In resource-constrained settings, tuberculosis (TB) is a common opportunistic infection and cause of death in HIV-infected persons. TB may be present at the start of antiretroviral therapy (ART), but it is often under-diagnosed. We describe approaches to TB diagnosis and screening of TB in ART programs in low- and middle-income countries.
Methods and findings
We surveyed ART programs treating HIV-infected adults in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and Latin America in 2012 using online questionnaires to collect program-level and patient-level data. Forty-seven sites from 26 countries participated. Patient-level data were collected on 987 adult TB patients from 40 sites (median age 34.7 years; 54% female). Sputum smear microscopy and chest radiograph were available in 47 (100%) sites, TB culture in 44 (94%), and Xpert MTB/RIF in 23 (49%). Xpert MTB/RIF was rarely available in Central Africa and South America. In sites with access to these diagnostics, microscopy was used in 745 (76%) patients diagnosed with TB, culture in 220 (24%), and chest X-ray in 688 (70%) patients. When free of charge culture was done in 27% of patients, compared to 21% when there was a fee (p = 0.033). Corresponding percentages for Xpert MTB/RIF were 26% and 15% of patients (p = 0.001). Screening practices for active disease before starting ART included symptom screening (46 sites, 98%), chest X-ray (38, 81%), sputum microscopy (37, 79%), culture (16, 34%), and Xpert MTB/RIF (5, 11%).
Mycobacterial culture was infrequently used despite its availability at most sites, while Xpert MTB/RIF was not generally available. Use of available diagnostics was higher when offered free of charge.
We aimed to perform a systematic review and meta-analysis examining the impact of TB treatment at the time of combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) initiation on subsequent mortality.
We searched PubMed, EMBASE, and selected conference proceedings for studies that report adult mortality on cART, stratified by TB treatment status at cART initiation. Stratified random-effects and meta-regression analyses were used to examine the influence of study and population characteristics.
22 eligible cohort studies reported data on 98,350 (range 74-15,225) adults, of whom 14,779 (15%) were receiving TB treatment at cART initiation. Studies of those receiving vs. not receiving TB treatment had an average mortality relative risk of 1.10 (95% confidence interval 0.87-1.40) at 1-3 months (based upon 8 estimates), 1.15 (0.94-1.41) at 6-12 months (11 estimates), and 1.33 (1.02-1.75) at 18-98 months (10 estimates) following cART initiation. However, there was a wide range of estimates and those at later time points were markedly heterogeneous. Meta-regression identified factors associated with elevated average risk estimates: lower median baseline CD4 counts and adjustment for baseline hemoglobin at 1-3 months; longer length of follow-up and women-only studies at 6-12 months; and not adjusting for BMI/weight at 18-98 months.
Patients receiving TB treatment at cART initiation did not have a statistically significant estimated increase in short-term risk of all-cause mortality as compared to those not receiving TB treatment. TB treatment was significantly associated with increased mortality after about a year of cART, suggesting that patients with concurrent TB treatment at cART initiation may benefit from continued support after TB treatment completion.
To determine the prevalence and correlates of alcohol dependence disorders in persons receiving treatment for HIV and Tuberculosis (TB) at 16 Primary Health Care centres (PHC) across Zambia.
649 adult patients receiving treatment for HIV and/or TB at PHCs in Zambia (363 males, 286 females) were recruited between 1st December 2009 and 31st January 2010. Data on socio-demographic variables, clinical disease features (TB and HIV), and psychopathological status were collected. The Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI) was used to diagnose alcohol dependence disorder. Correlates of alcohol dependence were analyzed for men only, due to low prevalence in women. Univariable and multivariable logistic regression models were used to estimate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI), using general estimating equations to allow for within-PHC clustering.
The prevalence of alcohol dependence was 27.2% (95%CI: 17.7-39.5%) for men and 3.9% (95%CI: 1.4-0.1%) for women. Factors associated with alcohol dependence disorder in men included being single, divorced or widowed compared with married (adjusted OR = 1.47, 95%CI: 1.00-2.14) and being unemployed (adjusted OR=1.30, 95%CI: 1.01-1.67). The highest prevalence of alcohol dependence was among HIV-test unknown TB patients (34.7%), and lowest was among HIV positive patients on treatment but without TB (14.1%), although the difference was not statistically significant (p=0.38).
Male TB/HIV patients in this population have high prevalence of alcohol dependence disorder, and prevalence differs by HIV/TB status. Further work is needed to explore interventions to reduce harmful drinking in this population.
