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26.  Impact of Helmet Use in Traumatic Brain Injuries Associated with Recreational Vehicles 
Objective. To study the impact of helmet use on outcomes after recreational vehicle accidents. Methods. This is an observational cohort of adult and pediatric patients who sustained a TBI while riding a recreational vehicle. Recreational vehicles included bicycles, motorcycles, and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), as well as a category for other vehicles such as skateboards and scooters. Results. Lack of helmet use was significantly associated with having a more severe traumatic brain injury and being admitted to the hospital. Similarly, 25% of those who did wearing a helmet were admitted to the ICU versus 36% of those who did not (P = 0.0489). The hospital length of stay was significantly greater for patients who did not use helmets. Conclusion. Lack of helmet use is significantly correlated with abnormal neuroimaging and admission to the hospital and ICU; these data support a call for action to implement more widespread injury prevention and helmet safety education and advocacy.
PMCID: PMC3800611  PMID: 24205441
27.  The Use of Family History in Primary Health Care: A Qualitative Study 
The aim of this study is to describe how Belgian family physicians register and use the family history data of their patients in daily practice. Qualitative in-depth semistructured one-to-one interviews were conducted including 16 family physicians in Belgium. These interviews were recorded, transcribed, and analysed. Recurring themes were identified and compared with findings from the existing literature. All interviewed family physicians considered the family history as an important part of the medical records. Half of the surveyed physicians confirmed knowing the family history of at least 50% of their patients. The data on family history were mainly collected during the first consultations with the patient. The majority of physicians did not use a standardised questionnaire or form to collect and to record the family history. To estimate the impact of a family history, physicians seldom use official guidance or resources. Physicians perceived a lack of time and unreliable information provided by their patients as obstacles to collect and interpret the family history. Solutions that foster the use of family history data were identified at the level of the physician and also included the development of specific instruments integrated within the electronic medical record.
PMCID: PMC3728505  PMID: 23956863
28.  30 Years on Selected Issues in the Prevention of HIV among Persons Who Inject Drugs 
After 30 years of extensive research on human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) among persons who inject drugs (PWID), we now have a good understanding of the critical issues involved. Following the discovery of HIV in 1981, epidemics among PWID were noted in many countries, and consensus recommendations for interventions for reducing injection related HIV transmission have been developed. While high-income countries have continued to develop and implement new Harm Reduction programs, most low-/middle-income countries have implemented Harm Reduction at very low levels. Modeling of combined prevention programming including needle exchange (NSP) and antiretroviral therapy (ARV) suggests that NSP be given the highest priority. Future HIV prevention programming should continue to provide Harm Reduction programs for PWID coupled with interventions aimed at reducing sexual transmission. As HIV continues to spread in low- and middle-income countries, it is important to achieve and maintain high coverage of Harm Reduction programs in these locations. As PWID almost always experience multiple health problems, it will be important to address these multiple problems within a comprehensive approach grounded in a human rights perspective.
PMCID: PMC3694369  PMID: 23840957
29.  Widening Socioeconomic, Racial, and Geographic Disparities in HIV/AIDS Mortality in the United States, 1987–2011 
This study examined the extent to which socioeconomic and racial and geographic disparities in HIV/AIDS mortality in the United States changed between 1987 and 2011. Census-based deprivation indices were linked to county-level mortality data from 1987 to 2009. Log-linear, least-squares, and Poisson regression were used to model mortality trends and differentials. HIV/AIDS mortality rose between 1987 and 1995 and then declined markedly for all groups between 1996 and 2011. Despite the steep mortality decline, socioeconomic gradients and racial and geographic disparities in HIV/AIDS mortality increased substantially during the study period. Compared to whites, blacks had 3 times higher HIV/AIDS mortality in 1987 and 8 times higher mortality in 2011. In 1987, those in the most-deprived group had 1.9 times higher HIV/AIDS mortality than those in the most-affluent group; the corresponding relative risks increased to 2.9 in 1998 and 3.6 in 2009. Socioeconomic gradients existed across all race-sex groups, with mortality risk being 8–16 times higher among blacks than whites within each deprivation group. Dramatic reductions in HIV/AIDS mortality represent a major public health success. However, slower mortality declines among more deprived groups and blacks contributed to the widening gap. Mortality disparities reflect inequalities in incidence, access to antiretroviral therapy, and patient survival.
