up and the partner testing have remained unchanged across the years. This should be a matter of immediate concern and a topic for further research.
Although cervical cancer is a leading cause of cancer related morbidity and mortality among women in Ethiopia, there is lack of information regarding the perception of the community about the disease.
Focus group discussions were conducted with men, women, and community leaders in the rural settings of Jimma Zone southwest Ethiopia and in the capital city, Addis Ababa. Data were captured using voice recorders, and field notes were transcribed verbatim from the local languages into English language. Key categories and thematic frameworks were identified using the health belief model as a framework, and presented in narratives using the respondents own words as an illustration.
Participants had very low awareness of cervical cancer. However, once the symptoms were explained, participants had a high perception of the severity of the disease. The etiology of cervical cancer was thought to be due to breaching social taboos or undertaking unacceptable behaviors. As a result, the perceived benefits of modern treatment were very low, and various barriers to seeking any type of treatment were identified, including limited awareness and access to appropriate health services. Women with cervical cancer were excluded from society and received poor emotional support. Moreover, the aforementioned factors all caused delays in seeking any health care. Traditional remedies were the most preferred treatment option for early stage of the disease. However, as most cases presented late, treatment options were ineffective, resulting in an iterative pattern of health seeking behavior and alternated between traditional remedies and modern treatment methods.
Lack of awareness and health seeking behavior for cervical cancer was common due to misconceptions about the cause of the disease. Profound social consequences and exclusion were common. Access to services for diagnosis and treatment were poor for a variety of psycho-social, and health system reasons. Prior to the introduction or scale up of cervical cancer prevention programs, socio-cultural barriers and health service related factors that influence health seeking behavior must be addressed through appropriate community level behavior change communications.
Cervical cancer; Health seeking behavior; Ethiopia
Public Health Facilities in South Africa.
To assess the current integration of TB and HIV services in South Africa, 2011.
Cross-sectional study of 49 randomly selected health facilities in South Africa. Trained interviewers administered a standardized questionnaire to one staff member responsible for TB and HIV in each facility on aspects of TB/HIV policy, integration and recording and reporting. We calculated and compared descriptive statistics by province and facility type.
Of the 49 health facilities 35 (71%) provided isoniazid preventive therapy (IPT) and 35 (71%) offered antiretroviral therapy (ART). Among assessed sites in February 2011, 2,512 patients were newly diagnosed with HIV infection, of whom 1,913 (76%) were screened for TB symptoms, and 616 of 1,332 (46%) of those screened negative for TB were initiated on IPT. Of 1,072 patients newly registered with TB in February 2011, 144 (13%) were already on ART prior to Tb clinical diagnosis, and 451 (42%) were newly diagnosed with HIV infection. Of those, 84 (19%) were initiated on ART. Primary health clinics were less likely to offer ART compared to district hospitals or community health centers (p<0.001).
As of February 2011, integration of TB and HIV services is taking place in public medical facilities in South Africa. Among these services, IPT in people living with HIV and ART in TB patients are the least available.
Healthcare wastes contain a wide range of microorganisms among which hepatitis B virus (HBV) are the most significant pathogens. No data about the prevalence of HBV among medical waste handlers is available in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Therefore; this study was conducted to describe the prevalence of HBV infection among medical waste handlers in Government hospitals of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
A cross sectional study was conducted among 252 medical and non-medical waste handlers working in three Government hospitals of Addis Ababa between May to July, 2010. Predesigned and tested questionnaire was used to collect soiociodemographic information. Blood sample was taken from 252 waste handlers and serum was tested for Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and anti-Hepatitis core antigen (anti-HBcAg) using Enzyme Linked Immuno Sorbent Assay.
Of the 126 Medical Waste Handlers and 126 Non Medical Waste Handler, HBsAg was detected in 8 (6.3%) and 1 (0.8%), and anti-HBcAg in 60 (47.6%) and 40 (31.7%), respectively. Significant differences were observed in the detection rates of HBsAg (OR: 8, 95% CI: 1.02, 63.02; p = 0.01), Anti-HB c Ag (OR: 1.5, 95% CI: 1.1, 2.1; p = 0.01) and either markers (OR: 1.7, 95% CI: 1.2, 2.2; p = 0.001) in medical waste handlers compared to non medical waste handlers. 19.8% were trained to handle medical waste and none was immunized against HBV.
This study shows a high prevalence of HBV infection in medical waste handlers compared to non medical waste handlers. Lack of training on how to handle medical waste among medical waste handlers was high.
Among people living with HIV (PLHIV) on antiretroviral therapy (ART), it is important to determine how quality of life (QOL) may be improved and HIV-related stigma can be lessened over time. This study assessed the effect of peer support on QOL and internal stigma during the first year after initiating ART among a cohort of PLHIV in north-eastern Vietnam.
A sub-sample study of a randomised controlled trial was implemented between October 2008 and November 2010 in Quang Ninh, Vietnam. In the intervention group, participants (n = 119) received adherence support from trained peer supporters who visited participants’ houses biweekly during the first two months, thereafter weekly. In the control group, participants (n = 109) were treated according to standard guidelines, including adherence counselling, monthly health check and drug refills. Basic demographics were measured at baseline. QOL and internal stigma were measured using a Vietnamese version of the WHOQOL-HIVBREF and Internal AIDS-related Stigma Scale instruments at baseline and 12 months. T-tests were used to detect the differences between mean values, multilevel linear regressions to determine factors influencing QOL.
Overall, QOL improved significantly in the intervention group compared to the control group. Among participants initiating ART at clinical stages 3 and 4, education at high school level or above and having experiences of a family member dying from HIV were also associated with higher reported QOL. Among participants at clinical stage 1 and 2, there was no significant effect of peer support, whereas having children was associated with an increased QOL. Viral hepatitis was associated with a decreased QOL in both groups. Lower perceived stigma correlated significantly but weakly with improved QOL, however, there was no significant relation to peer support.
The peer support intervention improved QOL after 12 months among ART patients presenting at clinical stages 3 and 4 at baseline, but it had no impact on QOL among ART patients enrolled at clinical stages 1 and 2. The intervention did not have an effect on Internal AIDS-related stigma. To improve QOL for PLHIV on ART, measures to support adherence should be contextualized in accordance with individual clinical and social needs.
Quality of life; Peer support; HIV; ART; Quang Ninh; Vietnam; Randomised controlled trial
Hawassa, Southern Region of Ethiopia.
To determine compliance to isoniazid (INH) preventive therapy (IPT) and its effectiveness in preventing (TB) disease in children in contact with adults with pulmonary TB (PTB).
This was a prospective cohort study of children <15 years old in contact with adults with smear-positive PTB. Asymptomatic children ≤5 years were provided IPT independently of their Tuberculin Skin Test (TST) status and children >5 years old were given advice but did not receive IPT, as recommended by the National TB control programme. Compliance to IPT and incidence of clinical TB were determined monthly for six months and then quarterly for up to 30 months.
One hundred and eighty four children in contact with 83 smear-positive PTB cases were identified. Eighty two were ≤5 and 102>5 years old. Only 27 (33%) of 82 children given IPT took it for >4 months and 10 (12%) completed the 6-month course. The main reason for non-compliance was the perception that drugs were not necessary when the child was healthy. Eleven children (all except one >5 years old) developed symptoms of TB disease and initiated treatment, resulting in an incidence of 28.6 cases for all and 53.5 for children >5 years old per 1000 children-year.
Compliance to IPT in children is poor in Southern Region of Ethiopia and this was associated with the parents' perception of the low importance of chemoprophylaxis in asymptomatic children. Poor compliance might be an important barrier for the wider implementation of IPT.
Understanding positive prevention practices among people living with HIV (PLHIV) can provide useful insights to guide our efforts in preventing further HIV transmission, and helps to enable PLHIVs to lead healthy and responsible lives.
A cross-sectional study was conducted in three sites of Karnataka: namely Belgaum (North Karnataka), Bellary (Central Karnataka) and Hassan (South Karnataka) districts. The study period was from March to September 2010. A total of 477 PLHIV were sampled and interviewed with the help of a structured interview schedule. The interviews were conducted by trained PLHIV community interviewers.
Disclosure of status was fairly good among the studied population. The majority of men disclosed their HIV status first with their spouses, whereas women disclosed first with their mothers. Status disclosure was less among urban PLHIV when compared to rural PLHIV. Knowledge about Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) among unmarried men and women was low; higher proportions among them were involved in sexual relationships; and they reported no condom use with their regular partners. Condom use with regular partners is found to be more effective when public health messages are given through peers. Status disclosure is having a role in motivating communities for Regular CD4 testing and ART uptake.
Unmarried PLHIV need to be prioritised in our prevention efforts, to enable them to adopt safe sex practices through appropriate peer-mediated strategies. As status disclosure with family members has an important role in adhering to ART, status disclosure with family members needs to be emphasized in our programmes.
ositive preventionP; disclosure; HIV; Karnataka
Since 2001, antiretroviral therapy (ART) for people living with HIV (PLHIV) has been available in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR). A key factor in the effectiveness of ART is good adherence to the prescribed regimen for both individual well-being and public health. Poor adherence can contribute to the emergence of drug resistant strains of the virus and transmission during risky behaviors. Increased access to ART in low-income country settings has contributed to an interest in treatment adherence in resource–poor contexts. This study aims to investigate the proportion of adherence to ART and identify possible factors related to non-adherence to ART among people living with HIV (PLHIV) in Lao PDR.
