To identify sources of inter-subject variation in vaccine responses, we performed high-frequency sampling of human peripheral blood cells post-vaccination, followed by a novel systems biology analysis. Functional principal component analysis was used to examine time varying B cell vaccine responses. In subjects vaccinated within the previous three years, 90% of transcriptome variation was explained by a single subject-specific mathematical pattern. Within individual vaccine response patterns, a common subset of 742 genes was strongly correlated with migrating plasma cells. Of these, 366 genes were associated with human plasmablasts differentiating in vitro. Additionally, subject-specific temporal transcriptome patterns in peripheral blood mononuclear cells identified migration of myeloid/dendritic cell lineage cells one day after vaccination. Upstream analyses of transcriptome changes suggested both shared and subject-specific transcription groups underlying larger patterns. With robust statistical methods, time-varying response characteristics of individual subjects were effectively captured along with a shared plasma cell gene signature.
Global health implementing organizations benefit most from health impact estimation models that isolate the individual effects of distributed products and services - a feature not typically found in intervention impact models, but which allow comparisons across interventions and intervention settings. Population Services International (PSI), a social marketing organization, has developed a set of impact models covering seven health program areas, which translate product/service distribution data into impact estimates. Each model's primary output is the number of disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) averted by an intervention within a specific country and population context. This paper aims to describe the structure and inputs for two types of DALYs averted models, considering the benefits and limitations of this methodology.
PSI employs two modeling approaches for estimating health impact: a macro approach for most interventions and a micro approach for HIV, tuberculosis (TB), and behavior change communication (BCC) interventions. Within each intervention country context, the macro approach determines the coverage that one product/service unit provides a population in person-years, whereas the micro approach estimates an individual's risk of infection with and without the product/service unit. The models use these estimations to generate per unit DALYs averted coefficients for each intervention. When multiplied by program output data, these coefficients predict the total number of DALYs averted by an intervention in a country.
Model outputs are presented by country for two examples: Water Chlorination DALYs Averted Model, a macro model, and the HIV Condom DALYs Averted Model for heterosexual transmission, a micro model. Health impact estimates measured in DALYs averted for PSI interventions on a global level are also presented.
The DALYs averted models offer implementing organizations practical measurement solutions for understanding an intervention's contribution to improving health. These models calculate health impact estimates that reflect the scale and diversity of program operations and intervention settings, and that enable comparisons across health areas and countries. Challenges remain in accounting for intervention synergies, attributing impact to a single organization, and sourcing and updating model inputs. Nevertheless, these models demonstrate how DALYs averted can be viably used by the global health community as a metric for predicting intervention impact using standard program output data.
Human CD4 T cell recall responses to influenza virus are strongly biased towards Type 1 cytokines, producing IFNγ, IL-2 and TNFα. We have now examined the effector phenotypes of CD4 T cells in more detail, particularly focusing on differences between recent versus long-term, multiply-boosted responses. Peptides spanning the proteome of temporally distinct influenza viruses were distributed into pools enriched for cross-reactivity to different influenza strains, and used to stimulate antigen-specific CD4 T cells representing recent or long-term memory. In the general population, peptides unique to the long-circulating influenza A/New Caledonia/20/99 (H1N1) induced Th1-like responses biased toward the expression of IFNγ+TNFα+ CD4 T cells. In contrast, peptide pools enriched for non-cross-reactive peptides of the pandemic influenza A/California/04/09 (H1N1) induced more IFNγ−IL-2+TNFα+ T cells, similar to the IFNγ−IL-2+ non-polarized, primed precursor T cells (Thpp) that are a predominant response to protein vaccination. These results were confirmed in a second study that compared samples taken before the 2009 pandemic to samples taken one month after PCR-confirmed A/California/04/09 infection. There were striking increases in influenza-specific TNFα+, IFNγ+, and IL-2+ cells in the post-infection samples. Importantly, peptides enriched for non-cross-reactive A/California/04/09 specificities induced a higher proportion of Thpp-like IFNγ−IL-2+TNFα+ CD4 T cells than peptide pools cross-reactive with previous influenza strains, which induced more Th1 (IFNγ+TNFα+) responses. These IFNγ−IL-2+TNFα+ CD4 T cells may be an important target population for vaccination regimens, as these cells are induced upon infection, may have high proliferative potential, and may play a role in providing future effector cells during subsequent infections.
