The acceptability and feasibility of provider-initiated HIV testing and counseling (PITC) in many settings across Asia with concentrated HIV epidemics is not known. A pilot study of the PITC policy undertaken within the public health care systems in two districts in India offered the opportunity to understand patient's perspectives on the process of referral for HIV testing and linking to HIV treatment and care.
We conducted a cross-sectional study of randomly selected TB patients registered by the TB control program between July and November 2007 in two districts in south India. Trained interviewers met patients shortly after TB diagnosis and administered a structured questionnaire. Patients were assessed regarding their experience with HIV status assessment, referral for counseling and testing, and for HIV-infected patients the counseling itself and subsequent referral for HIV treatment and care.
Of the 568 interviewed TB patients, 455 (80%) reported being referred for HIV testing after they presented to the health facility for investigations or treatment for TB. Over half the respondents reported having to travel long distances and incurred financial difficulties in reaching the Integrated Counselling and Testing Centre (ICTC) and two-thirds had to make more than two visits. Only 48% reported having been counseled before the test. Of the 110 HIV-infected patients interviewed, (including 43 with previously-known positive HIV status and 67 detected by PITC), 89 (81%) reported being referred for anti-retroviral treatment (ART); 82 patients reached the ART centre but only 44 had been initiated on ART.
This study provides the first evidence from India that routine, provider-initiated voluntary HIV testing of TB patients is acceptable, feasible and can be achieved with very high efficiency under programmatic conditions. While PITC is useful in identifying new HIV-infected patients so that they can be successfully linked to ART, the convenience and proximity of testing centres, quality of HIV counseling, and efficiency of ART services need attention.
Surveillance data of Sindh AIDS Control Programme, Pakistan suggest that HIV infection is rapidly increasing among IDUs in Karachi and has reached 9% in 2004–5 indicating that the country has progressed from nascent to concentrated level of HIV epidemic. Findings of 2nd generation surveillance in 2004–5 also indicate 104/395 (26.3%) IDUs HIV positive in the city.
We conducted a cross sectional study among registered IDUs of a needle exchange and harm reduction programme in Karachi, Pakistan. A total of 161 IDUs were included in the study between October–November 2003. A detailed questionnaire was implemented and blood samples were collected for HIV, hepatitis B & C and syphilis. HIV, hepatitis B and C antibody tests were performed using Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) method. Syphilis tests (RPR & TPHA) were performed on Randox kit.
Besides calculating frequencies univariate analysis was performed using t tests for continuous variables as age, age at first intercourse and average age of initiation of addiction and chi square for categorical variables like paid for sex or not to identify risk factors for hepatitis B and C and syphilis.
Average age of IDU was 35.9 years and average age of initiation of drugs was 15.9 years. Number of drug injections per day was 2.3. Shooting drugs in group sharing syringes was reported by 128 (79.5%) IDUs. Over half 94 (58.3%) reported paying for sex and 64% reported never using a condom. Commercial selling of blood was reported by 44 (28%). 1 of 161 was HIV positive (0.6%). The prevalence of hepatitis B was 12 (7.5%), hepatitis C 151 (94.3%) and syphilis 21 (13.1%). IDUs who were hepatitis C positive were more likely to start sexual activity at an earlier age and had never used condoms. Similarly IDUs who were hepatitis B positive were more likely to belong to a younger age group. Syphilis positive IDUs were more likely to have paid for sex and had never used a condom.
Prudent measures such as access to sterile syringes, rehabilitation and opiate substitution therapies are required to reduce high risk behaviors of IDUs in Pakistan.
HIV prevalence is still very low in Pakistan, but its south Asian location and subgroups with recognized lifestyle risk factors suggest that Pakistan will experience expanded diffusion of HIV. We report the frequency of HIV infections identified by the AIDS Control Programme on the Sindh province of Pakistan. Most HIV-positive cases currently reported to the Sindh AIDS Control Programme are found among Pakistani workers deported from the Gulf States and among foreigners. The 58 returned workers with HIV represent 61 to 86% of reported cases in any given year during the 1996–1998 period. Five wives of returning workers have been identified with HIV. Expatriate workers in the Gulf States are tested for HIV routinely, unlike other subgroups in Pakistan. Considering the risk of HIV/AIDS due to regular introduction of HIV from returned workers, and the limited awareness surrounding sexual health and HIV/STD transmission issues in Pakistan, intervention programmes targeted at overseas workers need to be implemented to control the expansion of the HIV epidemic in Pakistan.
