Respondent-driven sampling (RDS) is a variant of a link-tracing design intended for generating unbiased estimates of the composition of hidden populations that typically involves giving participants several coupons to recruit their peers into the study. RDS may generate biased estimates if coupons are distributed non-randomly or if potential recruits present for interview non-randomly. We explore if biases detected in an RDS study were due to either of these mechanisms, and propose and apply weights to reduce bias due to non-random presentation for interview.
Using data from the total population, and the population to whom recruiters offered their coupons, we explored how age and socioeconomic status were associated with being offered a coupon, and, if offered a coupon, with presenting for interview. Population proportions were estimated by weighting by the assumed inverse probabilities of being offered a coupon (as in existing RDS methods), and also of presentation for interview if offered a coupon by age and socioeconomic status group.
Younger men were under-recruited primarily because they were less likely to be offered coupons. The under-recruitment of higher socioeconomic status men was due in part to them being less likely to present for interview. Consistent with these findings, weighting for non-random presentation for interview by age and socioeconomic status group greatly improved the estimate of the proportion of men in the lowest socioeconomic group, reducing the root-mean-squared error of RDS estimates of socioeconomic status by 38%, but had little effect on estimates for age. The weighting also improved estimates for tribe and religion (reducing root-mean-squared-errors by 19–29%), but had little effect for sexual activity or HIV status.
Data collected from recruiters on the characteristics of men to whom they offered coupons may be used to reduce bias in RDS studies. Further evaluation of this new method is required.
Maternal and neonatal mortality rates remain high in many low-income and middle-income countries. Different approaches for the improvement of birth outcomes have been used in community-based interventions, with heterogeneous effects on survival. We assessed the effects of women’s groups practising participatory learning and action, compared with usual care, on birth outcomes in low-resource settings.
We did a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials undertaken in Bangladesh, India, Malawi, and Nepal in which the effects of women’s groups practising participatory learning and action were assessed to identify population-level predictors of effect on maternal mortality, neonatal mortality, and stillbirths. We also reviewed the cost-effectiveness of the women’s group intervention and estimated its potential effect at scale in Countdown countries.
Seven trials (119 428 births) met the inclusion criteria. Meta-analyses of all trials showed that exposure to women’s groups was associated with a 37% reduction in maternal mortality (odds ratio 0·63, 95% CI 0·32–0·94), a 23% reduction in neonatal mortality (0·77, 0·65–0·90), and a 9% non-significant reduction in stillbirths (0·91, 0·79–1·03), with high heterogeneity for maternal (I2=58·8%, p=0·024) and neonatal results (I2=64·7%, p=0·009). In the meta-regression analyses, the proportion of pregnant women in groups was linearly associated with reduction in both maternal and neonatal mortality (p=0·026 and p=0·011, respectively). A subgroup analysis of the four studies in which at least 30% of pregnant women participated in groups showed a 55% reduction in maternal mortality (0·45, 0·17–0·73) and a 33% reduction in neonatal mortality (0·67, 0·59–0·74). The intervention was cost effective by WHO standards and could save an estimated 283 000 newborn infants and 41 100 mothers per year if implemented in rural areas of 74 Countdown countries.
With the participation of at least a third of pregnant women and adequate population coverage, women’s groups practising participatory learning and action are a cost-effective strategy to improve maternal and neonatal survival in low-resource settings.
Wellcome Trust, Ammalife, and National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care for Birmingham and the Black Country programme.
There is a recognized gap in the evidence base relating to the nature and components of interventions to address the psycho-social needs of HIV positive young people. We used mixed methods research to strengthen a community support group intervention for HIV positive young people based in Harare, Zimbabwe.
A quantitative questionnaire was administered to HIV positive Africaid support group attendees. Afterwards, qualitative data were collected from young people aged 15–18 through tape-recorded in-depth interviews (n = 10), 3 focus group discussions (FGDs) and 16 life history narratives. Data were also collected from caregivers, health care workers, and community members through FGDs (n = 6 groups) and in-depth interviews (n = 12). Quantitative data were processed and analysed using STATA 10. Qualitative data were analysed using thematic analysis.