Pediatric obesity has become a global public health problem. Data on the lifestyle behaviors, dietary habits, and familial factors of overweight and obese children and adolescents are limited. The present study aims to compare health-related factors among normal-weight, overweight, and obese Chinese children and adolescents.
We conducted a cross-sectional study consisted of 4262 children and adolescents aged 5–18 years old from rural areas of the northeast China. Anthropometric measurements and self-reported information on health-related variables, such as physical activities, sleep duration, dietary habits, family income, and recognition of weight status from the views of both children and parents, were collected by trained personnel.
The prevalence rates of overweight and obesity were 15.3 and 6.4%, respectively. Compared to girls, boys were more commonly overweight (17.5% vs. 12.9%) and obese (9.5% vs. 3.1%). Approximately half of the parents with an overweight or obese child reported that they failed to recognize their child’s excess weight status, and 65% of patients with an overweight child reported that they would not take measures to decrease their child’s body weight. Obese children and adolescents were more likely to be nonsnackers [odds ratio (OR): 1.348; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.039–1.748] and to have a family income of 2000 CNY or more per month (OR: 1.442; 95% CI: 1.045–1.99) and less likely to sleep longer (≥7.5 h) (OR: 0.475; 95% CI: 0.31–0.728) than the normal-weight participants.
Our study revealed a high prevalence of overweight and obesity in a large Chinese pediatric population. Differences in sleep duration, snacking, family income, and parental recognition of children’s weight status among participants in different weight categories were observed, which should be considered when planning prevention and treatment programs for pediatric obesity.
Overweight; Obesity; Children; Adolescents; Health-related factors
B cell anergy represents an important mechanism of peripheral immunological tolerance for mature autoreactive B cells that escape central tolerance enforced by receptor editing and clonal deletion. While well documented in mice, the extent of its participation in human B cell tolerance remains to be fully established. In this study, we characterize the functional behavior of strictly defined human naïve B cells separated on the basis of their surface IgM (sIgM) expression levels. We demonstrate that cells with lower sIgM levels (IgMlo) are impaired in their ability to flux calcium in response to either anti-IgM or anti-IgD cross-linking, and contain a significantly increased frequency of autoreactive cells compared to naïve B cells with higher levels of sIgM. Phenotypically, in healthy subjects, IgMlo cells are characterized by the absence of activation markers, reduction of co-stimulatory molecules (CD19 and CD21) and increased levels of inhibitory CD22. Functionally, IgMlo cells display significantly weaker proliferation, impaired differentiation, and poor antibody production. In aggregate, the data indicates that hypo-responsiveness to BCR cross-linking associated with sIgM down-regulation is present in a much larger fraction of all human naïve B cells than previously reported, and is likely to reflect a state of anergy induced by chronic autoantigen stimulation. Finally, our results indicate that in SLE patients, naïve IgMlo cells display increased levels of CD95 and decreased levels of CD22, a phenotype consistent with enhanced activation of autoreactive naïve B cells in this autoimmune disease.
Human B cells; anergy; tolerance
During the human B cell (Bc) recall response, rapid cell division results in multiple Bc subpopulations. The TLR-9 agonist CpG oligodeoxynucleotide, combined with cytokines, causes Bc activation and division in vitro and increased CD27 surface expression in a sub-population of Bc. We hypothesized that the proliferating CD27lo subpopulation, which has a lower frequency of antibody-secreting cells (ASC) than CD27hi plasmablasts, provides alternative functions such as cytokine secretion, costimulation, or antigen presentation. We performed genome-wide transcriptional analysis of CpG activated Bc sorted into undivided, proliferating CD27lo and proliferating CD27hi subpopulations. Our data supported an alternative hypothesis, that CD27lo cells are a transient pre-plasmablast population, expressing genes associated with Bc receptor editing. Undivided cells had an active transcriptional program of non-ASC B cell functions, including cytokine secretion and costimulation, suggesting a link between innate and adaptive Bc responses. Transcriptome analysis suggested a gene regulatory network for CD27lo and CD27hi Bc differentiation.
