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1.  Disclosure of Genital Human Papillomavirus Infection to Female Sex Partners by Young Men 
Sexually Transmitted Diseases  2012;39(8):583-587.
A survey was administered to male university students testing positive for high-risk human papillomavirus. Disclosure was more likely in men with fewer partners, in main partnerships, and in longer partnerships. Disclosure was associated with discussing the Pap test/HPV vaccine with female partners and not associated with a worsening relationship.
PMCID: PMC3398400  PMID: 22797688
human papillomavirus; male; disclosure; sexually transmitted infection; sexual partnerships
2.  Assessment of gender distribution in dengue surveillance data, the Lao People's Democratic Republic 
Adolescent and young adult males account for a large proportion of dengue cases reported through national surveillance systems in the Western Pacific Region. To preliminarily assess the validity of these observed distributions, a field investigation was conducted in the Lao People's Democratic Republic’s Savannakhet Province in November 2011.
Mixed quantitative and qualitative methods were used. Dengue surveillance data from Savannakhet Province, and aggregate hospital admission data from the Savannakhet Provincial Hospital for outpatients and inpatients were analysed by age and sex. Unstructured informal interviews were conducted with local health care workers, primary and secondary school officials and villagers.
An excess of males was found among reported dengue cases in Savannakhet Province in the 15–49 year age group. Females in the same age group, however, were found to access health care more than their male counterparts. Qualitative assessments attributed this distribution to young females being more health-conscious and having greater health care-seeking behaviour.
The excess of male dengue cases in the surveillance data appeared to be associated with a truly higher risk of dengue rather than greater health care access or health care-seeking behaviour by young men. This investigation indicated the importance of assessing the reported surveillance data within the context of health care utilization behaviour of the population under surveillance.
PMCID: PMC3762968  PMID: 24015367
4.  Epidemiologic update on the dengue situation in the Western Pacific Region, 2011 
Dengue is an emerging vectorborne infectious disease that is a major public health concern in the Asia and the Pacific. Official dengue surveillance data for 2011 provided by ministries of health were summarized as part of routine activities of the World Health Organization Regional Office for the Western Pacific. Based on officially reported surveillance data, dengue continued to show sustained activity in the Western Pacific Region. In 2011, Member States reported a total of 244 855 cases of which 839 died for a case fatality rate of 0.34%. More than 1000 cases were reported each from Cambodia, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia, the Philippines, the Marshall Islands, Singapore and Viet Nam. Cambodia, the Federated States of Micronesia and the Marshall Islands reported higher activity relative to 2010. There continues to be great variability among the dengue-endemic countries and areas in the Region in the number of cases and serotype distribution. The continued high notification rate and complex dengue epidemiology in the Region highlight the need for information-sharing on a routine and timely basis.
PMCID: PMC3762964  PMID: 24015372
6.  Circumcision and acquisition of HPV infection in young men 
Sexually transmitted diseases  2011;38(11):1074-1081.
The role of circumcision in male HPV acquisition is not clear.
Male university students (18–20 years of age) were recruited from 2003–2009 and followed tri-annually. Shaft/scrotum, glans, and urine samples were tested for 37 alpha HPV genotypes. Cox proportional hazards methods were used to evaluate the association between circumcision and HPV acquisition. Logistic regression was used to assess whether number of genital sites infected at incident HPV detection or site of incident detection varied by circumcision status.
In 477 men, rates of acquiring clinically-relevant HPV types (high-risk types plus types 6 and 11) did not differ significantly by circumcision status (hazard ratio [HR] for uncircumcised relative to circumcised subjects: 0.9[95%CI:0.7–1.2]). However, compared to circumcised men, uncircumcised men were 10.1 (95%CI:2.9–35.6) times more likely to have the same HPV type detected in all 3 genital specimens than in a single genital specimen and were 2.7 (95%CI:1.6–4.5) times more likely to have an HPV-positive urine or glans specimen at first detection.
While the likelihood of HPV acquisition did not differ by circumcision status, uncircumcised men were more likely than circumcised men to have infections detected at multiple genital sites, which may have implications for HPV transmission.
PMCID: PMC3210112  PMID: 21992987
HPV; human papilloma virus; circumcision; epidemiology; risk factors
8.  Incidence of dengue virus infection among Japanese travellers, 2006 to 2010 
Dengue continues to be a global public health concern. In Japan, although dengue cases are currently seen only among travellers returning from endemic areas, the number of reported cases is rising according to the national case-based surveillance system. We evaluated the characteristics of dengue cases imported into Japan and the relationship between the incidence of infection and season of travel to popular destinations.
Dengue cases reported to the national surveillance system were retrospectively examined. The number of reported cases per number of Japanese travellers to a dengue-endemic country was calculated to estimate the country-specific incidence of imported dengue virus infection. The incidence of dengue infection among Japanese travellers was compared between dengue high season and low season in each country using relative risk (RR) and associated 95% confidence intervals (CI).
Among 540 Japanese residents who were reported as dengue cases from 2006 to 2010, the majority had travelled to Indonesia, India, the Philippines and Thailand. The RR of dengue infection among Japanese travellers during dengue high season versus low season was 4.92 (95% CI: 3.01–8.04) for the Philippines, 2.76 (95% CI: 1.67–4.54) for Thailand and 0.37 (95% CI: 0.15–0.92) for Indonesia.
Overall, higher incidence of imported cases appeared to be related to historic dengue high seasons. Travellers planning to visit dengue-endemic countries should be aware of historic dengue seasonality and the current dengue situation.
