Little is known about how the structure of work affects adherence to HIV antiretroviral therapy. We surveyed participants in an adherence intervention study to learn more about job characteristics, including measures of psychological demand and control, and job accommodations. Adherence was assessed using the Medication Event Monitoring System (MEMS). Of 156 trial subjects, 69 were employed, and these 69 made 229 study visits. Psychological demands and control were unrelated to adherence, but the presence of workplace accommodations was significantly associated with adherence (p <0.05). In multivariable models adjusting for clustering, those who reported having received an accommodation were 12% more adherent than those who did not receive an accommodation. Adherence was unrelated to experiencing side effects affecting work performance. Having the ability to institute job accommodations was more important to adherence than the psychosocial structure of the work. These potential benefits of requesting modifications need to be weighed against the possible risks of workplace disclosure.
Patient compliance; HIV infection; employment; Anti-HIV Agents/therapeutic use
This study assessed acceptability of the candidate microbicide VivaGel® and two placebo gels among 61 sexually active young US and Puerto Rican women at three sites. Participants were randomly assigned to use one of the gels twice per day for 14 days. At trial completion, 59% of the women in the VivaGel® group reported being likely to use the gel in the future, whereas 23% were unlikely to use it and 18% were undecided. Participants reported problems with all three gels, including the “universal” placebo containing hydroxyethyl cellulose (HEC). The most frequent complaints were leakage, interference with sexual behavior, and decreased sexual satisfaction. Some of the complaints are not new but remain unresolved. Women’s perceived risk of HIV infection may determine whether the gels are used. Users also may want a choice of viscosity. Poor acceptability of vaginal microbicide formulations may result in poor adherence to gel use during efficacy trials and compromise validity of results.
Microbicide acceptability; HIV prevention; HEC; Leakage
Sexual concurrency poses significant HIV/STI transmission risk. The correlates of concurrency have not been examined among homeless men. A representative sample of 305 heterosexually active homeless men utilizing meal programs in the Skid Row area of Los Angeles reported on their mental health, substance use, and social network characteristics. Nearly 40% of men reported concurrency with one of their four most recent sex partners. Results indicated that HIV seropositivity (OR = 4.39, CI: 1.10, 17.46; p = 0.04), PTSD (OR = 2.29, CI: 1.05, 5.01; p = 0.04), hard drug use (OR = 2.45, CI: 1.07, 5.58; p = 0.03), and the perception that network alters engage in risky sex (OR = 3.72, CI: 1.49, 9.30; p = 0.01) were associated with increased odds of concurrency. Programs aimed at reducing HIV/STI transmission in this vulnerable population must take into account the roles that behavioral health and social networks may play in sexual concurrency.
The relationship between HIV disclosure and sexual transmission behaviors, and factors that influence disclosure are unknown among HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM) in Asia. We describe disclosure practices and sexual transmission behaviors, and correlates of disclosure among this group of MSM in Asia. A cross-sectional multi-country online survey was conducted among 416 HIV-positive MSM. Data on disclosure status, HIV-related risk behaviors, disease status, and other characteristics were collected. Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify significant correlates of disclosure. Only 7.0% reported having disclosed their HIV status to all partners while 67.3% did not disclose to any. The majority (86.5%) of non-disclosing participants had multiple partners and unprotected insertive or receptive anal intercourse with their partners (67.5%). Non-disclosure was significantly associated with non-disclosure from partners (AOR = 37.13, 95% CI: 17.22, 80.07), having casual partners only (AOR = 1.91, 95% CI: 1.03, 3.53), drug use before sex on a weekly basis (AOR: 6.48, 95% CI: 0.99, 42.50), being diagnosed with HIV between 1–5 years ago (AOR = 2.23, 95% CI: 1.05, 4.74), and not knowing one’s viral load (AOR = 2.80, 95% CI: 1.00, 7.83). Given the high HIV prevalence and incidence among MSM in Asia, it is imperative to include Prevention with Positives for MSM. Interventions on disclosure should not solely focus on HIV-positive men but also need to include their sexual partners and HIV-negative men.
