Hawthorn (Crataegus spp.) is an important pome with a long history as a fruit, an ornamental, and a source of medicine. Fruits of hawthorn are marked by hard stony endocarps, but a hawthorn germplasm with soft and thin endocarp was found in Liaoning province of China. To elucidate the molecular mechanism underlying the soft endocarp of hawthorn, we conducted a de novo assembly of the fruit transcriptome of Crataegus pinnatifida and compared gene expression profiles between the soft-endocarp and the hard-endocarp hawthorn varieties. De novo assembly yielded 52,673 putative unigenes, 20.4% of which are longer than 1,000 bp. Among the high-quality unique sequences, 35,979 (68.3%) had at least one significant match to an existing gene model. A total of 1,218 genes, represented 2.31% total putative unigenes, were differentially expressed between the soft-endocarp hawthorn and the hard-endocarp hawthorn. Among these differentially expressed genes, a number of lignin biosynthetic pathway genes were down-regulated while almost all the flavonoid biosynthetic pathway genes were strongly up-regulated, concomitant with the formation of soft endocarp. In addition, we have identified some MYB and NAC transcription factors that could potentially control lignin and flavonoid biosynthesis. The altered expression levels of the genes encoding lignin biosynthetic enzymes, MYB and NAC transcription factors were confirmed by quantitative RT-PCR. This is the first transcriptome analysis of Crataegus genus. The high quality ESTs generated in this study will aid future gene cloning from hawthorn. Our study provides important insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying soft endocarp formation in hawthorn.
For children affected by AIDS, one psychological challenge is whether or how to disclose their parents' HIV status to others (secondary disclosure). The current study, utilizing data from 962 rural children affected by AIDS in central China, examines children's perceptions regarding secondary disclosure (intention of disclosure, openness, and negative feelings) and their association with children's demographic and psychosocial factors. The findings indicated that a high proportion of children preferred not to disclose parental HIV status to others, would not like to tell the truth to others in the situations of having to talk about parental HIV, and also had strong negative feelings about the disclosure. The study findings confirmed that keeping secrecy of parental HIV infection was associated with higher level of negative psychological outcomes (e.g., depression, loneliness, perceived stigma, and enacted stigma), and children's age was strongly associated with both their perceptions of secondary disclosure and psychological measures.
Limited data suggested that the prevalence of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) among female sex workers (FSW) is much higher than in the general female population. The current study aimed to examine the HPV and cervical cancer related awareness, knowledge, and behaviors among FSW in China.
A total of 360 FSW recruited from entertainment establishments in Beijing completed a self-administered survey including demographics, HPV related knowledge, and health-seeking and cervical cancer preventive behaviors.
Approximately 70.8% of the participants ever heard of cervical cancer, and as few as 22.1% and 13.3% ever heard of HPV and HPV vaccine, respectively. The mean score on a 7-item knowledge scale was 2.2 (SD = 2.4). Less than 10% of FSW perceived any risk of cervical cancer, and only 15.3% ever had a Pap smear. About 40.8% of FSW would accept HPV vaccine if it is free, and 21.8% would accept it even with a charge. Multivariate regression suggested that women with better knowledge of cervical cancer were more likely to have a Pap smear (aOR = 1.35); women who had tested for HIV were 11 times more likely to have a Pap smear, and women who had worked longer in commercial sex (aOR = 1.01) and had regular health check-ups (aOR = 1.95) were more likely to accept HPV vaccine.
Our study underscores the needs for effective cervical cancer prevention programs for FSW in China and other resource-limited countries. We specifically call for cervical cancer and HPV knowledge and awareness programs and regular screening as well as HPV risk-reduction programs for these vulnerable women.
