A potential impediment to evidence-based policy development on medical male circumcision (MC) for HIV prevention in all countries worldwide is the uncritical acceptance by some of arguments used by opponents of this procedure. Here we evaluate recent opinion-pieces of 13 individuals opposed to MC. We find that these statements misrepresent good studies, selectively cite references, some containing fallacious information, and draw erroneous conclusions. In marked contrast, the scientific evidence shows MC to be a simple, low-risk procedure with very little or no adverse long-term effect on sexual function, sensitivity, sensation during arousal or overall satisfaction. Unscientific arguments have been recently used to drive ballot measures aimed at banning MC of minors in the USA, eliminate insurance coverage for medical MC for low-income families, and threaten large fines and incarceration for health care providers. Medical MC is a preventative health measure akin to immunisation, given its protective effect against HIV infection, genital cancers and various other conditions. Protection afforded by neonatal MC against a diversity of common medical conditions starts in infancy with urinary tract infections and extends throughout life. Besides protection in adulthood against acquiring HIV, MC also reduces morbidity and mortality from multiple other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and genital cancers in men and their female sexual partners. It is estimated that over their lifetime one-third of uncircumcised males will suffer at least one foreskin-related medical condition. The scientific evidence indicates that medical MC is safe and effective. Its favourable risk/benefit ratio and cost/benefit support the advantages of medical MC.
circumcision; HIV; evidence-based evaluation; public health policy; preventative medicine
The recent emergence of Neisseria gonorrhoeae strains with decreased susceptibility to extended-spectrum cephalosporins is a major concern globally. We sequenced the genome of an N. gonorrhoeae multiantigen sequence typing (NG-MAST) ST1407 isolate (SM-3) with decreased susceptibility and resistance to oral extended-spectrum cephalosporins. The isolate was cultured in 2008 in San Francisco, CA, and possessed mosaic penA allele XXXIV, which is associated with an international clone that possesses decreased susceptibility as well as resistance to oral extended-spectrum cephalosporins globally. The genome sequence of strain NCCP11945 was used as a scaffold, and our assembly resulted in 91 contigs covering 2,029,064 bp (91%; >150× coverage) of the genome. Numerous instances of suspected horizontal genetic transfer events with other Neisseria species were identified, and two genes, opa and txf, acquired from nongonococcal Neisseria species, were identified. Strains possessing mosaic penA alleles (n = 108) and nonmosaic penA alleles (n = 169) from the United States and Europe (15 countries), cultured in 2002 to 2009, were screened for the presence of these genes. The opa gene was detected in most (82%) penA mosaic-containing isolates (mainly from 2007 to 2009) but not in any penA nonmosaic isolates. The txf gene was found in all strains containing opa but also in several (18%) penA nonmosaic strains. Using opa and txf as genetic markers, we identified a strain that possesses mosaic penA allele XXXIV, but the majority of its genome is not genetically related to strain SM-3. This implies that penA mosaic allele XXXIV was transferred horizontally. Such isolates also possessed decreased susceptibility and resistance to oral extended-spectrum cephalosporins. These findings support that genetic screening for particular penA mosaic alleles can be a valuable method for tracking strains with decreased susceptibility as well as resistance to oral extended-spectrum cephalosporins worldwide and that screening using only NG-MAST may not be sufficient.
There are sparse data on herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) infection in India. HSV-2 is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections and the primary cause of genital ulcer disease worldwide.
The aim of this study is to describe the incidence of HSV-2 infection among young reproductive age women in Mysore, India.
Setting and Design
Between October 2005 and April 2006, 898 women were enrolled into a prospective cohort study in Mysore, India, and followed quarterly for 6 months.
Materials and Methods
An interviewer administered questionnaire was used to collect demographic and social risk factors, and physical examination was conducted for collection of biological specimens to screen for reproductive tract infections at each visit. Serologic testing was conducted for the presence of HSV-2 antibodies using HerpeSelect HSV-2 enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
Statistical Analysis Used
Data were analyzed using R. Incidence density rates were calculated using Poisson distributions with person-time of follow-up as denominator. Person-time was calculated as time from enrollment until time of first positive HSV-2 test.
