To examine the association between douching and four sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
We followed 411 high-risk HIV-infected and uninfected female adolescents ages 12–19 over a median three-year period, both by time from study entry/first STI-free visit until an incident STI for participants who never, intermittently, and always douched, and also by reported douching at a given STI-free visit and incidence of STI at the next visit, using adjusted Cox proportional hazards models to calculate hazards ratios (HR).
The time to STI was shorter for adolescents who always (HR=2.1; 95% CI, 1.2–3.4) and intermittently (HR=1.5; 95% CI:1.0–2.2) douched compared to never-douchers. An adjusted hazard for STI was 1.8 times larger for always-douchers (95%CI:1.1–3.1) and 1.4 times larger for intermittent-douchers (95%CI:0.9–2.0) compared to never-douchers. When classifying by follow-up post an STI-free visit, always-douchers had a shorter STI-free time than never-douchers (HRadj=2.1; 95%CI:1.5–3.1).
Counseling to discourage douching may reduce STI risk in adolescents.
Purpose of review
We review the current state of evidence-based prevention strategies for reducing sexual transmission of HIV. The combined programmatic and scientific efforts through 2008 to reduce sexual transmission of HIV have failed to reduce substantially the global pandemic.
Prevention interventions to reduce HIV infection target behavioral, biomedical, and structural risk factors. Some of these prevention strategies have been evaluated in randomized clinical trials (RCTs) with HIV seroincidence endpoints. When RCTs are not feasible, a variety of observational and quasiexperimental research approaches can provide insight as to program effectiveness of specific strategies. Only five RCTs have demonstrated a notable decrease in sexually acquired HIV incidence. These include the Mwanza study of syndromic management of sexually transmitted diseases and three male circumcision trials in East Africa; a microbicide trial reported in 2009 shows substantial promise for the efficacy of PRO 2000 (0.5% gel).
The combined programmatic and scientific efforts to reduce sexual transmission of HIV have made incremental progress. New prevention tools are needed to stem the continued spread of HIV, though microbicides and vaccines will take many more years to develop, test, and deploy. Combination strategies of existing modalities should be tested to evaluate the potential for more proximate prevention benefits.
circumcision; HIV; microbicide; microbicide; prevention; sexual behavior; sexually transmitted disease
A preparedness study was conducted to evaluate the suitability of sites and populations following the same study procedures intended for a larger scale microbicide efficacy trial. In the process the study evaluated human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) incidence, prevalence, and risk profiles for HIV-acquisition among young women in urban Zambia.
Women aged 16 to 49 years were screened for participation in the study that involved HIV/sexually transmitted infection testing and the assessment of sexual behavioral characteristics. Two hundred thirty-nine eligible women were enrolled and followed up for 12 months.
Baseline HIV prevalence at screening was 38.7% (95% CI: 34.2%–43.3%). The highest age-specific prevalence of HIV was 54.1% (95% CI: 46.3%–61.8%) seen in women aged 26 to 34 years. HIV incidence was 2.6% per 100 woman years. Pregnancy rates were high at 17.4 per 100 woman years (95% CI: 12.2–24.1).
It was concluded that our general population sample, characterized by high HIV prevalence and ongoing incidence rates despite receiving regular risk reduction counseling and free condoms qualifies for future microbicide studies.
A microbicide preparedness study conducted in Lusaka, Zambia found high HIV prevalence and appreciable HIV incidence in a population of women in an urban setting.
The objective of this paper is to describe the evolution of human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome surveillance in mainland China, with a focus on reviewing the sources of data being used for improved surveillance of HIV/AIDS. We review the development of HIV/AIDS surveillance and its multiple data sources to monitor the dynamics of HIV/AIDS in China. The surveillance system for HIV/AIDS in China was initiated in 1986. It has evolved in three stages: (1) passive surveillance, (2) HIV sentinel surveillance with coexisting active surveillance and passive surveillance, and (3) comprehensive surveillance. In parallel with the evolution of the surveillance system itself, the HIV epidemic in China has gone through increasing stages of complexity, through an Introduction Phase, a Spreading Phase, and a Rapidy Spreading Phase. More reliable data from improved surveillance suggest that the HIV/AIDS epidemic is expanding in China. HIV infections among 2005 estimates remain concentrated among injection drug users (IDUs), those buying and selling sex, and men who have sex with men. Better HIV/AIDS surveillance synthesizes multiple data sources to provide a more accurate picture of the dynamics of specific HIV/AIDS circumstances in different areas of China. Improved surveillance is meaningful insofar as data are used to implement more effective HIV prevention programs in China. Support for surveillance and strategic analyses can enable policy decision makers to make more effective program choices and mobilize adequate resources to contain HIV.