229/310 young people completed the quantitative questionnaire (74% participation). Median age was 14 (range 6–18 years); 59% were female. Self-reported adherence to antiretrovirals was sub-optimal. Psychological well being was poor (median score on Shona Symptom Questionnaire 9/14); 63% were at risk of depression. Qualitative findings suggested that challenges faced by positive children include verbal abuse, stigma, and discrimination. While data showed that support group attendance is helpful, young people stressed that life outside the confines of the group was more challenging. Caregivers felt ill-equipped to support the children in their care. These data, combined with a previously validated conceptual framework for family-centred interventions, were used to guide the development of the existing programme of adolescent support groups into a more comprehensive evidence-based psychosocial support programme encompassing caregiver and household members.
This study allowed us to describe the lived experiences of HIV positive young people and their caregivers in Zimbabwe. The findings contributed to the enhancement of Africaid’s existing programme of support to better promote psychological well being and ART adherence.
The HIV Dementia Scale (HDS) and International HIV Dementia Scale (IHDS) are brief tools that have been developed to screen for and aid diagnosis of HIV-associated dementia (HAD). They are increasingly being used in clinical practice for minor neurocognitive disorder (MND) as well as HAD, despite uncertainty about their accuracy.
Methods and Findings
A systematic review of the accuracy of the HDS and IHDS was conducted. Studies were assessed on Standards for Reporting Diagnostic Accuracy criteria. Pooled sensitivity, specificity, likelihood ratios (LR) and diagnostic odds ratios (DOR) were calculated for each scale as a test for HAD or MND. We retrieved 15 studies of the HDS, 10 of the IHDS, and 1 of both scales. Thirteen studies of the HDS were conducted in North America, and 7 of the IHDS studies were conducted in sub-Saharan Africa. Estimates of accuracy were highly heterogeneous between studies for the HDS but less so for the IHDS. Pooled DOR for the HDS was 7.52 (95% confidence interval 3.75–15.11), sensitivity and specificity for HAD were estimated at 68.1% and 77.9%, and sensitivity and specificity for MND were estimated at 42.0% and 91.2%. Pooled DOR for the IHDS was 3.49 (2.12–5.73), sensitivity and specificity for HAD were 74.3% and 54.7%, and sensitivity and specificity for MND were 64.3% and 66.0%.
Both scales were low in accuracy. The literature is limited by the lack of a gold standard, and variation in estimates of accuracy is likely to be due to differences in reference standard. There is a lack of studies comparing both scales, and they have been studied in different populations, but the IHDS may be less specific than the HDS. These rapid tests are not recommended for diagnostic use, and further research is required to inform their use in asymptomatic screening.
Respondent-driven sampling is a novel variant of link-tracing sampling for estimating the characteristics of hard-to-reach groups, such as HIV prevalence in sex-workers. Despite its use by leading health organizations, the performance of this method in realistic situations is still largely unknown. We evaluated respondent-driven sampling by comparing estimates from a respondent-driven sampling survey with total-population data.
Total-population data on age, tribe, religion, socioeconomic status, sexual activity and HIV status were available on a population of 2402 male household-heads from an open cohort in rural Uganda. A respondent-driven sampling (RDS) survey was carried out in this population, employing current methods of sampling (RDS sample) and statistical inference (RDS estimates). Analyses were carried out for the full RDS sample and then repeated for the first 250 recruits (small sample).
We recruited 927 household-heads. Full and small RDS samples were largely representative of the total population, but both samples under-represented men who were younger, of higher socioeconomic status, and with unknown sexual activity and HIV status. Respondent-driven-sampling statistical-inference methods failed to reduce these biases. Only 31%-37% (depending on method and sample size) of RDS estimates were closer to the true population proportions than the RDS sample proportions. Only 50%-74% of respondent-driven-sampling bootstrap 95% confidence intervals included the population proportion.
Respondent-driven sampling produced a generally representative sample of this well-connected non-hidden population. However, current respondent-driven-sampling inference methods failed to reduce bias when it occurred. Whether the data required to remove bias and measure precision can be collected in a respondent-driven sampling survey is unresolved. Respondent-driven sampling should be regarded as a (potentially superior) form of convenience-sampling method, and caution is required when interpreting findings based on the sampling method.
Early HIV testing and diagnosis are paramount for increasing treatment initiation among children, necessary for their survival and improved health. However, uptake of pediatric HIV testing is low in high-prevalence areas. We present data on attitudes towards pediatric testing from a nationally representative survey in Zimbabwe.
All 18–24 year olds and a proportion of 25–49 year olds living in randomly selected enumeration areas from all ten Zimbabwe provinces were invited to self-complete an anonymous questionnaire on a personal digital assistant, and 16,719 people agreed to participate (75% of eligibles).