Higher than expected pregnancy rates have been observed in HIV related clinical trials in Sub-Saharan Africa. We designed a qualitative study to explore the factors contributing to high pregnancy rates among participants in two HIV clinical trials in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Female and male participants enrolled in one of two clinical HIV trials in south-west Uganda were approached. The trials were a phase III microbicide efficacy trial among HIV negative women using vaginal gel (MDP); and a trial of primary prevention prophylaxis for invasive cryptococcal disease using fluconazole among HIV infected men and women in Uganda (CRYPTOPRO). 14 focus group discussions and 8 in-depth interviews were conducted with HIV positive and negative women and their male partners over a six month period. Areas explored were their experiences about why and when one should get pregnant, factors affecting use of contraceptives, HIV status disclosure and trial product use.
All respondents acknowledged being advised of the importance of avoiding pregnancy during the trial. Factors reported to contribute to pregnancy included; trust that the investigational product (oral capsules/vaginal gel) would not harm the baby, need for children, side effects that led to inconsistent contraceptive use, low acceptance of condom use among male partners. Attitudes towards getting pregnant are fluid within couples over time and the trials often last for more than a year. Researchers need to account for high pregnancy rates in their sample size calculations, and consider lesser used female initiated contraceptive options e.g. diaphragm or female condoms. In long clinical trials where there is a high fetal or maternal risk due to investigational product, researchers and ethics committees should consider a review of participants contraceptive needs/pregnancy desire review after a fixed period, as need for children, partners and health status of participants may alter over time.
In South Africa, the prevalence of oncogenic Human Papillomavirus (HPV) may be as high as 64%, and cervical cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death among women. The development of efficacious prophylactic vaccines has provided an opportunity for primary prevention. Given the importance of psycho-social forces in vaccine uptake, we sought to elucidate factors influencing HPV vaccination among a sample of low-income South African adolescents receiving the vaccine for the first time in Soweto.
The HPV vaccine was introduced to adolescents in low-income townships throughout South Africa as part of a nationwide trial to understand adolescent involvement in future vaccine research targeting human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). We performed in-depth semi-structured interviews with purposively-sampled adolescents and their care providers to understand what forces shaped HPV vaccine uptake. Interviews were recorded, transcribed, translated, and examined using thematic analysis.
Of 224 adolescents recruited, 201 initiated the vaccine; 192 (95.5%) received a second immunization; and 164 (81.6%) completed three doses. In our qualitative study of 39 adolescent-caregiver dyads, we found that factors driving vaccine uptake reflected a socio-cultural backdrop of high HIV endemnicity, sexual violence, poverty, and an abundance of female-headed households. Adolescents exercised a high level of autonomy and often initiated decision-making. Healthcare providers and peers provided support and guidance that was absent at home. The impact of the HIV epidemic on decision-making was substantial, leading participants to mistakenly conflate HPV and HIV.
In a setting of perceived rampant sexual violence and epidemic levels of HIV, adolescents and caregivers sought to decrease harm by seeking a vaccine targeting a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Despite careful consenting, there was confusion regarding the vaccine’s target. Future interventions promoting STI vaccines will need to provide substantial information for participants, particularly adolescents who may exercise a significant level of autonomy in decision-making.
Studies on microsporidial infection mostly focus on immunodeficiency or immunosuppressive individuals. Therefore, this cross-sectional study describes the prevalence and risk factors of microsporidiosis among asymptomatic individuals in Malaysia.
Four hundred and forty seven stool samples were collected and examined for microsporidia after staining with Gram-chromotrope Kinyoun. Demographic, socioeconomic, environmental, and behavioral information were collected by using a pre-tested questionnaire. Overall, 67 (15%) samples were positive for microsporidia. The prevalence of infection was significantly higher among individuals aged more than 15 years compared to those aged <15 years (OR = 1.97, 95% CI = 1.08, 3.62; P = 0.028). Furthermore, logistic regression analysis confirmed that the presence of other family members infected with microsporidia (OR = 8.45; 95% CI = 4.30, 16.62; P<0.001) and being a consumer of raw vegetables (OR = 2.05; 95% CI = 1.15, 3.66; P = 0.016) were the significant risk factors of this infection.
These findings clearly show that exposure to microsporidia is common among Aboriginal population. Further studies using molecular approach on microsporidia isolates from asymptomatic individuals is needed to determine species-specific. The risk factors associated with microsporidiosis will help in identifying more clearly the sources of the infection in the environment that pose a risk for transmission so that preventive strategies can be implemented.