PMCID: PMC3664477  PMID: 23738084
30.  North-South Corridor Demonstration Project: Ethical and Logistical Challenges in the Design of a Demonstration Study of Early Antiretroviral Treatment for Long Distance Truck Drivers along a Transport Corridor through South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Zambia 
Background. Long-distance truck drivers are at risk of acquiring and transmitting HIV and have suboptimal access to care. New HIV prevention strategies using antiretroviral drugs to reduce transmission risk (early antiretroviral therapy (ART) at CD4 count >350 cells/μL) have shown efficacy in clinical trials. Demonstration projects are needed to evaluate “real world” programme effectiveness. We present the protocol for a demonstration study to evaluate the feasibility, acceptability, and cost of an early ART intervention for HIV-positive truck drivers along a transport corridor across South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Zambia, as part of an enhanced strategy to improve treatment adherence and retention in care. Methods and Analysis. This demonstration study would follow an observational cohort of truck drivers receiving early treatment. Our mixed methods approach includes quantitative, qualitative, and economic analyses. Key ethical and logistical issues are discussed (i.e., choice of drug regimen, recruitment of participants, and monitoring of adherence, behavioural changes, and adverse events). Conclusion. Questions specific to the design of tailored early ART programmes are amenable to operational research approaches but present substantial ethical and logistical challenges. Addressing these in demonstration projects can inform policy decisions regarding strategies to reduce health inequalities in access to HIV prevention and treatment programmes.
PMCID: PMC3626392  PMID: 23606977
32.  Effectiveness of Couple-Based HIV Counseling and Testing for Women Substance Users and Their Primary Male Partners: A Randomized Trial 
A randomized trial was conducted to test the effectiveness of couple-based HIV counseling and testing (CB-HIV-CT) and women-only relationship-focused HIV counseling and testing (WRF-HIV-CT) in reducing HIV risk compared to the National Institute on Drug Abuse HIV-CT standard intervention. Substance using HIV-negative women and their primary heterosexual partner (N = 330 couples) were randomized to 1 of the 3 interventions. Follow-up assessments measuring HIV risk behaviors and other relevant variables were conducted at 3- and 9-months postintervention. Repeated measures generalized linear mixed model analysis was used to assess treatment effects. A significant reduction in HIV risk was observed over the 9-month assessment in the CB-HIV-CT group compared to that of the control group (b = −0.51, t[527] = −3.20, P = 0.002) and compared to that of the WRF-HIV-CT group (b = −0.34, t[527] = −2.07, P = 0.04), but no significant difference was observed between WRF-HIV-CT and controls (b = −0.17, t[527] = −1.09, P = 0.28). A brief couple-based HIV counseling and testing intervention designed to address both drug-related and sexual risk behaviors among substance using women and their primary male partners was shown to be more effective at reducing overall HIV risk compared to a standard HIV-CT intervention in an urban setting.
PMCID: PMC3608180  PMID: 23555059
33.  Why the Treatment of Mental Disorders Is an Important Component of HIV Prevention among People Who Inject Drugs 
People who inject drugs are more likely to be HIV positive and to have a mental disorder than the general population. We explore how the detection and treatment of mental illness among people who are injecting drugs are essential to primary and secondary prevention of HIV infection in this population. Aside from opioid addiction, few studies have been conducted on the links between mental disorders and injection-drug use. However, independent of the injection-drug use literature, a growing number of studies demonstrate that untreated mental illness, especially depression and alcohol/substance use disorders, is associated with HIV-related risk behaviors, acquiring HIV infection, failure to access HIV care and treatment, failure to adhere to HIV care and treatment, and increased morbidity and mortality from HIV-related diseases and comorbidities. In our review of both the published literature and gray literature we found a dearth of information on models for providing care for both opioid addiction and other mental illnesses regardless of HIV status, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. We therefore make recommendations on how to address the mental health needs of HIV-positive people who inject drugs, which include the provision of opioid substitution therapy and integrated mental health, substance abuse, and HIV services.