The annual worldwide burden of the preventable disease cervical cancer is over 530,000 new cases and 275,000 deaths, with the majority occurring in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), where cervical cancer screening and early treatment are uncommon. Widely used in high-income countries, Pap smear (cytology-based) screening is expensive and challenging for implementation in LMICs, where lower-cost, effective alternatives such as visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA) and rapid human papillomavirus (HPV)-based screening tests offer promise for scaling up prevention services. Integrating HPV screening with VIA in “screen-and-treat-or-refer”’ programs offers the dual benefits of HPV screening to maximize detection and using VIA to triage for advanced lesions/cancer, as well as a pelvic exam to address other gynecologic issues. A major issue in LMICs is co-infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and HPV, which further increases the risk for cervical cancer and marks a population with perhaps the greatest need of cervical cancer prevention. Public-private partnerships to enhance the availability of cervical cancer prevention services within HIV/AIDS care delivery platforms through initiatives such as Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon® present an historic opportunity to expand cervical cancer screening in LMICs.
AIDS; HIV; Africa; HIV care; HIV treatment; antiretroviral therapy; Botswana; South Africa; Mozambique; Zambia; cost; coverage; health care system; policy; financing
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected women in India and other developing country settings are living longer on antiretroviral therapy, yet their risk for human papillomavirus (HPV)-induced cervical cancer remains unabated because of lack of cost-effective and accurate secondary prevention methods. Visual inspection after application of dilute acetic acid on the cervix (VIA) has not been adequately studied against the current standard: conventional cervical cytology (Pap smears) among HIV-infected women. We evaluated 303 nonpregnant HIV-infected women in Pune, India, by simultaneous and independent screening with VIA and cervical cytology with disease ascertainment by colposcopy and histopathology. At the cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN2+) disease threshold, the sensitivity, specificity and positive and negative predictive value estimates of VIA were 80, 82.6, 47.6 and 95.4% respectively, compared to 60.5, 59.6, 22.4 and 88.7% for the atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance or severe (ASCUS+) cutoff on cytology, 60.5, 64.6, 24.8 and 89.4% for the low-grade squamous intraepithelial cells or severe (LSIL+) cutoff on cytology and 20.9, 96.0, 50.0 and 86.3% for high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion or severe (HSIL+) cutoff on cytology. A similar pattern of results was found for women with the presence of carcinogenic HPV-positive CIN2+ disease, as well as for women with CD4+ cell counts <200 and <350 µL−1. Overall, VIA performed better than cytology in this study with biologically rigorous endpoints and without verification bias, suggesting that VIA is a practical and useful alternative or adjunctive screening test for HIV-infected women. Implementing VIA-based screening within HIV/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome care programs may provide an easy and practical means of complementing the highly anticipated low-cost HPV-based rapid screening tests in the near future, thereby contributing to improve program effectiveness of screening.
cervical cancer; visual inspection; cytology; screening; HIV/AIDS; India
The Fogarty International Clinical Research Scholars and Fellows Program's goal is to foster the next generation of clinical investigators and to help build international health research partnerships between American and international investigators and institutions. Through June 2012, 61 sites in 27 countries have hosted 436 Scholars (American students or junior trainees from the host countries) and/or 122 Fellows (American and host country postdoctoral fellows) for year-long experiences in global health research. Initially, the program was oriented toward infectious diseases, but recently emphasis on chronic disease research has increased. At least 521 manuscripts have been published, many in high-impact journals. Projects have included clinical trials, observational studies, translational research, clinical-laboratory interface initiatives, and behavioral research. Strengths of the program include training opportunities for American and developing country scientists in well-established international clinical research settings, and mentorship from experienced global health experts.