We sought to understand patient perceptions of the emergency department/urgent care (ED/UC) HIV diagnosis experience as well as factors that may promote or discourage linkage to HIV care. We conducted in-depth interviews with patients (n=24) whose HIV infection was diagnosed in the ED/UC of a public hospital in San Francisco at least six months prior and who linked to HIV care at the hospital HIV clinic. Key diagnosis experience themes included physical discomfort and limited functionality, presence of comorbid diagnoses, a wide spectrum of HIV risk perception, and feelings of isolation and anxiety. Patients diagnosed with HIV in the ED/UC may not have their desired emotional supports with them, either because they are alone or they are with family members or friends to whom they do not want to immediately disclose. Other patients may have no one they can rely on for immediate support. Nearly all participants described compassionate disclosure of test results by ED/UC providers, although several noted logistical issues that complicated the disclosure experience. Key linkage to care themes included the importance of continuity between the testing site and HIV care, hospital admission as an opportunity for support and HIV education, and thoughtful matching by linkage staff to a primary care provider. ED/UC clinicians and testing programs should be sensitive to the unique roles of sickness, risk perception, and isolation in the ED/UC diagnosis experience, as these things may delay acceptance of HIV diagnosis. The disclosure and linkage to care experience is crucial in forming patient attitudes towards HIV and HIV care, thus staff involved in disclosure and linkage activities should be trained to deliver compassionate, informed, and thoughtful care that bridges HIV testing and treatment sites.
Staphylococcus aureus is among the most common global nosocomial pathogens. The emergence and spread of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a public health problem worldwide that causes nosocomial and community infections. The goals of this study were to establish the clonal complexes (CC) of the isolates of MRSA obtained from pediatric patients in a university hospital in Colombia and to investigate its molecular characteristics based on the virulence genes and the genes of staphylococcal toxins and adhesins.
A total of 53 MRSA isolates from pediatric patients with local or systemic infections were collected. The MRSA isolates were typed based on the SCCmec, MLST, spa and agr genes. The molecular characterization included the detection of Panton-Valentine Leukocidin, superantigenic and exfoliative toxins, and adhesin genes. The correlation between the molecular types identified and the profile of virulence factors was determined for all isolates.
Four CC were identified, including CC8, CC5, CC80 and CC78. The ST8-MRSA-IVc-agrI was the predominant clone among the isolates, followed by the ST5-MRSA-I-agrII and ST5-MRSA-IVc-agrII clones. Twelve spa types were identified, of which t10796 and t10799 were new repeat sequences. The isolates were carriers of toxin genes, and hlg (100%), sek (92%) and pvl (88%) were the most frequent. Ten toxin gene profiles were observed, and the most frequent were seq-sek-hlg (22.6%), sek-hlg (22.6%), seb-seq-sek-hlg (18.9%) and seb-sek-hlg (15.1%). The adhesion genes were present in most of the MRSA isolates, including the following: clf-A (89%), clf-B (87%), fnb-A (83%) and ica (83%). The majority of the strains carried SCCmec-IVc and were identified as causing nosocomial infection. No significant association between a molecular type and the virulence factors was found.
Four major MRSA clone complexes were identified among the isolates. ST8-MRSA-IVc-agrI pvl+ (USA300-LV) was the most frequent, confirming the presence of community-associated MRSA in Colombian hospitals.
Based on drug-drug interaction, dose reduction of rifabutin is recommended when co-administered with HIV protease inhibitors for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-associated mycobacterial infection. The aim of this study was to compare the pharmacokinetics of rifabutin administered at 300 mg/day alone to that at 150 mg every other day combined with lopinavir-ritonavir in Japanese patients with HIV/mycobacterium co-infection.
Plasma concentrations of rifabutin and its biologically active metabolite, 25-O-desacetyl rifabutin were measured in 16 cases with HIV-mycobacterial coinfection. Nine were treated with 300 mg/day rifabutin and 7 with 150 mg rifabutin every other day combined with lopinavir-ritonavir antiretroviral therapy (ART). Samples were collected at a median of 15 days (range, 5–63) of rifabutin use.
The mean Cmax and AUC0–24 of rifabutin in patients on rifabutin 150 mg every other day were 36% and 26% lower than on 300 mg/day rifabutin, while the mean Cmax and AUC0–24 of 25–O-desacetyl rifabutin were 186% and 152% higher, respectively. The plasma concentrations of rifabutin plus its metabolite were similar between the groups within the first 24 hours, but it remained low during subsequent 24 to 48 hours under rifabutin 150 mg alternate day dosing.