The antibody response to influenza infection is largely dependent on CD4 T cell help for B cells. Cognate signals and secreted factors provided by CD4 T cells drive B cell activation and regulate antibody isotype switching for optimal antiviral activity. Recently, we analyzed HLA-DR1 transgenic (DR1) mice and C57BL/10 (B10) mice after infection with influenza virus A/New Caledonia/20/99 (NC) and defined epitopes recognized by virus-specific CD4 T cells. Using this information in the current study, we demonstrate that the pattern of secretion of IL-2, IFN-γ, and IL-4 by CD4 T cells activated by NC infection is largely independent of epitope specificity and the magnitude of the epitope-specific response. Interestingly, however, the characteristics of the virus-specific CD4 T cell and the B cell response to NC infection differed in DR1 and B10 mice. The response in B10 mice featured predominantly IFN-γ-secreting CD4 T cells and strong IgG2b/IgG2c production. In contrast, in DR1 mice most CD4 T cells secreted IL-2 and IgG production was IgG1-biased. Infection of DR1 mice with influenza PR8 generated a response that was comparable to that in B10 mice, with predominantly IFN-γ-secreting CD4 T cells and greater numbers of IgG2c than IgG1 antibody-secreting cells. The response to intramuscular vaccination with inactivated NC was similar in DR1 and B10 mice; the majority of CD4 T cells secreted IL-2 and most IgG antibody-secreting cells produced IgG2b or IgG2c. Our findings identify inherent host influences on characteristics of the virus-specific CD4 T cell and B cell responses that are restricted to the lung environment. Furthermore, we show that these host influences are substantially modulated by the type of infecting virus via the early induction of innate factors. Our findings emphasize the importance of immunization strategy for demonstrating inherent host differences in CD4 T cell and B cell responses.
Viral decay rates during efavirenz-based therapy were compared between HIV-infected patients without (N=40) and with tuberculosis coinfection on concurrent antituberculous therapy (N=34). Phase 1 and II viral decay rates were similar in the two groups (P>0.05). Overall, concurrent antituberculous therapy did not reduce the efficacy of the HIV treatment.
Viral decay rates during efavirenz-based therapy were compared between human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–infected patients without tuberculosis (n = 40) and those with tuberculosis coinfection who were receiving concurrent antituberculous therapy (n = 34). Phase I and II viral decay rates were similar in the 2 groups (P > .05). Overall, concurrent antituberculous therapy did not reduce the efficacy of the HIV treatment.
The succession and growth strategy of a spring microbial community under earthquake action were investigated. The majority of pre-earthquake isolates belonged to the Gammaproteobacteria, including two numerically dominant Stenotrophomonas sp. RB25 and Acinetobacter sp. RB11 (r-strategists). The predominant post-earthquake isolates were Alphaproteobacteria, with Rhizobium sp. RA42 (K-strategists) being dominant among these organisms.
Growth strategy; Succession; Spring microbe; Earthquake
B cell responses after immunization with a drifted H5 influenza/A/Vietnam/1203/04 vaccine were characterized in the peripheral blood of human subjects primed with experimental recombinant H5 influenza A/Hong Kong/156/97 vaccine. Antibody secreting cells were assayed by ELISPOT against a panel of recombinant hemagglutinin and control proteins. Increased frequencies of H5 HA specific antibody secreting and memory B cells could be observed within 7 days of re-vaccination. Furthermore, these responses were cross-reactive to both H5 HA variants, but not H3 or avian H6 HA strains. These observations suggest prior vaccination against H5 influenza HA induces cellular immune responses that cross-react among drifted variants, without precluding a response to new, or existing HA strains.