HIV; acquired immunodeficiency syndrome; migration; Pakistan; surveillance; Middle East
Pakistan is experiencing a growing HIV epidemic. Antiretroviral drugs (ARV) have been smuggled into the country and available without prescription since the early 1990s, but are now provided free of cost by the government. We assessed the prevalence of HIV-1, drug resistance, and subtype distributions. Blood specimens were collected from HIV-1-infected participants registered in Sindh Province on dry blood spot (DBS) cards in 2008. Pol, protease, and partial reverse transcriptase regions were sequenced after reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR). HIV-1 subtype was assigned by phylogenetic analysis. Primary drug resistance was analyzed by the Calibrated Population Resistance (CPR) tool using the Stanford Surveillance Drug Resistance Mutation (SDRM) major mutation list. Out of 100 blood samples collected, 42 were suitable for testing. Out of 42, 11 were ARV-receiving and 31 ARV-naive patients. Among them, 24 were injection drug users (IDUs), four immigrants, two hijras (male transvestites), two men who have sex with men (MSM), four prisoners, one female sex workers, two spouses of HIV-infected persons, and four from the general population. ARV resistance among naive patients was 2/31 (6.5%) and 36.4% (4/11) among ARV-experienced patients making an overall resistance of 14.2%. HIV-1 subtype A1 was the predominant subtype found in 35/42 (83.3%) followed by CRF35_AD and C, 6.5% each. Subtype D and G were found in one (2.4%) each. A significant proportion of Pakistani HIV patients has ARV drug resistance. Physicians treating patients should consider the magnitude of drug resistance while selecting regimens, and address drug adherence aggressively.
We aimed to determine the association of FSWs typology with condom use among HIV high risk groups in Sindh, Pakistan
HIV is growing rapidly worldwide resulting in estimated 34 million population . Recently, its epidemic has spread in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean, and most parts of Asia . According to Antenatal sero surveillance study conducted in 2011 by Agriteam canada, it’s prevalence in Pakistan is <0.1 .Focusing narrowly, its prevalence in Sindh, (one of the provinces of Pakistan) is similar in general population, but it is in the phase of concentrated epidemic (having more than 5% of prevalence in high risk groups)in vulnerable groups like IDUs and Male sex workers and transgender .
Sexual intercourse has been identified as major route especially in HIV high risk groups including male sex workers, female sex workers (FSWs), transgender (hijras) and IV drug users. Among them, FSWs are at high risk because of unprotected sex and illicit drug use. Their prevalence is found to be 30.7% in low and middle income countries . South Asia contributed with 12.63 lakh FSW in India only . On the basis of their station of work, they are categorized into facility based (kothikhana, brothel or home) and mobile (street, mobile or beggars). They use different preventive measures including condom for their protection from HIV . It varies with availability and access  . FSWs typology have different cliental and mode of action, therefore, it important to explore the preventive methods.
Data was extracted from Second Generation Surveillance, Integrated behavioral and biological survey, Round IV for HIV infection conducted by Agriteam Canada in partnership with National AIDS Control Program, Pakistan in 2011. It was a cross sectional survey for high risk groups including FSWs from Pakistan. It was ethically approved by Review Board of the Public Health Agency of Canada and HOPE International’s Ethical Review Board, Pakistan. From Sindh province, FSWs based in Karachi, Sukkur and Larkana were recruited. Considering typology, they were categorized as mobile or facility based. After informed consent, socio-demographic and risk behavior were inquired. HIV was tested by ELISA/EIA and confirmed by Western Blot. Data was analyzed on SPSS 19. Continuous variables were expressed as mean±SD while categorical as frequency(%). Logistic regression assessed the association of FSWs typology with condoms use among HIV high risk groups.
Out of 4567 high risk population, 1127 were identified as FSWs. Mean age was 26.9 years. Most of them were facility based (72.8%) and 81.3% used condoms. Typology, age, education, duration of involvement, number of client per day, number of paid oral sex per month, knowledge about STI and knowledge about drop in center were significantly associated with condom use among HIV high risk groups.
Majority of facility based FSWs use condoms to prevent HIV infection. Awareness and access to home based FSWs should be increased. It may help in targeting and designing preventive strategies for them at government and mass level.
FSW; typology; condoms; HIV high risk groups; Pakistan
Pakistan has had a low contraceptive prevalence rate for the last two decades; with preference for natural birth spacing methods and condoms. Family planning services offered by the public sector have never fulfilled the demand for contraception, particularly in rural areas. In the private sector, cost is a major constraint. In 2008, Marie Stopes Society – a local NGO started a social franchise programme along with a free voucher scheme to promote uptake of IUCDs amongst the poor. This paper evaluates the effectiveness of this approach, which is designed to increase modern long term contraceptive awareness and use in rural areas of Pakistan.
We used a quasi-experimental study design with controls, selecting one intervention district and one control district from the Sindh and Punjab provinces. In each district, we chose a total of four service providers. A baseline survey was carried out among 4,992 married women of reproductive age (MWRA) in February 2009. Eighteen months after the start of intervention, an independent endline survey was conducted among 4,003 women. We used multilevel logistic regression for analysis using Stata 11.
Social franchising used alongside free vouchers for long term contraceptive choices significantly increased the awareness of modern contraception. Awareness increased by 5% in the intervention district. Similarly, the ever use of modern contraceptive increased by 28.5%, and the overall contraceptive prevalence rate increased by 19.6%. A significant change (11.1%) was recorded in the uptake of IUCDs, which were being promoted with vouchers.
Family planning franchise model promotes awareness and uptake of contraceptives. Moreover, supplemented with vouchers, it may enhance the use of IUCDs, which have a significant cost attached. Our research also supports a multi-pronged approach- generating demand through counselling, overcoming financial constraints by offering vouchers, training, accreditation and branding of the service providers, and ensuring uninterrupted contraceptive supplies.