There were 107 women with HSV-2 antibodies leaving 700 women with negative results at enrollment. The analysis included 696 out of which, there were 36 HSV-2 seroconversions during the study period. The study cohort accumulated roughly 348 woman-years of follow-up, yielding an HSV-2 acquisition rate of 10.4 cases/100 woman-years. All detected infections were asymptomatic.
HSV-2 incidence is moderate in this community sample of young reproductive age monogamous women. More research is needed to establish incidence estimates in different Indian settings.
Herpes simplex virus; herpes simplex virus type 2; incidence; India; Women
Bacterial vaginosis (BV) and Trichomonas vaginalis infection (TV) have been associated with adverse birth outcomes and increased risk for HIV. We compare the performance of simple inexpensive point-of-care (POC) tests to laboratory diagnosis and syndromic management of BV and TV in poor settings.
Between November 2005 and March 2006, 898 sexually active women attending two reproductive health clinics in Mysore, India were recruited into a cohort study investigating the relationship between vaginal flora and HSV-2 infection. Participants were interviewed and screened for reproductive tract infections. Laboratory tests included serology for HSV-2; cultures for TV, Candida sp., and Neisseria gonorrhoeae; Gram stains; and two POC tests: vaginal pH; and Whiff test.
Of the 898 participants, 411 [45.7%, 95% confidence interval (95% CI): 42.4–49.0%] had any laboratory diagnosed vaginal infection. BV was detected in 165 women (19.1%, 95%CI: 16.5–21.9%) using Nugent score. TV was detected in 76 women (8.5%, 95%CI: 6.7–10.4%) using culture. Among the entire study population, POC correctly detected 82% of laboratory diagnosed BV cases, and 83% of laboratory diagnosed TV infections. Among women with complaints of vulval itching, burning, abnormal vaginal discharge, and/or sores (445/898), POC correctly detected 83% (60 of 72 cases) of laboratory diagnosed BV cases vs. 40% (29 of 72 cases) correctly managed using the syndromic approach (P < 0.001). Similarly, POC would have detected 82% (37 of 45 cases) of TV cases vs. 51% (23 of 45 cases) correctly managed using the syndromic approach (P = 0.001).
In the absence of laboratory diagnostics, POC is not only inexpensive and practical, but also significantly more sensitive than the syndromic management approach, resulting in less overtreatment.
bacterial vaginosis; India; point-of-care; vaginal discharge; Trichomonas vaginalis; resource constrained settings
Trichomonas vaginalis infection is the most common curable sexually transmissible infection (STI) worldwide. The present study describes the burden and correlates of T. vaginalis infection among young reproductive age women in Mysore, India.
Between November 2005 and March 2006, sexually active women aged 15–30 years were recruited from low-income peri-urban and rural neighbourhoods of Mysore, India. Participants were interviewed and offered a physical examination and testing for T. vaginalis, bacterial vaginosis, vaginal candidiasis, Neisseria gonorrheoea and herpes simplex virus type-2 antibodies.
Of the 898 participating women, 76 had a T. vaginalis infection (8.5%, 95% confidence interval [95% CI]: 6.7–10.5%). Nearly all (98%) participants were married and most reported their spouse as their main sex partner. The mean age at marriage was 16.9 years (s.d. 2.9 years) and two-thirds of the sample reported having first sexual intercourse before the age of 19 years. Risk factors independently associated with T. vaginalis infection included early age at first intercourse (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 2.09; 95% CI: 1.09–4.00), concurrent bacterial vaginosis (OR 8.21; 95% CI: 4.30–15.66), vaginal candidiasis (OR 2.40; 95% CI: 1.48–3.89) and herpes simplex virus type-2 infection (OR 3.44; 95% CI: 1.97–6.02).
The burden of T. vaginalis infection at 8.5% is relatively high among a community sample of young reproductive aged women. Because this infection increases the risk of HIV transmission and is associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes, there is a need for increased screening and treatment of this easily curable sexually transmissible infection in India.
correlates; epidemiology; sexually transmissible diseases; women
There is currently little information on the acceptability of male circumcision in India. This study investigated the acceptability of male circumcision among Indian mothers with male children.
A cross-sectional survey was conducted among a convenience sample of 795 women attending a reproductive health clinic in Mysore, India, between January and April 2007.
