Public Health Facilities in South Africa.
To assess the current integration of TB and HIV services in South Africa, 2011.
Cross-sectional study of 49 randomly selected health facilities in South Africa. Trained interviewers administered a standardized questionnaire to one staff member responsible for TB and HIV in each facility on aspects of TB/HIV policy, integration and recording and reporting. We calculated and compared descriptive statistics by province and facility type.
Of the 49 health facilities 35 (71%) provided isoniazid preventive therapy (IPT) and 35 (71%) offered antiretroviral therapy (ART). Among assessed sites in February 2011, 2,512 patients were newly diagnosed with HIV infection, of whom 1,913 (76%) were screened for TB symptoms, and 616 of 1,332 (46%) of those screened negative for TB were initiated on IPT. Of 1,072 patients newly registered with TB in February 2011, 144 (13%) were already on ART prior to Tb clinical diagnosis, and 451 (42%) were newly diagnosed with HIV infection. Of those, 84 (19%) were initiated on ART. Primary health clinics were less likely to offer ART compared to district hospitals or community health centers (p<0.001).
As of February 2011, integration of TB and HIV services is taking place in public medical facilities in South Africa. Among these services, IPT in people living with HIV and ART in TB patients are the least available.
To estimate the risk of serious adverse reactions to benzathine penicillin in pregnant women for preventing congenital syphilis.
We searched for clinical trials or cohorts that assessed the incidence of serious adverse reactions to benzathine penicillin in pregnant women and the general population (indirect evidence). MEDLINE, EMBASE, Scopus and other databases were searched up to December 2012. The GRADE approach was used to assess quality of evidence. Absolute risks of each study were calculated along with their 95% confidence intervals (95% CI). We employed the DerSimonian and Laird random effects model in the meta-analyses.
From 2,765 retrieved studies we included 13, representing 3,466,780 patients. The studies that included pregnant women were conducted to demonstrate the effectiveness of benzathine penicillin: no serious adverse reactions were reported among the 1,244 pregnant women included. In the general population, among 2,028,982 patients treated, 4 died from an adverse reaction. The pooled risk of death was virtually zero. Fifty-four cases of anaphylaxis were reported (pooled absolute risk = 0.002%; 95% CI: 0%–0.003% I2 = 12%). From that estimate, penicillin treatment would be expected to result in an incidence of 0 to 3 cases of anaphylaxis per 100,000 treated. Any adverse reactions were reported in 6,377 patients among 3,465,322 treated with penicillin (pooled absolute risk = 0.169%; 95% CI: 0.073%–0.265% I2 = 97%). The quality of evidence was very low.
Studies that assessed the risk of serious adverse events due to benzathine penicillin treatment in pregnant women were scarce, but no reports of adverse reactions were found. The incidence of severe adverse outcomes was very low in the general population. The risk of treating pregnant women with benzathine penicillin to prevent congenital syphilis appears very low and does not outweigh its benefits. Further research is needed to improve the quality of evidence.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infection is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) worldwide. Incidence rates of HPV infection among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected individuals are well documented and are several-fold higher than among HIV-uninfected individuals. Few studies have demonstrated an increased risk for acquiring HIV infection in those with HPV infection, and this risk seems to be higher when HPV strains are of high-risk oncogenic potential. The estimated prevalence of high-risk oncogenic HPV infection is highest in men who have sex with men (MSM), a particularly vulnerable group with high prevalence rates of HIV infection and other STIs. In this paper, we provide a comprehensive review of the available literature on the role of HPV infection in HIV acquisition. Our review includes data from cross-sectional and longitudinal studies.
human papillomavirus; human immunodeficiency virus; men who have sex with men; HIV incidence; review; HPV testing
Background. Vulvovaginal candidiasis is characterized by curd-like vaginal discharge and itching, and is associated with considerable health and economic costs. Materials and Methods. We examined the incidence, prevalence, and risk factors for vulvovaginal candidiasis among a cohort of 898 women in south India. Participants completed three study visits over six months, comprised of a structured interview and a pelvic examination. Results. The positive predictive values for diagnosis of vulvovaginal candidiasis using individual signs or symptoms were low (<19%). We did not find strong evidence for associations between sociodemographic characteristics and the prevalence of vulvovaginal candidiasis. Women clinically diagnosed with bacterial vaginosis had a higher prevalence of vulvovaginal candidiasis (Prevalence 12%, 95% CI 8.2, 15.8) compared to women assessed to be negative for bacterial vaginosis (Prevalence 6.5%, 95% 5.3, 7.6); however, differences in the prevalence of vulvovaginal candidiasis were not observed by the presence or absence of laboratory-confirmed bacterial vaginosis. Conclusions. For correct diagnosis of vulvovaginal candidiasis, laboratory confirmation of infection with Candida is necessary as well as assessment of whether the discharge has been caused by bacterial vaginosis. Studies are needed of women infected with Candida yeast species to determine the risk factors for yeast's overgrowth.