PMCID: PMC3562640  PMID: 23401785
34.  An Overview of HIV Prevention Interventions for People Who Inject Drugs in Tanzania 
In the past decade, Tanzania has seen a rapid rise in the number of people who inject drugs (PWID), specifically heroin. While the overall HIV prevalence in Tanzania has declined recently to 5.6%, in 2009, the HIV prevalence among PWID remains alarmingly high at 35%. In this paper, we describe how the Tanzania AIDS Prevention Program (TAPP), Médecins du Monde France (MdM-F), and other organisations have been at the forefront of addressing this public health issue in Africa, implementing a wide array of harm reduction interventions including medication-assisted treatment (MAT), needle and syringe programs (NSP), and “sober houses” for residential treatment in the capital, Dar es Salaam, and in Zanzibar. Looking toward the future, we discuss the need to (1) extend existing services and programs to reach more PWID and others at risk for HIV, (2) develop additional programs to strengthen existing programs, and (3) expand activities to include structural interventions to address vulnerabilities that increase HIV risk for all Tanzanians.
PMCID: PMC3549374  PMID: 23346410
35.  The Relationship between Life Stress and Breastfeeding Outcomes among Low-Income Mothers 
Stressful life events during pregnancy negatively affect maternal and infant outcomes including breastfeeding initiation. Their impact on breastfeeding duration is uncertain. Given breastfeeding's important health benefits we analyzed stressful life event types and cessation of any and exclusive breastfeeding by 4 and 13 weeks. Methods. We collected self-administered survey data at 5–7 months postpartum from over 700 primarily urban low-income US mothers. Data covered prepregnancy, prenatal, and postpartum periods including 14 stressful life events (categorized into financial, emotional, partner-associated, traumatic). Analyses included only mothers initiating breastfeeding (n = 341). Logistic regressions controlled for maternal characteristics including a breastfeeding plan. Results. All four stress categories were associated with shorter duration of any and exclusive breastfeeding. In the adjusted models, statistically significant relationships remained for financial stress (4 weeks cessation of any breastfeeding duration) and traumatic stress (13 weeks exclusive breastfeeding cessation). Controlling for stress, a longer breastfeeding plan was significantly associated with a shorter breastfeeding duration (all models) as was depression during pregnancy and current smoking (several models). Conclusions. Among low-income women, impact of stressful life events on cessation of breastfeeding may differ by stress type and interfere with achievement of breastfeeding goal. Among these stressed mothers, breastfeeding may serve as a coping mechanism.
PMCID: PMC3546433  PMID: 23346409
36.  Evaluation of a Pilot Medication-Assisted Therapy Program in Kazakhstan: Successes, Challenges, and Opportunities for Scaleup 
Study Aims. Evaluate the quality and effectiveness of the medication-assisted therapy (MAT) pilot in Kazakhstan and review implementation context and related challenges. Methods. We performed a desk review of MAT policy and program documents and reviewed medical records at three MAT sites in Kazakhstan. MAT patients (n = 93) were interviewed to assess their perceptions of the program and its impact on their health, criminal, drug use, and HIV risk related behaviors as well as expenditures on nonprescribed psychoactive drugs. Persons injecting drugs who are not in treatment, MAT program staff, and other stakeholders were interviewed to obtain their perspectives on MAT. Results. Legislation supports introducing MAT as a standard of care for treatment of opioid dependence; however, its progress has been hampered by active opposition. Inadequate access and coverage, insufficient supply management, scarce infrastructure of narcological facilities, limited opportunities for staff development, and restrictive methadone dispensing policies compromise the quality of the intervention and limit its potential benefits. There were significant reductions in criminal, drug use, and HIV risk related behaviors in patients receiving MAT. Conclusions. The MAT pilot in Kazakhstan demonstrated its feasibility and effectiveness in the local context and is recommended for scaleup throughout the country.