Most people think children can benefit from HIV testing (91%), 81% of people who looked after children know how to access testing for their children and 92% would feel happier if their children were tested. Notably, 42% fear that, if tested, children may be discriminated against by some community members and 28% fear their children are HIV positive. People who fear discrimination against children who have tested for HIV are more likely than their counterparts to perceive their community as stigmatizing against HIV positive people (43% vs. 29%). They are also less likely to report positive attitudes to HIV themselves (49% vs. 74%). Only 28% think it is possible for children HIV-infected at birth to live into adolescence without treatment. Approximately 70% of people (irrespective of whether they are themselves parents) think HIV-infected children in their communities can access testing and treatment.
Pediatric HIV testing is the essential gateway to prevention and care services. Our data indicate positive attitudes to testing children, suggesting a conducive environment for increasing uptake of pediatric testing in Zimbabwe. However, there is a need to better understand the barriers to pediatric testing, such as stigma and discrimination, and address the gaps in knowledge regarding HIV/AIDS in children.
Our objective was to estimate for the first time the prevalence and determinants of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among male migrants in India.
We conducted a multi-stage stratified probability sample survey of migrant (defined as not born in Surat city) men aged 18 to 49 years working in the diamond and textile industries in Surat city. Behavioural and biological data were collected. Biological data included laboratory diagnosed herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhoea, Trichomonas vaginalis (together defined as ‘any STI’) and HIV-1. Likely recently acquired STIs included chlamydia, gonorrhoea, T.vaginalis and syphilis with rapid plasma reagin ≥1∶8. The response rate was 77% (845/1099). Among 841 participants, HIV-1 prevalence was 1.0%, ‘any STI’ prevalence was 9.5% and 38.9% of these STIs were likely to have been recently acquired. Being a diamond worker, Surat resident for 10+ years and recent antibiotic use were each associated with higher odds of ‘any STI’ (aORs 1.83 (95% CI 1.09–3.09), 1.98 (95% CI 1.22–3.22) and 2.57 (95% CI 1 .17–5.64), respectively) after adjusting for the other two factors and age. The main study limitation was social desirability bias for self-reported sexual behaviour; STIs were diagnosed in some self-reported virgins.
HIV and STI prevalence were lower than expected, but prevention interventions remain necessary in Surat since almost 40% of STIs among participants were probably recently acquired and sentinel surveillance HIV prevalence remains high. The participants had a similar HIV prevalence to Surat antenatal clinic attendees, a proxy for the general population. This suggests migrants are not always at higher risk of HIV compared to the general population in their migration destination. Our findings highlight the need to contextualise research findings from a specific setting with other local information to guide HIV/STI prevention interventions.
Two approaches commonly used to deal with missing data are multiple
imputation (MI) and inverse-probability weighting (IPW). IPW is also used to
adjust for unequal sampling fractions. MI is generally more efficient than
IPW but more complex. Whereas IPW requires only a model for the probability
that an individual has complete data (a univariate outcome), MI needs a
model for the joint distribution of the missing data (a multivariate
outcome) given the observed data. Inadequacies in either model may lead to
important bias if large amounts of data are missing. A third approach
combines MI and IPW to give a doubly robust estimator. A fourth approach
(IPW/MI) combines MI and IPW but, unlike doubly robust methods, imputes only
isolated missing values and uses weights to account for remaining larger
blocks of unimputed missing data, such as would arise, e.g., in a cohort
study subject to sample attrition, and/or unequal sampling fractions. In
this article, we examine the performance, in terms of bias and efficiency,
of IPW/MI relative to MI and IPW alone and investigate whether the
Rubin’s rules variance estimator is valid for IPW/MI. We prove that
the Rubin’s rules variance estimator is valid for IPW/MI for linear
regression with an imputed outcome, we present simulations supporting the
use of this variance estimator in more general settings, and we demonstrate
that IPW/MI can have advantages over alternatives. IPW/MI is applied to data
from the National Child Development Study.
Marginal model; Missing at random; Survey weighting; 1958 British Birth Cohort
Maternal common mental disorders are prevalent in low-resource settings and have far-reaching consequences for maternal and child health. We assessed the prevalence and predictors of psychological distress as a proxy for common mental disorders among mothers in rural Jharkhand and Orissa, eastern India, where over 40% of the population live below the poverty line and access to reproductive and mental health services is low.
We screened 5801 mothers around 6 weeks after delivery using the Kessler-10 item scale, and identified predictors of distress using multiple hierarchical logistic regression.