Bacterial vaginosis (BV) and Trichomonas vaginalis (TV), have been estimated to affect one-quarter to one-third of sexually active women worldwide, and are often found concurrently. Few studies have examined this relationship longitudinally to better understand the direction and temporality of this association.
Between 2005 and 2006, a cohort of 853 young, sexually active women was followed in Mysore, India; participants were interviewed and tested for BV and TV at baseline, and at three- and six-month visits. Generalized estimating equations were used to estimate how changes in vaginal flora between consecutive visits – as defined by Nugent diagnostic criteria for BV - were related to the risk of TV infection at the latter visit, adjusted for sociodemographic and behavioral covariates. Treatment was offered to women with TV and/or symptomatic BV.
After adjustment for covariates, participants with abnormal flora at two consecutive visits had nine times higher risk of TV (95% CI 4.1, 20.0) at the latter visit, relative to those with persistently normal flora. An increased risk of TV was also observed for participants whose flora status changed from normal to abnormal (aRR 7.11, 95% CI 2.8, 18.2) and from abnormal to normal (aRR 4.50, 95% CI 1.7, 11.8).
Women experiencing abnormal flora during a three-month span appear to have significantly increased risk of acquiring TV infection. Reproductive-age women in low-resource settings found to have abnormal vaginal flora should be assessed for TV.
Bacterial vaginosis; Trichomonas vaginalis; India; women; longitudinal analysis
Asymptomatic Chlamydia trachomatis (chlamydia) and Neisseria gonorrhoeae (gonorrhea) infections pose diagnostic and control problems in developing countries.
Participants in China, India, Peru, Russia, and Zimbabwe were screened for C. trachomatis and N. gonorrhoeae infections and symptoms.
A total of 18,014 participants were evaluated at baseline, 15,054 at 12 months, and 14,243 at 24 months. The incidence of chlamydia in men was 2.0 per 100 person years both from baseline to 12 months and from 12 to 24 months, and in women, 4.6 from baseline to 12 months and 3.6 from 12 to 24 months; a range of 31.2% to 100% reported no symptoms across the 5 countries. The incidence of gonorrhea in men was 0.3 per 100 person years both from baseline to 12 months and from 12 to 24 months, and in women, 1.4 from baseline to 12 months and 1.1 from 12 to 24 months; a range of 66.7% to 100% reported no symptoms. Being female, aged 18 to 24 years, and having more than 1 partner were associated with both the infections. In addition, being divorced, separated, or widowed was associated with gonorrhea. Being male, having 6+ years of education, and reporting only 1 partner were associated with having no symptoms among those infected with chlamydia. No variables correlated with asymptomatic gonorrhea among those infected.
A high prevalence and incidence of asymptomatic sexually transmitted infections was identified among men and women in a wide variety of settings. More effective programs are needed to identify and treat chlamydia and gonorrhea infections, especially among women, young adults, those with multiple partners, those repeatedly infected, and particularly those at risk without symptoms. The risk of transmission from persons with no symptoms requires further study.
Sexually transmitted infection (STI) screening in correctional facilities provides access to people at high risk for STIs who might not be screened elsewhere. These screening programmes are becoming more widespread, but with decreasing funding for STI control, maximising screening impact has become increasingly important. We aimed to make recommendations about the impact of age and sex targeted screening in correctional facilities.
We compared the prevalence of chlamydia and gonorrhoea for January 2003–July 2005 among different age groups of females and males screened in San Francisco correctional facilities—youth detention (12–17 years) and adult jail (18–35 years).
16 975 chlamydia tests and 13 443 gonorrhoea tests were performed. The age specific chlamydia test positivity among females aged 12–17 years, 18–25 years, and 26–30 years, respectively, was 9.6% (105/1092), 9.4% (196/2088), and 6.3% (40/639), compared with 3.3% (100/3065), 6.2% (400/6470), and 3.9% (118/3046) among males. The age specific gonorrhoea test positivity among females in these same age groups was 3.2% (34/1062), 2.7% (57/2082), and 2.4% (15/635), compared with 0.7% (7/1026), 1.2% (67/5507), and 1.0% (25/2555) among males. Of the 1198 STIs identified, 1020 (85.1%) were treated.