Of the 1012 invited eligible participants, 795 women agreed to participate (response rate = 78.5%). The majority of women were Hindus (78%), 18% were Muslims, and 4% were Christians. About 26% of respondents had no schooling, 29% had 7 years of schooling, 42% had 8–12 years, and 3% had more than 12 years. After women were informed about the risks and benefits of male circumcision, a majority of women with uncircumcised children (n = 564, 81%) said they would definitely circumcise their children if the procedure were offered in a safe hospital setting, free of charge, and a smaller number (n = 50, 7%) said they would probably consider the procedure. Only seven women (1%) said that they would definitely/probably not consider male circumcision, and 63 (9%) were unsure.
Since male circumcision has been found to decrease risk of HIV infection among men, it is important to determine its acceptability as a potential HIV prevention strategy in India. This study found male circumcision to be highly acceptable among a broad range of mothers with male children in Mysore, India. Further studies of acceptability among fathers and other populations are warranted.
acceptability; circumcision; India; men; women
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.
To estimate the risk of serious adverse reactions to benzathine penicillin in pregnant women for preventing congenital syphilis.
We searched for clinical trials or cohorts that assessed the incidence of serious adverse reactions to benzathine penicillin in pregnant women and the general population (indirect evidence). MEDLINE, EMBASE, Scopus and other databases were searched up to December 2012. The GRADE approach was used to assess quality of evidence. Absolute risks of each study were calculated along with their 95% confidence intervals (95% CI). We employed the DerSimonian and Laird random effects model in the meta-analyses.
From 2,765 retrieved studies we included 13, representing 3,466,780 patients. The studies that included pregnant women were conducted to demonstrate the effectiveness of benzathine penicillin: no serious adverse reactions were reported among the 1,244 pregnant women included. In the general population, among 2,028,982 patients treated, 4 died from an adverse reaction. The pooled risk of death was virtually zero. Fifty-four cases of anaphylaxis were reported (pooled absolute risk = 0.002%; 95% CI: 0%–0.003% I2 = 12%). From that estimate, penicillin treatment would be expected to result in an incidence of 0 to 3 cases of anaphylaxis per 100,000 treated. Any adverse reactions were reported in 6,377 patients among 3,465,322 treated with penicillin (pooled absolute risk = 0.169%; 95% CI: 0.073%–0.265% I2 = 97%). The quality of evidence was very low.
Studies that assessed the risk of serious adverse events due to benzathine penicillin treatment in pregnant women were scarce, but no reports of adverse reactions were found. The incidence of severe adverse outcomes was very low in the general population. The risk of treating pregnant women with benzathine penicillin to prevent congenital syphilis appears very low and does not outweigh its benefits. Further research is needed to improve the quality of evidence.
Sexually transmitted infection (STI) screening in correctional facilities provides access to people at high risk for STIs who might not be screened elsewhere. These screening programmes are becoming more widespread, but with decreasing funding for STI control, maximising screening impact has become increasingly important. We aimed to make recommendations about the impact of age and sex targeted screening in correctional facilities.
We compared the prevalence of chlamydia and gonorrhoea for January 2003–July 2005 among different age groups of females and males screened in San Francisco correctional facilities—youth detention (12–17 years) and adult jail (18–35 years).
16 975 chlamydia tests and 13 443 gonorrhoea tests were performed. The age specific chlamydia test positivity among females aged 12–17 years, 18–25 years, and 26–30 years, respectively, was 9.6% (105/1092), 9.4% (196/2088), and 6.3% (40/639), compared with 3.3% (100/3065), 6.2% (400/6470), and 3.9% (118/3046) among males. The age specific gonorrhoea test positivity among females in these same age groups was 3.2% (34/1062), 2.7% (57/2082), and 2.4% (15/635), compared with 0.7% (7/1026), 1.2% (67/5507), and 1.0% (25/2555) among males. Of the 1198 STIs identified, 1020 (85.1%) were treated.
On the basis of this report and national data, STI control programmes with limited funds should prioritise screening females in youth detention first, women aged ⩽30 years in adult jail second, and men aged ⩽25 years in adult jail third. Males in youth detention should have a lower priority than young adults in jails.