PMCID: PMC3529415  PMID: 23289082
37.  A Randomized Trial Assessing the Effectiveness of Ezetimibe in South Asian Canadians with Coronary Artery Disease or Diabetes: The INFINITY Study 
Background. There is a paucity of data regarding the effectiveness and safety of lipid-lowering treatments among South-Asian patients. Methods. Sixty-four South-Asian Canadians with coronary artery disease or diabetes and persistent hypercholesterolemia on statin therapy, were randomized to ezetimibe 10 mg/day co-administered with statin therapy (EZE + Statin) or doubling their current statin dose (STAT2). Primary outcome was the proportion of patients achieving target LDL-C (<2.0 mmol/L) after 6 weeks. Secondary outcomes included the change in lipid profile and the incidence of treatment-emergent adverse events through 12 weeks. Exploratory markers for vascular inflammation were assessed at baseline and 12 weeks. Results. At 6 weeks, the primary outcome was significantly higher among the EZE + Statin patients (68% versus 36%; P = 0.031) with an OR (95% CI) of 3.97 (1.19, 13.18) upon accounting for baseline LDL-C and adjusting for age. At 12 weeks, 76% of EZE + Statin patients achieved target LDL-C compared to 48% (P = 0.047) of the STAT2 patients (adjusted OR (95% CI) = 3.31 (1.01,10.89)). No significant between-group differences in exploratory markers were observed with the exception of CRP. Conclusions. Patients receiving ezetimibe and statin were more likely to achieve target LDL-C after 6 and 12 weeks compared to patients doubling their statin dose. Ezetimibe/statin combination therapy was well tolerated among this cohort of South-Asian Canadians, without safety concerns.
PMCID: PMC3529456  PMID: 23304534
38.  HIV Prevention and Rehabilitation Models for Women Who Inject Drugs in Russia and Ukraine 
Women who inject drugs require gender-specific approaches to drug rehabilitation, modification of risk behaviors, and psychosocial adaptation. Improved outcomes have been demonstrated when the specific needs of women's subpopulations have been addressed. Special services for women include prenatal care, child care, women-only programs, supplemental workshops on women-focused topics, mental health services, and comprehensive programs that include several of the above components. To address the special needs of women injecting drug user (IDU) subpopulations, such as HIV-positive pregnant women and women with young children, recently released female prisoners, and street-involved girls and young women, HealthRight International and its local partners in Russia and Ukraine have developed innovative service models. This paper presents each of these models and discusses their effectiveness and implementation challenges specific to local contexts in Russia and Ukraine.
PMCID: PMC3529453  PMID: 23304535
39.  Changing Trends in the Prevalence and Disparities of Obesity and Other Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors in Three Racial/Ethnic Groups of USA Adults 
Objectives. To examine trends in the prevalence and disparities of traditional cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors among the major race/ethnic groups in the USA: non-Hispanic Whites (NHWs), non-Hispanic Blacks (NHBs), and Mexican Americans (MAs). Methods. We used cross-sectional trend analysis in women and men aged 25–84 years participating in the NHANES surveys, years 1988–1994 (n = 14,341) and 1999–2004 (n = 12,360). Results. The prevalence of obesity and hypertension increased significantly in NHW and NHB, both in men and women; NHB had the highest prevalence of obesity and hypertension in each time period. Diabetes prevalence showed a nonsignificant increasing trend in all groups and was higher in MA in both periods. Smoking significantly decreased in NHW men and NHB, the latter with the largest decline although the highest prevalence in each period; no changes were noted in MA, who had the lowest prevalence in both periods. Race/ethnic CVD risk factors disparities widened for obesity and hypercholesterolemia, remained unchanged for diabetes and hypertension, and narrowed for smoking. Conclusions. The increasing prevalence of obesity and hypertension underscores the need for better preventive measures, particularly in the NHB group that exhibits the worst trends. The decline in smoking rates may offset some of these unfavorable trends.
PMCID: PMC3518078  PMID: 23243516
40.  Substance Abuse Treatment, HIV/AIDS, and the Continuum of Response for People Who Inject Drugs 
The continuum of response (CoR) to HIV/AIDS is a framework for implementation of HIV prevention, care, and treatment programs based on a national strategic plan for HIV/AIDS services. The CoR for people who inject drugs (PWID) is an important extension of the developed CoR to HIV/AIDS. The CoR-PWID employs stakeholders who together plan, develop, pilot, and provide a full range of services that address the various prevention, care/support, and treatment needs of people, families, and communities infected or affected by HIV/AIDS and injection drug use. The CoR-PWID comprises a broad range of services that include but are not limited to the World Health Organization priority interventions for HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, and care in the health sector and the package of essential interventions for the prevention, treatment, and care of HIV for people who inject drugs. Implementation of these well-defined, essential prevention, care/support, and treatment services, in addition to locally defined needed services, in a coordinated fashion is important to clients, their families, and communities. The CoR-PWID is, therefore, a necessary framework essential for service development for countries that address HIV/AIDS in populations of PWID.