Rifabutin dose of 150 mg every other day combined with lopinavir-ritonavir seems to be associated with lower exposure to rifabutin and its metabolite compared with rifabutin 300 mg/day alone in Japanese patients. Further studies are needed to establish the optimal rifabutin dose during ART. The results highlight the importance of monitoring rifabutin plasma concentration during ART.
UMIN-CTR (https://upload.umin.ac.jp/cgi-open-bin/ctr/ctr.cgi?function=search&action=input&language=E) UMIN000001102
The Argentinean AIDS Program estimates that 110,000 persons are living with HIV/AIDS in Argentina. Of those, approximately 40% are unaware of their status, and 30% are diagnosed in advanced stages of immunosuppression. Though studies show that universal HIV screening is cost-effective in settings with HIV prevalence greater than 0.1%, in Argentina, with the exception of antenatal care, HIV testing is always client-initiated.
We performed a pilot study to assess the acceptability of a universal HIV screening program among inpatients of an urban public hospital in Buenos Aires.
Over a six-month period, all eligible adult patients admitted to the internal medicine ward were offered HIV testing. Demographics, uptake rates, reasons for refusal and new HIV diagnoses were analyzed.
Of the 350 admissions during this period, 249 were eligible and subsequently enrolled. The enrolled population was relatively old compared to the general population, was balanced on gender, and did not report traditional high risk factors for HIV infection. Only 88 (39%) reported prior HIV testing. One hundred and ninety (76%) patients accepted HIV testing. In multivariable analysis only younger age (OR 1.02; 95%CI 1.003-1.05) was independently associated with test uptake. Three new HIV diagnoses were made (undiagnosed HIV prevalence: 1.58%); none belonged to a most-at-risk population.
Our findings suggest that universal HIV screening in this setting is acceptable and potentially effective in identifying undiagnosed HIV-infected individuals. If confirmed in a larger study, our findings may inform changes in the Argentinean HIV testing policy.
Untreated maternal syphilis leads to adverse pregnancy outcomes. The use of point of care tests (POCT) offers an opportunity to improve screening coverage for syphilis and other aspects of health systems. Our objective is to present the experience of the introduction of POCT for syphilis in Peru and describe how new technology can catalyze health system strengthening.
The study was implemented from September 2009–November 2010 to assess the feasibility of the use of a POCT for syphilis for screening pregnant women in Lima, Peru. Outcomes measured included access to syphilis screening, treatment coverage, partner treatment, effect on patient flow and service efficiency, acceptability among providers and patients, and sustainability.
Before the introduction of POCT, a pregnant woman needed 6 visits to the health center in 27 days before she received her syphilis result. We trained 604 health providers and implemented the POCT for syphilis as the “two for one strategy”, offering with one finger stick both syphilis and HIV testing. Implementation of the POCT resulted in testing and treatment on the first visit. Screening and treatment coverages for syphilis improved significantly compared with the previous year. Implementation of POCT has been scaled up nationally since the study ended, and coverages for screening, treatment and partner treatment have remained over 92%.
Implementation of POCT for syphilis proved feasible and acceptable, and led to improvement in several aspects of health services. For the process to be effective we highlight the importance of: (1) engaging the authorities; (2) dissipating tensions between providers and identifying champions; (3) training according to the needs; (4) providing monitoring, supervision, support and recognition; (5) sharing results and discussing actions together; (6) consulting and obtaining feedback from users; and (7) integrating with other services such as with rapid HIV testing.
Genetic variations in vitamin D receptor (VDR) may contribute to tuberculosis (TB) risk. Many studies have investigated the association between VDR BsmI gene polymorphism and TB risk, but yielded inconclusive results.
We performed a comprehensive meta-analysis of 15 publications with a total of 2309 cases and 3568 controls. We assessed the strength of the association between VDR BsmI gene polymorphism and TB risk and performed sub-group analyses by ethnicity, sample size and Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium (HWE). We found a statistically significant correlation between VDR BsmI gene polymorphism and decreased TB risk in four comparison models: allele model (b vs. B: OR = 0.78, 95% CI = 0.67, 0.89; Pheterogeneity = 0.004), homozygote model (bb vs. BB: OR = 0.61, 95% CI = 0.43, 0.87; Pheterogeneity = 0.001), recessive model (bb vs. Bb+BB: OR = 0.70, 95% CI = 0.56, 0.88; Pheterogeneity = 0.005) and dominant model (bb+Bb vs. BB: OR = 0.77, 95% CI = 0.61, 0.97; Pheterogeneity = 0.010), especially in studies based on Asian population. Sub-group analyses also revealed that there was a statistically decreased TB risk in “small” studies (<500 participants) and studies with PHWE>0.5. Meta-regression and stratification analysis both showed that the ethnicity and sample size contributed to heterogeneity.