On the basis of this report and national data, STI control programmes with limited funds should prioritise screening females in youth detention first, women aged ⩽30 years in adult jail second, and men aged ⩽25 years in adult jail third. Males in youth detention should have a lower priority than young adults in jails.
; sexually transmitted diseases; prisons; United States
This study aimed to systematically review and describe the evidence on chlamydia and gonorrhoea reinfection among men, and to evaluate the need for retesting recommendations in men. PubMed and STI conference abstract books from January 1995 to October 2006 were searched to identify studies on chlamydia and gonorrhoea reinfection among men using chlamydia and gonorrhoea nucleic acid amplification tests or gonorrhoea culture. Studies were categorised as using either active or passive follow‐up methods. The proportions of chlamydial and gonococcal reinfection among men were calculated for each study and summary medians were reported. Repeat chlamydia infection among men had a median reinfection probability of 11.3%. Repeat gonorrhoea infection among men had a median reinfection probability of 7.0%. Studies with active follow‐up had moderate rates of chlamydia and gonorrhoea reinfection among men, with respective medians of 10.9% and 7.0%. Studies with passive follow‐up had higher proportions of both chlamydia and gonorrhoea reinfections among men, with respective medians of 17.4% and 8.5%. Proportions of chlamydia and gonorrhoea reinfection among men were comparable with those among women. Reinfection among men was strongly associated with previous history of sexually transmitted diseases and younger age, and inconsistently associated with risky sexual behaviour. Substantial repeat chlamydia and gonorrhoea infection rates were found in men comparable with those in women. Retesting recommendations in men are appropriate, given the high rate of reinfection. To optimise retesting guidelines, further research to determine effective retesting methods and establish factors associated with reinfection among men is suggested.
It is hypothesized that sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) increase the risk of HIV acquisition. Yet, difficulties establishing an accurate temporal relation and controlling confounders have obscured this relationship. In an attempt to overcome prior methodologic shortcomings, we explored the use of different study designs to examine the relationship between STDs and HIV acquisition.
Acutely HIV-infected patients were included as cases and compared to 1) HIV-uninfected patients (matched case-control), 2) newly diagnosed, chronically HIV-infected patients (infected analysis), and 3) themselves at prior clinic visits when they tested HIV-negative (case-crossover). We used t-tests to compare the average number of STDs and logistic regression to determine independent correlates and the odds of acute HIV infection.
Between October 2003 and March 2007, 13,662 male patients who had sex with men were tested for HIV infection at San Francisco's municipal STD clinic and 350 (2.56%) HIV infections were diagnosed. Among the HIV-infected patients, 36 (10.3%) cases were identified as acute. We found consistently higher odds of having had an STD within the 12 months (matched case-control, OR 5.2 [2.2-12.6]; infected analysis, OR 1.4 [1.0-2.0]; case-crossover, OR 1.3 [0.5-3.1]) and 3 months (matched case-control, OR 34.5 [4.1-291.3]; infected analysis, OR 2.3 [1.1-4.8]; case-crossover OR 1.8 [0.6-5.6]) prior to HIV testing among acutely HIV-infected patients. We found higher odds of acute HIV infection among patients with concurrent rectal gonorrhea (17.0 [2.6 - 111.4], p<0.01) or syphilis (5.8 [1.1 - 32.3], p=0.04) when compared to those HIV-uninfected.
Acute HIV infection was associated with a recent or concurrent STD, particularly rectal gonorrhea, among men at San Francisco's municipal STD clinic. Given the complex relationship between STDs and HIV infection, no single design will appropriately control for all the possible confounders; studies using complementary designs are required.
South Africa has an estimated 1.5 million persons in need of antiretroviral therapy (ART). In 2004, the South African government began collaborating with the United States President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to increase access to ART. We determined how PEPFAR treatment support changed from 2005-2009.
In order to describe the change in number and type of PEPFAR-supported ART facilities, we analyzed routinely collected program-monitoring data from 2005-2009. The collected data included the number, type and province of facilities as well as the number of patients receiving ART at each facility.
The number of PEPFAR-supported facilities providing ART increased from 184 facilities in 2005 to 1,469 facilities in 2009. From 2005-2009 the number of PEPFAR-supported government facilities increased 10.1 fold from 54 to 546 while the number of PEPFAR-supported NGO facilities (including general practitioner and NGO facilities) increased 6.2 fold from 114 to 708. In 2009 the total number of persons treated at PEPFAR-supported NGO facilities was 43,577 versus 501,089 persons at PEPFAR-supported government facilities. Overall, the median number of patients receiving ART per site increased from 81 in 2005 to 136 in 2009.