Pakistan is experiencing a growing HIV epidemic. Antiretroviral drugs (ARV) have been smuggled into the country and available without prescription since the early 1990s, but are now provided free of cost by the government. We assessed the prevalence of HIV-1, drug resistance, and subtype distributions. Blood specimens were collected from HIV-1-infected participants registered in Sindh Province on dry blood spot (DBS) cards in 2008. Pol, protease, and partial reverse transcriptase regions were sequenced after reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR). HIV-1 subtype was assigned by phylogenetic analysis. Primary drug resistance was analyzed by the Calibrated Population Resistance (CPR) tool using the Stanford Surveillance Drug Resistance Mutation (SDRM) major mutation list. Out of 100 blood samples collected, 42 were suitable for testing. Out of 42, 11 were ARV-receiving and 31 ARV-naive patients. Among them, 24 were injection drug users (IDUs), four immigrants, two hijras (male transvestites), two men who have sex with men (MSM), four prisoners, one female sex workers, two spouses of HIV-infected persons, and four from the general population. ARV resistance among naive patients was 2/31 (6.5%) and 36.4% (4/11) among ARV-experienced patients making an overall resistance of 14.2%. HIV-1 subtype A1 was the predominant subtype found in 35/42 (83.3%) followed by CRF35_AD and C, 6.5% each. Subtype D and G were found in one (2.4%) each. A significant proportion of Pakistani HIV patients has ARV drug resistance. Physicians treating patients should consider the magnitude of drug resistance while selecting regimens, and address drug adherence aggressively.
We evaluated changing HIV testing coverage and prevalence rates before and after expanding city-wide antiretroviral therapy (ART) programs in Lusaka, Zambia.
We conducted serial cross-sectional surveys on the University Teaching Hospital medical ward to assess HIV prevalence among inpatients of unknown status in 2003 and 2006. Willing participants received counseling and dual HIV rapid tests. We compared the proportion of inpatients receiving their test results in 2003 (off-the-ward testing) to 2006 (on-the-ward).
In 2003, none of 103 inpatients knew their HIV status or took ART; 99.0% (102/103) agreed to testing. In 2006, 49.3% (99 of 201) patients knew they were HIV-infected and were on ART; of those with unknown status, 98.0% (100/102) agreed to testing. In 2003, only 54.9% (56/102) received post-test counseling and 98.2% (55/56) learned their status. In 2006, 99.0% (99/100) received post-test counseling and 99.1% (98 of 99) learned their status. In 2003, 62.8% (64 of 102) of status-unknown inpatients who agreed to testing were seropositive by dual rapid test, compared to 48.0% (48 of 100) of status-unknown inpatients in 2006. When including inpatients who already knew their seropositive status plus those unknowns who tested seropositive, the proportion of inpatients that was seropositive in 2006 was 73.1% (147 of 201), higher than in 2003.
After ART program expansion, inpatients in 2006 were far more likely than their 2003 counterparts to know their HIV status and to be taking ART. In both years, 63–73% of medical inpatients were HIV-infected and 98.5% of inpatients agreed to testing. On-the-ward testing in 2006 avoided the 2003 problem of patient discharge before learning of their test results. Hospital-based HIV testing is an essential clinical service in high prevalence settings and can serve further as a surveillance system to help track the community impact of outpatient AIDS services in Africa.
HIV; AIDS; seroprevalence; counseling and testing; Zambia; hospital; antiretroviral therapy; program evaluation
Rural north-central Liberia has one of the world's highest maternal mortality ratios. We studied health facility birthing service utilisation and the motives of women seeking or not seeking facility-based care in north-central Liberia.
Cross-sectional community-based structured interviews and health facility medical record review.
A regional hospital and the surrounding communities in rural north-central Liberia.
A convenience sample of 307 women between 15 and 49 years participated in structured interviews. 1031 deliveries performed in the regional hospital were included in the record review.
Delivery within a health facility and caesarean delivery rates were used as indicators of direct utilisation of care and as markers of availability of maternal health services.