Objective To explore the association between blindness and deprivation in a nationally representative sample of adults in Pakistan.
Design Cross sectional population based survey.
Setting 221 rural and urban clusters selected randomly throughout Pakistan.
Participants Nationally representative sample of 16 507 adults aged 30 or above (95.3% response rate).
Main outcome measures Associations between visual impairment and poverty assessed by a cluster level deprivation index and a household level poverty indicator; prevalence and causes of blindness; measures of the rate of uptake and quality of eye care services.
Results 561 blind participants (<3/60 in the better eye) were identified during the survey. Clusters in urban Sindh province were the most affluent, whereas rural areas in Balochistan were the poorest. The prevalence of blindness in adults living in affluent clusters was 2.2%, compared with 3.7% in medium clusters and 3.9% in poor clusters (P<0.001 for affluent v poor). The highest prevalence of blindness was found in rural Balochistan (5.2%). The prevalence of total blindness (bilateral no light perception) was more than three times higher in poor clusters than in affluent clusters (0.24% v 0.07%, P<0.001). The prevalences of blindness caused by cataract, glaucoma, and corneal opacity were lower in affluent clusters and households. Reflecting access to eye care services, cataract surgical coverage was higher in affluent clusters (80.6%) than in medium (76.8%) and poor areas (75.1%). Intraocular lens implantation rates were significantly lower in participants from poorer households. 10.2% of adults living in affluent clusters presented to the examination station wearing spectacles, compared with 6.7% in medium clusters and 4.4% in poor cluster areas. Spectacle coverage in affluent areas was more than double that in poor clusters (23.5% v 11.1%, P<0.001).
Conclusion Blindness is associated with poverty in Pakistan; lower access to eye care services was one contributory factor. To reduce blindness, strategies targeting poor people will be needed. These interventions may have an impact on deprivation in Pakistan.
The value of an immunochromatographic test for tuberculosis (ICT-TB) combined with clinical predictors has yet to be evaluated in Thailand. This study aimed to assess any additional diagnostic value of an ICT-TB test over that of clinical predictors in a group of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) patients as well as in subgroups of HIV patients classified by clinical risk scores.
Patients and methods:
An extended cross-sectional study was conducted at a community hospital in Chiang Rai and a general hospital in Lampang. HIV patients registered between April 2009 and May 2010 were screened by a locally made ICT-TB test, including 38, 16, and 6 kD Microbacterium tuberculosis antigens, as well as by routine evaluations for TB diagnosis. Demographic data, medical history, signs, and symptoms were recorded. Participants were followed up for 2 months for final ascertainment of TB diagnosis.
Of 206 patients, 37 (18%) had TB. Four clinical predictors were identified: low body mass index (<19 kg/m2), prolonged cough (duration >2 weeks), shaking chills (≥1 week), and no use of antiretrovirals. The area under the receiver operating curve was 90.2%; adding the ICT-TB test result increased the area nonsignificantly to 91.6% (P = 0.40). When patients were categorized by risk scores derived from selected clinical predictors into low (scores ≤7) and high (scores >7) TB risk groups, a positive ICT-TB test increased the positive predictive value nonsignificantly in the low risk group (from 12.5% to 27.3%, P = 0.17) and the high risk group (from 78.6% to 80.8%, P = 0.73).
In this study setting, the ICT-TB test did not enhance TB diagnosis over the four clinical predictors in the overall group or any subgroups of HIV patients classified by clinical risk scores.
diagnostic test; signs; symptoms; TB
The engagement of hospitals in Public-Private Mix (PPM) for Directly Observed Treatment Short-Course (DOTS) strategy has increased rapidly internationally - including in Indonesia. In view of the rapid global scaling-up of hospital engagement, we aimed to estimate the proportion of outpatient adult Tuberculosis patients who received standardized diagnosis and treatment at outpatients units of hospitals involved in the PPM-DOTS strategy.
A cross-sectional study using morbidity reports for outpatients, laboratory registers and Tuberculosis patient registers from 1 January 2005 to 31 December 2005. By quota sampling, 62 hospitals were selected. Post-stratification analysis was conducted to estimate the proportion of Tuberculosis cases receiving standardized management according to the DOTS strategy.
Nineteen to 53% of Tuberculosis cases and 4-18% of sputum smear positive Tuberculosis cases in hospitals that participated in the PPM-DOTS strategy were not treated with standardized diagnosis and treatment as in DOTS.
This study found that a substantial proportion of TB patients cared for at PPM-DOTS hospitals are not managed under the DOTS strategy. This represents a missed opportunity for standardized diagnoses and treatment. A combination of strong individual commitment of health professionals, organizational supports, leadership, and relevant policy in hospital and National Tuberculosis Programme may be required to strengthen DOTS implementation in hospitals.
To determine whether implementation of provider-initiated HIV counseling would increase the proportion of tuberculosis patients that received HIV counseling and testing.