This meta-analysis suggests that VDR BsmI gene polymorphism is associated with a significant decreased TB risk, especially in Asian population.
To assess differences in body circumferences and body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) between antiretroviral treatment (ART) naïve HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected persons.
Waist, arm, and thigh circumferences and BMI were measured within the ALLRT and NHANES cohorts between 1998 and 2007. ALLRT is a prospective, longitudinal study of U.S. participants enrolled in randomized HIV treatment studies conducted by the AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG). NHANES is a representative group of the US population. The cohorts were analyzed in two time periods, to account for trends towards increased adiposity. Anthropometrics were displayed in percentiles by age and sex. Multiple linear regression models examined differences between cohorts.
ALLRT had more males (82% versus 48%, p<0.0001), more black participants (32% versus 23%, p<0.0001), and less Hispanics (21% versus 30%, p<0.0001) than NHANES. Mean BMI was smaller in ALLRT males and females compared to NHANES by 1.6–2.4 kg/m2 (p<0.0001). Mean waist and arm circumferences in both sexes and time periods were significantly smaller in ALLRT than in NHANES (p<0.0001). Mean thigh circumference in ALLRT was also smaller than NHANES among males (p<0.0001 in both time periods) and females (p = 0.01 in the early time period).
Differences in anthropometrics existed prior to ART initiation, in this large national cohort of HIV-infected individuals, compared to a representative HIV-uninfected cohort, indicating that HIV and its complications have important effects on body shape. Further longitudinal examination of anthropometrics in this HIV-infected cohort may provide additional insight into disease risk.
NCT00001137 at www.clinicaltrials.gov.
Besides access to medical male circumcision, HIV testing, access to condoms and consistent condom use are additional strategies men can use to prevent HIV acquisition. We examine male behavior toward testing and condom use.
To determine factors associated with never testing for HIV and consistent condom use among men who never test in Soweto.
A cross-sectional survey in Soweto was conducted in 1539 men aged 18–32 years in 2007. Data were collected on socio-demographic and behavioral characteristics to determine factors associated with not testing and consistent condom use.
Over two thirds (71%) of men had not had an HIV test and the majority (55%, n = 602) were young (18–23). Of those not testing, condom use was poor (44%, n = 304). Men who were 18–23 years (aOR: 2.261, CI: 1.534–3.331), with primary (aOR: 2.096, CI: 1.058–4.153) or high school (aOR: 1.622, CI: 1.078–2.439) education, had sex in the last 6 months (aOR: 1.703, CI: 1.055–2.751), and had ≥1 sexual partner (aOR: 1.749, CI: 1.196–2.557) were more likely not to test. Of those reporting condom use (n = 1036, 67%), consistent condom use was 43% (n = 451). HIV testing did not correlate with condom use.
Low rates of both condom use and HIV testing among men in a high HIV prevalence setting are worrisome and indicate an urgent need to develop innovative behavioral strategies to address this shortfall. Condom use is poor in this population whether tested or not tested for HIV, indicating no association between condom use and HIV testing.
The introduction of mass vaccination against Varicella-Zoster-Virus (VZV) is being delayed in many European countries because of, among other factors, the possibility of a large increase in Herpes Zoster (HZ) incidence in the first decades after the initiation of vaccination, due to the expected decline of the boosting of Cell Mediated Immunity caused by the reduced varicella circulation. A multi-country model of VZV transmission and reactivation, is used to evaluate the possible impact of varicella vaccination on HZ epidemiology in Italy, Finland and the UK. Despite the large uncertainty surrounding HZ and vaccine-related parameters, surprisingly robust medium-term predictions are provided, indicating that an increase in HZ incidence is likely to occur in countries where the incidence rate is lower in absence of immunization, possibly due to a higher force of boosting (e.g. Finland), whereas increases in HZ incidence might be minor where the force of boosting is milder (e.g. the UK). Moreover, a convergence of HZ post vaccination incidence levels in the examined countries is predicted despite different initial degrees of success of immunization policies. Unlike previous model-based evaluations, our investigation shows that after varicella immunization an increase of HZ incidence is not a certain fact, rather depends on the presence or absence of factors promoting a strong boosting intensity and which might or not be heavily affected by changes in varicella circulation due to mass immunization. These findings might explain the opposed empirical evidences observed about the increases of HZ in sites where mass varicella vaccination is ongoing.
Identify and analyze the factors associated to length of hospital stay among HIV positive and HIV negative patients with tuberculosis in Manaus city, state of Amazonas, Brazil, in 2010.