To mitigate the gap between those needing and those receiving ART, more facilities were supported. The proportion of government facilities supported and the median number of persons treated at these facilities increased. This shift could potentially be sustainable as government sites reach more individuals and receive government funding. These results demonstrate that PEPFAR was able to support a massive scale-up of ART services in a short period of time.
South Africa; HIV/AIDS; Health Systems; PEPFAR
Prior to implementing screening programs for acute HIV infection in developing countries, key issues including cost, feasibility, and public health impact must be determined. We compared fourth-generation enzyme immunoassay (EIA) with pooled HIV-1 RNA assays for the detection of acute and early HIV infection in counseling and testing populations in Lima, Peru.
Adults presenting for HIV testing at designated clinics in Lima-Callao, Peru were offered additional screening for acute HIV infection. All serum samples were tested with fourth-generation Ag/Ab EIA and confirmed by line immunoassay (LIA). Negative specimens were combined into 50-sample pools for HIV-1 RNA screening by PCR analysis in standard pooling algorithms. RNA-positive samples were re-tested with a third-generation EIA to evaluate the relative sensitivity of standard testing procedures.
Between 2007 and 2008 we recruited 1,191 participants. The prevalence of HIV infection was 3.2% (38/1191; 2.2-4.2%) overall and 10.6% (25/237; CI=6.6-14.5%) among men who reported sex with men (MSM). The prevalence of acute or recent HIV infection was 0.2% (CI=0-0.4%) overall and 0.8% (CI=0-2.0%) among MSM. Compared with third generation EIA testing, both fourth generation EIA and RNA PCR increased the rate of HIV case identification by 5.6% overall and by 8.0% within the subpopulation of MSM.
Screening for acute HIV infection within Peru's resource-limited public health system was acceptable and detected a high prevalence of acute and recent HIV infection among MSM. Additional efforts are needed to screen for and prevent transmission of HIV among MSM in Peru during the acute seroconversion stage.
Acute HIV Infection; Pooled RNA Testing; Peru: Men Who Have Sex with Men
Heterosexual exposure accounts for most HIV transmission in sub-Saharan Africa, and this mode, as a proportion of new infections, is escalating globally. The scientific evidence accumulated over more than 20 years shows that among the strategies advocated during this period for HIV prevention, male circumcision is one of, if not, the most efficacious epidemiologically, as well as cost-wise. Despite this, and recommendation of the procedure by global policy makers, national implementation has been slow. Additionally, some are not convinced of the protective effect of male circumcision and there are also reports, unsupported by evidence, that non-sex-related drivers play a major role in HIV transmission in sub-Saharan Africa. Here, we provide a critical evaluation of the state of the current evidence for male circumcision in reducing HIV infection in light of established transmission drivers, provide an update on programmes now in place in this region, and explain why policies based on established scientific evidence should be prioritized. We conclude that the evidence supports the need to accelerate the implementation of medical male circumcision programmes for HIV prevention in generalized heterosexual epidemics, as well as in countering the growing heterosexual transmission in countries where HIV prevalence is presently low.
HIV-1 acute infection, recent infection and transmitted drug resistance screening was integrated into voluntary HIV counseling and testing (VCT) services to enhance the existing surveillance program in San Francisco. This study describes newly-diagnosed HIV cases and characterizes correlates associated with infection.
A consecutive sample of persons presenting for HIV VCT at the municipal sexually transmitted infections (STI) clinic from 2004 to 2006 (N = 9,868) were evaluated by standard enzyme-linked immunoassays (EIA). HIV antibody-positive specimens were characterized as recent infections using a less-sensitive EIA. HIV-RNA pooled testing was performed on HIV antibody-negative specimens to identify acute infections. HIV antibody-positive and acute infection specimens were evaluated for drug resistance by sequence analysis. Multivariable logistic regression was performed to evaluate associations. The 380 newly-diagnosed HIV cases included 29 acute infections, 128 recent infections, and 47 drug-resistant cases, with no significant increases or decreases in prevalence over the three years studied. HIV-1 transmitted drug resistance prevalence was 11.0% in 2004, 13.4% in 2005 and 14.9% in 2006 (p = 0.36). Resistance to non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTI) was the most common pattern detected, present in 28 cases of resistance (59.6%). Among MSM, recent infection was associated with amphetamine use (AOR = 2.67; p<0.001), unprotected anal intercourse (AOR = 2.27; p<0.001), sex with a known HIV-infected partner (AOR = 1.64; p = 0.02), and history of gonorrhea (AOR = 1.62; p = 0.03).