Cluster-randomized trial with clinic as unit of randomization
Twenty, medium-sized primary care TB clinics in the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality, Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa
A total of 754 adults (≥ 18 years) newly registered as tuberculosis patients the twenty study clinics
Implementation of provider-initiated HIV counseling and testing.
Main outcome measures
Percentage of TB patients HIV counseled and tested.
Percentage of patients HIV test positive and percentage of those that received cotrimoxazole and who were referred for HIV care.
A total of 754 adults newly registered as tuberculosis patients were enrolled. In clinics randomly assigned to implement provider-initiated HIV counseling and testing, 20.7% (73/352) patients were counseled versus 7.7% (31/402) in the control clinics (p = 0.011), and 20.2 % (n = 71) versus 6.5% (n = 26) underwent HIV testing (p = 0.009). Of those patients counseled, 97% in the intervention clinics accepted testing versus 79% in control clinics (p =0.12). The proportion of patients identified as HIV-infected in intervention clinics was 8.5% versus 2.5% in control clinics (p=0.044). Fewer than 40% of patients with a positive HIV test were prescribed cotrimoxazole or referred for HIV care in either study arm.
Provider-initiated HIV counseling significantly increased the proportion of adult TB patients that received HIV counseling and testing, but the magnitude of the effect was small. Additional interventions to optimize HIV testing for TB patients urgently need to be evaluated.
HIV; HIV counseling and testing; tuberculosis (TB); primary care clinics; South Africa; cluster randomized trial
Symptom-based questionnaires can be a cost effective tool enabling identification and diagnosis of patients with respiratory illnesses in resource limited setting. This study aimed to determine the correlation of respiratory symptoms and spirometric lung patterns and validity of ATS respiratory questionnaire in a rural community setting.
This cross sectional survey was conducted between January – March 2009 on a sample of 200 adults selected from two villages of district Khairpur, Sindh, Pakistan. A modified version of the American thoracic society division of lung disease questionnaire was used to record the presence of respiratory symptoms. Predicted lung volumes i.e. forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) and their ratio (FEV1/FVC) were recorded using portable spirometer.
In the study sample there were 91 (45.5%) males and 109 (54.5%) females with overall mean age of 34 years (±11.69). Predominant respiratory symptom was phlegm (19%) followed by cough (17.5%), wheeze (14%) and dyspnea (10.5%). Prevalence of physician diagnosed and self-reported asthma was 5.5% and 9.5% respectively. Frequency of obstructive pattern on spirometry was 28.72% and that of restrictive pattern was 19.68%. After adjustment for age, gender, socioeconomic status, spoken dialect, education, smoking status, height, weight and arsenic in drinking water, FVC was significantly reduced for phlegm (OR 3.01; 95% CI: 1.14 – 7.94), wheeze (OR 7.22; 95% CI: 2.52 – 20.67) and shortness of breath (OR 4.91; 95% CI: 1.57 – 15.36); and FEV1 was significantly reduced for cough (OR 2.69; 95% CI: 1.12 – 6.43), phlegm (OR 3.01; 95% CI: 1.26 – 7.16) and wheeze (OR 10.77; 95% CI: 3.45 – 33.6). Presence of respiratory symptoms was significantly associated with restrictive and/or obstructive patterns after controlling for confounders. Similar findings were observed through linear regression where respiratory symptoms were found to be significantly associated with decrements in lung volumes. Specificity and positive predictive values were found to be higher for all the symptoms compared to sensitivity and negative predictive values.
Symptoms based respiratory questionnaires are a valuable tool for screening of respiratory symptoms in resource poor, rural community setting.
ATS questionnaire validity; Respiratory symptoms; Impaired lung function; Sindhi; Rural community
With competing interests, limited funding and a socially conservative context, there are many barriers to implementing evidence-informed HIV prevention programmes for sex workers and injection drug users in Pakistan. Meanwhile, the HIV prevalence is increasing among these populations across Pakistan. We sought to propose and describe an approach to resource allocation which would maximise the impact and allocative efficiency of HIV prevention programmes.
Programme performance reports were used to assess current resource allocation. Population size estimates derived from mapping conducted in 2011 among injection drug users and hijra, male and female sex workers and programme costs per person documented from programmes in the province of Sindh and also in India were used to estimate the cost to deliver services to 80% of these key population members across Pakistan. Cities were prioritised according to key population size.
To achieve 80% population coverage, HIV prevention programmes should be implemented in 10 major cities across Pakistan for a total annual operating cost of approximately US$3.5 million, which is much less than current annual expenditures. The total cost varies according to the local needs and the purchasing power of the local currency.
By prioritising key populations at greatest risk of HIV in cities with the largest populations and limited resources, may be most effectively harnessed to quell the spread of HIV in Pakistan.
HIV; POLICY; PREVENTION; EPIDEMIOLOGY (GENERAL)
South Africa endorses the global policy shift from primarily client-initiated voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) to routine/provider-initiated testing and counselling (PITC). The reason for this policy shift has been to facilitate uptake of HIV testing amongst at-risk populations in high-prevalence settings. Despite ostensible implementation of routine/PITC, uptake amongst tuberculosis (TB) patients in this country remains a challenge. This study presents the reasons that non-tested TB patients offered for their refusal of HIV testing and reflects on all TB patients' suggestions as to how this situation may be alleviated.