Disclosure; men who have sex with men; HIV/AIDS; prevention with positives; Asia
We examined testing rates for HIV-negative men (N=752) from a sample of gay male couples. Approximately half (52%) tested in the past year. Among men who had engaged in sexual risk behavior in the past three months, 27% tested within that period and 65% within the past year. For men in concordant relationships these rates were 25% and 60%, for men in serodiscordant relationships they were 34% and 72%. MSM in primary relationships are testing at lower rates than the general MSM population, even after potential exposure to HIV. Testing and prevention messages for MSM should factor in relationship status.
gay male couples; HIV testing; MSM; committed relationships; unprotected anal intercourse
The study assessed whether at-risk HIV-uninfected men who have sex with men (MSM) who never or rarely use condoms and have multiple partners would use a rapid, oral fluid, HIV home test (HT) to screen potential sexual partners. Participants received 16 HT kits, were monitored weekly for three months, and then interviewed in depth. Twenty-seven ethnically diverse MSM used HT kits before intercourse with approximately 100 partners in private and public spaces. Testing had high acceptability among ethnic minority participants. Ten tested individuals received HIV-antibody positive results. Seven were potential sexual partners, and three were acquaintances of the participants; six of the ten were unaware of their status. No sexual intercourse took place after positive tests. Very few problems occurred. Most participants strongly desired to continue using HT and to buy it freely. HT use results in detection of previously unknown infections. Making HT available within networks where high-risk sexual practices are common may be a cost-efficient and effective prevention method.
HIV; rapid testing; home testing; MSM; harm reduction
Young women are particularly vulnerable for acquiring HIV yet they are often excluded from clinical trials testing new biomedical intervention. We assessed the HIV incidence and feasibility of enrolling a cohort of young women for potential participation in future clinical trials. Between March 2004 and May 2007, 594 HIV uninfected 14–30 year old women were enrolled into a longitudinal HIV risk reduction study in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The overall HIV prevalence at screening in young girls below the age of 18 years of age was 27.6% compared to 52.0% in the women above 18 years, p<0.001. HIV incidence was 4.7 [95% Confidence interval (CI) 1.5–10.9) and 6.9 (95% CI 4.8–9.6)/100 women years (wy), p=0.42 and pregnancy rates were 23.7 (95% CI 14.9–35.9) and 16.4 (95% CI 12.9–20.6)/100wy, p=0.29, in the women below and above 18 years respectively. Retention was similar in both groups (71.0% versus 71.5%, p=0.90). This study demonstrates that the inclusion of young girls between the ages of 14 and 17 years in longitudinal studies is feasible and their inclusion in clinical trials would maintain scientific integrity and power of the study.
young girls; biomedical HIV prevention research; South Africa
By removing the foreskin, medical male circumcision (MMC) reduces female to male heterosexual HIV transmission by approximately 60 %. Traditional circumcision has higher rates of complications than MMC, and reports indicate unsanitized instruments are sometimes shared across groups of circumcision initiates. A geographically stratified, cluster survey of acceptability of MMC and improved instrument sanitation was conducted among 368 eligible Maasai participants in two Northern Districts of Tanzania. Most respondents had been circumcised in groups, with 56 % circumcised with a shared knife rinsed in water between initiates and 16 % circumcised with a knife not cleaned between initiates. Contrasting practice, 88 % preferred use of medical supplies for their sons’ circumcisions. Willingness to provide MMC to sons was 28 %; however, provided the contingency of traditional leadership support for MMC, this rose to 84 %. Future interventions to address circumcision safety, including traditional circumciser training and expansion of access to MMC, are discussed.
Male circumcision; Risk reduction; Acceptability; HIV prevention; Africa
Too many people with HIV have left the job market permanently and those with reduced work capacity have been unable to keep their jobs. There is a need to examine the health effects of labor force participation in people with HIV. This study presents longitudinal data from 1,415 HIV-positive men who have sex with men taking part in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study. Generalized Estimating Equations show that employment is associated with better physical and mental health quality of life and suggests that there may be an adaptation process to the experience of unemployment. Post-hoc analyses also suggest that people who are more physically vulnerable may undergo steeper health declines due to job loss than those who are generally healthier. However, this may also be the result of a selection effect whereby poor physical health contributes to unemployment. Policies that promote labor force participation may not only increase employment rates but also improve the health of people living with HIV.