11.5% (95% CI: 10.7–12.3) of mothers had symptoms of distress (K10 score > 15). High maternal age, low asset ownership, health problems in the antepartum, delivery or postpartum periods, caesarean section, an unwanted pregnancy for the mother, small perceived infant size and a stillbirth or neonatal death were all independently associated with an increased risk of distress. The loss of an infant or an unwanted pregnancy increased the risk of distress considerably (AORs: 7.06 95% CI: 5.51–9.04 and 1.49, 95% CI: 1.12–1.97, respectively).
We did not collect data on antepartum depression, domestic violence or a mother's past birth history, and were therefore unable to examine the importance of these factors as predictors of psychological distress.
Mothers living in underserved areas of India who experience infant loss, an unwanted pregnancy, health problems in the perinatal and postpartum periods and socio-economic disadvantage are at increased risk of distress and require access to reproductive healthcare with integrated mental health interventions.
Common mental disorder; Maternal depression; India; Rural health
Respondent-driven sampling(RDS) is an increasingly widely used variant of a link tracing design for recruiting hidden populations. The role of the spatial distribution of the target population has not been robustly examined for RDS. We examine patterns of recruitment by location, and how they may have biased an RDS study findings.
Total-population data were available on a range of characteristics on a population of 2402 male household-heads from an open cohort of 25 villages in rural Uganda. The locations of households were known a-priori. An RDS survey was carried out in this population, employing current RDS methods of sampling and statistical inference.
There was little heterogeneity in the population by location. Data suggested more distant contacts were less likely to be reported, and therefore recruited, but if reported more distant contacts were as likely as closer contacts to be recruited. There was no evidence that closer proximity to a village meeting place was associated with probability of being recruited, however it was associated with a higher probability of recruiting a larger number of recruits. People living closer to an interview site were more likely to be recruited.
Household location affected the overall probability of recruitment, and the probability of recruitment by a specific recruiter. Patterns of recruitment do not appear to have greatly biased estimates in this study. The observed patterns could result in bias in more geographically heterogeneous populations. Care is required in RDS studies when choosing the network size question and interview site location(s).
Clinical researchers have often preferred to use a fixed effects model for the primary interpretation of a meta-analysis. Heterogeneity is usually assessed via the well known Q and I2 statistics, along with the random effects estimate they imply. In recent years, alternative methods for quantifying heterogeneity have been proposed, that are based on a 'generalised' Q statistic.
We review 18 IPD meta-analyses of RCTs into treatments for cancer, in order to quantify the amount of heterogeneity present and also to discuss practical methods for explaining heterogeneity.
Differing results were obtained when the standard Q and I2 statistics were used to test for the presence of heterogeneity. The two meta-analyses with the largest amount of heterogeneity were investigated further, and on inspection the straightforward application of a random effects model was not deemed appropriate. Compared to the standard Q statistic, the generalised Q statistic provided a more accurate platform for estimating the amount of heterogeneity in the 18 meta-analyses.
Explaining heterogeneity via the pre-specification of trial subgroups, graphical diagnostic tools and sensitivity analyses produced a more desirable outcome than an automatic application of the random effects model. Generalised Q statistic methods for quantifying and adjusting for heterogeneity should be incorporated as standard into statistical software. Software is provided to help achieve this aim.
North American research finds increased sexual risk-taking among teenagers with same-sex partners, but understanding of underlying processes is limited. The research carried out in the United Kingdom compares teenagers' early sexual experiences according to same- or opposite-sex partner, focusing on unwanted sex in addition to risk-taking, and exploring underlying psychosocial differences.
Multivariate analyses combined self-reported data from two randomized control trials of school sex education programs (N = 10,250). Outcomes from sexually experienced teenagers (N = 3,766) were partner pressure to have first sex and subsequent regret, and sexual risk measures including pregnancy. Covariates included self-esteem, future expectations, substance use, and communication with mother.
By the time of follow-up (mean age, 16), same-sex genital contact (touching or oral or anal) was reported by 2.3% of teenagers, with the majority also reporting heterosexual intercourse. A total of 39% reported heterosexual intercourse and no same-sex genital contact. Boys were more likely to report partner pressure (Odds ratio [OR] = 2.56, 95% confidence intervals [CI] = 1.29–5.08) and regret (OR = 2.32; 95% CI = 1.39–3.86) in relation to first same-sex genital contact than first heterosexual intercourse, but girls showed no differences according to partner type. Teenagers with bisexual behavior reported greater pregnancy or partner pregnancy risk than teenagers with exclusively opposite-sex partners (girls, OR = 4.51, 95% CI = 2.35–8.64; boys, OR = 4.43, 95% CI = 2.41–8.14), partially reduced by attitudinal and behavioral differences.
This UK study confirms greater reporting of sexual risk-taking among teenagers with same-sex partners, and suggests that boys in this group are vulnerable to unwanted sex. It suggests limitations to the interpretation of differences, in terms of psychosocial risk factors common to all adolescents.
Sexual minority; Adolescence; Sexual behavior
Over the past 20 years, there has been a huge increase in the number of overseas trips made by UK residents. Although a number of studies have examined the frequency of overseas partner acquisition, they have used convenience samples and thus are not generalisable to the British general population.
A national probability sample survey was carried out in 1999–2001 of 12 110 men and women aged 16–44 years resident in Britain. Sociodemographic, health‐related, travel, sexual behaviour and attitudinal data were collected by computer‐assisted interviewing. The main outcomes were the proportion of British residents who reported new sexual partners overseas in the past 5 years, the country of origin of these new sex partners, and the association between reporting a new partner while overseas with a range of demographic, behavioural and attitudinal variables.
13.9% of men and 7.1% of women reported having new sexual partner(s) while overseas in the past 5 years. Among respondents who were aged 16–24 and never married, the proportions were significantly higher (23.0% of men and 17.0% of women). Half of those with new sex partners overseas reported their partner's origin as the UK, and over a third as another European country. In addition to age and marital status, reporting new partners overseas was associated with a higher number of partners, paying for sex (among men), reporting a diagnosis of sexually transmitted infection, and HIV testing. Adjustment for sociodemographic factors attenuated the magnitude of, but did not remove, these associations.
A substantial minority of young, unmarried people form new sexual partnerships abroad, but these are typically with residents from the UK or other European countries. Those who have new partners abroad are likely to have higher‐risk sexual lifestyles more generally, and to be at higher risk of sexually transmitted infections. Greater attention should be paid to sexual health promotion for travellers abroad, especially young travellers, emphasising the risks of new sexual relationships with compatriots as well as those from other countries in terms of STI/HIV acquisition and onwards transmission.
To estimate the effect of HIV infection on time off work. To provide baseline estimates for economic and actuarial models, and for evaluations of ART and other workplace interventions.
A retrospective cohort study of gold miners with known dates of seroconversion to HIV, and an HIV-negative comparison group, used routinely collected data to estimate the proportion of time off work by calendar period (1992–2002, prior to the introduction of ART), age, time since seroconversion and period before death. The authors calculated ORs for overall time off work and RR ratios (RRR, using multinomial logistic regression) for reasons off work relative to being at work.
1703 HIV-positive and 4859 HIV-negative men were followed for 34 424 person-years. HIV-positive miners spent a higher proportion of time off work than negative miners (20.7% vs 16.1%) due to greater medical and unauthorised absence. Compared with HIV-negative miners, overall time off work increased in the first 2 years after seroconversion (adjusted OR 1.40 (95% CI 1.36 to 1.45)) and then remained broadly stable for a number years, reaching 38.8% in the final year before death (adjusted OR 3.27, 95% CI 2.95 to 3.63). Absence for medical reasons showed the strongest link to HIV infection, increasing from an adjusted RRR of 2.66 (95% CI 2.45 to 2.90) for the first 2 years since seroconversion to 13.6 (95% CI 11.8 to 15.6) in the year prior to death.
Time off work provides a quantifiable measure of the effect of HIV on overall morbidity. HIV/AIDS affects both labour supply (increased time off work) and demand for health services (increased medical absence). The effects occur soon after seroconversion and stabilise before reaching very high levels in the period prior to death. Occupational health services are an important setting to identify HIV-infected men early.
HIV; seroconversion; work; absenteeism; sickness absence; fitness for work; longitudinal studies
Several studies have described improved outcomes for HIV‐infected patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) since the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). A study was undertaken to examine the outcome from the ICU for HIV‐infected patients and to identify prognostic factors.
A retrospective study of HIV‐infected adults admitted to a university affiliated hospital ICU between January 1999 and December 2005 was performed. Information was collected on patient demographics, receipt of HAART (no patient began HAART on the ICU), reason for ICU admission and hospital course. Outcomes were survival to ICU discharge and to hospital discharge.
