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author:("Hu, liangshan")
1.  The government of Kenya cash transfer for orphaned and vulnerable children: cross-sectional comparison of household and individual characteristics of those with and without 
The ‘Cash Transfer to Orphans and Vulnerable Children’ (CT-OVC) in Kenya is a government-supported program intended to provide regular and predictable cash transfers (CT) to poor households taking care of OVC. CT programs can be an effective means of alleviating poverty and facilitating the attainment of an adequate standard of living for people’s health and well-being and other international human rights. The objective of this analysis was to compare the household socioeconomic status, school enrolment, nutritional status, and future outlook of orphaned and separated children receiving the CT compared to those not receiving a CT.
This project analyzes baseline data from a cohort of orphaned and separated children aged <19 years and non-orphaned children living in 300 randomly selected households (HH) in 8 Locations of Uasin Gishu County, Kenya. Baseline data were analyzed using multivariable logistic and Poisson regression comparing children in CT-HH vs. non-CT HH. Odds ratios are adjusted (AOR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) for guardian age and sex, child age and sex, and intra-HH correlation.
Included in this analysis were data from 1481 children and adolescents in 300 HH (503 participants in CT, 978 in non-CT households). Overall there were 922 (62.3%) single orphans, 324 (21.9%) double orphans, and 210 (14.2%) participants had both parents alive and were living with them. Participants in CT-HH were less likely to have ≥2 pairs of clothes compared to non-CT HH (AOR: 0.32, 95% CI: 0.16-0.63). Those in CT HH were less likely to have missed any days of school in the preceding month (AOR: 0.62, 95% CI: 0.42-0.94) and those aged <1-18 years in CT-HH were less likely to have height stunting for their age (AOR: 0.65, 95% CI: 0.47-0.89). Participants aged at least 10 years in CT-HH were more likely to have a positive future outlook (AOR: 1.72, 95% CI: 1.12-2.65).
Children and adolescents in households receiving the CT-OVC appear to have better nutritional status, school attendance, and optimism about the future, compared to those in households not receiving the CT, in spite of some evidence of continued material deprivation. Consideration should be given to expanding the program further.
PMCID: PMC4175501  PMID: 25239449
Orphans; Africa; Cash transfer; Nutrition; Food security; Mental health
2.  Social and Economic Characteristics of Street Youth by Gender and Level of Street Involvement in Eldoret, Kenya 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e97587.
Street-connected youth are a neglected and vulnerable population, particularly in resource-constrained settings. The development of interventions and supports for this population requires insight into how they live. This study describes the social and economic characteristics of a convenience sample of street youth (SY) in Eldoret, Kenya.
Participants were eligible if they were aged 12–21, living in Eldoret, spending days only (part-time), or nights and days on the street (full-time) and able and willing to consent or assent. Data were collected using a standardized interview conducted in English or Kiswahili. Binary dependent variables were having been arrested and/or jailed, and first priority for spending money (food vs. other). Nominal categorical dependent variables included major source of support, and major reason for being street-involved. Multivariable analysis used logistic regression models to examine the association of gender and level of street-involvement with social and economic factors of interest adjusting for age and length of time on the street. Data were analyzed using SAS 9.3.
Of the 200 SY enrolled, 41% were female, mean age of 16.3 years; 71% were on the street full-time, and 29% part-time. Compared with part-time SY, full-time SY were more likely to have been arrested (Adjusted Odds Ratio [AOR]: 2.33, 95% Confidence Interval [95%CI]:1.01–5.35), name food as their first spending priority (AOR: 2.57, 95%CI:1.03–6.45), have left home due to violence (AOR: 5.54, 95%CI: 1.67–18.34), and more likely to report friends on the street as a major source of support (AOR: 3.59, 95% CI: 1.01–12.82). Compared with females, males were more likely to have ever been arrested (AOR: 2.66, 95%CI:1.14–6.18), and to have ever been jailed (AOR: 3.22, 95%CI:1.47–7.02).
These results suggest a high degree of heterogeneity and vulnerability among SY in this setting. There is an urgent need for interventions taking into consideration these characteristics.
PMCID: PMC4020866  PMID: 24827584
3.  Genetic Variations and Heterosexual HIV-1 Infection: Analysis of Clustered Genes Encoding CC-motif Chemokine Ligands 
Genes and immunity  2011;13(2):202-205.
Several CC-motif chemokine ligands (CCLs) can block HIV-1 binding sites on CC-motif chemokine receptor 5 (CCR5) and inhibit viral entry. We studied single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in genes encoding three CCR5 ligands [CCL3 (MIP-1α), CCL4 (MIP-1β), and CCL5 (RANTES)] along with an adjacent gene encoding a CCR2 ligand [CCL2 (MCP-1)] to identify candidate markers for HIV-1 infection and pathogenesis. Analyses of 567 HIV-1 serodiscordant Zambian couples revealed that rs5029410C (in CCL3 intron 2) was associated with lower viral load (VL) in seroconverters, adjusted for gender and age (regression β=−0.57 log10, P=4×10−6). In addition, rs34171309A in CCL3 exon 3 was associated with increased risk of HIV-1 acquisition in exposed seronegatives (hazard ratio=1.52, P=0.006 when adjusted for donor VL and genital ulcer/inflammation). The CCL3 exon 3 SNP, encoding a conservative Glu-to-Asp substitution, and five neighboring SNPs in tight linkage disequilibrium all showed similar associations with HIV-1 acquisition. How these multiple CCL3 SNPs may alter the occurrence or course of HIV-1 infection remains to be determined.