New HIV diagnoses, recent infections, acute infections and transmitted drug resistance prevalence remained stable between 2004 and 2006. Resistance to NNRTI comprised more than half of the drug-resistant cases, a worrisome finding given its role as the backbone of first-line antiretroviral therapy in San Francisco as well as worldwide. The integration of HIV-1 drug resistance, recent infection, and acute infection testing should be considered for existing HIV/STI surveillance and prevention activities, particularly in an era of enhanced efforts for early diagnosis and treatment.
Background & objectives:
There are sparse data on the prevalence of primary infertility in India and almost none from Southern India. This study describes the correlates and prevalence of primary infertility among young women in Mysore, India.
The baseline data were collected between November 2005 through March 2006, among 897 sexually active women, aged 15-30 yr, for a study investigating the relationship of bacterial vaginosis and acquisition of herpes simplex virus type-2 (HSV-2) infection. A secondary data analysis of the baseline data was undertaken. Primary infertility was defined as having been married for longer than two years, not using contraception and without a child. Logistic regression was used to examine factors associated with primary infertility.
The mean age of the women was 25.9 yr (range: 16-30 yr) and the prevalence of primary infertility was 12.6 per cent [95% Confidence Interval (CI): 10.5-15.0%]. The main factor associated with primary infertility was HSV-2 seropositivity (adjusted odds ratio: 3.41; CI: 1.86, 6.26).
Interpretation & conclusions:
The estimated prevalence of primary infertility among women in the study was within the range reported by the WHO and similar to other estimates from India. Further research is needed to examine the role of HSV-2 in primary infertility.
HSV-2; India; infertility; reproductive health; sexually transmitted disease
Strain typing is a tool for determining diversity and epidemiology of infections.
T. pallidum DNA was isolated from 158 syphilis patients from the US, China, Ireland, and Madagascar and from 15 T. pallidum isolates. Six typing targets were assessed: 1) number of 60 bp repeats in acidic repeat protein gene; 2) restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis of T. pallidum repeat (tpr) subfamily II genes; 3) RFLP analysis of tprC gene; 4) determination of tprD allele in tprD gene locus; 5) presence of 51 bp insertion between tp0126/tp0127; 6) sequence analysis of 84 bp region of tp0548. The combination of #1 and #2 comprises the CDC T. pallidum subtyping method.
Adding sequence analysis of tp0548 to the CDC method yielded the most discriminating typing system. Twenty-four strain types were identified and designated as CDC subtype/tp0548 sequence. Type 14d/f was seen in 5 of 6 locations. In Seattle, strain types changed from 1999– 2008 (p<0.001). Twenty-two (50%) of 44 patients infected with type 14d/f had neurosyphilis compared to 9 (23%) of 39 infected with the other types combined (p=0.01).
We describe an enhanced T. pallidum strain typing system that shows biological and clinical relevance.
syphilis; molecular typing; neurosyphilis; Treponema pallidum
Methamphetamine use is associated with adverse health outcomes and HIV incidence. Few studies have assessed methamphetamine use, sexual behavior and Internet use among HIV-infected patients. Surveys were administered to a sample of HIV-infected patients seeking medical care in a San Francisco county hospital and university-based clinic. In 2008, 35% of homosexual participants, 26% of heterosexual participants and 11% of female participants reported methamphetamine use in the past year. Of participants, 29% reported using the Internet to find sex partners; Internet-users versus non-Internet-users reported a higher median number of sex partners in 6 months (4 vs. 1), were more likely to report unprotected sex (32 vs. 10%), and higher rates of methamphetamine use in the past 12 months (48 vs. 24%). Given the association among methamphetamine use, increased sex partners and Internet use, the Internet may present a new and effective medium for interventions to reduce methamphetamine-associated sexual risk behavior.
Methamphetamine; HIV; MSM; Internet
Racial/ethnic minorities and men who have sex with men (MSM) represent populations with disparate sexually transmitted infection (STI) rates. While race-specific STI rates have been widely reported, STI rates among MSM is often challenging given the absence of MSM population estimates. We evaluated the race-specific rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea among MSM and non-MSM in San Francisco between 1999-2008.
2000 US Census data for San Francisco was used to estimate the number of African-American, Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic, and white males. