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1.  Motivations and experiences of women who accessed ‘see and treat’ cervical cancer prevention services in Zambia 
Background
In Zambia, a country with a generalized HIV epidemic, age-adjusted cervical cancer incidence is among the highest worldwide. In 2006, the UAB-Center for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia and the Zambian Ministry of Health launched a visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA)-based “see and treat” cervical cancer prevention program in Lusaka. All services were integrated within existing government-operated primary health care facilities.
Objective
Study aims were to: 1) identify women's motivations for cervical screening; 2) document women's experiences with screening; and 3) describe the potentially reciprocal influences between women undergoing cervical screening and their social networks.
Design & Methods
Focus group discussions (FGD) and in-depth interviews (IDI) were conducted with women who accepted screening and with care providers. Low-level content analysis was performed to identify themes evoked by participants. Between September, 2009 and July, 2010, 60 women and 21 care providers participated in 8 FGD and 10 IDI.
Results
Women presented for screening with varying needs and expectations. A majority discussed their screening decisions and experiences with members of their social networks. Key reinforcing factors and obstacles to VIA screening were identified.
Conclusions
Interventions are needed to gain support for the screening process from influential family members and peers.
doi:10.3109/0167482X.2012.656161
PMCID: PMC4140087  PMID: 22369192
Zambia; cervical cancer; mass screening; HIV/AIDS; access to care; experience with care; social network
2.  Factors Associated with the Acceptability of Male Circumcision among Men in Jamaica 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e75074.
Objectives
To determine the prevalence of male circumcision (MC) among men in the western region of Jamaica, and to identify factors associated with acceptability of MC for self, infants (<1 year) and older sons (1-17 years).
Methods
A cross-sectional, interviewer-administered questionnaire survey of 549 men aged 19-54 years was conducted in the western region of Jamaica. The survey included questions about the acceptance of MC for self, infants, and sons before and after an information session about the benefits of MC in preventing HIV/STI transmission. Logistic regression models were used to identify factors that were associated with acceptability of MC. Adjusted odds ratios (AOR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated from the models.
Results
Fourteen percent of the men reported that they were circumcised. In the multivariable model, which adjusted for age, education, religion and income, there were increased odds of accepting MC for infants/sons among uncircumcised men who accepted MC for self (AOR=8.1; 95% CI = 4.1-15.9), believed they would experience more pleasure during sex if circumcised (AOR=4.0; 95% CI = 2.0-8.2), and reported having no concerns regarding MC (AOR=3.0; 95% CI = 1.8-4.8). Similarly, uncircumcised men who reported no concerns about MC or who believed that they would experience more pleasure during sex if circumcised were more likely to accept MC for self.
Conclusion
Providing men with information about MC increased acceptance of MC for self, infants (<17 years) and sons (1-17 years). Since targeted education on the benefits of male circumcision for prevention of HIV/STI can be effective in increasing acceptability of MC, health professionals should be trained, and willing to discuss MC with men in healthcare facilities and in the community.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0075074
PMCID: PMC3774608  PMID: 24066164
3.  Temporal Trends in Presentation for Outpatient HIV Medical Care 2000–2010: Implications for Short-term Mortality 
Background
Many newly diagnosed patients present to outpatient care with advanced HIV infection. More timely HIV diagnosis and initiation of care has the potential to improve individual health outcomes and has public health implications.
Objective
To assess temporal trends in late presentation for outpatient HIV medial care as measured by CD4 count <200 cells/mm3 and the implications on short-term (1-year) mortality.
Design
We conducted a cohort study nested in a prospective HIV clinical cohort including patients establishing initial outpatient HIV treatment between 2000–2010. Time series regression analysis evaluated temporal trends in late presentation for care measured by the proportion of patients with a CD4 count <200 cells/mm3 or an opportunistic infection at enrollment, and also evaluated trends in short-term mortality.
Participants
Patients establishing initial outpatient HIV treatment between 2000–2010 at an academic HIV clinic.
Main Measures
The proportion of patients with a CD4 count <200 cells/mm3 or an opportunistic infection at initial presentation and short-term (1-year) mortality following clinic enrollment.
Key Results
Among 1121 patients, 41% had an initial CD4 count <200 cells/mm3, 25% had an opportunistic infection and 2.4% died within 1-year of their initial visit. Time series regression analysis demonstrated significant reductions in late presentation for HIV care and decreases in short-term mortality with temporal improvement preceding updated CDC HIV testing recommendations.
Conclusion
We observed a significant decline in the number of patients presenting for outpatient HIV care with advanced disease, particularly in 2006–2010. A significant trend in improved short-term survival among patients establishing HIV care was also observed, likely related to more timely presentation for outpatient care in more recent years.
doi:10.1007/s11606-011-1693-x
PMCID: PMC3138583  PMID: 21465301
HIV; HIV testing; mortality; disparity; health policy
4.  HIV and Hepatitis B and C incidence rates in US correctional populations and high risk groups: a systematic review and meta-analysis 
BMC Public Health  2010;10:777.
Background
High Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) prevalence and high risk behaviors have been well documented within United States (US) correctional systems. However, uncertainty remains regarding the extent to which placing people in prison or jail increases their risk of HIV infection, and regarding which inmate populations experience an increased incidence of HIV. Describing these dynamics more clearly is essential to understanding how inmates and former detainees may be a source for further spread of HIV to the general US population.