102 patients had 113 admissions to the ICU; HIV infection was newly diagnosed in 31 patients. Survival (first episode ICU discharge and hospital discharge) was 77% and 68%, respectively, compared with 74% and 65% for general medical patients. ICU and hospital survival was 78% and 67% in those receiving HAART, and 75% and 66% in those who were not. In univariate analysis, factors associated with survival were: haemoglobin (OR = 1.25, 95% CI 1.03 to 1.51, for an increase of 1 g/dl), CD4 count (OR = 1.59, 95% CI 0.98 to 2.58, for a 10‐fold increase in cells/µl), APACHE II score (OR = 0.51, 95% CI 0.29 to 0.90, for a 10 unit increase) and mechanical ventilation (OR = 0.29, 95% CI 0.10 to 0.83).
The outcome for HIV‐infected patients admitted to the ICU was good and was comparable to that in general medical patients. More than a quarter of patients had newly diagnosed HIV infection. Patients receiving HAART did not have a better outcome.
: Rates of bacterial sexually transmitted infections (STIs) continue to rise among men who have sex with men (MSM) in the UK.
To evaluate factors associated with Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae among MSM attending a genitourinary medicine clinic in inner London.
: 599 MSM undergoing testing for STIs were recruited. Specimens for ligase chain reaction (LCR), strand displacement amplification (SDA) assay and culture were collected from the pharynx, urethra and rectum for the detection of C trachomatis and N gonorrhoeae. Details regarding demographics, symptoms, signs and sexual behaviour were recorded. Associations of these factors with each infection were tested, adjusting for other risk factors.
The prevalence of C trachomatis and N gonorrhoeae was 11.0% and 16.0%, respectively. LCR and SDA performed well for the detection of C trachomatis and N gonorrhoeae from urethra and rectum. Using either method, compared with our current testing policy, over 18% of those with C trachomatis and N gonorrhoeae would not have had their infection diagnosed or treated. Age, sexual behaviour, urethral and rectal symptoms and signs were strongly associated with both infections. A total of 33.7% of men reported at least one episode of unprotected anal intercourse in the previous month. Men reporting multiple episodes were markedly more likely to be HIV positive.
The prevalence of infection, rates of partner acquisition and unprotected anal intercourse reported among these MSM are alarming. Improved detection of C trachomatis and N gonorrhoeae using nucleic acid amplification tests has major public health implications for STI and possibly HIV transmission in this population.
Much of the UK government's 1999 report on teenage pregnancy was by necessity based on rather old or non‐longitudinal research.
To examine the associations between risk factors identified in the report and pregnancy at or before age 16 years among young women and partners of young men using the more recent data.
Socioeconomic disadvantage, being born to a teenage mother, expectation of being a teenage parent, low educational expectations and various other behaviours are potential risk factors for teenage pregnancy, as suggested by unadjusted analyses. Those who cited school as providing information on sex had a reduced risk of pregnancy at or before age 16 years, as did girls reporting easy communication with parent or guardian at baseline. Various measures of low sexual health knowledge were not associated, in either adjusted or unadjusted analyses, with increased risk of pregnancy at or before age 16 years among boys or girls.
A focus on many of the risk factors identified in the 1999 report is supported herein. It is suggested that knowledge may not be an important determinant, but that relationships with parents and school, as well as expectations for the future, may have important influences on teenage pregnancy. The analysis also provides new insights into risk factors for pregnancies among the partners of young men.
To explore the changing pattern of condom use from 1990 to 2000; to identify sociodemographic and behavioural factors associated with condom use; and reasons for condom use in 2000.
Large probability sample surveys administered among those resident in Britain aged 16–44 (n = 13 765 in 1990, n = 11 161 in 2000). Face to face interviews with self completion components collected sociodemographic, behavioural, and attitudinal data.
Condom use in the past year among sexually active 16–24 year old men increased from 61.0% in 1990 to 82.1% in 2000 (p<0.0001), and from 42.0% to 63.2% (p<0.0001) among women of the same age, with smaller increases among older age groups. Among individuals reporting at least two partners in the previous 4 week period, approximately two thirds reported inconsistent or no condom use (63.1% (95% CI 55.9% to 69.8%) of the men and 68.5% (95% CI 57.6% to 77.7%) of the women).