Of 280 interview respondents with a prior childbirth, only 47 (16.8%) delivered their last child in a health facility. Women who did not use formal services cited cost, sudden labour and family tradition or religion as their principal reasons for home delivery. At the regional hospital, the caesarean delivery rate was 35.5%.
There is an enormous unmet need for maternal health services in north-central Liberia. Greater outreach and referral services as well as community-based education among women, family members and traditional midwives are vital to improve the timely utilisation of care.
Liberia; Maternal health; Health care utilization; Emergency obstetric care
Global commerce, travel, and emerging and resurging infectious diseases have increased awareness of global health threats and opportunities for collaborative and service learning. We review course materials, knowledge archives, data management archives, and student evaluations for the first 10 years of an intensive summer field course in infectious disease epidemiology and surveillance offered in Jamaica. We have trained 300 students from 28 countries through collaboration between the University of the West Indies and U.S. partner universities. Participants were primarily graduate students in public health, but also included health professionals with terminal degrees, and public health nurses and inspectors. Strong institutional synergies, committed faculty, an emphasis on scientific and cultural competencies, and use of team-based field research projects culminate in a unique training environment that provides participants with career-developing experiences. We share lessons learned over the past decade, and conclude that South-to-North leadership is critical in shaping transdisciplinary, cross-cultural, global health practice.
We collected clinical and morphological data from children with diarrhea attending 3 diverse hospital/clinics in Accra. Stool samples were tested for rotavirus and Cryptosporidium spp. 58% of the children with diarrhea had rotavirus infections and 25% of which were of the G3 sero/genotype. The most common strains were G3P (18.8%) and G2P (12.5%). Cryptosporidium spp. infections were uncommon (3/143, 2.0%).
Rotavirus; child; diarrhea; Ghana; cryptosporidiosis; prevalence
To determine the factors responsible for patient delay and treatment delay in newly diagnosed sputum smear-positive pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) patients.
Study subjects (N = 150) were randomly selected from municipal health centers in Mumbai, India. Duration of symptoms, treatment, and reason for delay were assessed using interviews and medical records. We defined patient delay as presentation to a health care provider (HCP) >20 days of the onset of TB-related symptoms and treatment delay as therapy initiated more than 14 days after the first consultation (for TB-related symptoms) with an HCP.
Of the 150 subjects, 29% had patient delays and 81% had treatment delays. In multivariable analysis, patient delay was significantly associated with the self-perception that initial symptoms were due to TB [odds ratio (OR) = 3.8, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.1–12.6] and perceived inability to pay for care (OR = 2.9, 95% CI = 1.2–7.1). Treatment delay was significantly associated with consulting a non-allopathic provider (OR = 12.3, 95% CI = 1.4–105) and consulting >3 providers (OR = 5.0, 95% CI = 1.4–17.4). Patient interval was half the treatment interval (median days: 15 vs. 31). Women were slightly more likely to experience patient and treatment delays than men. For two-thirds of the patients, another TB patient was a source of TB-related knowledge, while health education material (16%) and television (10%) played a smaller role.
Treatment delay, primarily due to diagnosis delay, was a greater problem than patient delay. Expanding public–public and public–private partnerships and regular training sessions for HCPs might decrease treatment delay. Media coverage and cured TB patients as peer advocates may help to reinforce TB-related health education messages.
Patient delay; pulmonary tuberculosis; India; treatment delay
In order to maximize the benefits of HIV care and treatment investments in sub-Saharan Africa, programs can broaden to target other diseases amenable to screening and efficient management. We nested cervical cancer screening into family planning clinics at select sites also receiving PEPFAR support for antiretroviral therapy (ART) rollout. This was done using visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA) by maternal child health nurses. We report on achievements and obstacles in the first year of the program in rural Mozambique.
VIA was taught to clinic nurses and hospital physicians, with a regular clinical feedback loop for quality evaluation and retraining. Cryotherapy using carbon dioxide as the refrigerant was provided at clinics; loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) and surgery were provided at the provincial hospital for serious cases. No pathology services were available.