PMCID: PMC3517826  PMID: 23243517
41.  Development of Combination HIV Prevention Programs for People Who Inject Drugs through Government and Civil Society Collaboration in the Russian Federation 
Population Services International (PSI) has worked collaboratively with several government institutions of the Russian Federation to develop and implement a model program to access health services for individuals who are opioid dependent, including those with HIV infection. Through the development of partnership agreements between government organizations (GOs) and non-government organizations (NGOs), a model of the continuum of care has been developed that identifies a Recommended Package of HIV Prevention Services for Injecting Drug Users (RPS-IDU). The implementation of the RPS-IDU in the Russian Federation offers a model for other countries with HIV epidemics associated with injection drug use. This paper will describe the model program and its implementation in one of the pilot program regions.
PMCID: PMC3517840  PMID: 23243518
42.  Reasons for Low Pandemic H1N1 2009 Vaccine Acceptance within a College Sample 
This study examined health beliefs associated with novel influenza A (H1N1) immunization among US college undergraduates during the 2009-2010 pandemic. Undergraduates (ages 18–24 years) from a large Midwestern University were invited to complete an online survey during March, 2010, five months after H1N1 vaccines became available. Survey items measured H1N1 vaccine history and H1N1-related attitudes based on the health belief literature. Logistic regression was used to identify attitudes associated with having received an H1N1 vaccine, and thematic analysis of student comments was conducted to further understand influences on vaccine decisions. Among the 296 students who participated in the survey, 15.2% reported having received an H1N1 vaccine. In regression analysis, H1N1 immunization was associated with seasonal flu vaccine history, perceived vaccine effectiveness, perceived obstacles to vaccination, and vaccine safety concerns. Qualitative results illustrate the relationship of beliefs to vaccine decisions, particularly in demonstrating that students often held concerns that vaccine could cause H1N1 or side effects. Vaccine safety, efficacy, and obstacles to immunization were major considerations in deciding whether to accept the H1N1 pandemic vaccine. Therefore, focusing on those aspects might be especially useful in future vaccine efforts within the college population.
PMCID: PMC3514795  PMID: 23227350
43.  Methadone Maintenance Therapy in Vietnam: An Overview and Scaling-Up Plan 
Vietnam is among the countries with the highest rate of HIV transmission through injecting drug users. HIV prevalence among injecting drug users is 20% and up to 50% in many provinces. An estimated number of drug users in the country by the end of 2011 were 171,000 in which the most common is heroin (85%). Detoxification at home, community, and in rehabilitation centers have been the main modalities for managing heroin addiction until Methadone Maintenance Treatment (MMT) was piloted in 2008. Recent reports have demonstrated positive treatment outcomes. Incidence of HIV was found remarkably low among patients on MMT. Treatment has significantly improved the quality of life as well as stability for society. The government has granted the Ministry of Health (MoH) to expand Methadone treatment to at least 30 provinces to provide treatment for more than 80,000 drug users by 2015. The Vietnam Administration for HIV/AIDS Control (VAAC) and MOH have outlined the role and responsibility of key departments at the central and local levels in implementing and maintaining MMT treatment. This paper will describe the achievements of the MMT pilot program and the scaling-up plan as well as strategies to ensure quality and sustainability and to overcome the challenges in the coming years.