Cash payments to improve health outcomes have been used for many years, however, their use for HIV prevention is new and the impact not yet well understood. We provide a brief background on the rationale behind using cash to improve health outcomes, review current studies completed or underway using cash for prevention of sexual transmission of HIV, and outline some key considerations on the use of cash payments to prevent HIV infections. We searched the literature for studies that implemented cash transfer programs and measured HIV or HIV-related outcomes. We identified 16 studies meeting our criteria; 10 are completed. The majority of studies have been conducted with adolescents in developing countries and payments are focused on addressing structural risk factors such as poverty. Most have seen reductions in sexual behavior and one large trial has documented a difference in HIV prevalence between young women getting cash transfers and those not. Cash transfer programs focused on changing risky sexual behaviors to reduce HIV risk suggest promise. The context in which programs are situated, the purpose of the cash transfer, and the population will all affect the impact of such programs; ongoing RCTs with HIV incidence endpoints will shed more light on the efficacy of cash payments as strategy for HIV prevention.
Few rural minorities participate in HIV clinical trials. Mobile health units (MHUs) may be one strategy to increase participation. We explored community perceptions of MHU acceptability to increase clinical trial participation for rural minorities living with HIV/AIDS. We conducted 11 focus groups (service providers and community leaders) and 35 interviews (people living with HIV/AIDS). Responses were analyzed using constant comparative and content analysis techniques. Acceptable MHU use included maintaining accessibility and confidentiality while establishing credibility, community ownership and control. Under these conditions, MHUs can service rural locations and overcome geographic barriers to reaching major medical centers for clinical trials.
Mobile health unit; HIV/AIDS; Clinical trials; PLWHA; Rural; Minority
To determine if a structural intervention of providing one condom a week to inmates in the Los Angeles County Men’s Central Jail MSM unit reduces HIV transmissions and net social cost, we estimated numbers of new HIV infections (1) when condoms are available; and (2) when they are not. Input data came from a 2007 survey of inmates, the literature and intervention program records. Base case estimates showed that condom distribution averted 1/4 of HIV transmissions. We predict .8 new infections monthly among 69 HIV-negative, sexually active inmates without condom distribution, but .6 new infections with condom availability. The discounted future medical costs averted due to fewer HIV transmissions exceed program costs, so condom distribution in jail reduces total costs. Cost savings were sensitive to the proportion of anal sex acts protected by condoms, thus allowing inmates more than one condom per week could potentially increase the program’s effectiveness.
Condom; Public costs; HIV; Jail
This study examines whether substance using women exposed to a lifetime sexual trauma (n = 457) are distinguishable from substance using women exposed to non-sexual trauma (n = 275) in terms of demographics, psychopathology and high-risk sexual behaviors. Baseline data were collected from out-of-treatment substance using women enrolled in an HIV prevention study. Logistic regression analyses revealed that when demographics, psychopathology and lifetime indicators of sexual risk were assessed simultaneously, poor health, depression, antisocial personality disorder and lifetime sex-trading were associated with sexual trauma exposure. When these significant factors were controlled, the experience of sexual trauma predicted recent (past 4 month) high risk sexual behaviors such as higher than average sexual partners. Treatment efforts with women who have experienced a sexual trauma may be enhanced by the inclusion of assessments of physical and mental health needs as well as sexual risk awareness training.