In February-March 2008, a cross-sectional survey was conducted amongst 600 TB patients across 61 primary health care facilities in four sub-districts in the Free State. Patient selection was done proportionally to the numbers registered at each facility in 2007. Data were subjected to bivariate tests and content analysis of open-ended questions.
Almost one-third (32.5%) of the respondents reported that they had not undertaken HIV testing, with the most often offered explanation being that they were 'undecided' (37.0%). Other self-reported reasons for non-uptake included: fear (e.g. of testing HIV-positive, 19.0%); perception of being at low risk of HIV infection (13.4%); desire first to deal with TB 'on its own' (12.5%); and because HIV testing had not been offered to them (12.0%). Many patients expressed the need for support and motivation not only from health care workers (33.3%), but also from their significant others (56.6%). Patients further expressed a need for (increased) dissemination of TB-HIV information by health care workers (46.1%).
Patients did not undergo HIV testing for various patient-/individual-related reasons. Non-uptake of HIV testing was also due to health system limitations such as the non-offer of HIV testing. Other measures may be necessary to supplement routine/provider-initiation of HIV testing. From the TB patient's perspective, there is a need for (improved) dissemination of information on the TB-HIV link. Patients also require (repeated) motivation and support to undergo HIV testing, the onus for which rests not only on the public health authority and health care workers, but also on other people in the patients' social support networks.
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.
The prevalence and the patterns of ocular inflammatory disease and ocular tuberculosis (TB) are largely undocumented among Multidrug Resistant TB (MDR-TB) patients co-infected with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and on antituberculosis and antiretroviral therapy (ART).
Lilavati Hospital and Research Center and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) organized a cross-sectional ophthalmological evaluation of HIV/MDR-TB co-infected patients followed in an MSF-run HIV-clinic in Mumbai, India, which included measuring visual acuity, and slit lamp and dilated fundus examinations.
Between February and April 2012, 47 HIV/MDR-TB co-infected patients (including three patients with extensively drug-resistant TB) were evaluated. Sixty-four per cent were male, mean age was 39 years (standard deviation: 8.7) and their median (IQR) CD4 count at the time of evaluation was 264 cells/μL (158–361). Thirteen patients (27%) had detectable levels of HIV viremia (>20 copies/ml). Overall, examination of the anterior segments was normal in 45/47 patients (96%). A dilated fundus examination revealed active ocular inflammatory disease in seven eyes of seven patients (15.5%, 95% Confidence Intervals (CI); 5.1-25.8%). ‘These included five eyes of five patients (10%) with choroidal tubercles, one eye of one patient (2%) with presumed tubercular chorioretinitis and one eye of one patient (2%) with evidence of presumed active CMV retinitis. Presumed ocular tuberculosis was thus seen in a total of six patients (12.7%, 95% CI; 3.2-22.2%). Two patients who had completed anti-TB treatment had active ocular inflammatory disease, in the form of choroidal tubercles (two eyes of two patients). Inactive scars were seen in three eyes of three patients (6%). Patients with extrapulmonary TB and patients <39 years old were at significantly higher risk of having ocular TB [Risk Ratio: 13.65 (95% CI: 2.4-78.5) and 6.38 (95% CI: 1.05-38.8) respectively].
Ocular inflammatory disease, mainly ocular tuberculosis, was common in a cohort of HIV/MDR-TB co-infected patients in Mumbai, India. Ophthalmological examination should be routinely considered in HIV patients diagnosed with or suspected to have MDR-TB, especially in those with extrapulmonary TB.
HIV; TB-HIV; Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis; Ocular inflammatory disease; Ocular tuberculosis; Operational research; India
While diabetes mellitus (DM) is a known risk factor for tuberculosis, the prevalence among TB patients in India is unknown. Routine screening of TB patients for DM may be an opportunity for its early diagnosis and improved management and might improve TB treatment outcomes. We conducted a cross-sectional survey of TB patients registered from June–July 2011 in the state of Kerala, India, to determine the prevalence of DM.
A state-wide representative sample of TB patients in Kerala was interviewed and screened for DM using glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c); patients self-reporting a history of DM or those with HbA1c ≥6.5% were defined as diabetic. Among 552 TB patients screened, 243(44%) had DM – 128(23%) had previously known DM and 115(21%) were newly diagnosed - with higher prevalence among males and those aged >50years. The number needed to screen(NNS) to find one newly diagnosed case of DM was just four. Of 128 TB patients with previously known DM, 107(84%) had HbA1c ≥7% indicating poor glycemic control.
Nearly half of TB patients in Kerala have DM, and approximately half of these patients were newly-diagnosed during this survey. Routine screening of TB patients for DM using HbA1c yielded a large number of DM cases and offered earlier management opportunities which may improve TB and DM outcomes. However, the most cost-effective ways of DM screening need to be established by futher operational research.