; sexually transmitted diseases; prisons; United States
This study aimed to systematically review and describe the evidence on chlamydia and gonorrhoea reinfection among men, and to evaluate the need for retesting recommendations in men. PubMed and STI conference abstract books from January 1995 to October 2006 were searched to identify studies on chlamydia and gonorrhoea reinfection among men using chlamydia and gonorrhoea nucleic acid amplification tests or gonorrhoea culture. Studies were categorised as using either active or passive follow‐up methods. The proportions of chlamydial and gonococcal reinfection among men were calculated for each study and summary medians were reported. Repeat chlamydia infection among men had a median reinfection probability of 11.3%. Repeat gonorrhoea infection among men had a median reinfection probability of 7.0%. Studies with active follow‐up had moderate rates of chlamydia and gonorrhoea reinfection among men, with respective medians of 10.9% and 7.0%. Studies with passive follow‐up had higher proportions of both chlamydia and gonorrhoea reinfections among men, with respective medians of 17.4% and 8.5%. Proportions of chlamydia and gonorrhoea reinfection among men were comparable with those among women. Reinfection among men was strongly associated with previous history of sexually transmitted diseases and younger age, and inconsistently associated with risky sexual behaviour. Substantial repeat chlamydia and gonorrhoea infection rates were found in men comparable with those in women. Retesting recommendations in men are appropriate, given the high rate of reinfection. To optimise retesting guidelines, further research to determine effective retesting methods and establish factors associated with reinfection among men is suggested.
It is hypothesized that sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) increase the risk of HIV acquisition. Yet, difficulties establishing an accurate temporal relation and controlling confounders have obscured this relationship. In an attempt to overcome prior methodologic shortcomings, we explored the use of different study designs to examine the relationship between STDs and HIV acquisition.
Acutely HIV-infected patients were included as cases and compared to 1) HIV-uninfected patients (matched case-control), 2) newly diagnosed, chronically HIV-infected patients (infected analysis), and 3) themselves at prior clinic visits when they tested HIV-negative (case-crossover). We used t-tests to compare the average number of STDs and logistic regression to determine independent correlates and the odds of acute HIV infection.
Between October 2003 and March 2007, 13,662 male patients who had sex with men were tested for HIV infection at San Francisco's municipal STD clinic and 350 (2.56%) HIV infections were diagnosed. Among the HIV-infected patients, 36 (10.3%) cases were identified as acute. We found consistently higher odds of having had an STD within the 12 months (matched case-control, OR 5.2 [2.2-12.6]; infected analysis, OR 1.4 [1.0-2.0]; case-crossover, OR 1.3 [0.5-3.1]) and 3 months (matched case-control, OR 34.5 [4.1-291.3]; infected analysis, OR 2.3 [1.1-4.8]; case-crossover OR 1.8 [0.6-5.6]) prior to HIV testing among acutely HIV-infected patients. We found higher odds of acute HIV infection among patients with concurrent rectal gonorrhea (17.0 [2.6 - 111.4], p<0.01) or syphilis (5.8 [1.1 - 32.3], p=0.04) when compared to those HIV-uninfected.
Acute HIV infection was associated with a recent or concurrent STD, particularly rectal gonorrhea, among men at San Francisco's municipal STD clinic. Given the complex relationship between STDs and HIV infection, no single design will appropriately control for all the possible confounders; studies using complementary designs are required.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infection is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) worldwide. Incidence rates of HPV infection among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected individuals are well documented and are several-fold higher than among HIV-uninfected individuals. Few studies have demonstrated an increased risk for acquiring HIV infection in those with HPV infection, and this risk seems to be higher when HPV strains are of high-risk oncogenic potential. The estimated prevalence of high-risk oncogenic HPV infection is highest in men who have sex with men (MSM), a particularly vulnerable group with high prevalence rates of HIV infection and other STIs. In this paper, we provide a comprehensive review of the available literature on the role of HPV infection in HIV acquisition. Our review includes data from cross-sectional and longitudinal studies.