Nurses screened 4651 women using VIA in Zambézia Province in year one of the program, more than double the Ministry of Health service target. VIA was judged positive for squamous intraepithelial lesions in 8% (n=380) of the women (9% if age ≥30 years (n=3154) and 7% if age <30 years (n=1497); p=0.02). Of the 380 VIA-positive women, 4% (n=16) had lesions (0.3% of 4651 total screened) requiring referral to Quelimane Provincial Hospital. Fourteen (88%) of these 16 women were seen at the hospital, but records were inadequate to judge outcomes. Of women screened, 2714 (58%) either had knowledge of their HIV status prior to VIA or were subsequently sent for HIV testing, of which 583 (21%) were HIV positive.
Screening and clinical services were successfully provided on a large scale for the first time ever in these rural clinics. However, health manpower shortages, equipment problems, poor paper record systems and a limited ability to follow-up patients inhibited the quality of the cervical cancer screening services. Using prior HIV investments, chronic disease screening and management for cervical cancer is feasible even in severely resource-constrained rural Africa.
cervical cancer; VIA; PEPFAR; HIV; resource limited setting
The HIV epidemic in higher-income nations is driven by receptive anal intercourse, injection drug use through needle/syringe sharing, and, less efficiently, vaginal intercourse. Alcohol and noninjecting drug use increase sexual HIV vulnerability. Appropriate diagnostic screening has nearly eliminated blood/blood product-related transmissions and, with antiretroviral therapy, has reduced mother-to-child transmission radically. Affected subgroups have changed over time (e.g., increasing numbers of Black and minority ethnic men who have sex with men). Molecular phylogenetic approaches have established historical links between HIV strains from central Africa to those in the United States and thence to Europe. However, Europe did not just receive virus from the United States, as it was also imported from Africa directly. Initial introductions led to epidemics in different risk groups in Western Europe distinguished by viral clades/sequences, and likewise, more recent explosive epidemics linked to injection drug use in Eastern Europe are associated with specific strains. Recent developments in phylodynamic approaches have made it possible to obtain estimates of sequence evolution rates and network parameters for epidemics.
Molecular phylogenetic approaches have traced the evolutionary history of HIV strains, showing that HIV spread from central Africa to the United States and then to Europe, as well as directly from Africa to Europe.
The human gene for CC chemokine receptor 5, a coreceptor for human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), affects susceptibility to infection. Most studies of predominantly male cohorts found that individuals carrying a homozygous deleted form of the gene, Δ32, were protected against transmission, but protection did not extend to Δ32 heterozygotes. The role played by this mutation in HIV-1 transmission to women was studied in 2605 participants in the Women's Interagency HIV Study. The Δ32 gene frequency was 0.026 for HIV-1–seropositive women and 0.040 for HIV-1–seronegative women, and statistical analyses showed that Δ32 heterozygotes were significantly less likely to be infected (odds ratio, 0.63 [95% confidence interval, 0.44–0.90]). The CCR5 Δ32 heterozygous genotype may confer partial protection against HIV-1 infection in women. Because Δ32 is rare in Africans and Asians, it seems plausible that differential genetic susceptibility, in addition to social and behavioral factors, may contribute to the rapid heterosexual spread of HIV-1 in Africa and Asia.
A key challenge inhibiting the timely initiation of pediatric antiretroviral treatment is the loss to follow-up of mothers and their infants between the time of mothers' HIV diagnoses in pregnancy and return after delivery for early infant diagnosis (EID) of HIV. We sought to identify barriers to follow-up of HIV-exposed infants in rural Zambézia Province, Mozambique.
We determined follow-up rates for early infant diagnosis and age at first test in a retrospective cohort of 443 HIV-infected mothers and their infants. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to identify factors associated with successful follow-up.
Of the 443 mother-infant pairs, 217 (49%) mothers enrolled in the adult HIV care clinic, and only 110 (25%) infants were brought for early infant diagnosis. The predictors of follow-up for EID were larger household size (OR=1.30; 95% CI, 1.09-1.53), independent maternal source of income (OR=10.8; 95% CI, 3.42-34.0), greater distance from the hospital (OR=2.14; 95% CI, 1.01-4.51) and maternal receipt of ART (OR=3.15; 95% CI, 1.02-9.73). The median age at first test among 105 infants was 5 months (interquartile range 2 to 7); 16% of the tested infants were infected.