Epidemiological study with primary data obtained from monitoring of hospitalized patients with tuberculosis in Manaus. Data were collected by interviewing patients and analyzing medical records, according to the following study variables age, sex, co-morbidities, education, race, income, lifestyle, history of previous treatment or hospitalization due to tuberculosis, treatment regimen, adverse reactions, smear test, clinical form, type of discharge, and length of hospital stay. The associated factors were identified through chi-square or t-Student test at a 5% significance level.
Income from 1 to 3 minimum wages (P = 0.028), pulmonary tuberculosis form (P = 0.011), negative smear test or no information in this regard (P = 0.014), initial 6-month treatment scheme (P = 0.029), and adverse drug reactions (P = 0.021) were associated to prolonged hospital stay in HIV positive patients.
We found out that although there were no significant differences in the length of hospital stay in HIV positive patients, all factors significantly associated to prolonged hospital stay occurred in this group of patients. This finding corroborates other studies indicating the severity of tuberculosis in HIV patients, which may also contribute to lengthen their hospital stay.
Antiretroviral treatment programs in sub-Saharan African countries are highly affected by LTF. Tracking patients lost to follow-up and understanding their status is essential to maintain program quality and to develop targeted interventions to prevent LTF. We aimed to determine the outcome and factors associated with LTF.
A lost to follow-up community tracking survey was conducted to determine the reasons, outcomes and factors associated with LTF at the University of Gondar Hospital, northwest Ethiopia. All patients were tracked at home to ascertain outcome status for lost to follow-up (death and non-death losses).
Out of the 551 patients LTF, 486 (88.20%) were successfully tracked. Death was the most common reason accounted for 233 (47.94%) of the lost to follow-up. Reasons for non-deaths losses include: stopped antiretroviral treatment due to different reasons, 135(53.36%), and relocation to another antiretroviral treatment program by self- transfer, 118(46.64%). The rate of mortality in the first six months was 72.12 per 100 person-years (95% CI: 61.80–84.24) but this sharply decreased after 12 months to 7.92 per 100 person-years (95% CI: 4.44–14.41). Baseline clinical characteristics were strongly associated with mortality.
Death accounts for about half of the loss to follow up. Most deaths occur in the first six months of loss. Seeking alternative therapy is another major reason for loss to follow up. Early tracking mechanisms are necessary to prevent death.
To assess the prevalence of HIV infection and characteristically risk of factors which associated with HIV infection among MSM in Harbin, China.
A face-to-face questionnaire interview was conducted among 463 Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM) who were recruited by the snowball sampling in Harbin from April, 2011 to July, 2011. The questionnaire mainly included demographics, AIDS knowledge, homosexual behavior and the status of intervention in MSM. Blood specimens were obtained and tested for the diagnoses of HIV, syphilis and hepatitis C virus (HCV). Associations between above exposed factors and HIV infection were analyzed using a univariate analysis and forward stepwise logistic regression.
The prevalence of HIV and syphilis was 9.5 and 14.3%. The awareness rate of AIDS was 86.8%. The rate of unprotected sexual behavior was 57.6% of MSM during the past 6 months. The univariate analysis identified that the age (age≥35 years old), cohabitation, more than 10 years of homosexual behavior and more than 10 homosexual partners were risk factors which associated with the HIV infection, and that protected sex during the past 6 months was a protective factor for the HIV infection. The multivariate analysis identified that the duration of homosexual behavior and commercial sexual behavior were independent risk factors which associated with the HIV infection, and the protected sex during the past 6 months was a protective factor for the HIV infection.
The prevalence of HIV among MSM in Harbin has been rapidly increasing in the past few years. Targeted, tailored, and comprehensive interventions are urgently needed to prevent the HIV infection from MSM.
Treatment as prevention is a paradigm in HIV medicine which describes the public health benefit of antiretroviral therapy (ART). It is based on research showing substantial reductions in the risk of HIV transmission in persons with optimally suppressed HIV-1 Viral Loads (VL). The present study describes ten year VL trends at the national HIV treatment unit and estimates VL suppression at a population level in Barbados, a Caribbean island with a population of 277,000, an estimated adult HIV prevalence of 1.2%, and served by a single treatment unit.
The national HIV treatment centre of the Barbados Ministry of Health has a client VL database extending back to inception of the clinic in 2002 (n = 1,462 clients, n = 17,067 VL measurements). Optimal VL suppression was defined at a threshold value of ≤200 viral copies/mL.