Cervical cancer; HPV; Female sex workers; Prevention
Positron emission tomography (PET) imaging with [F-18]-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (18F-FDG) is extensively applied in clinical practice. However, in animal experiments, the application of clinical PET is difficult, due to limitations in sensitivity and spatial resolution. This study aimed to determine the potential of 18F-FDG PET with regard to the imaging of human laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma (LSCC) xenografts. Twenty-seven LSCC tumor-bearing nude mice were divided randomly into seven groups which were each handled differently; the anesthetization, fasting, warming and the time point at which scanning was initiated were varied. The size of each xenograft was measured prior to conducting the scan. Using the RAMLA 3D image reconstruction method, images were acquired. The region of interest (ROI) technology was adopted to calculate target and non-target (T/N) ratios. The results were subsequently analyzed by semiquantitative analysis. The analysis showed that there was no significant correlation between tumor size and PET image quality (r=0.381, P>0.05); however, the handling conditions of the mice had a greater influence on the tumor image quality. Fasting increased 18F-FDG uptake (T/N, 1.153±0.008) to a certain degree, although the effect was unstable. By contrast, combining warming and fasting increased 18F-FDG uptake significantly (T/N, 2.0±0.29; P<0.05). The acquisition time had no impact on the tumor image quality. The study demonstrated that the application of clinical PET scanning has potential in the study of human LSCC xenografts in nude mice, and that the quality of the image of the tumor is greatly influenced by the handling conditions of the animals.
laryngeal carcinoma; positron emission tomography; nude mice; xenograft; animal handling
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is closely associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus. We investigated whether the deposition of fat in the liver is associated with glycemic abnormalities and evaluated the contribution of the liver fat content (LFC) to the impaired glucose regulation. We conducted a community-based study among 2836 residents (1018 males and 1818 females) without prior known diabetes mellitus from the Changfeng Study who were at least 45 years old. A standard interview, anthropometrics and laboratory parameters were performed for each participant. The standardised ultrasound hepatic-renal echo-intensity and hepatic echo-intensity attenuation rate were used to assess the LFC. The cohort was stratified according to the quintiles for LFC. Two-hour glucose and fasting blood glucose increased across the LFC quintiles after adjustment for age and gender. LFC increased continuously among glucose categories after adjustment for age and gender (NGT: 7.7±0.3%, IFG: 10.0±0.8%, IGT: 11.8±0.5%, IFG+IGT: 11.7±0.9%, new- DM: 12.4±0.6%, P<0.001). By logistic regression analysis, 1% LFC increment independently predicted prediabetes and diabetes (OR 1.032, 1.019–1.045, P<0.001; 1.021, 1.005–1.037, P = 0.012, respectively) after adjustment for all potential confounders. Furthermore, participants with LFC higher than 10% had higher odds ratios of impaired glucose regulation as compared with those with LFC below 10% in fully adjusted logistic models. These results suggest that the LFC is strongly associated with impaired glucose regulation in the Chinese population, and that an even slightly elevated LFC is associated with increased glucose dysregulation.
While the properties of biochar are closely related to its functional groups, it is unclear under what conditions biochar develops its properties. In this study, two-dimensional (2D) 13C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) correlation spectroscopy was for the first time applied to investigate the development of functional groups and establish their relationship with biochar properties. The results showed that the agricultural biomass carbonized to biochars was a dehydroxylation/dehydrogenation and aromatization process, mainly involving the cleavage of O-alkylated carbons and anomeric O-C-O carbons in addition to the production of fused-ring aromatic structures and aromatic C-O groups. With increasing charring temperature, the mass cleavage of O-alkylated groups and anomeric O-C-O carbons occurred prior to the production of fused-ring aromatic structures. The regression analysis between functional groups and biochar properties (pH and electrical conductivity) further demonstrated that the pH and electrical conductivity of rice straw derived biochars were mainly determined by fused-ring aromatic structures and anomeric O-C-O carbons, but the pH of rice bran derived biochars was determined by both fused-ring aromatic structures and aliphatic O-alkylated (HCOH) carbons. In summary, this work suggests a novel tool for characterising the development of functional groups in biochars.