Sexual trauma exposure; HIV-risk; Substance dependence
Few studies have examined the psychosocial factors associated with sexual transmission behaviors among HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM), heterosexual men (MSW) and women. We enrolled 1,050 sexually active HIV-positive patients at seven HIV clinics in six US cities as part of a clinic-based behavioral intervention. We describe the sexual transmission behaviors and examine demographic, clinical, psychosocial, and clinic prevention variables associated with unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse (UAVI). Twenty-three percent of MSM, 12.3% of MSW and 27.8% of women engaged in UAVI with partners perceived to be HIV-negative or of unknown serostatus. Among MSM and MSW, having multiple partners and lower self-efficacy were associated with increased odds of UAVI. Self-rating one’s health status as excellent/very good was a risk factor for UAVI among MSM. Among women, binge drinking and stressful life events were associated with UAVI. These findings identify variables that warrant attention in targeted interventions.
HIV; HIV prevention; Sexual behavior; STDs; STD prevention
To inform the development of multilevel strategies for addressing HIV risk among labor migrants, 97 articles from the health and social science literatures were systematically reviewed. The study locations were Africa (23 %), the Americas (26 %), Europe (7 %), South East Asia (21 %), and Western Pacific (24 %). Among the studies meeting inclusion criteria, HIV risk was associated with multilevel determinants at the levels of policy, sociocultural context, health and mental health, and sexual practices. The policy determinants most often associated with HIV risk were: prolonged and/or frequent absence, financial status, and difficult working and housing conditions. The sociocultural context determinants most often associated with HIV risk were: cultural norms, family separation, and low social support. The health and mental health factors most often associated with HIV risk were: substance use, other STIs, mental health problems, no HIV testing, and needle use. The sexual practices most often associated with increased HIV risk were: limited condom use, multiple partnering, clients of sex workers, low HIV knowledge, and low perceived HIV risk. Magnitude of effects through multivariate statistics were demonstrated more for health and mental health and sexual practices, than for policy or sociocultural context. The consistency of these findings across multiple diverse global labor migration sites underlines the need for multilevel intervention strategies. However, to better inform the development, implementation, and evaluation of multilevel interventions, additional research is needed that overcomes prior methodological limitations and focuses on building new contextually tailored interventions and policies.
HIV risk; Labor migration; Behavioral factors; Migration factors
In the past 25 years, a tremendous amount of time and resources have been committed to developing evidence-based HIV prevention interventions. More recently, there have been noteworthy efforts to develop an infrastructure and related policies to promote the dissemination (i.e., “the targeted distribution of information and intervention materials to a specific public health or clinical practice audience”) of evidence-based interventions. Despite these advances, however, we have had comparatively little success in the effective implementation (i.e., “the use of strategies to adopt and integrate evidence-based health interventions and change practice patterns within specific settings”) of such interventions in everyday practice or community settings. The objective of the current paper is to highlight select and initial areas of research that are critically needed to advance the state-of-the-science of implementation of HIV prevention interventions in our broader efforts to curb the epidemic worldwide.
Implementation; HIV/AIDS; Prevention; Intervention; Dissemination
Researchers increasingly argue that poverty and gender inequality exacerbate the spread of HIV/AIDS and that economic empowerment can therefore assist in the prevention and mitigation of the disease, particularly for women. This paper critically evaluates such claims. First, we examine the promises and limits of integrated HIV/AIDS prevention and microfinance programs by examining the available evidence base. We then propose future research agendas and next steps that may help to clear current ambiguities about the potential for economic programs to contribute to HIV/AIDS risk reduction efforts.
Economic interventions; Microenterprise; HIV/AIDS prevention; Gender relations; Gender equality; Women’s HIV/AIDS risk
The integration of original data from multiple antiretroviral (ARV)
adherence studies offers a promising, but little used method to generate
evidence to advance the field. This paper provides an overview of the design and
implementation of MACH14, a collaborative, multi-site study in which a large
data system has been created for integrated analyses by pooling original data
from 16 longitudinal ARV adherence studies. Studies selected met specific
criteria including similar research design and data domains such as adherence
measured with medication event monitoring system, psychosocial factors related
to adherence behavior, and virologic and clinical outcomes. The data system
created contains individual data (collected between 1997 and 2009) from 2,860
HIV patients. Collaboration helped resolve the challenges inherent in pooling
data across multiple studies, yet produced a data system with strong statistical
power and potentially greater capacity to address key scientific questions than
possible with single-sample studies or even meta-analytic designs.