Influenza; B cell; hemagglutinin
Tumor necrosis factor–related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL)/Apo-2L promotes apoptosis in cancer cells while sparing normal cells. Although many cancers are sensitive to TRAIL-induced apoptosis, some evade the proapoptotic effects of TRAIL. Therefore, differentiating molecular mechanisms that distinguish between TRAIL-sensitive and TRAIL-resistant tumors are essential for effective cancer therapies. Here, we show that c-Fos functions as a proapoptotic agent by repressing the antiapoptotic molecule c-FLIP(L). c-Fos binds the c-FLIP(L) promoter, represses its transcriptional activity, and reduces c-FLIP(L) mRNA and protein levels. Therefore, c-Fos is a key regulator of c-FLIP(L), and activation of c-Fos determines whether a cancer cell will undergo cell death after TRAIL treatment. Strategies to activate c-Fos or inhibit c-FLIP(L) may potentiate TRAIL-based proapoptotic therapies.
In China, HIV-related stigma is considered as a formidable barrier in the combat against the HIV epidemic. There have been few qualitative investigations on HIV-related stigma in China, especially among a vulnerable population of rural-to-urban migrants. Based on 90 in-depth interviews conducted in 2002–2003 with rural-to-urban migrants in Beijing and Nanjing, China, this study examines the forms and expressions of HIV-related stigma from migrants' perspectives regarding HIV infection and individuals at risk of HIV infection. Consistent with the general framework on stigma, Chinese rural-to-urban migrants' attitudes toward HIV infected individuals take forms of denial, indifference, labeling, separation, rejection, status loss, shame, hopelessness, and fear. These stigmatizing attitudes were mainly derived from fears of AIDS contagion and its negative consequences, fears of being associated with the diseases, and culturally relevant moral judgments. In addition to universal AIDS stigma, both traditional Chinese culture and socially marginalized position of rural migrant population have contributed to culturally unique aspects of stigmatizing attitudes among rural-to-urban migrants. These multifaceted manifestations of HIV-related stigma suggest that HIV stigma reduction intervention needs to address multiple aspects of HIV stigma and stigmatization including personal, cultural, institutional, and structural factors.
Low socioeconomic status (SES) has been linked to HIV and sexually transmitted disease (STD) at a macro level because the majority of new cases of HIV infection in the world have been reported in underdeveloped or developing countries. However, empirical data on the relationship between individual SES and HIV/STD related risk have been mixed. Employing quantitative data from 454 female sex workers, this study was designed to examine the profile of the study sample in terms of their individual SES, HIV/STD-related sexual risk across work locations with different social, cultural and economic conditions; and examine the relationship between work location and HIV-related risk behaviors, controlling for individual SES. We have shown in the current study that both SES and HIV/STD-related risk behaviors significantly differed by work location. However, the difference in individual SES was not sufficient to explain the difference of HIV/STD-related risk across the work locations. The findings underscore the need for effective prevention intervention efforts targeting female sex workers in rural area. Based on the findings, we also suggest that HIV/STD intervention efforts among female sex workers should take the social and cultural contextual factors of their working environment (and sexual risks) into consideration.
HIV/STD; socioeconomic status (SES); sexual risk; female sex workers; China
Since the 1980s, informal or clandestine sex work in the service or entertainment industry has spread from municipalities to small towns in most areas of China. Despite recognition of the important role of female sex workers in HIV and STD epidemics in China, limited data are available regarding their individual characteristics and social and environmental context of their work. Furthermore, most existing studies on commercial sex in China have been conducted in large cities or tourist attractions. Using data from 454 female sex workers in a rural Chinese county, the current study was designed to explore the individual profile of commercial sex workers and to examine whether the profile and sexual risk behavior differ by where the female sex workers came from and where they work. The sample in the current study was different from previous studies in a number of key individual characteristics. However, similar to previous studies, the sample in the current study were driven into commercial sex by poverty or limited employment opportunities, lived in a stressful life, were subject to sexual harassment and related violence, and engaged in a number of health-compromising behaviors including behaviors that put them at risk of HIV/STD infection and depression. The findings of the current study underscore the urgent needs for effective HIV/STD prevention intervention and mental health promotion program among female sex workers in China. The data in the current study suggest a strong association of individual profile with the economic conditions of work sites and residence status (in-province residency versus out-province residence) which suggests that such efforts must take the social and cultural contextual factors of their working environment (and sexual risks) into consideration.