In Ethiopia where there is no strong surveillance system and diagnostic facilities are limited, the real burden of tuberculosis (TB) lymphadenitis is not well known. Therefore, we conducted a study to estimate the prevalence of TB lymphadenitis in Southwest Ethiopia.
A community based cross-sectional study was conducted from February to March 2009 in the Gilgel Gibe field research area. A total of 30,040 individuals 15 years or older in 10,882 households were screened for TB lymphadenitis. Any individual 15 years or older with lumps in the neck, armpits or groin up on interview were considered TB lymphadenitis suspect. The diagnosis of TB lymphadenitis was established when acid fast bacilli (AFB) smear microscopy of fine needle aspiration (FNA) sample, culture or cytology suggested TB. HIV counseling and testing was offered to all TB lymphadenitis suspects. Descriptive and bivariate analysis was done using SPSS version 15.
Complete data were available for 27,597 individuals. A total of 87 TB lymphadenitis suspects were identified. Most of the TB lymphadenitis suspects were females (72.4%). Sixteen cases of TB lymphadenitis were confirmed. The prevalence of TB lymphadenitis was thus 58.0 per 100,000 people (16/27,597) (95% CI 35.7-94.2). Individuals who had a contact history with chronic coughers (OR 5.58, 95% CI 1.23-25.43) were more likely to have TB lymphadenitis. Lymph nodes with caseous FNA were more likely to be positive for TB lymphadenitis (OR 5.46, 95% CI 1.69-17.61).
The prevalence of TB lymphadenitis in Gilgel Gibe is similar with the WHO estimates for Ethiopia. Screening of TB lymphadenitis particularly for family members who have contact with chronic coughers is recommended. Health extension workers could be trained to screen and refer TB lymphadenitis suspects using simple methods.
TB lymphadenitis; Prevalence; Jimma; Ethiopia
A study was conducted among newly registered HIV-positive tuberculosis (TB) patients systematically offered anti-retroviral treatment (ART) in a district hospital in rural Malawi in order to a) determine the acceptance of ART b) conduct a geographic mapping of those placed on ART and c) examine the association between “cost of transport” and ART acceptance.
A retrospective cross-sectional analysis was performed on routine program data for the period of February 2003 to July 2004. Standardized registers and patient cards were used to gather data. The place of residence was used to determine road distances to the Thyolo district hospital. Cost of transport from different parts of the district was based on the known cost for public transport to the road-stop closest to the patient's residence. Of 1,290 newly registered TB patients, 1,003(78%) underwent HIV-testing of whom 770 (77%) were HIV-positive. 742 of these individuals (pulmonary TB = 607; extra-pulmonary TB = 135) were considered eligible for ART of whom only 101(13.6%) accepted ART. Cost of transport to the hospital ART site was significantly associated with ART acceptance and there was a linear trend in association between cost and ART acceptance (X2 for trend = 25.4, P<0.001). Individuals who had to pay 50 Malawi Kwacha (1 United States Dollar = 100 Malawi Kwacha, MW) or less for a one-way trip to the Thyolo hospital were four times more likely to accept ART than those who had to pay over 100 MW (Adjusted Odds ratio = 4.0, 95% confidence interval: 2.0–8.1, P<0.001).
ART acceptance among TB patients in a rural district in Malawi is low and associated with cost of transport to the centralized hospital based ART site. Decentralizing the ART offer from the hospital to health centers that are closer to home communities would be an essential step towards reducing the overall cost and burden of travel.
The genetic diversity of Plasmodium falciparum has been extensively studied in various parts of the world. However, limited data are available from Pakistan. This study aimed to establish molecular characterization of P. falciparum field isolates in Pakistan measured with two highly polymorphic genetic markers, i.e. the merozoite surface protein 1 (msp-1)and 2 (msp-2).
Between October 2005 and October 2007, 244 blood samples from patients with symptomatic blood-slide confirmed P. falciparum mono-infections attending the Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, or its collection units located in Sindh and Baluchistan provinces, Pakistan were collected. The genetic diversity of P. falciparum was analysed by length polymorphism following gel electrophoresis of DNA products from nested polymerase chain reactions (PCR) targeting block 2 of msp-1 and block 3 of msp-2, including their respective allelic families KI, MAD 20, RO33, and FC27, 3D7/IC.
A total of 238/244 (98%) patients had a positive PCR outcome in at least one genetic marker; the remaining six were excluded from analysis. A majority of patients had monoclonal infections. Only 56/231 (24%) and 51/236 (22%) carried multiple P. falciparum genotypes in msp-1 and msp-2, respectively. The estimated total number of genotypes was 25 msp-1 (12 KI; 8 MAD20; 5 RO33) and 33 msp-2 (14 FC27; 19 3D7/IC).
This is the first report on molecular characterization of P. falciparum field isolates in Pakistan with regards to multiplicity of infection. The genetic diversity and allelic distribution found in this study is similar to previous reports from India and Southeast Asian countries with low malaria endemicity.
Tuberculosis (TB) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) co-infection is a major source of morbidity and mortality globally. The World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended that HIV counselling and testing be offered routinely to TB patients in order to increase access to HIV care packages. We assessed the uptake of provider-initiated testing and counselling (PITC), antiretroviral (ART) and co-trimoxazole preventive therapies (CPT) among TB patients in the Northwest Region, Cameroon.