To assess the relative importance of four different measures of HIV-related stigma in predicting psychological problems among children affected by HIV in rural China.
Cross-sectional data were collected from 755 orphans (i.e., children who lost one or both of their parents to HIV), 466 vulnerable children (children who were living with HIV-infected parents), and 404 comparison children who were from the same community and did not have HIV-related illness or death in their families. Four HIV-related stigma measures include perceived public stigma against people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA), perceived public stigma against children affected by HIV (orphans and vulnerable children), personal stigmatizing attitudes against PLWHA, and enacted stigma among children affected by HIV. Psychological problems included depression and adjustment problems.
Various measures of HIV-related stigma independently and differentially contribute to children psychological problems. Enacted stigma and children's perceived public stigma against PLWHA or children affected by HIV are generally stronger predictors of psychological problems than their own feelings or attitudes towards PLWHA.
Various aspects of HIV-related stigma are important for us to understand the perception, attitudes, and experience of children affected by HIV, including both children experiencing HIV-related parental illness and death in their own family and children who were living in the communities hardly hit by HIV. Future health promotion and psychological care efforts for children affected by HIV need to consider the effect of various forms of HIV-related stigma on these children's psychosocial well-being and mobilize the community resources to mitigate the negative effect of HIV-related stigma on PLWHA and their children.
Perceived stigma; Personal stigma; Enacted stigma; HIV; Children; China
Previous research has revealed a negative impact of orphanhood and HIV-related stigma on the psychological well-being of children affected by HIV/AIDS. Little is known about psychological protective factors that can mitigate the effect of orphanhood and HIV-related stigma on psychological well-being. This research examines the relationships among several risk and protective factors for depression symptoms using structural equation modeling. Cross-sectional data were collected from 755 AIDS orphans and 466 children of HIV-positive parents aged 6–18 years in 2006–2007 in rural central China. Participants reported their experiences of traumatic events, perceived HIV-related stigma, perceived social support, future orientation, trusting relationships with current caregivers, and depression symptoms. We found that the experience of traumatic events and HIV-related stigma had a direct contributory effect on depression among children affected by HIV/AIDS. Trusting relationships together with future orientation and perceived social support mediated the effects of traumatic events and HIV-related stigma on depression. The final model demonstrated a dynamic interplay among future orientation, perceived social support and trusting relationships. Trusting relationships was the most proximate protective factor for depression. Perceived social support and future orientation were positively related to trusting relationships. We conclude that perceived social support, trusting relationships, and future orientation offer multiple levels of protection that can mitigate the effect of traumatic events and HIV-related stigma on depression. Trusting relationships with caregivers provides the most immediate source of psychological support. Future prevention interventions seeking to improve psychological well-being among children affected by HIV/AIDS should attend to these factors.
China; AIDS orphans; experience of traumatic events; perceived HIV-related stigma; perceived social support; future orientation; trusting relationships; depression
Aquareovirus particle is comprised of central core and outer capsid, which is built by seven structural proteins (VP1-VP7). The protein VP6 has been identified to be a clamp protein of stabilizing inner core frame VP3, and bridging outer shell protein VP5. However, the biological properties of VP6 in viral life cycle remain unknown.
The recombinant VP6 (rVP6) of aquareovirus was expressed in E. coli, and the polyclonal antibody against VP6 was generated by using purified rVP6 in this study. Following the preparation of VP6 antibody, the VP6 component in aquareovirus infected cells and purified viral particles was detected by Immunoblotting (IB) assay. Furthermore, using Immunofluorescence (IF) microscopy, singly transfected VP6 protein was observed to exhibit a diffuse distribution mainly in the cytoplasm, while it appeared inclusion phenotype in infected cells. Meanwhile, inclusion structures were also identified when VP6 was coexpressed with nonstructural protein NS80 in cotransfected cells.
VP6 can be recruited by NS80 to its inclusions in both infected and transfected cells. The colocalization of VP6 and NS80 is corresponding to their homologous proteins σ2 and μNS in MRV. Our results suggest that VP6 may play a significant role in viral replication and particle assembly.