Analysis of VL trends showed a statistically significant improvement in VL suppression between 2002 to 2011, from 33.6% of clients achieving the 200 copies/mL threshold in 2002 to 70.3% in 2011 (P<0.001). Taking into account the proportion of clients alive and in care and on ART, the known diagnosed HIV population in Barbados, and estimates of unknown HIV infections, this translates into an estimated 26.2% VL suppression at a population level at the end of 2010.
We have demonstrated a significant trend towards optimal VL suppression in clients utilizing the services of the national HIV treatment program in Barbados over a 10-year period. Estimates of VL suppression at a population level are similar to reports in developed countries that applied similar methodologies and this could suggest a public health benefit of ART in minimizing the risk of sexual transmission of HIV. Continued efforts are warranted to extend HIV testing to hidden populations in Barbados and linking infected persons to care earlier in their disease.
To understand if clinicians can tell apart patients with healthcare-associated infections (HCAI) from those with community-acquired infections (CAI) and to determine the impact of HCAI in the adequacy of initial antibiotic therapy and hospital mortality.
One-year prospective cohort study including all consecutive infected patients admitted to a large university tertiary care hospital.
A total of 1035 patients were included in this study. There were 718 patients admitted from the community: 225 (31%) with HCAI and 493 (69%) with CAI. Total microbiologic documentation rate of infection was 68% (n = 703): 56% in CAI, 73% in HCAI and 83% in hospital-acquired infections (HAI). Antibiotic therapy was inadequate in 27% of patients with HCAI vs. 14% of patients with CAI (p<0.001). Among patients with HCAI, 47% received antibiotic therapy in accordance with international recommendations for treatment of CAI. Antibiotic therapy was inadequate in 36% of patients with HCAI whose treatment followed international recommendations for CAI vs. 19% in the group of HCAI patients whose treatment did not follow these guidelines (p = 0.014). Variables independently associated with inadequate antibiotic therapy were: decreased functional capacity (adjusted OR = 2.24), HCAI (adjusted OR = 2.09) and HAI (adjusted OR = 2.24). Variables independently associated with higher hospital mortality were: age (adjusted OR = 1.05, per year), severe sepsis (adjusted OR = 1.92), septic shock (adjusted OR = 8.13) and inadequate antibiotic therapy (adjusted OR = 1.99).
HCAI was associated with an increased rate of inadequate antibiotic therapy but not with a significant increase in hospital mortality. Clinicians need to be aware of healthcare-associated infections among the group of infected patients arriving from the community since the existing guidelines regarding antibiotic therapy do not apply to this group and they will otherwise receive inadequate antibiotic therapy which will have a negative impact on hospital outcome.
Cryptococcal disease is estimated to be responsible for significant mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa; however, only scarce epidemiology data exists. We sought to evaluate the prevalence of and risk factors for cryptococcal antigenemia in Ethiopia.
Consecutive adult HIV-infected patients from two public HIV clinics in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia were enrolled into the study. A CD4 count ≤200 cells/μl was required for study participation. Patients receiving anti-retroviral therapy (ART) were not excluded. A cryptococcal antigen test was performed for all patients along with an interview, physical exam, and medical chart abstraction. Logistic regression analysis was used to assess risk factors for cryptococcal antigenemia.
369 HIV-infected patients were enrolled; mean CD4 123 cells/μl and 74% receiving ART. The overall prevalence of cryptococcal antigenemia was 8.4%; 11% in patients with a CD4 count <100 cells/μl, 8.9% with CD4 100 to 150 cells/μl and 5.7% with CD4150-200 cell/μl. 84% of patients with cryptococcal antigenemia were receiving ART. In multivariable analysis, increasing age, self reported fever, CD4 count <100 cells/μl, and site of screening were associated with an increased risk of cryptococcal antigenemia. No individual or combination of clinical symptoms had optimal sensitivity or specificity for cryptococcal antigenemia.
Cryptococcal antigenemia is high in Ethiopia and rapid scale up of screening programs is needed. Screening should be implemented for HIV-infected patients with low CD4 counts regardless of symptoms or receipt of ART. Further study into the effect of location and environment on cryptococcal disease is warranted.