human papillomavirus; human immunodeficiency virus; men who have sex with men; HIV incidence; review; HPV testing
Background. Vulvovaginal candidiasis is characterized by curd-like vaginal discharge and itching, and is associated with considerable health and economic costs. Materials and Methods. We examined the incidence, prevalence, and risk factors for vulvovaginal candidiasis among a cohort of 898 women in south India. Participants completed three study visits over six months, comprised of a structured interview and a pelvic examination. Results. The positive predictive values for diagnosis of vulvovaginal candidiasis using individual signs or symptoms were low (<19%). We did not find strong evidence for associations between sociodemographic characteristics and the prevalence of vulvovaginal candidiasis. Women clinically diagnosed with bacterial vaginosis had a higher prevalence of vulvovaginal candidiasis (Prevalence 12%, 95% CI 8.2, 15.8) compared to women assessed to be negative for bacterial vaginosis (Prevalence 6.5%, 95% 5.3, 7.6); however, differences in the prevalence of vulvovaginal candidiasis were not observed by the presence or absence of laboratory-confirmed bacterial vaginosis. Conclusions. For correct diagnosis of vulvovaginal candidiasis, laboratory confirmation of infection with Candida is necessary as well as assessment of whether the discharge has been caused by bacterial vaginosis. Studies are needed of women infected with Candida yeast species to determine the risk factors for yeast's overgrowth.
Bacterial vaginosis (BV) and Trichomonas vaginalis (TV), have been estimated to affect one-quarter to one-third of sexually active women worldwide, and are often found concurrently. Few studies have examined this relationship longitudinally to better understand the direction and temporality of this association.
Between 2005 and 2006, a cohort of 853 young, sexually active women was followed in Mysore, India; participants were interviewed and tested for BV and TV at baseline, and at three- and six-month visits. Generalized estimating equations were used to estimate how changes in vaginal flora between consecutive visits – as defined by Nugent diagnostic criteria for BV - were related to the risk of TV infection at the latter visit, adjusted for sociodemographic and behavioral covariates. Treatment was offered to women with TV and/or symptomatic BV.
After adjustment for covariates, participants with abnormal flora at two consecutive visits had nine times higher risk of TV (95% CI 4.1, 20.0) at the latter visit, relative to those with persistently normal flora. An increased risk of TV was also observed for participants whose flora status changed from normal to abnormal (aRR 7.11, 95% CI 2.8, 18.2) and from abnormal to normal (aRR 4.50, 95% CI 1.7, 11.8).
Women experiencing abnormal flora during a three-month span appear to have significantly increased risk of acquiring TV infection. Reproductive-age women in low-resource settings found to have abnormal vaginal flora should be assessed for TV.
Bacterial vaginosis; Trichomonas vaginalis; India; women; longitudinal analysis
Asymptomatic Chlamydia trachomatis (chlamydia) and Neisseria gonorrhoeae (gonorrhea) infections pose diagnostic and control problems in developing countries.
Participants in China, India, Peru, Russia, and Zimbabwe were screened for C. trachomatis and N. gonorrhoeae infections and symptoms.
A total of 18,014 participants were evaluated at baseline, 15,054 at 12 months, and 14,243 at 24 months. The incidence of chlamydia in men was 2.0 per 100 person years both from baseline to 12 months and from 12 to 24 months, and in women, 4.6 from baseline to 12 months and 3.6 from 12 to 24 months; a range of 31.2% to 100% reported no symptoms across the 5 countries. The incidence of gonorrhea in men was 0.3 per 100 person years both from baseline to 12 months and from 12 to 24 months, and in women, 1.4 from baseline to 12 months and 1.1 from 12 to 24 months; a range of 66.7% to 100% reported no symptoms. Being female, aged 18 to 24 years, and having more than 1 partner were associated with both the infections. In addition, being divorced, separated, or widowed was associated with gonorrhea. Being male, having 6+ years of education, and reporting only 1 partner were associated with having no symptoms among those infected with chlamydia. No variables correlated with asymptomatic gonorrhea among those infected.
A high prevalence and incidence of asymptomatic sexually transmitted infections was identified among men and women in a wide variety of settings. More effective programs are needed to identify and treat chlamydia and gonorrhea infections, especially among women, young adults, those with multiple partners, those repeatedly infected, and particularly those at risk without symptoms. The risk of transmission from persons with no symptoms requires further study.