Aquareovirus; Structural protein VP6; NS80; Colocalization
Despite recognized vulnerability of female sex workers (FSW), most data on this population are focused on their HIV and STI prevalence; studies on their experience of partner violence and psychosocial distress are limited, especially FSW in China.
Methods and Findings
A cross-sectional survey was administered among 1,022 FSW recruited from 9 different types of commercial sex venues in Southwest China. Partner violence scales were adapted from WHO's Women's Health and Domestic Violence scale and psychosocial distress was measured by five indicators, including alcohol intoxication, drug use, suicidal behavior, depression, and loneliness. Random effects modeling was used to control for cluster effects. Findings: About 58% of FSW ever experienced violence from their stable partners, and 45% suffered it from their clients. Partner violence was strongly associated with each of the five measures of psychosocial distress, even after controlling for potential confounders.
This study is one of the first to examine the association between partner violence and psychosocial distress among FSW in China. The high prevalence of violence experience and distress in this population suggests urgency for intervention. The public health programs targeting FSW should go beyond the focus on HIV/STI prevention and care for the fundamental health and human rights of millions of FSW in China.
Hyperthermia (HT) has been proven to be able to alter the invasion capacity of cancer cells. However, the detailed mechanisms responsible for the anti-metastasis effects of HT have not been elucidated. N-myc downstream-regulated gene 2 (NDRG2), as a member of the NDRG family, has been suggested to be highly responsive to various stresses and is associated with tumor suppression. The present study aimed to investigate the biological role of NDRG2 in the invasion of human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells exposed to HT. We found that NDRG2 could be induced by HT at 45°C. In addition, NDRG2 overexpression inhibited the expression of matrix metallo proteinases-2 (MMP-2) and MMP-9 as well as the invasion of HCC cells, whereas knockingdown NDRG2 reversed the anti-invasion effect of HT in vivo. Further investigation revealed that the phosphorylation level of ERK1/2, but not that of JNK and p38MAPK, was reduced in NDRG2 overexpressing cells. Moreover, the knockdown of NDRG2 expression resulted in increased cell invasion, which was rescued by treating the HepG2 cells with the ERK1/2 inhibitor PD98059, but not with the p38MAPK inhibitor SB203580 or the JNK inhibitor SP600125. Finally, the synergistic cooperation of HT at 43°C and NDRG2 expression effectively reduced cytotoxicity and promoted the anti-invasion effect of HT at 45°C. Taken together, these data suggest that NDRG2 can be induced by HT and that it mediates the HT-caused inhibition of invasion in HCC cells by suppressing the ERK1/2 signaling pathway. The combined application of constitutive NDRG2 expression with HT may yield an optimized therapeutic benefit.
To assess the long-term impact of HIV-prevention interventions delivered to youth before sexual initiation and the effects of interventions delivered in non-study settings.
A five-group comparison of HIV knowledge, and condom-use skills, self-efficacy, intentions and practice among 1997 grade 10 youth attending one of the eight government high schools in Nassau, The Bahamas. Group 1 received an HIV-prevention intervention, Focus on youth in the Caribbean (FOYC), in Grade 6 as part of a randomized trial; Group 2 received FOYC as part of the regular school curriculum but outside of the trial; Group 3 received the control condition as part of the trial; Group 4 received the control condition as part of the school curriculum but outside of the trial; and, Group 5 (Naïve Controls) were not enrolled in a school receiving FOYC or the control and did not participate in the trial.
FOYC youth compared to control youth and Naive Controls had higher HIV knowledge, condom-use skills and self-efficacy four years later. By subgroups, Group 1 demonstrated higher HIV/AIDS knowledge than all groups except Group 2, higher condom skills than all groups, and higher condom self-efficacy than Naïve Controls. Youth in Group 2 demonstrated higher HIV knowledge than youth in Groups 3 to 5. Behavioral effects were not found.