A retrospective cohort study using TB registers in 4 TB/HIV treatment centres (1 public and 3 faith-based) for patients diagnosed with TB between January 2006 and December 2007 to identify predictors of the outcomes; HIV testing/serostatus, ART and CPT enrolment and factors that influenced their enrolment between public and faith-based hospitals.
A total of 2270 TB patients were registered and offered pre-HIV test counselling; 2150 (94.7%) accepted the offer of a test. The rate of acceptance was significantly higher among patients in the public hospital compared to those in the faith-based hospitals (crude OR 1.97; 95% CI 1.33 - 2.92) and (adjusted OR 1.92; 95% CI 1.24 - 2.97). HIV prevalence was 68.5% (1473/2150). Independent predictors of HIV-seropositivity emerged as: females, age groups 15-29, 30-44 and 45-59 years, rural residence, previously treated TB and smear-negative pulmonary TB. ART uptake was 50.3% (614/1220) with 17.2% (253/1473) of missing records. Independent predictors of ART uptake were: previously treated TB and extra pulmonary TB. Finally, CPT uptake was 47.0% (524/1114) with 24% (590/1114) of missing records. Independent predictors of CPT uptake were: faith-based hospitals and female sex.
PITC services are apparently well integrated into the TB programme as demonstrated by the high testing rate. The main challenges include improving access to ART and CPT among TB patients and proper reporting and monitoring of programme activities.
Of 6634 registered industries in Pakistan, 1228 are considered to be highly polluting. The major industries include textile, pharmaceutical, chemicals (organic and inorganic), food industries, ceramics, steel, oil mills and leather tanning which spread all over four provinces, with the larger number located in Sindh and Punjab, with smaller number in North Western Frontier Province (NWFP) and Baluchistan. Hattar Industrial Estate extending over 700 acres located in Haripur district of NWFP is a new industrial estate, which has been developed with proper planning for management of industrial effluents. The major industries located in Hattar are ghee industry, chemical (sulfuric acid, synthetic fiber) industry, textile industry and pharmaceuticals industry. These industries, although developed with proper planning are discharging their effluents in the nearby natural drains and ultimately collected in a big drain near Wah. The farmers in the vicinity are using these effluents for growing vegetables and cereal crops due to shortage of water. In view of this discussion, there is a dire need to determine if these effluents are hazardous for soil and plant growth. So, effluents from different industries, sewage and normal tap water samples were collected and analysed for pH, electrical conductivity (EC), total soluble salts (TSS), biological oxygen demand (BOD), chemical oxygen demand (COD), total nitrogen, cations and anions and heavy metals. The effluents of ghee and textile industries are highly alkaline. EC and TSS loads of ghee and textile industries are also above the National Environmental Quality Standards (NEQS), Pakistan. All the effluents had residual sodium carbonates (RSCs), carbonates and bicarbonates in amounts that cannot be used for irrigation. Total toxic metals load in all the effluents is also above the limit i.e. 2.0 mg/L. Copper in effluents of textile and sewage, manganese in ghee industry effluents and iron contents in all the effluents were higher than NEQS. BOD and COD values of all the industries are also above the NEQS. On the whole, these effluents cannot be used for irrigation without proper treatment otherwise that may cause toxicity to soil, plants and animals as well add to the problems of salinity and sododicity. Similarly, these effluents cannot be used for fish farming.
Industrial effluents; Biological oxygen demand (BOD); Chemical oxygen demand (COD); pH; Residual salts; Lead; Zinc; Copper; Nickel; Manganese; Sewage
Under India's Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP), all household contacts of sputum smear positive Pulmonary Tuberculosis (PTB) patients are screened for TB. In the absence of active TB disease, household contacts aged <6 years are eligible for Isoniazid Preventive Therapy (IPT) (5 milligrams/kilogram body weight/day) for 6 months.
To estimate the number of household contacts aged <6 years, of sputum smear positive PTB patients registered for treatment under RNTCP from April to June'2008 in Krishna District, to assess the extent to which they are screened for TB disease and in its absence initiated on IPT.
A cross sectional study was conducted. Households of all smear positive PTB cases (n = 848) registered for treatment from April to June'2008 were included. Data on the number of household contacts aged <6 years, the extent to which they were screened for TB disease, and the status of initiation of IPT, was collected.
Households of 825 (97%) patients were visited, and 172 household contacts aged <6 years were identified. Of them, 116 (67%) were evaluated for TB disease; none were found to be TB diseased and 97 (84%) contacts were initiated on IPT and 19 (16%) contacts were not initiated on IPT due to shortage of INH tablets in peripheral health centers. The reasons for non-evaluation of the remaining eligible children (n = 56, 33%) include no home visit by the health staff in 25 contacts, home visit done but not evaluated in 31 contacts. House-hold contacts in rural areas were less likely to be evaluated and initiated on IPT [risk ratio 6.65 (95% CI; 3.06–14.42)].