South Africa has an estimated 1.5 million persons in need of antiretroviral therapy (ART). In 2004, the South African government began collaborating with the United States President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to increase access to ART. We determined how PEPFAR treatment support changed from 2005-2009.
In order to describe the change in number and type of PEPFAR-supported ART facilities, we analyzed routinely collected program-monitoring data from 2005-2009. The collected data included the number, type and province of facilities as well as the number of patients receiving ART at each facility.
The number of PEPFAR-supported facilities providing ART increased from 184 facilities in 2005 to 1,469 facilities in 2009. From 2005-2009 the number of PEPFAR-supported government facilities increased 10.1 fold from 54 to 546 while the number of PEPFAR-supported NGO facilities (including general practitioner and NGO facilities) increased 6.2 fold from 114 to 708. In 2009 the total number of persons treated at PEPFAR-supported NGO facilities was 43,577 versus 501,089 persons at PEPFAR-supported government facilities. Overall, the median number of patients receiving ART per site increased from 81 in 2005 to 136 in 2009.
To mitigate the gap between those needing and those receiving ART, more facilities were supported. The proportion of government facilities supported and the median number of persons treated at these facilities increased. This shift could potentially be sustainable as government sites reach more individuals and receive government funding. These results demonstrate that PEPFAR was able to support a massive scale-up of ART services in a short period of time.
South Africa; HIV/AIDS; Health Systems; PEPFAR
Prior to implementing screening programs for acute HIV infection in developing countries, key issues including cost, feasibility, and public health impact must be determined. We compared fourth-generation enzyme immunoassay (EIA) with pooled HIV-1 RNA assays for the detection of acute and early HIV infection in counseling and testing populations in Lima, Peru.
Adults presenting for HIV testing at designated clinics in Lima-Callao, Peru were offered additional screening for acute HIV infection. All serum samples were tested with fourth-generation Ag/Ab EIA and confirmed by line immunoassay (LIA). Negative specimens were combined into 50-sample pools for HIV-1 RNA screening by PCR analysis in standard pooling algorithms. RNA-positive samples were re-tested with a third-generation EIA to evaluate the relative sensitivity of standard testing procedures.
Between 2007 and 2008 we recruited 1,191 participants. The prevalence of HIV infection was 3.2% (38/1191; 2.2-4.2%) overall and 10.6% (25/237; CI=6.6-14.5%) among men who reported sex with men (MSM). The prevalence of acute or recent HIV infection was 0.2% (CI=0-0.4%) overall and 0.8% (CI=0-2.0%) among MSM. Compared with third generation EIA testing, both fourth generation EIA and RNA PCR increased the rate of HIV case identification by 5.6% overall and by 8.0% within the subpopulation of MSM.
Screening for acute HIV infection within Peru's resource-limited public health system was acceptable and detected a high prevalence of acute and recent HIV infection among MSM. Additional efforts are needed to screen for and prevent transmission of HIV among MSM in Peru during the acute seroconversion stage.
Acute HIV Infection; Pooled RNA Testing; Peru: Men Who Have Sex with Men
Heterosexual exposure accounts for most HIV transmission in sub-Saharan Africa, and this mode, as a proportion of new infections, is escalating globally. The scientific evidence accumulated over more than 20 years shows that among the strategies advocated during this period for HIV prevention, male circumcision is one of, if not, the most efficacious epidemiologically, as well as cost-wise. Despite this, and recommendation of the procedure by global policy makers, national implementation has been slow. Additionally, some are not convinced of the protective effect of male circumcision and there are also reports, unsupported by evidence, that non-sex-related drivers play a major role in HIV transmission in sub-Saharan Africa. Here, we provide a critical evaluation of the state of the current evidence for male circumcision in reducing HIV infection in light of established transmission drivers, provide an update on programmes now in place in this region, and explain why policies based on established scientific evidence should be prioritized. We conclude that the evidence supports the need to accelerate the implementation of medical male circumcision programmes for HIV prevention in generalized heterosexual epidemics, as well as in countering the growing heterosexual transmission in countries where HIV prevalence is presently low.
HIV-1 acute infection, recent infection and transmitted drug resistance screening was integrated into voluntary HIV counseling and testing (VCT) services to enhance the existing surveillance program in San Francisco. This study describes newly-diagnosed HIV cases and characterizes correlates associated with infection.