The magnitude of intestinal parasitic infection in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome patients requires careful consideration in the developing world where poor nutrition is associated with poor hygiene and several tropical diseases. However, there have been very few studies addressing this issue in Cameroon. This study was conducted to determine the prevalence of intestinal parasitosis in HIV/AIDS patients in Dschang -Cameroon. Stool and blood specimens from HIV/AIDS patients and control group were screened respectively for intestinal parasites and for HIV antibodies. Intestinal parasites were identified using direct microscopy, formalin-ether concentration and Ziehl Neelsen methods. Out of 396 participants recruited among patients consulting at hospital, 42 (10.6%) were HIV positive, thirty of them treatment naïve. The overall prevalence of intestinal parasites was 14.64%. Out of 42 HIV/AIDS patients, 59.5% (25/42) were infected with intestinal parasites, while only 9.32% (33/354) of the HIV negative patients were infected with intestinal parasites. The parasites detected in our study population included Crystosporidium parvum (2.53%), Entamoeba histolytica (7.52%), Entamoeba coli (4.04%), Giardia lamblia (0.25%), Trichuris trichura (0.25%), Strongyloides stercoralis (0.25%) and Taenia spp. (0.25%). In the HIV infected group, Crystosporidium parvum (19.04%), Entamoeba histolytica (19.04%), Entamoeba coli (21.42%), Giardia lamblia (2.38%), Strongyloides stercoralis (0.25%) and Taenia spp. (0.25%) were found. Crystosporidium parvum was found to be significantly higher in HIV/AIDS patients than in controls (P<0.05). Multivariate analysis showed that the HIV status and the quality of water were the major risk factors for intestinal parasitosis. Routine examinations of stool samples for parasites would significantly benefit the HIV patients by contributing in reducing morbidity and improving the efficiency of antiretroviral treatment. Even after the introduction of free anti-retroviral drugs, opportunistic intestinal infections are still a threat. HIV patients should be screened routinely for intestinal parasites and treated for their overall well being.
Accurate estimates of HIV incidence are crucial for prioritizing, targeting, and evaluating HIV prevention efforts. Using the methodology the CDC used to estimate national HIV incidence, we estimated HIV incidence in Los Angeles County (LAC), San Francisco (SF), and California’s remaining counties.
We estimated new HIV infections in 2006–2009 among adults and adolescents in LAC, SF and the remaining California counties using the Serologic Testing Algorithm for Recent Seroconversion (STARHS). STARHS methodology uses the BED HIV-1 capture enzyme immunoassay to determine recent HIV infections by testing remnant serum from persons newly diagnosed with HIV. A population-based incidence estimate is calculated using HIV testing data from newly diagnosed cases and imputing for persons unaware of their HIV infection.
For years 2007–2009, respectively, we estimated new infections in LAC to be 2426 (95% CI 1871–2982), 1669 (CI 1309–2029) and 1898 (CI 1452–2344) (p<0.01); in SF for 2006–2009, 492 (CI 327–657), 490 (CI 335–646), 458 (CI 342–574) and 367 (CI 261–473) (p = 0.14); and in the remaining California counties in 2008–2009, 2526 (CI 1688–3364) and 2993 (CI 2141–3846) respectively. HIV infection rates among men who have sex with men (MSM) in LAC were 100 times higher than other risk populations; the SF MSM rate was 3 to 18 times higher than other demographic groups. In LAC, incidence rates among African-Americans were twice those of whites and Latinos; persons 40 years or older had lower rates of infection than younger persons.
We report the first HIV incidence estimates for California, highlighting geographic disparities in HIV incidence and confirming national findings that MSM and African-Americans are disproportionately impacted by HIV. HIV incidence estimates can and should be used to target prevention efforts towards populations at highest risk of acquiring new HIV infections, focusing on geographic, racial and risk group disparities.
Most data on HPV and antiretroviral therapy (ART) come from high-resource countries with infrequent sampling for HPV pre- and post-ART initiation. Therefore, we examined the frequency of cervical HPV DNA detection among HIV/HSV-2 co-infected women followed monthly for 6 months both before and after initiation of ART in Rakai, Uganda.
Linear Array was used to detect 37 HPV genotypes in self-collected cervicovaginal swabs from 96 women who initiated ART. Random-effects log-binomial regression was used to compare the prevalence of HPV detection in the pre- and post-ART periods and determine other potential risk factors, including CD4 counts and HIV viral load.
Nearly all women had detectable HPV in the 6 months preceding ART initiation (92%) and the cumulative prevalence remained high following initiation of therapy (90%). We found no effect of ART on monthly HPV DNA detection (prevalence ratio: 1.0; 95% confidence interval: 0.96, 1.08), regardless of immune reconstitution or HIV viral suppression. Older age and higher pre-ART CD4 counts were associated with a significantly lower risk of HPV DNA detection.
ART did not impact HPV detection within 6 months of therapy initiation, highlighting the importance of continued and consistent screening, even after ART-initiation and immune reconstitution.