female sex workers; China; individual characteristics; sexual risk; HIV/AIDS; mental health
Data from 633 sexually experienced female migrants were analyzed to examine the sociodemographic and psychosocial factors and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-related behaviors associated with involvement in commercial sex. Six percent (40/633) of the participants reported having had sex for money. Compared with women who had not engaged in commercialsex, women who had sold sex were younger, less educated, and more likely to be unmarried. They were more likely to have engaged in HIV-related risk behaviors, such as becoming intoxicated with alcohol and using drugs. Among women who engaged in commercialsex, only 28% of them consistently used condoms during the last three episodes of sexualintercourse. Women who had ever engaged in commercialsex demonstrated greater depressive symptoms than those without such a history (p<.01). Female migrants, especially those engaging in commercial sex, were vulnerable to HIV/sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Sexualrisk reduction and condom promotion are urgently needed among this population. Further studies are needed to examine the causal relationship between depression and HIV risk behaviors.
China is the next probable frontier for the global HIV epidemic. Central to this anticipated growth of the epidemic is the nation’s new and growing population of rural-to-urban migrants. Although there are an estimated 120 million migrants, little information is available about their social and cultural context of their lives in urban areas and their HIV-related perceptions and behaviors. On the basis of the in-depth individual interviews conducted among 90 rural-to-urban migrants in 2 major Chinese cities, Beijing and Nanjing, this qualitative study was designed to explore these issues with a particular focus on their relevance to sexual transmission of HIV. The findings suggest an urgent need for HIV/STI prevention programs that address the cultural, social, and economic constraints facing the migrant population in China.
China; culture; HIV/STI; rural-to-urban migrants; sexuality
The objective of this study was to address the role of heterosexual transmission of HIV in China.
The goal of this study was to explore the prevalence of unsafe sex and the likelihood of HIV spread heterosexually from core populations to others.
The authors conducted a review of behavioral studies.
Drug users were more likely to be involved in higher-risk sexual behaviors than were those who abstained from using drugs. Most female drug users (52-98%) reported having engaged in commercial sex. Most female sex workers (FSWs) and individuals with sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) had concurrent sexual partners. Many continued to have unprotected sex after noticing STD symptoms in themselves or their sexual partners. From 5% to 26% of rural-to-urban migrants had multiple sexual partners and 10% of males patronized FSWs during migration.
Factors such as high rates of FSW patronage, low rates of condom use during commercial sex, having sex with both commercial and noncommercial sexual partners, and high rates of STD infection may promote a heterosexual epidemic in China.
To address the role of men who have sex with men (MSM) in the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/sexually transmitted disease (STD) epidemic in China.
To explore the prevalence of risky sexual behaviors and the existing prevention efforts among men who have sex with men (MSM) in China.
Review of behavioral and STD/HIV prevention studies addressing MSM in China.
Sexual risk behaviors including unprotected group sex, anal sex, casual sex, and commercial sex were prevalent among Chinese MSM. Many Chinese MSM also engaged in unprotected sex with both men and women. Most MSM either did not perceive that they were at risk of HIV/AIDS or underestimated their risk of infection. Surveillance and intervention research among these men are still in the preliminary stages.
Chinese MSM are at risk for HIV/STD infection and potential transmission of HIV to the general population. In addition to sexual risk reduction among MSM, reduction of homosexualityrelated stigma should be part of effective intervention efforts. Volunteers from the MSM community and health care workers in primary health care system may serve as valuable resources for HIV/STD prevention and control among MSM.
The China Ministry of Health has estimated that there are at least 100,000 AIDS orphans in China. The UNICEF China Office estimates that between 150,000 and 250,000 additional children will be orphaned by AIDS over the next five years. However, limited data are available regarding the socio-demographic characteristics, care arrangement, barriers to appropriate grief resolution and psychological problems among AIDS orphans in China. In this article, we review secondary data and reports from scientific literature, government, non-governmental organizations, and public media regarding children orphaned by AIDS in China to address their living situation, bereavement process, and psychological problems. Our review suggests that AIDS orphans in China are living in a stressful environment with many orphans struggling with psychological problems and unmet basic needs such as food, shelter, education, and medical care. Based on our review, we suggest that future studies should address the psychosocial needs of AIDS orphans in China and develop health promotion programs to mitigate the negative impact of parental death on the physical and psychosocial well-being of these orphans.