PMCID: PMC3512212  PMID: 23227351
44.  Factors That Influence Vaccination Decision-Making by Parents Who Visit an Anthroposophical Child Welfare Center: A Focus Group Study 
In recent years, parents have become more disparaging towards childhood vaccination. One group that is critical about the National Immunization Program (NIP) and participates less comprises parents with an anthroposophical worldview. Despite the fact that various studies have identified anthroposophists as critical parents with lower vaccination coverage, no research has been done to explore the beliefs underlying their childhood vaccination decision-making. We conducted a qualitative study using three focus groups (n = 16) of parents who visit an anthroposophical child welfare center. Our findings show that participants did not refuse all vaccinations within the Dutch NIP, but mostly refused the Mumps, Measles, and Rubella (MMR) vaccination. Vaccination decisions are influenced by participants' lifestyle, perception of health, beliefs about childhood diseases, perceptions about the risks of diseases, perceptions about vaccine effectiveness and vaccine components, and trust in institutions. Parents indicated that they felt a need for more information. Sufficient references should be provided to sources containing more information about childhood vaccination, especially about the effectiveness of vaccines and vaccine components and the risks, such as possible side effects and benefits of vaccination. This may satisfy parents' information needs and enable them to make a sufficiently informed choice whether or not to vaccinate their child.
PMCID: PMC3508517  PMID: 23209917
45.  Feasibility and Acceptability of Screening and Brief Interventions to Address Alcohol and Other Drug Use among Patients Presenting for Emergency Services in Cape Town, South Africa 
Despite evidence from high income countries, it is not known whether screening and brief interventions (SBI) for alcohol and other drug (AOD) use are feasible to implement in low and middle income countries. This paper describes the feasibility and acceptability of a peer-led SBI for AOD-using patients presenting with injuries at emergency services in Cape Town, South Africa. Data were extracted from program records on the number of eligible patients screened and the number of program refusals. A questionnaire examined preliminary responses to the intervention for 30 patients who had completed the program and 10 emergency personnel. Peer counselors were also interviewed to identify barriers to implementation. Of the 1458 patients screened, 21% (305) met inclusion criteria, of which 74% (225) were enrolled in the intervention. Of the 30 patients interviewed, most (83%) found the program useful. Emergency personnel were supportive of the program but felt that visibility and reach could improve. Peer counselors identified the need for better integration of the program into emergency services and for additional training and support. In conclusion, with limited additional resources, peer-led SBIs for AOD use are feasible to conduct in South African emergency services and are acceptable to patients and emergency personnel.
PMCID: PMC3502754  PMID: 23198159
46.  Sexual Health and Men Who Have Sex with Men in Vietnam: An Integrated Approach to Preventive Health Care 
Background. While HIV infection among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Vietnam has received increasing attention, most studies focus on HIV knowledge and established risk factors such as injection drug use. This paper proposes to address HIV risk among MSM from an integrated approach to preventive care that takes into account syndemic conditions such as substance use, mental health, and stigma, the latter of which prevents MSM from accessing health services. Method. Current studies related to MSM in Vietnam from 2000 onwards, gathered from peer-reviewed as well as non-peer-reviewed sources, were examined. Results. HIV and STI prevalence among MSM varied significantly by location, and yet HIV prevalence has increased significantly over the past few years. Most studies have focused on sexual risk behaviors, paying little attention to the broad spectrum of sexual health, including noninjecting drug use, heavy alcohol consumption, high rates of mental health distress and anxiety, and stigma. Conclusion. Future research and interventions targeting MSM in Vietnam should address their vulnerability to HIV from an integrated approach that pays attention to both sexual health and syndemic conditions.
PMCID: PMC3479935  PMID: 23119171
47.  Developing Effective Health Interventions for Women Who Inject Drugs: Key Areas and Recommendations for Program Development and Policy 
Women who inject drugs face multiple gender-specific health risks and barriers to healthcare access. These gendered factors may contribute to elevated rates of HIV for this population. Though few countries systematically collect gender-disaggregated data related to injecting drug use, evidence indicates that there are large populations of women who inject drugs and who are in need of improved health services, including HIV prevention. Research on the effectiveness of interventions specifically tailored for women who inject drugs, along with the experience of programs working with this subpopulation, suggests that HIV risk practices need to be addressed within the larger context of women's lives. Multifaceted interventions that address relationship dynamics, housing, employment, and the needs of children may have more success in reducing risky practices than interventions that focus exclusively on injecting practices and condom use. Improved sexual and reproductive healthcare for women who use drugs is an area in need of development and should be better integrated into basic harm reduction programs.