FOYC delivered to grade 6 students continued to have protective effects four years later. Positive effects are present among youth who received FOYC as part of the school curriculum but were not enrolled in the trial.
HIV Prevention; pre-adolescents; long-term follow-up; testing effect
Despite efforts to understand and treat acute myeloid leukemia (AML), there remains a need for more comprehensive therapies to prevent AML-associated relapses. To identify new therapeutic strategies for AML, we screened a library of on- and off-patent drugs and identified the antimalarial agent mefloquine as a compound that selectively kills AML cells and AML stem cells in a panel of leukemia cell lines and in mice. Using a yeast genome-wide functional screen for mefloquine sensitizers, we identified genes associated with the yeast vacuole, the homolog of the mammalian lysosome. Consistent with this, we determined that mefloquine disrupts lysosomes, directly permeabilizes the lysosome membrane, and releases cathepsins into the cytosol. Knockdown of the lysosomal membrane proteins LAMP1 and LAMP2 resulted in decreased cell viability, as did treatment of AML cells with known lysosome disrupters. Highlighting a potential therapeutic rationale for this strategy, leukemic cells had significantly larger lysosomes compared with normal cells, and leukemia-initiating cells overexpressed lysosomal biogenesis genes. These results demonstrate that lysosomal disruption preferentially targets AML cells and AML progenitor cells, providing a rationale for testing lysosomal disruption as a novel therapeutic strategy for AML.
Unlike maternal inheritance of mitochondria in sexual reproduction, somatic hybrids follow no obvious pattern. The introgressed segment orf138 from the mitochondrial genome of radish (Raphanus sativus) to its counterpart in rapeseed (Brassica napus) demonstrates that this inheritance mode derives from the cytoplasm of both parents. Sequencing of the complete mitochondrial genome of five species from Brassica family allowed the prediction of other extraneous sources of the cybrids from the radish parent, and the determination of their mitochondrial rearrangement.
We obtained the complete mitochondrial genome of Ogura-cms-cybrid (oguC) rapeseed. To date, this is the first time that a heterogeneously composed mitochondrial genome was sequenced. The 258,473 bp master circle constituted of 33 protein-coding genes, 3 rRNA sequences, and 23 tRNA sequences. This mitotype noticeably holds two copies of atp9 and is devoid of cox2-2. Relative to nap mitochondrial genome, 40 point mutations were scattered in the 23 protein-coding genes. atp6 even has an abnormal start locus whereas tatC has an abnormal end locus. The rearrangement of the 22 syntenic regions that comprised 80.11% of the genome was influenced by short repeats. A pair of large repeats (9731 bp) was responsible for the multipartite structure. Nine unique regions were detected when compared with other published Brassica mitochondrial genome sequences. We also found six homologous chloroplast segments (Brassica napus).
The mitochondrial genome of oguC is quite divergent from nap and pol, which are more similar with each other. We analyzed the unique regions of every genome of the Brassica family, and found that very few segments were specific for these six mitotypes, especially cam, jun, and ole, which have no specific segments at all. Therefore, we conclude that the most specific regions of oguC possibly came from radish. Compared with the chloroplast genome, six identical regions were found in the seven mitochondrial genomes, which show that the Brassica family has a stable chloroplast-derived source.