A consecutive sample of persons presenting for HIV VCT at the municipal sexually transmitted infections (STI) clinic from 2004 to 2006 (N = 9,868) were evaluated by standard enzyme-linked immunoassays (EIA). HIV antibody-positive specimens were characterized as recent infections using a less-sensitive EIA. HIV-RNA pooled testing was performed on HIV antibody-negative specimens to identify acute infections. HIV antibody-positive and acute infection specimens were evaluated for drug resistance by sequence analysis. Multivariable logistic regression was performed to evaluate associations. The 380 newly-diagnosed HIV cases included 29 acute infections, 128 recent infections, and 47 drug-resistant cases, with no significant increases or decreases in prevalence over the three years studied. HIV-1 transmitted drug resistance prevalence was 11.0% in 2004, 13.4% in 2005 and 14.9% in 2006 (p = 0.36). Resistance to non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTI) was the most common pattern detected, present in 28 cases of resistance (59.6%). Among MSM, recent infection was associated with amphetamine use (AOR = 2.67; p<0.001), unprotected anal intercourse (AOR = 2.27; p<0.001), sex with a known HIV-infected partner (AOR = 1.64; p = 0.02), and history of gonorrhea (AOR = 1.62; p = 0.03).
New HIV diagnoses, recent infections, acute infections and transmitted drug resistance prevalence remained stable between 2004 and 2006. Resistance to NNRTI comprised more than half of the drug-resistant cases, a worrisome finding given its role as the backbone of first-line antiretroviral therapy in San Francisco as well as worldwide. The integration of HIV-1 drug resistance, recent infection, and acute infection testing should be considered for existing HIV/STI surveillance and prevention activities, particularly in an era of enhanced efforts for early diagnosis and treatment.
Background & objectives:
There are sparse data on the prevalence of primary infertility in India and almost none from Southern India. This study describes the correlates and prevalence of primary infertility among young women in Mysore, India.
The baseline data were collected between November 2005 through March 2006, among 897 sexually active women, aged 15-30 yr, for a study investigating the relationship of bacterial vaginosis and acquisition of herpes simplex virus type-2 (HSV-2) infection. A secondary data analysis of the baseline data was undertaken. Primary infertility was defined as having been married for longer than two years, not using contraception and without a child. Logistic regression was used to examine factors associated with primary infertility.
The mean age of the women was 25.9 yr (range: 16-30 yr) and the prevalence of primary infertility was 12.6 per cent [95% Confidence Interval (CI): 10.5-15.0%]. The main factor associated with primary infertility was HSV-2 seropositivity (adjusted odds ratio: 3.41; CI: 1.86, 6.26).
Interpretation & conclusions:
The estimated prevalence of primary infertility among women in the study was within the range reported by the WHO and similar to other estimates from India. Further research is needed to examine the role of HSV-2 in primary infertility.
HSV-2; India; infertility; reproductive health; sexually transmitted disease
Strain typing is a tool for determining diversity and epidemiology of infections.
T. pallidum DNA was isolated from 158 syphilis patients from the US, China, Ireland, and Madagascar and from 15 T. pallidum isolates. Six typing targets were assessed: 1) number of 60 bp repeats in acidic repeat protein gene; 2) restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis of T. pallidum repeat (tpr) subfamily II genes; 3) RFLP analysis of tprC gene; 4) determination of tprD allele in tprD gene locus; 5) presence of 51 bp insertion between tp0126/tp0127; 6) sequence analysis of 84 bp region of tp0548. The combination of #1 and #2 comprises the CDC T. pallidum subtyping method.
Adding sequence analysis of tp0548 to the CDC method yielded the most discriminating typing system. Twenty-four strain types were identified and designated as CDC subtype/tp0548 sequence. Type 14d/f was seen in 5 of 6 locations. In Seattle, strain types changed from 1999– 2008 (p<0.001). Twenty-two (50%) of 44 patients infected with type 14d/f had neurosyphilis compared to 9 (23%) of 39 infected with the other types combined (p=0.01).
We describe an enhanced T. pallidum strain typing system that shows biological and clinical relevance.
syphilis; molecular typing; neurosyphilis; Treponema pallidum