PMCID: PMC3729080  PMID: 23908911
9.  The Great East Japan Earthquake: a need to plan for post-disaster surveillance in developed countries 
After a devastating earthquake and tsunami struck north-eastern Japan in March 2011, the public health system, including the infectious disease surveillance system, was severely compromised. While models for post-disaster surveillance exist, they focus predominantly on developing countries during the early recovery phase. Such models do not necessarily apply to developed countries, which differ considerably in their baseline surveillance systems. Furthermore, there is a need to consider the process by which a surveillance system recovers post-disaster. The event in Japan has highlighted a need to address these concerns surrounding post-disaster surveillance in developed countries.
In May 2011, the World Health Organization convened a meeting where post-disaster surveillance was discussed by experts and public health practitioners. In this paper, we describe a post-disaster surveillance approach that was discussed at the meeting, based on what had actually occurred and what may have been, or would be, ideal. Briefly, we describe the evolution of a surveillance system as it returns to the pre-existing system, starting from an event-based approach during the emergency relief phase, a syndromic approach during the early recovery phase, an enhanced sentinel approach during the late recovery phase and a return to baseline during the development phase. Our aim is not to recommend a specific model but to encourage other developed countries to initiate their own discussions on post-disaster surveillance and develop plans according to their needs and capacities. As natural disasters will continue to occur, we hope that developing such plans during the “inter-disaster” period will help mitigate the surveillance challenges that will arise post-disaster.
PMCID: PMC3729064  PMID: 23908893
10.  Male–female differences in the number of reported incident dengue fever cases in six Asian countries 
Demographic factors, such as age and sex, are associated with the likelihood of exposure to Aedes aegypti, the vector for dengue. However, dengue data disaggregated by both sex and age are not routinely reported or analysed by national surveillance systems. This study analysed the reported number of incident dengue cases by age and sex for six countries in Asia.
Data for the Lao People's Democratic Republic, the Philippines, Singapore and Sri Lanka were obtained from DengueNet; the number of male and female dengue cases was available for four age groups (< 1, 1–4, 5–14 and ≥ 15 years) over a cumulative period of six to 10 years. Data for Cambodia (2010) and Malaysia (1997–2008) were obtained from their respective ministries of health.
An excess of males was found among reported dengue cases ≥ 15 years of age. This pattern was observed consistently over several years across six culturally and economically diverse countries.
These data indicated the importance of reporting data stratified by both sex and age since collapsing the data over all ages would have masked some of the male–female differences. To target preventive measures appropriately, assessment of gender by age is important for dengue because biological or gender-related factors can change over the human lifespan and gender-related factors may differ across countries.
PMCID: PMC3730962  PMID: 23908884
11.  Epidemiologic update of dengue in the Western Pacific Region, 2010 
Dengue is an emerging vectorborne infectious disease that is a major public health concern in the Asia Pacific region. Official dengue surveillance data for 2010 provided by ministries of health were summarized as part of routine activities of the World Health Organization Regional Office for the Western Pacific. Based on reported data, dengue has continued to show an increasing trend in the Western Pacific Region. In 2010, countries and areas reported a total of 353 907 dengue cases, of which 1073 died, for a case fatality ratio of 0.30%. More than 1000 cases were reported each from Australia (North Queensland), Cambodia, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Viet Nam. With the exception of Australia, the number of reported cases in 2010 was greater than that reported in 2009 for these countries. The elevated number of cases reported in 2010 in some countries, such as the Philippines, is likely due to several factors, such as enhanced reporting and continued epidemic activity. However, increases in reported number of cases in other areas, such as Singapore and Malaysia, appear to indicate sustained epidemic activity in those countries. The continued epidemic dengue activity in the Region highlights the need for timely and routine regional sharing of information.
PMCID: PMC3730957  PMID: 23908882
12.  Developing capacity in health informatics in a resource poor setting: lessons from Peru 
The public sectors of developing countries require strengthened capacity in health informatics. In Peru, where formal university graduate degrees in biomedical and health informatics were lacking until recently, the AMAUTA Global Informatics Research and Training Program has provided research and training for health professionals in the region since 1999. The Fogarty International Center supports the program as a collaborative partnership between Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia in Peru and the University of Washington in the United States of America. The program aims to train core professionals in health informatics and to strengthen the health information resource capabilities and accessibility in Peru. The program has achieved considerable success in the development and institutionalization of informatics research and training programs in Peru. Projects supported by this program are leading to the development of sustainable training opportunities for informatics and eight of ten Peruvian fellows trained at the University of Washington are now developing informatics programs and an information infrastructure in Peru. In 2007, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia started offering the first graduate diploma program in biomedical informatics in Peru.
PMCID: PMC2777845  PMID: 19860918
13.  Trade related infections: farther, faster, quieter 
Modern global trading traffics large volumes of diverse products rapidly to a broad geographic area of the world. When emergent infections enter this system in traded products their transmission is amplified. With truly novel emergent infections with long incubation periods, such as Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) or variant Creutzfeld Jacob Disease (vCJD), this transmission may silently disseminate infection to far distant populations prior to detection. We describe the chronology of two such "stealth infections," vCJD and HIV, and the production, processing, and distribution changes that coincided with their emergence. The concept of "vector products" is introduced. A brief case study of HIV incursion in Japan is presented in illustration. Careful "multisectoral" analysis of such events can suggest ecologically critical pathways of emergence for further research. Such analyses emphasize the urgency of implementing safety measures when pathogens enter globally traded products.
PMCID: PMC1143781  PMID: 15847684

Results 1-13 (13)