AIDS orphans; China; grief; care arrangement; psychological problem
Data from 4,208 migrants aged 18–30 years old in Beijing and Nanjing, China, were analyzed to examine the correlates of willingness to participate (WTP) in HIV/STD prevention intervention activities among Chinese rural–to–urban migrants. Overall, 83.3% of the respondents would be willing to participate. Increased WTP was associated with employment in the industrial sector (OR = 1.59, 95% CI: 1.11–2.29), migrating to cities to learn more about the outside world (OR = 1.31, 95% CI: 1.08–1.59), prior experience with health maintenance (OR = 1.36, 95% CI: 1.11–1.66), higher level of HIV/AIDS awareness (OR = 1.16, 95% CI: 1.02–1.31), and perceived severity of risk behaviors (OR = 1.32, 95% CI: 1.04–1.68). Decreased WTP was associated with increased involvement in health risk behaviors (OR = 0.50, 95% CI: 0.35–0.73), increased perceptions of peer risk involvement (OR = 0.81, 95% CI: 0.68–0.98), perceived intrinsic rewards for risk behaviors (OR = 0.81, 95% CI: 0.68–0.96) and perceptions of HIV–related stigma (OR = 0.68, 95% CI: 0.53–0.89). The high level of WTP suggests that HIV/STD prevention activities are acceptable among rural–to–urban migrants. Their awareness of HIV/AIDS should be increased and HIV–related stigma should be reduced to increase the level of WTP. Recruitment and retention of individuals with high-risk behavior in prevention activities will be critical and challenging.
The migrant population in China is at high risk for sexual risk behavior and alcohol intoxication. Information about the prevalence of alcohol intoxication and its association with sexual risk behavior among migrants is needed for designing effective intervention prevention programs for reduction in alcohol abuse and HIV infection.
Cross-sectional data were collected from 2153 sexually experienced young rural-to-urban migrants in Beijing and Nanjing, China, in 2002.
Approximately one-third of the participants had been intoxicated with alcohol at least once during the previous month, with more males than females reporting intoxication (40.2% versus 23.7%, p < 0.001). Compared to non-intoxicated participants, respondents with alcohol intoxication in previous 30 days reported more psychological problems, including higher depression scores, lower levels of satisfaction with life and work, and higher perception of peer involvement in risk behavior. Intoxicated respondents were more likely to engage in premarital sex than non-intoxicated respondents (76% versus 60.2%, p < 0.001), have multiple sexual partners (13.4% versus 5.2%, p < 0.001), purchase sex (12.6% versus 4.9%, p < 0.001), and sell sex (10.1% versus 3.7%, p < 0.001). However, there was no association between alcohol intoxication and inconsistent/non-use of condoms. Multivariate analysis controlling for depression, peer risk involvement, age, gender, and other socio-demographic variables indicated that alcohol intoxication was independently correlated with premarital sex, multiple sexual partners, and buying and selling sex.
Compared to the general Chinese population, levels of intoxication were elevated among Chinese rural-to-urban migrants. Alcohol intoxication was associated with sexual risk behaviors. HIV/AIDS prevention and intervention efforts should include components of alcohol use/abuse prevention for an effective reduction of sexual risk among young rural-to-urban migrants in China.
