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1.  Huangqi Injection (a Traditional Chinese Patent Medicine) for Chronic Heart Failure: A Systematic Review 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(5):e19604.
Background
Chronic heart failure (CHF) is a global public health problem. Therefore, novel and effective drugs that show few side-effects are needed. Early literature studies indicated that Huangqi injection is one of the most commonly used traditional Chinese patent medicines for CHF in China. As a large number of clinical studies has been carried out and published, it is essential to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of Huangqi injection. Therefore, we carried out this systematic review under the support of the framework of the Joint Sino-Italian Laboratory (JoSIL).
Objectives
To evaluate the efficacy and safety of Huangqi injection for CHF according to the available scientific knowledge.
Methods
An extensive search including PubMed, EMBASE, CBM, the Cochrane Library and Chinese literature databases was performed up to July 2008. Clinical trials regarding Huangqi injection for the treatment of CHF were searched for, irrespective of languages. The quality of each trial was assessed according to the Cochrane Reviewers' Handbook 5.0, and RevMan 5.0 provided by the Cochrane Collaboration and STATA 9.2 were used for data analysis.
Results
After selection of 1,205 articles, 62 RCTs and quasi-RCTs conducted in China and published in Chinese journals were included in the review. The methodological quality of the trials was low. In most trials inclusion and exclusion criteria were not specified. Furthermore, only one study evaluated the outcomes for drug efficacy after an adequate period of time. For these reasons and because of the different baseline characteristics we did not conduct a meta-analysis.
Conclusions
Although available studies are not adequate to draw a conclusion on the efficacy and safety of Huangqi injection (a traditional Chinese patent medicine), we hope that our work could provide useful experience on further studies on Huangqi injections. The overall level of TCM clinical research needs to be improved so that the efficacy of TCM can be evaluated by the international community and possibly some TCM can enter into the international market.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0019604
PMCID: PMC3089614  PMID: 21573109
2.  Facility and home based HIV Counseling and Testing: a comparative analysis of uptake of services by rural communities in southwestern Uganda 
Background
In Uganda, public human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) services are mainly provided through the facility based model, although the home based approach is being promoted as a strategy for improving access to VCT. However the uptake of VCT varies according to service delivery model and is influenced by a number of factors. The aim of this study therefore, was to compare predictors for uptake of facility and home based VCT in a rural context.
Methods
A longitudinal study with cross-sectional investigative phases was conducted at two sites (Rugando and Kabingo) in southwestern Uganda between November 2007 (baseline) and March 2008 (follow up). During the baseline visit, facility based VCT was offered at the main health centre in Rugando while home based VCT was offered at the household level in Kabingo and a mixed survey questionnaire administered to the respondents. The results presented in this paper are derived from only the baseline data.
Results
Nine hundred ninety four (994) respondents were interviewed, of whom 500 received facility based VCT in Rugando and 494 home based VCT in Kabingo during the baseline visit. The respondents had a mean age of 32.2 years (SD 10.9) and were mainly female (68 percent). Clients who received facility based VCT were less likely to be residents of the more rural households (adjusted Odds Ratio (aOR) = 0.14, 95% CI 0.07, 0.22). The clients who received home based VCT were less likely to report having an STI symptom (aOR = 0.63, 95% CI 0.46, 0.86), and more likely to be worried about discrimination if they contracted AIDS (aOR = 1.78, 95% CI 1.22, 2.61).
Conclusion
The uptake of VCT provided through either the facility or home based models is influenced by client characteristics such as proximity to service delivery points, HIV related symptoms, and fear of discrimination in rural Uganda. Interventions that seek to improve uptake of VCT should provide potential clients with both facility and home based VCT options within a given setting. The clients are then able to select a model for VCT that best fits their characteristics. This is likely to have positive implications for both service coverage and uptake by different sub-groups within particular communities.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-11-54
PMCID: PMC3060861  PMID: 21375728

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