Three of four HIV-infected women in rural Mozambique did not bring their children for early infant HIV diagnosis. Maternal receipt of ART has favorable implications for maternal health that will increase the likelihood of early infant diagnosis. We are working with local health authorities to improve the linkage of HIV-infected women to HIV care to maximize early infant diagnosis and care.
HIV/AIDS; antiretroviral therapy; early infant diagnosis; prevention of mother-to-child transmission; Mozambique; Sub-Saharan Africa
The HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) is supported by the NIH to conduct randomized clinical trials to assess the efficacy of HIV prevention strategies and technologies to reduce HIV transmission between adults. A special focus of attention is on the use of antiretroviral drugs to prevent HIV transmission, both by reducing infectiousness among HIV-infected persons taking combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) and also by reducing susceptibility among HIV-uninfected persons taking antiretrovirals for pre-exposure prophylaxis. Studies may be developmental in nature to assess novel ideas for interventions or for assessing trial feasibility. However, pivotal efficacy trials to test HIV-specific prevention strategies and technologies are the main HPTN priority. Examples include a major protocol investigating the impact of expanded testing and linkage to care on HIV surveillance indicators in the USA (HPTN 065). Another protocol is addressing similar issues while also investigating how combinations of prevention approaches are best deployed to make a community-level impact in southern Africa (HPTN 071). HPTN 068 is evaluating a novel conditional cash transfer structural intervention to increase school completion rates in young girls and thereby reduce their HIV risk. Studies outside the US address the epidemic in most at-risk populations and include an assessment of opiate agonist therapy to reduce risk of HIV seroconversion among injection drug users (HTPN 058), methods to increase HIV testing rates (HTPN 043), as well as methods for reducing high-risk behaviors, and increasing adherence to cART in HIV-infected individuals (HPTN 062 and HPTN 063, respectively). The recent HPTN 052 study demonstrated that a 96% reduction in HIV transmission could be achieved between serodiscordant sexual partners by providing the infected partners with cART at a CD4+ cell count (350–550/µl) above the level that would usually qualify them for therapy in low- and middle-income countries. The immediate relevance to public health policy showcased in these trials is a paradigm for the HPTN: design and conduct of clinical trials using available licensed tools that can be rapidly translated for implementation (‘Prevention NOW!’).
developing country; HIV/AIDS; prevention; randomized clinical trial; research collaboration; research infrastructure
Routine opt-out provider-initiated HIV testing and counseling (PITC) remains underutilized in sub-Saharan Africa. By selectively targeting clients who either volunteer or have clinical indications of HIV disease, standard approaches to HIV counseling and testing are presumed more cost-efficient than PITC.
1221 patients ages 15-49 were seen by 22 practitioners in a mobile clinic in southern Zambia. A random sample of physicians was assigned to administer PITC while the remaining practitioners offered standard non-PITC (i.e., voluntary or diagnostic) counseling and testing. Questionnaires assessed patient demographics and attitudes toward HIV. HIV detection rates were stratified by referral type, demographics, and HIV-related knowledge and attitudes.
HIV prevalence was 10.6%. Infection rates detected using PITC (11.1%; 95% CI 8.8% to 13.5%) and standard non-PITC (10.0%; 95% CI 7.5% to 12.5%) did not significantly differ (OR = 1.01, 95% CI: 0.67 to 1.52, p = 0.95). Patients who did not request testing or demonstrate clinical indicators of HIV did not have significantly higher HIV prevalence than those who did (OR = 0.83, 95% CI: 0.55 to 1.24, p = 0.36). Implementation of PITC was highly acceptable and produced a three-fold increase in patients tested per practitioner compared to standard non-PITC (114 vs. 34 patients per practitioner respectively).
PITC detected a comparable HIV infection rate as a standard non-PITC approach among rural adults seeking primary care services. Widespread implementation of PITC may therefore lead to significantly more cases of HIV detected.