HIV/AIDS; Adherence; MEMS Multi-site Antiretroviral medication; Individual participant data
Daughters of HIV-positive women are often exposed to the same factors that placed their mothers at risk. This cross-sectional study (N = 176 dyads) examined HIV status, parent-teen sexual risk communication (PTSRC), and daughters’ abstinence and condom use beliefs and intentions. Maternal HIV status was not associated with PTSRC. Path analyses show that maternal depression was associated with PTSRC behavioral and normative beliefs; relationship satisfaction was associated with PTSRC normative and control beliefs. Control beliefs were solely predictive of maternal PTSRC intention. PTSRC was associated with adolescent behavioral and normative beliefs. Abstinence beliefs were associated with abstinence intentions; condom beliefs were associated with condom use intentions. Relationship satisfaction was associated with adolescent control beliefs about both abstinence and condom use. There is a need for interventions that help HIV-positive mothers recognize their daughter’s HIV risk and provide them with relationship building and parent process skills to help reduce these risks.
Parent–child sexual risk communication; Adolescent sexual risk; Maternal HIV; Relationship satisfaction
We tested if good parole officer (PO)–parolee relationships reduce HIV risk behaviors during parole, as they do for risk of rearrest. Analyses used data from 374 parolees enrolled in a randomized clinical trial. Past month HIV risk behaviors were assessed by interview at baseline, 3- and 9-months after parole initiation. The Working Alliance Inventory and the Dual-Role Relationships Inventory measured PO relationship. Gender-stratified multivariate regressions tested associations of PO–parolee relationship with sex with multiple partners, unprotected sex with risky partner(s), and drug injection. Women parolees (n = 65) who reported better PO relationship characteristics were less likely to report having multiple sex partners [adjusted odds ratio: 0.82 (0.69, 0.98) at 3-months, 0.89 (0.80, 0.99) at 9-months], and, among those reporting multiple sex partners, had fewer partners on average [adjusted relative risk 0.98 (0.96, 0.99)]. These effects were not found among men. PO–parolee relationship quality can influence sexual risk behaviors among women parolees.
Parole; Community supervision; Working alliance; HIV risk behaviors; Women
Vaginal practices are a variety of behavioral techniques that women use to manage their sexual life and personal hygiene. Women perceive vaginal practices as a beneficial practice. However, vaginal cleansing has been identified as one of the main risk factors for bacterial vaginosis and is potentially implicated in Human Immune Deficiency Virus (HIV) and sexually transmitted infection transmission. This study examined the prevalence of vaginal practices and the types of practices used among a sample of HIV positive women living in Lusaka, Zambia. Over 90% of all women recruited engaged in vaginal practices. Certain practices, such as use of water or soap, were more frequently used for hygiene reasons. Herbs and traditional medicines were mainly used to please sexual partner. Strategies to decrease VP appear urgently needed in the Zambian community.
Vaginal practices; HIV; Women; Africa; Bacterial vaginosis
Latinos maintain an AIDS case rate more than 3 times higher than whites, a greater rate of progression to AIDS, and a higher rate of HIV/AIDS-related deaths. Three broad areas are reviewed related to these disparities: (1) relevant demographic, socioeconomic, and socio-cultural factors among Latinos; (2) drug abuse and mental health problems in Latinos relevant to HIV/AIDS outcomes; and (3) opportunities for psychosocial intervention. Latinos living with HIV are a rapidly growing group, are more severely impacted by HIV than whites, and confront unique challenges in coping with HIV/AIDS. A body of research suggests that depression, substance abuse, treatment adherence, health literacy, and access to healthcare may be fruitful targets for intervention research in this population. Though limited, the current literature suggests that psychosocial interventions that target these factors could help reduce HIV/AIDS disparities between Latinos and whites and could have important public health value.
HIV/AIDS; Latino/Hispanic; Treatment adherence; Mental health; Substance abuse; Disparities