Sample representativeness remains one of the challenges in effective HIV/STD surveillance and prevention targeting MSM worldwide. Although convenience samples are widely used in studies of MSM, previous studies suggested that these samples might not be representative of the broader MSM population. This issue becomes even more critical in many developing countries where needed resources for conducting probability sampling are limited. We examined variations in HIV and Syphilis infections and sociodemographic and behavioral factors among 307 young migrant MSM recruited using four different convenience sampling methods (peer outreach, informal social network, Internet, and venue-based) in Beijing, China in 2009. The participants completed a self-administered survey and provided blood specimens for HIV/STD testing. Among the four MSM samples using different recruitment methods, rates of HIV infections were 5.1%, 5.8%, 7.8%, and 3.4%; rates of Syphilis infection were 21.8%, 36.2%, 11.8%, and 13.8%; rates of inconsistent condom use were 57%, 52%, 58%, and 38%. Significant differences were found in various sociodemographic characteristics (e.g., age, migration history, education, income, places of employment) and risk behaviors (e.g., age at first sex, number of sex partners, involvement in commercial sex, and substance use) among samples recruited by different sampling methods. The results confirmed the challenges of obtaining representative MSM samples and underscored the importance of using multiple sampling methods to reach MSM from diverse backgrounds and in different social segments and to improve the representativeness of the MSM samples when the use of probability sampling approach is not feasible.
HIV; MSM; Migrant workers; Sampling methods; China
Women working in China’s entertainment industry are at increased risk of acquiring or transmitting HIV/STIs. Efforts to develop effective risk-reduction interventions for female entertainment workers remain limited. We conducted a randomized controlled trial of a theory-based risk-reduction intervention among female entertainment workers in Shanghai. The intervention condition consisted of small group, peer-assisted sessions integrating information, motivation, and behavioral skills (IMB) training with social influences of behavior change. The control condition was an attention-matched HIV and health education and counseling. At 3-month post-intervention, participants in the intervention condition reported greater reductions in unprotected sex with a stable partner than participants in the control condition. However, participants in the control condition reported greater reductions in unprotected sex with a non-stable partner than participants in the intervention condition. Some aspects of the study design may have diluted the effects of the intervention. Future intervention studies need to pay more attention to social influences of behavior change and the particular challenges of risk-reduction with stable partner(s).
HIV behavioral intervention; intervention efficacy; female entertainment worker; unprotected sex; China
The tumor stroma, consisting of non-malignant cells and the extracellular matrix, undergoes significant quantitative and qualitative changes throughout malignant transformation and tumor progression. With increasing recognition of the role of the tumor microenvironment in disease progression, stromal components of the tumor have become attractive targets for therapeutic intervention. Stromal accumulation of the glycosaminoglycan hyaluronan occurs in many tumor types and is frequently associated with a negative disease prognosis. Hyaluronan interacts with other extracellular molecules as well as cellular receptors to form a complex interaction network influencing physicochemical properties, signal transduction, and biological behavior of cancer cells. In preclinical animal models, enzymatic removal of hyaluronan is associated with remodeling of the tumor stroma, reduction of tumor interstitial fluid pressure, expansion of tumor blood vessels and facilitated delivery of chemotherapy. This leads to inhibition of tumor growth and increased survival. Current evidence shows that abnormal accumulation of hyaluronan may be an important stromal target for cancer therapy. In this review we highlight the role of hyaluronan and hyaluronan-mediated interactions in cancer, and discuss historical and recent data on hyaluronidase-based therapies and the effect of hyaluronan removal on tumor growth.
cancer; tumor stroma; hyaluronan; hyaluronidase; PEGPH20
to examine the relationship between parental loss, trusting relationship with current caregivers, and psychosocial adjustment among children affected by AIDS in China.
Cross-sectional data were collected from 755 AIDS orphans (296 double orphans and 459 single orphans), 466 vulnerable children living with HIV-infected parents, and 404 comparison children in China. The trusting relationship with current caregivers was measured with a 15-item scale (Cronbach alpha=.84) modified from the Trusting Relationship Questionnaire (TRQ) developed by Mustillo and colleagues (2005). The psychosocial measures include rule compliance/acting out, anxiety/withdrawal, peer social skills, school interest, depressive symptoms, loneliness, self-esteem, future expectation, hopefulness about future, and perceived control over the future.
Group mean comparisons using ANOVA suggested a significant association (p<.0001) between the trusting relationship with current caregivers and all the psychosocial measures except anxiety and depression. These associations remained significant in General Linear Model analysis, controlling for children's gender, age, family SES, orphan status (orphans, vulnerable children, and comparison children), and appropriate interaction terms among factor variables.