HIV testing; HIV counseling and testing; screening; stigma; rural; Zambia
Many Haitian adolescents are highly vulnerable to HIV infection. Among 3,391 sexually active 13-25-year-olds in our Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) Center in Port-au-Prince from October 2005 to September 2006, we assessed associations between demographic and behavioral factors and HIV status using multivariable logistic regression analyses. We diagnosed HIV infection in 6.3% of 2,533 females and 5.5% of 858 males. Age-specific prevalence was 3.4% for 13-15-year-olds, 4.7% for 16-19, and 6.8% for 20-25 (P=0.02). Poor education, not residing with parents, currently or formerly married, having a child, and being self-referred to VCT services by others were significant predictors of HIV in females. HIV infection was associated with considering oneself at higher risk, though most youth did not recognize this risk. HIV in females was also associated with suspected/confirmed sexually transmitted infection (STI), especially genital ulcers (ORadj=2.28, 95%CI:1.26-4.13), years of sexual activity (Ptrend=0.07), and suspicion that partners had other partners or an STI. Among males, HIV was associated with drug use (though uncommon), as well as sexual debut with a casual/unknown person (ORadj=3.18, 95%CI:1.58-6.42). HIV-infected young people were more likely to be RPR positive and less likely to use condoms. Young Haitians are a key target for HIV prevention and care and avail themselves readily of youth-focused VCT services.
HIV; sexual behavior; adolescent; youth; Haiti; counseling; HIV testing
The objectives of this report were to document the potential presence of Mayaro virus infection in Ecuador and to examine potential risk factors for Mayaro virus infection among the personnel of a military garrison in the Amazonian rainforest.
Materials and Methods:
The study population consisted of the personnel of a garrison located in the Ecuadorian Amazonian rainforest. The cross-sectional study employed interviews and seroepidemiological methods. Humoral immune response to Mayaro virus infection was assessed by evaluating IgM- and IgG-specific antibodies using ELISA.
Of 338 subjects studied, 174 were from the Coastal zone of Ecuador, 73 from Andean zone, and 91 were native to the Amazonian rainforest. Seroprevalence of Mayaro virus infection was more than 20 times higher among Amazonian natives (46%) than among subjects born in other areas (2%).
Age and hunting in the rainforest were significant predictors of Mayaro virus infection overall and among Amazonian natives. The results provide the first demonstration of the potential presence of Mayaro virus infection in Ecuador and a systematic evaluation of risk factors for the transmission of this alphavirus. The large difference in prevalence rates between Amazonian natives and other groups and between older and younger natives suggest that Mayaro virus is endemic and enzootic in the rainforest, with sporadic outbreaks that determine differences in risk between birth cohorts of natives. Deep forest hunting may selectively expose native men, descendants of the Shuar and Huaronai ethnic groups, to the arthropod vectors of Mayaro virus in areas close to primate reservoirs.
Alphavirus; Amazon; Ecuador; Mayaro virus
To describe the prevalence and predictors of condom use and sexual risk in the male clients of Hijra sex workers (HSWs) in Karachi, Pakistan.
Clients of HSWs were recruited with assistance from HSWs and a non-governmental organisation (NGO) focused on men who have sex with men (MSM) during October–November 2010.
The interviewer administered the questionnaire to each participant to solicit information on demographics, HIV/AIDS knowledge/attitudes and sexual risk behaviours/practices, including condom use in the last sexual act with the HSW.
Of the 203 participants, 42.4% reported that they used condoms during their last sexual act with HSW, 40% were married, 18% had ever used drugs or alcohol, and 52% reported also engaging with female sex workers in the last month. Casual HSW clients were more likely to use condoms than regular clients (adjusted OR (AOR), 2.50; 95% CI 1.34 to 4.65), as were persons with a higher education level (AOR 5.8; 95% CI 1.6 to 20.3). Drug/alcohol users and non-users were equally likely to use condoms (AOR 1.11; 95% CI 0.51 to 2.24).
Clients of HSWs in Pakistan are at risk of acquiring HIV/STI infections. Concerted efforts are needed to increase condom use in this key bridge population to curtail the spread of HIV in the general population.
To determine the prevalence of condom use in regular and casual clients of Hijra sex workers.
It is feasible to access hard-to-reach populations.
The intervention programme should also focus on clients.
Strengths and limitations of this study
This is the first study of its kind.
The study involved no HIV testing.
The study gave an incentive to clients and Hijra sex workers for participating in the study.