PMCID: PMC3501794  PMID: 23198158
48.  Parents' Source of Vaccine Information and Impact on Vaccine Attitudes, Beliefs, and Nonmedical Exemptions 
In recent years, use of the Internet to obtain vaccine information has increased. Historical data are necessary to evaluate current vaccine information seeking trends in context. Between 2002 and 2003, surveys were mailed to 1,630 parents of fully vaccinated children and 815 parents of children with at least one vaccine exemption; 56.1% responded. Respondents were asked about their vaccine information sources, perceptions of these sources accuracy, and their beliefs about vaccination. Parents who did not view their child's healthcare provider as a reliable vaccine information source were more likely to obtain vaccine information using the Internet. Parents who were younger, more highly educated, and opposed to school immunization requirements were more likely than their counterparts to use the Internet for vaccine information. Compared to parents who did not use the Internet for vaccine information, those who sought vaccine information on the Internet were more likely to have lower perceptions of vaccine safety (adjusted odds ratio (aOR), 1.66; 95% CI, 1.18–2.35), vaccine effectiveness (aOR, 1.83; 95% CI, 1.32–2.53), and disease susceptibility (aOR, 2.08; 95% CI, 1.49–2.90) and were more likely to have a child with a nonmedical exemption (aOR 3.53, 95% CI, 2.61–4.76). These findings provide context to interpret recent vaccine information seeking research.
PMCID: PMC3469070  PMID: 23082253
49.  The Prevalence and Antibiotic Susceptibility Pattern of Salmonella typhi among Patients Attending a Military Hospital in Minna, Nigeria 
The threat to human health posed by antibiotic-resistant bacterial pathogens is of growing concern to medical practice. This study investigated the antibiotic sensitivity pattern of Salmonella typhi isolated from blood specimen. One hundred blood samples were collected from suspected typhoid fever patients in 31 Artillery Brigade Medical Centre, Minna, and were analyzed for S. typhi while antibiotic sensitivity testing was done Kirby-Bauer method. Sixty (60.0%) samples out of the total 100 were positive for bacterial growth. The organisms isolated 2 include Salmonella typhi; 45 (75.0%), Shigella; 6 (10.0%), E. coli; 3 (5.0%), Klebsiella; 3 (5.0%), Enterobacter; 2 (3.3%), and Citrobacter; 1 (1.7%). Result of the sensitivity test showed that the isolates were resistant to all the antibiotics; ceftriaxone, cefuroxime, amoxicillin, ampicillin, ciprofloxacin, and augmentin, which are the drug of choice routinely used in the study area for the treatment of typhoid fever. They were however sensitive to chloramphenicol and ofloxacin, which, unfortunately, are not used in this study area for the treatment of typhoid fever. There appear to be multiple drug resistant (MDR) strain of S. typhi in the study area. These may be as a result of overdependence or uncontrolled use of the few available antibiotics and/or inaccurate or inconclusive diagnosis resulting in the development and spread of resistant strains of S. typhi. The study, therefore, highlights the need for a strong collaboration between the physicians and the laboratory in the choice of antibiotics for the treatment of bacterial diseases in order to discourage the development of resistant strain of bacterial pathogen.
PMCID: PMC3465869  PMID: 23056954
50.  Pertussis Epidemiology in Greece and Emerging Risk Groups during the Vaccination Era (1980–2008) 
To study the epidemiology of pertussis in Greece and epidemiologic changes throughout a period of twenty-nine years, we conducted a retrospective analysis of available data of pertussis cases for the past twenty-nine years (1980–2008) and a prospective analysis of hospitalized pertussis cases from a children's hospital in Athens for eight years (2001–2008). From 1980 through 2008, the incidence of pertussis in Greece declined from 11.2 to 0.05 cases per 100,000. Epidemic cycles occurring every 3 to 5 years were observed. Since pertussis circulation cannot be fully controlled by present immunization programs, efforts should be made to vaccinate infants at the recommended age, early diagnose, treatment as well as contact tracing of pertussis cases. Control of pertussis in social susceptible populations is necessary. A national program with adolescent and adult booster could decrease the circulation of B. pertussis. Despite an overall decrease for pertussis cases, pertussis is still a present and future challenge of public health service in Greece.
PMCID: PMC3457588  PMID: 23019527

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