PMCID: PMC3559129  PMID: 21975429
HIV-1 transmission; CCL2; CCL3; CCL4; CCL5; SNP
4.  Association of chemokine receptor gene (CCR2-CCR5) haplotypes with acquisition and control of HIV-1 infection in Zambians 
Retrovirology  2011;8:22.
Polymorphisms in chemokine (C-C motif) receptors 2 and 5 genes (CCR2 and CCR5) have been associated with HIV-1 infection and disease progression. We investigated the impact of CCR2-CCR5 haplotypes on HIV-1 viral load (VL) and heterosexual transmission in an African cohort. Between 1995 and 2006, cohabiting Zambian couples discordant for HIV-1 (index seropositive and HIV-1 exposed seronegative {HESN}) were monitored prospectively to determine the role of host genetic factors in HIV-1 control and heterosexual transmission. Genotyping for eight CCR2 and CCR5 variants resolved nine previously recognized haplotypes. By regression and survival analytic techniques, controlling for non-genetic factors, we estimated the effects of these haplotypic variants on a) index partner VL, b) seroconverter VL, c) HIV-1 transmission by index partners, d) HIV-1 acquisition by HESN partners.
Among 567 couples, 240 virologically linked transmission events had occurred through 2006. HHF*2 homozygosity was associated with significantly lower VL in seroconverters (mean beta = -0.58, log10 P = 0.027) and the HHD/HHE diplotype was associated with significantly higher VL in the seroconverters (mean beta = 0.54, log10 P = 0.014) adjusted for age and gender in multivariable model. HHD/HHE was associated with more rapid acquisition of infection by the HESNs (HR = 2.0, 95% CI = 1.20-3.43, P = 0.008), after adjustments for index partner VL and the presence of genital ulcer or inflammation in either partner in Cox multivariable models. The HHD/HHE effect was stronger in exposed females (HR = 2.1, 95% CI = 1.14-3.95, P = 0.018).
Among Zambian discordant couples, HIV-1 coreceptor gene haplotypes and diplotypes appear to modulate HIV-1 VL in seroconverters and alter the rate of HIV-1 acquisition by HESNs. These associations replicate or resemble findings reported in other African and European populations.
PMCID: PMC3075214  PMID: 21429204
5.  Human Leukocyte Antigens and HIV Type 1 Viral Load in Early and Chronic Infection: Predominance of Evolving Relationships 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(3):e9629.
During untreated, chronic HIV-1 infection, plasma viral load (VL) is a relatively stable quantitative trait that has clinical and epidemiological implications. Immunogenetic research has established various human genetic factors, especially human leukocyte antigen (HLA) variants, as independent determinants of VL set-point.
Methodology/Principal Findings
To identify and clarify HLA alleles that are associated with either transient or durable immune control of HIV-1 infection, we evaluated the relationships of HLA class I and class II alleles with VL among 563 seroprevalent Zambians (SPs) who were seropositive at enrollment and 221 seroconverters (SCs) who became seropositive during quarterly follow-up visits. After statistical adjustments for non-genetic factors (sex and age), two unfavorable alleles (A*3601 and DRB1*0102) were independently associated with high VL in SPs (p<0.01) but not in SCs. In contrast, favorable HLA variants, mainly A*74, B*13, B*57 (or Cw*18), and one HLA-A and HLA-C combination (A*30+Cw*03), dominated in SCs; their independent associations with low VL were reflected in regression beta estimates that ranged from −0.47±0.23 to −0.92±0.32 log10 in SCs (p<0.05). Except for Cw*18, all favorable variants had diminishing or vanishing association with VL in SPs (p≤0.86).
Overall, each of the three HLA class I genes had at least one allele that might contribute to effective immune control, especially during the early course of HIV-1 infection. These observations can provide a useful framework for ongoing analyses of viral mutations induced by protective immune responses.
PMCID: PMC2835758  PMID: 20224785
6.  Genetic Epidemiology of Glioblastoma Multiforme: Confirmatory and New Findings from Analyses of Human Leukocyte Antigen Alleles and Motifs 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(9):e7157.
Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I genes mediate cytotoxic T-lymphocyte responses and natural killer cell function. In a previous study, several HLA-B and HLA-C alleles and haplotypes were positively or negatively associated with the occurrence and prognosis of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM).
Methodology/Principal Findings
As an extension of the Upper Midwest Health Study, we have performed HLA genotyping for 149 GBM patients and 149 healthy control subjects from a non-metropolitan population consisting almost exclusively of European Americans. Conditional logistic regression models did not reproduce the association of HLA-B*07 or the B*07-Cw*07 haplotype with GBM. Nonetheless, HLA-A*32, which has previously been shown to predispose GBM patients to a favorable prognosis, was negatively associated with occurrence of GBM (odds ratio = 0.41, p = 0.04 by univariate analysis). Other alleles (A*29, A*30, A*31 and A*33) within the A19 serology group to which A*32 belongs showed inconsistent trends. Sequencing-based HLA-A genotyping established that A*3201 was the single A*32 allele underlying the observed association. Additional evaluation of HLA-A promoter and exon 1 sequences did not detect any unexpected single nucleotide polymorphisms that could suggest differential allelic expression. Further analyses restricted to female GBM cases and controls revealed a second association with a specific HLA-B sequence motif corresponding to Bw4-80Ile (odds ratio = 2.71, p = 0.02).
HLA-A allelic product encoded by A*3201 is likely to be functionally important to GBM. The novel, sex-specific association will require further confirmation in other representative study populations.
PMCID: PMC2742900  PMID: 19774073

Results 1-6 (6)