Alcohol intoxication; China; rural-to-urban migrants; Sexual risk behavior
The goal of this study was to explore gender difference in HIV-related perceptions according to a social cognitive theory and sexual risk behaviors and to examine associations between mobility, sexual risk, and history of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) among male and female migrants visiting STD clinics. A cross-sectional study among migrants visiting STD clinics in three large cities in China assessed HIV-related perceptions, sexual activity, condom use, and history of STDs was used. Among participants, 20% of women had ever sold sex and 33% of men had paid for sex. Women and men were similar in multiple partnerships in the last month (23% versus 22%), consistent condom use during last three sexual encounters (14% versus 15%), and a history of STDs (57% versus 53%). However, more women who reported a history of STD had contracted at least two STDs than men (55% versus 36%, p < 0.001). Increased sexual risk was associated with increased perception of extrinsic rewards for both genders, but was associated with increased perceptions of intrinsic rewards and response cost in women only, and with decreased perceptions of vulnerability and response efficacy in men only. High mobility was associated with increased sexual risk in women. Self-reported history of STD was associated with a high rate of past multiple partnership and low education among both genders, but was associated with high mobility and commercial sex in women only. Fifty-four percent of women with a history of STDs informed their partners about their infections, compared to 36% of men (p < 0.001). Married women, both women and men who did not engage in commercial sex, and women and men who used condoms were more likely to inform their partners about their STD infections. Gender differences in HIV-related perceptions and sexual behaviors underscore the importance of gender-specific intervention efforts to prevent the spread of HIV/STD in China.
Background and Objective
Vaginal douching has been hypothesized to increase a woman’s risk for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. However, data on the prevalence of this practice and its association with condom use and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are limited.
A cross-sectional survey among 454 female sex workers (FSWs) in a Chinese county.
Vaginal douching was reported by 64.7% of the women. The prevalence of self-reported history of STI and that of current STI was 19.4% and 41.5%, respectively. Fifteen percent of the women reported consistent use of condoms with their clients and 8.4% with their regular partners. Vaginal douching was significantly associated with decreased use of condoms (with clients: OR = 0.31; with regular partner(s): OR = 0.22) and increased rate of self-reported STI history (OR = 1.95). However, there was no direct relation between douching and current STI. Over one third of the women believed that douching can prevent STI/HIV.
Vaginal douching exposes FSWs to a high risk of STI/HIV. Medical professional and public health workers should correct women’s misconception about the effectiveness of douching and discourage women from douching through educational activities.
The objective of the study was to identify risk factors associated with sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) among rural-to-urban migrants in Beijing in 2002. Migrants with STDs consisted of 432 migrants who sought STD care in two public STD clinics. Migrants without STDs included 892 migrants recruited from 10 occupational clusters. Multiple logistic regression was used for data analysis. Compared to migrants without STDs, migrants with STDs were more likely to report having engaged in commercial sex (selling or buying sex) (odds ratio [OR] = 2.70, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.71–4.25), multiple sex partners in the previous month (OR = 6.50, 95% CI: 3.73–11.32) and higher perceived HIV-related stigma (OR = 1.89, 95% CI: 1.30–2.75). Being a migrant with an STD was also associated with female gender (OR = 4.10, 95% CI: 2.89–5.82), higher education (OR = 2.92, 95% CI: 1.40–6.06), and higher monthly salary (OR = 1.68. 95% CI: 1.23–2.29). Migrants with STDs visited their hometowns more frequently and had more stable jobs than migrants without STDs. Approximately 10% of the migrants with STDs and 7.7% of the migrants without STDs always used condoms. This study suggests that among migrants, acquisition of an STD is associated with higher participation in risk behaviors as would be expected, but also with higher perceived stigma, education, stable jobs, salary, and with female gender. Appropriate behavioral intervention programs are advocated to reduce the risk and stigma among the special population.
The objective of this study was to assess the potential role of gatekeepers of establishments in promoting condom use among female sex workers (FSWs) in China.
The goals of this study were to explore FSWs’ perceptions of gatekeeper attitudes and support for condom use, and to assess their association with FSWs’ practice, communication, intention, proper use, knowledge of correct use, and perceptions related to condom use.
The authors conducted a cross-sectional study among 454 establishment-based FSWs in one Chinese county.
Perceived gatekeeper support for condom use was low among FSWs. Perceived support was positively associated with condom use communication with sexual partners, condom use frequency and intention, but not associated with proper condom use among FSWs. Perceived support was significantly associated with most condom use-related perceptions (e.g., self-efficacy of condom use, barriers to condom use, and perceived peer condom use) among FSWs.
Healthcare professionals should work with gatekeepers to create a supportive local environment for condom use in sex work establishments. Gatekeepers need to clearly articulate their support for condom use to the FSWs. Training and skill acquisition regarding correct use of condoms among FSWs will be necessary.