The findings in the current study support the global literature on the importance of attachment relationship with caregivers in promoting children's psychosocial development. Future prevention intervention efforts to improve AIDS orphans' psychosocial well-being will need to take into consideration the quality of the child's attachment relationships with current caregivers and help their current caregivers to improve the quality of care for these children. Future study is needed to explore the possible reasons for the lack of association between a trusting relationship and some internalizing symptoms such as anxiety and depression among children affected by HIV/AIDS.
Trusting relationship; AIDS; Orphans; Vulnerable children; Psychosocial adjustment
When parents die of or are infected with HIV, children might have to leave their own household and be displaced to other living arrangement and some may even be displaced multiple times. The objective of this study is to examine the association between household displacement and health risk behaviors among AIDS orphans (children who have lost one or both of their parents to HIV/AIDS) and vulnerable children (children living with HIV-infected parents) in rural China.
The sample consisted of 1015 children (549 AIDS orphans, 466 vulnerable children) in family-based care. The children were assigned to three displacement groups according to the number of household displacement (i.e., none, once, at least twice) after their parents became ill or died of AIDS. Cigarette smoking, alcohol use, violence, public property destruction, suicidal ideation, and suicide attempt were used to assess the health risk behaviors of these children. Both bivariate and multivariate tests were used to assess the differences in health risk behaviors among displacement groups.
The findings indicated that children who were displaced at least twice were more likely to report a higher frequency of public property destruction and suicide ideation than those who were never displaced or displaced once. Multivariate analysis revealed that public property destruction, suicide ideation and suicide attempt were significantly associated with the household displacement among these children, controlling for gender, age, child status (AIDS orphans vs. vulnerable children) and the duration of household displacement.
Results in the current study suggest that a stable living environment was important for both AID orphans and vulnerable children in communities of high prevalence of HIV/AIDS. The government, community and other agencies need to make efforts to avoid frequent household displacement among these children after the HIV-related infection or death of their parents.
HIV/AIDS; Health risk behaviors; Children; Household displacement; China
While the relationship between perceived social support (PSS) and psychosocial wellbeing has been well documented in the global literature, existing studies also suggest the existence of multiple domains in definition and measurement of PSS. The current study, utilizing data from 1,299 rural children affected by HIV/AIDS in central China, examines the relative importance of PSS functional measures (informational/emotional, material/tangible, affectionate, and social interaction) and PSS structural measures (family/relatives, teachers, friends, and significant others) in predicting psychosocial outcomes including internalizing problems, externalizing problems, and educational resilience. Both functional and structural measures of PSS provided reliable measures of related but unique aspects of PSS. The findings of the current study confirmed the previous results that PSS is highly correlated with children's psychosocial wellbeing and such correlations vary by functions and sources of the PPS as well as different psychosocial outcomes. The findings in the current study suggested the roles of specific social support functions or resources may need to be assessed in relation to specific psychosocial outcome and the context of children's lives. The strong association between PSS and psychosocial outcomes underscores the importance of adequate social support to alleviate stressful life events and improve psychosocial wellbeing of children affected by HIV/AIDS. Meanwhile, the study findings call for gender and developmentally appropriate and situation specific social support for children and families affected by HIV/AIDS.
Perceived Social Support; Orphans; China; Internalizing Problems; Externalizing Problems; Educational Resilience; HIV/AIDS
The present study randomly assigned 15 Bahamian elementary schools to one of three intervention conditions. To assess the adequacy of cluster randomization, we examined two concerns identified by the local research team: inequality of gender distribution and environmental risk among groups. Baseline significant differences in risk and protective behaviors were minimal. There were significantly more males in the intervention group. Males had higher rates of risk behavior at all assessments. Poor school performance was also higher among the intervention condition and was significantly associated with increased rates of many but not all risk behaviors. Prior to adjusting for gender and school performance, several risk behaviors appeared to be higher after intervention among intervention youth. Adjusting for gender and school performance eradicated the group differences in risk behavior rates. Results demonstrate the importance of adequate randomization where outcomes of interest are rare events at baseline or differ by gender and there is an unequal gender distribution and the importance of the local research team's knowledge of potential inequalities in environmental risk (i.e., school performance). Not considering such individual differences could impact the integrity of trial outcomes.