Contact screening and IPT implementation under routine programmatic conditions is sub-optimal. There is an urgent need to sensitize all concerned programme staff on its importance and establishment of mechanisms for rigorous monitoring.
The acceptance of HIV testing among patients with tuberculosis (TB) is low in South Africa. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence, associated factors and reasons of non-uptake of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing by tuberculosis public primary care patients in three districts, South Africa.
In May–October 2011, this cross-sectional survey was conducted amongst 4726 TB patients across 42 primary health care facilities in three districts in South Africa. All new TB and new retreatment patients (N=4726) were consecutively interviewed within one month of anti-tuberculosis treatment. The outcome was self-reported HIV testing after TB diagnosis, validated using clinic registers.
Almost one in ten (9.6%) of the 4726 participants had not undergone HIV testing, with the most often offered explanation being that they were not knowing where to get tested (21.3%), followed by believing not to have or at risk for HIV (24.3%), emotional concerns (not ready for test: 13.2%; afraid to get to know: 12.1%; concerns over confidentiality: 6.3%) and concerns about stigma (3.3%) and losing the job (2.0%). In multivariable analysis being male, severe psychological distress, having sex with someone HIV negative or unknown and frequency of sex without a condom were associated with not having been tested for HIV.
The level of HIV testing among TB public primary care patients was suboptimal, as per policy all patients should be tested. The South African Department of Health should continue to scale-up HIV testing and other collaborative TB-HIV services at health facilities.
HIV testing; Predictors; Tuberculosis patients; South Africa
In 2005, Pakistan was first labeled as a country with concentrated epidemic of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). This was revealed through second generation surveillance conducted by HIV/AIDS Surveillance Project (HASP). While injection drug users (IDUs) were driving the epidemic, subsequent surveys showed that Hijra (transgender) sex workers (HSWs) were emerging as the second most vulnerable group with an average national prevalence of 6.4%. An exceptionally high prevalence (27.6%) was found in Larkana, which is a small town on the right bank of river Indus near the ruins of Mohenjo-Daro in the province of Sindh. This paper presents the risk factors associated with high prevalence of HIV among HSWs in Larkana as compared to other cities of the country.
Data were extracted for secondary analysis from 2008 Integrated behavioral and biological survey (IBBS) to compare HSWs living in Larkana with those living in other cities including Karachi and Hyderabad in Sindh; Lahore and Faisalabad in Punjab; and Peshawar in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces. After descriptive analysis, univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to identify risk factors. P value of 0.25 or less was used to include factors in multivariate analysis.
We compared 199 HSWs from Larkana with 420 HSWs from other cities. The average age of HSWs in Larkana was 26.42 (±5.4) years. Majority were Sindhi speaking (80%), uneducated (68%) and unmarried (97%). In univariate analysis, factors associated with higher prevalence of HIV in Larkana included younger age i.e. 20–24 years (OR: 5.8, CI: 2.809–12.15), being unmarried (OR: 2.4, CI: 1.0–5.7), sex work as the only mode of income (OR: 5.5, CI: 3.70–8.2) and longer duration of being involved in sex work 5–10 years (OR: 3.3, CI: 1.7–6.12). In multivariate logistic regression the HSWs from Larkana were more likely to lack knowledge regarding preventive measures against HIV (OR 11.9, CI: 3.4–41.08) and were more prone to use of alcohol during anal intercourse (OR: 6.3, CI: 2.77–17.797).
Outreach programs focusing on safer sexual practices and VCT are urgently needed to address the upsurge of HIV among HSWs in Larkana.
Commercial sex workers; HIV prevalence; Urban Sindh
Plasmodium vivax is the prevalent malarial species accounting for 70% of malaria burden in Pakistan; however, there is no baseline data on the circulating genotypes. Studies have shown that polymorphic loci of gene encoding antigens pvcsp and pvmsp1 can be used reliably for conducting molecular epidemiological studies. Therefore, this study aimed to bridge the existing knowledge gap on population structure on P. vivax from Pakistan using these two polymorphic genes.
During the period January 2008 to May 2009, a total of 250 blood samples were collected from patients tested slide positive for P. vivax, at the Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, or its collection units located in Baluchistan and Sindh Province. Nested PCR/RFLP was performed, using pvcsp and pvmsp1 markers to detect the extent of genetic diversity in clinical isolates of P. vivax from southern Pakistan.
A total of 227/250 (91%) isolates were included in the analysis while the remainder were excluded due to negative PCR outcome for P.vivax. Pvcsp analysis showed that both VK 210 (85.5%, 194/227) and VK 247 type (14.5%, 33/227) were found to be circulating in P. vivax isolates from southern Pakistan. A total of sixteen and eighty-seven genotypes of pvcsp and pvmsp-1 were detected respectively.
This is the first report from southern Pakistan on characterization of P. vivax isolates confirming that extensively diverse pvcsp and pvmsp1 variants are present within this region. Results from this study provide valuable data on genetic diversity of P. vivax that will be helpful for further epidemiological studies.
Malaria; Plasmodium vivax; Pakistan; Genetic diversity; Population structure; Circumsporozoite protein; Merozoite surface protein 1