Rates of condom use increased substantially between 1990 and 2000, particularly among young people. However, inconsistent condom use by individuals with high rates of partner acquisition may contribute significantly to the recent resurgence in STIs. This group is an important target for intensive and specific sexual health interventions.
condoms; sexual behaviour; risk; sexually transmitted infections
To determine which of the options available to modernise genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinics in the UK are most acceptable to patients and potential patients; to assess whether the views of a general population sample differ from those of clinic attenders. .
A questionnaire was used to explore the acceptability of different ways of delivering sexual healthcare including the potential trade‐off between convenience/range of services with cost/staffing constraints. Potential differences in responses by age, sex, ethnicity and current attendance at a GUM clinic were evaluated using multivariate analysis.
542 respondents in the community and 202 clinic attenders provided responses. Delivery of sexual healthcare by specialist nurses and general practitioners was acceptable to 81% and 72% of interviewees, respectively, assuming common protocols were adhered to. The proportion of individuals who would accept a consultation with a nurse increased to 91% if the waiting time for an appointment could be reduced as a result. Men were less likely to accept a consultation with a nurse (odds ratio (OR) 0.52, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.35 to 0.79), and Asian (OR 0.38, 95% CI 0.23 to 0.64) and other black (OR 0.41, 95% CI 0.2 to 0.87) ethnic groups were less likely to accept a consultation with a general practitioner. 44% of patients preferred walk‐in clinics even if waiting times for an appointment were reduced to 48 h.
Delivery of sexual healthcare by nurses and general practitioners was generally found to be acceptable, although this varies by patient sex and ethnicity. Some differences exist between the preferences of a general population sample compared with clinic attenders, but overall there is a high level of concordance. Walk‐in clinics remain a popular choice even when appointment waiting times are short.
The introduction of Modernising Medical Careers (MMC) is likely to reduce specialist registrar (SpR) operative experience during higher surgical training (HST). A further negative impact on training by local Independent Sector Treatment Centres (ISTCs) could reduce experience, and thus competence, in primary joint arthroplasty at completion of higher surgical training.
PATIENTS AND METHODS
Retrospective case note and radiograph analysis of patients receiving primary hip and knee arthroplasty in a teaching hospital, before and after the establishment of a local ISTC. Patients and operative details were recorded from the selected case notes. Corresponding radiographs were assessed and the severity of the disease process assessed.
Fewer primary hip and knee replacements were performed by SpRs in the time period after the establishment of an ISTC.
ISTCs may adversely affect SpR training in primary joint arthroplasty.
Independent Sector Treatment Centres; Specialist registrar training; Primary hip and knee arthroplasty
Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PCP) remains the leading cause of opportunistic infection among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–infected persons. Previous studies of PCP that identified case-fatality risk factors involved small numbers of patients, were performed over few years, and often focused on patients who were admitted to the intensive care unit.
The objective of this study was to identify case-fatality risk factors present at or soon after hospitalization among adult HIV-infected patients admitted to University College London Hospitals (London, United Kingdom) from June 1985 through June 2006.
Patients and Methods
We performed a review of case notes for 494 consecutive patients with 547 episodes of laboratory-confirmed PCP.
Overall mortality was 13.5%. Mortality was 10.1% for the period from 1985 through 1989, 16.9% for the period from 1990 through June 1996, and 9.7% for the period from July 1996 through 2006 (P = .142). Multivariate analysis identified factors associated with risk of death, including increasing patient age (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 1.54; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.11–2.23; P = .011), subsequent episode of PCP (AOR, 2.27; 95% CI, 1.14–4.52; P = .019), low hemoglobin level at hospital admission (AOR, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.60–0.83; P < .001), low partial pressure of oxygen breathing room air at hospital admission (AOR, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.60–0.81; P < .001), presence of medical comorbidity (AOR, 3.93; 95% CI, 1.77–8.72; P = .001), and pulmonary Kaposi sarcoma (AOR, 6.95; 95% CI, 2.26–21.37; P =.001). Patients with a first episode of PCP were sicker (mean partial pressure of oxygen at admission ± standard deviation, 9.3 ± 2.0 kPa) than those with a second or third episode of PCP (mean partial pressure of oxygen at admission ± standard deviation, 9.9 ± 1.9 kPa; P =.008), but mortality among patients with a first episode of PCP (12.5%) was lower than mortality among patients with subsequent episodes of PCP (22.5%) (P = .019). No patient was receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy before presentation with PCP, and none began highly active antiretroviral therapy during treatment of PCP.
Mortality risk factors for PCP were identifiable at or soon after hospitalization. The trend towards improved outcome after June 1996 occurred in the absence of highly active antiretroviral therapy.
To explore the associations between self reported high risk sexual behaviours and subsequent diagnosis with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.
The Sex, Health and Anti‐Retrovirals Project (SHARP) was a cross sectional study of sexual behaviour in HIV positive, men who have sex with men (MSM) attending a London outpatient clinic. From July 1999 to August 2000 participants completed a computer assisted self interview questionnaire (CASI) on recent sexual behaviour, recreational drug use, and detailed reporting of the last two sexual episodes involving different partners. Results were combined with routine clinic data and subsequent testing for HCV up to 21 April 2005. A new HCV diagnosis was defined as anti‐HCV antibody seroconversion or positive HCV RNA following a previous negative. Incident rate ratios (IRR) were calculated using Poisson regression in Stata (version 9). Men contributed time at risk from interview until either their diagnosis or their last negative test result.
Of the 422 men who completed questionnaires, 308 (73%) had sufficient clinical and HCV testing data available for analysis. Incident HCV infection was identified in 11 men. Unprotected anal intercourse, more than 30 sex partners in the past year, higher numbers of new anal sex partners, rimming (oro‐anal sex), fisting, use of sex toys, and intranasal recreational drug use were associated with HCV. In multivariate analysis only fisting remained associated with HCV (adjusted IRR 6.27, p = 0.005).
In this study of HIV positive MSM, fisting is strongly associated with HCV infection. Where individuals report high risk sexual behaviours, clinicians should offer appropriate testing for HCV infection.
hepatitis C virus infection; sexual behaviour; MSM; HIV positive
Despite a decline in incidence of Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PCP), severe PCP continues to be a common cause of admission to the intensive care unit (ICU) where mortality remains high. A study was undertaken to examine the outcome from intensive care for patients with PCP and to identify prognostic factors.
A retrospective cohort study was conducted of HIV infected adults admitted to a university affiliated hospital ICU between November 1990 and October 2005. Case note review collected information on demographic variables, use of prophylaxis and highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), and hospital course. The main outcome was 1 month mortality, either on the ICU or in hospital.
Fifty nine patients were admitted to the ICU on 60 occasions. Thirty four patients (57%) required mechanical ventilation. Overall mortality was 53%. No patient received HAART before or during ICU admission. Multivariate analysis showed that the factors associated with mortality were the year of diagnosis (before mid 1996 (mortality 71%) compared with later (mortality 34%; p = 0.008)), age (p = 0.016), and the need for mechanical ventilation and/or development of pneumothorax (p = 0.031). Mortality was not associated with sex, ethnicity, prior receipt of sulpha prophylaxis, haemoglobin, serum albumin, CD4 count, Pao2, A‐ao2 gradient, co‐pathology in bronchoscopic lavage fluid, medical co‐morbidity, APACHE II score, or duration of mechanical ventilation.
Observed improved outcomes from severe PCP for patients admitted to the ICU occurred in the absence of intervention with HAART and probably reflect general improvements in ICU management of respiratory failure and ARDS rather than improvements in the management of PCP.
AIDS; intensive care; mechanical ventilation;
; opportunistic infections; respiratory failure
Longitudinal data were used to explore relations between teenage pregnancy, sexual behaviour, and family type. The study examined whether students from lone parent and/or teenage mother initiated families more commonly report sex, lack of contraception at first sex, and/or conceptions by age 15/16, and whether such associations can be explained by low parental strictness, difficult parent‐child communication, and/or low parental input into sex education. Up to date longitudinal UK research on family influences on conceptions is lacking, as is longitudinal research on family influences on sexual behaviour. No previous studies have comprehensively examined effects of parenting behaviours. Unlike previous research, this study tested theories suggesting that parenting deficits among lone parent and teenage initiated families increase risk of teenage pregnancy among their children.
Secondary analysis of data from a trial of sex education.
Girls and boys from lone parent families or having mothers who were teenagers when they were born were more likely to report sex but not lack of contraception at first sex by age 15/16. Girls and boys with mothers having them as teenagers, and boys but not girls from lone parent families, were more likely to report being involved in conceptions by age 15/16. Only the association between teenage mother family and girls' conceptions was reduced by adjusting for a parenting behaviour measure.
Students from lone parent families or having mothers who were teenagers when they were born are more likely to report early sexual debut and conceptions by age 15/16, but this is not generally explained by parenting style.
teenage; pregnancy; conception; adolescence; family; parenting; sexual; behaviour; contraception