Methods
The authors conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies describing HIV incidence in US correctional facility residents and, for comparison, in high risk groups for HIV infection, such as non-incarcerated intravenous drug users (IVDU) and men who have sex with men (MSM) in the US. HIV incidence rates were further compared with Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C Virus rates in these same populations.
Results
Thirty-six predominantly prospective cohort studies were included. Across all infection outcomes, continuously incarcerated inmates and treatment recruited IVDU showed the lowest incidence, while MSM and street recruited IVDU showed the highest. HIV incidence was highest among inmates released and re-incarcerated. Possible sources of heterogeneity identified among HIV studies were risk population and race.
Conclusions
Although important literature gaps were found, current evidence suggests that policies and interventions for HIV prevention in correctional populations should prioritize curtailing risk of infection during the post-release period. Future research should evaluate HIV incidence rates in inmate populations, accounting for proportion of high risk sub-groups.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-10-777
PMCID: PMC3016391  PMID: 21176146
5.  The impact of highly active antiretroviral therapy on prevalence and incidence of cervical human papillomavirus infections in HIV-positive adolescents 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2010;10:295.
Background
The implementation of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) among HIV-positive patients results in immune reconstitution, slower progression of HIV disease, and a decrease in the occurrence of opportunistic infections. However, the impact of HAART on cervical human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, clearance, and persistence in high-risk adolescents remains controversial.
Methods
HIV-positive and high-risk HIV-negative female adolescents were enrolled in the Reaching for Excellence in Adolescent Care and Health (REACH) longitudinal cohort study. At each semi-annual clinical visit, cervical lavage samples were tested for 30 HPV types. Type-specific and carcinogenic risk-specific HPV prevalence and incidence were compared in 373 eligible participants: 146 HIV-negative female adolescents with a median follow-up of 721.5 [IQR: 483-1301] days and 227 HIV-positive female adolescents. Of the 227 HIV-positive participants, a fixed set (n = 100) were examined both before and after HAART initiation; 70 were examined only before HAART initiation; and 57 were examined only after HAART initiation, with overall median follow-up of 271 [IQR: 86.5-473] and 427.25 [IQR: 200-871] days respectively for before and after HAART initiation.
Results
Of the 373 eligible participants, 262 (70%) were infected with at least one type of HPV at baseline, and 78 of the remaining 111 (70%) became infected with at least one type of HPV by the end of the study. Overall, the incidence and prevalence of HPV types 58, 53/66, 68/70, and 31/33/35 were much higher than the established carcinogenic and HPV vaccine types 16 and 18, especially in HIV-positive females both before and after HAART initiation. Baseline prevalence for individual high-risk HPV types ranged, depending on type, from 0.7-10%, 1-17%, and 1-18% in the HIV-negative group, the HIV-positive before HAART initiation group, and the HIV-positive after HAART initiation group, respectively. Likewise, the incidence ranged, depending on HPV type, from 0.64-9.83 cases/100 PY, 3.00-12.80 cases/100 PY, and 1.49-17.05 cases/100 PY in the three groups, respectively. The patterns of each HPV type infection, clearance, and persistence did not differ considerably before or after the introduction of HAART and were clearly independent of CD4+ change within the short post-HAART follow-up period.
Conclusions
HAART did not immediately affect the incidence of type-specific HPV infections within a short-period follow-up; however, future studies are warranted in larger populations to evaluate HAART's impact over longer periods.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-10-295
PMCID: PMC2965148  PMID: 20946655
6.  Short-Term Discontinuation of HAART Regimens More Common in Vulnerable Patient Populations 
AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses  2008;24(11):1347-1355.
Abstract
The durability of HAART regimens is often limited by antiretroviral toxicity and nonadherence, which lead to virologic failure. We sought to determine sociodemographic and psychosocial patient factors predictive of short-term discontinuation of HAART regimens overall and stratified by the reason for discontinuation. A retrospective cohort study of the UAB 1917 Clinic Cohort evaluated short-term HAART regimen discontinuation (within 12 months of regimen initiation) between 1/1995 and 8/2004 classified as (1) gastrointestinal (GI) toxicity, (2) non-GI toxicity, (3) virologic failure or nonadherence (VF/NA), (4) loss to follow-up, and (5) other. Multivariable multinomial logistic regression models accounting for dependent observations were fit to assess the relationship between patient factors and type-specific regimen discontinuation. Among the 738 study participants, 1026 of 1852 HAART regimens (55%) were discontinued within 12 months of initiation. In multivariable analysis, discontinuation for GI toxicity was more common in patients lacking private health insurance and those with a history of intravenous (IV) drug use, whereas non-GI toxicity was more common in younger patients and females. African-American patients and those with a history of IV drug use were more likely to stop a regimen due to VF/NA. Loss to follow-up was more common in younger patients, individuals who were uninsured, and those with a history of IV drug use. Short-term discontinuation of HAART regimens is more common in vulnerable populations that bear a disproportionate burden of the U.S. HIV/AIDS epidemic. More vigilant monitoring of patient populations at higher risk of toxicity and virologic failure may allow for improved HAART regimen durability.
doi:10.1089/aid.2008.0083
PMCID: PMC2928492  PMID: 19032064

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