This study assessed the prevalence of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) and its association with psychosocial outcomes among children in high HIV-prevalence communities in rural China. Data were collected from HIV orphans (n = 417; children who had lost one or both parents to HIV), vulnerable children (n = 326; children living with HIV-infected parents), and comparison children (n = 276; children who had not experienced HIV-related familial illness or death). About 30% reported having experienced at least 1 form of CSA; more boys (37%) than girls (24%) reported CSA; 24% reported only non-physical CSA, 5% reported both physical and non-physical CSA; 2% reported only physical CSA. Multivariate analysis revealed that CSA was significantly associated with problem behaviors and quality of life independent of key demographic factors. Findings suggest that these children were vulnerable to CSA and highlight the need to address the issues of CSA in this population.
children; childhood sexual abuse; China; HIV; psychosocial outcomes
Status-based discrimination and inequity have been associated with the process of migration, especially with economics-driven internal migration. However, their association with mental health among economy-driven internal migrants in developing countries is rarely assessed. This study examines discriminatory experiences and perceived social inequity in relation to mental health status among rural-to-urban migrants in China. Cross-sectional data were collected from 1,006 rural-to-urban migrants in 2004–2005 in Beijing, China. Participants reported their perceptions and experiences of being discriminated in daily life in urban destination and perceived social inequity. Mental health was measured using the symptom checklist-90 (SCL-90). Multivariate analyses using general linear model were performed to test the effect of discriminatory experience and perceived social inequity on mental health. Experience of discrimination was positively associated with male gender, being married at least once, poorer health status, shorter duration of migration, and middle range of personal income. Likewise, perceived social inequity was associated with poorer health status, higher education attainment, and lower personal income. Multivariate analyses indicate that both experience of discrimination and perceived social inequity were strongly associated with mental health problems of rural-to-urban migrants. Experience of discrimination in daily life and perceived social inequity have a significant influence on mental health among rural-to-urban migrants. The findings underscore the needs to reduce public or societal discrimination against rural-to-urban migrants, to eliminate structural barriers (i.e., dual household registrations) for migrants to fully benefit from the urban economic development, and to create a positive atmosphere to improve migrant's psychological well-being.
China; Rural-to-urban migrants; Discrimination; Perceived social inequity; Mental health; SCL-90
There is an estimated 100 000 children orphaned by AIDS in China, but data on the care arrangement of these orphans are limited. In this study, we examine the relationship between AIDS orphans’ care arrangement and their psychosocial well-being among a sample of AIDS orphans in rural China. A total of 296 children who lost both parents to AIDS participated in the study, including 176 in orphanages, 90 in kinship care and 30 in community-based group homes. All participants completed a cross-sectional survey assessing their traumatic symptoms, physical health and schooling. Data reveal that the AIDS orphans in group homes reported the best outcomes in three domains of psychosocial well-being, followed by those in the orphanages and then the kinship care. The differences in psychosocial well-being among the three groups of children persist after controlling for key demographic characteristics. The findings suggest that the appropriate care arrangement for AIDS orphans should be evaluated within the specific social and cultural context where the orphans live. In resource-poor regions or areas stricken hardest by the AIDS epidemic, kinship care may not sufficiently serve the needs of AIDS orphans. Community-based care models, with appropriate government and community support preserving the family style and low child-to-caregiver ratio may constitute an effective and sustainable care model for the best interest of the AIDS orphans in developing countries.
AIDS orphans; care arrangement; psychosocial well-being; China; resource-poor regions