A cross-sectional study was conducted with adults living with HIV receiving free ART at Setthathirath hospital in the capital Vientiane and Savannakhet provincial hospitals from June to November 2011. Three hundred and forty six PLHIV were interviewed using an anonymous questionnaire. The estimation of the adherence rate was based on the information provided by the PLHIV about the intake of medicine during the previous three days. The statistical software Epidata 3.1 and Stata 10.1 were used for data analysis. Frequencies and distribution of each variable were calculated by conventional statistical methods. The chi square test, Mann–Whitney test and logistic regression were used for bivariate analyses. Multiple logistic regression analysis was conducted to determine the predictors of non-adherence to ART. A p-value < 0.05 was considered to indicate statistical significance.
Of a total of 346 patients, 60% reported more than 95% adherence to ART. Reasons for not taking medicine as required were being busy (97.0%), and being forgetful (62.2%). In the multivariate analysis, educational level at secondary school (OR=3.7, 95% CI:1.3-10.1, p=0.012); illicit drug use (OR=16.1, 95% CI:1.9-128.3, p=0.011); dislike exercise (OR=0.6, 95% CI:0.4-0.9, p=0.028), and forgetting to take ARV medicine during the last month (OR=2.3, 95% CI:1.4-3.7, p=0.001) were independently associated with non-adherence.
Non-adherence to ART was associated with individual factors and exposure to ART. Priority measures to increase adherence to ART should aim to intensify counseling and comprehensive interventions, such as guidance for PLHIV on medication self-management skills, tailoring the regimen to the PLHIV life style, and improving adherence monitoring and health care services.
Antiretroviral therapy; Adherence; PLWHIV; Self-report; Lao PDR
Between 1990 and 1998, tuberculin skin testing (TST) and isoniazid preventive therapy (IPT) was provided to injection drug users participating in the AIDS Linked to the Intravenous Experiences (ALIVE) cohort.
A registry match was conducted with the ALIVE cohort database and the Maryland State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene tuberculosis registry.
Of 2,010 participants, 1,753(74%) had a TST placed and read; 536(31%) were positive. TST positivity was 16% in HIV-positives;39% in HIV-negatives(p<0.01). Overall, 299(56%) TST reactors started IPT; 165(55%) completed six months. Three tuberculosis cases were diagnosed among HIV-negatives (IR=0.16/1,000PYs); 19 among HIV-positives (1.94/1000PYs; IRR=12.3(3.61−64.70). Within the entire cohort, tuberculosis rates were 0.8/1000PYs for those not receiving IPT, 0.48/1000PYs for those receiving any IPT, 0.29/1000PYs for those completing at least 30 days and 0/1000PYs for completers. Ten cases of tuberculosis occurred in HIV-infected individuals with negative TSTs.
IPT was associated with protection against tuberculosis, but uptake was modest. While it is likely that tuberculosis incidence would have increased, especially in HIV-positive subjects, if the IPT program had not occurred, more significant declines in tuberculosis incidence in this population will require improved methods for ensuring uptake and completion of IPT and preventing disease in TST-negative individuals.
tuberculosis; latent tuberculosis infection; HIV
Prior to the antiretroviral (ARV) drug roll out in 2004, people living with HIV (PLHIV) in South Africa received disability grants when they were defined as "AIDS-sick". In the absence of available and effective medication, a diagnosis of AIDS portended disability. The disability grant is a critical component of South Africa's social security system, and plays an important role in addressing poverty among PLHIV. Given the prevalence of unemployment and poverty, disability grants ensure access to essential resources, like food, for PLHIV. Following the ARV roll out in South Africa, PLHIV experienced improved health that, in turn, affected their grant eligibility. Our aim is to explore whether PLHIV reduced or stopped treatment to remain eligible for the disability grant from the perspectives of both PLHIV and their doctors.
A mixed-methods design with concurrent triangulation was applied. We conducted: (1) in-depth semi-structured interviews with 29 PLHIV; (2) in-depth semi-structured interviews with eight medical doctors working in the public sector throughout the Cape Peninsula; (3) three focus group discussions with programme managers, stakeholders and community workers; and (4) a panel survey of 216 PLHIV receiving ARVs.
Unemployment and poverty were the primary concerns for PLHIV and the disability grant was viewed as a temporary way out of this vicious cycle. Although loss of the disability grant significantly affected the well-being of PLHIV, they did not discontinue ARVs. However, in a number of subtle ways, PLHIV "tipped the scales" to lower the CD4 count without stopping ARVs completely. Grant criteria were deemed ad hoc, and doctors struggled to balance economic and physical welfare when assessing eligibility.
It is crucial to provide sustainable economic support in conjunction with ARVs in order to make "positive living" a reality for PLHIV. A chronic illness grant, a basic income grant or an unemployment grant could provide viable alternatives when the PLHIV are no longer eligible for a disability grant.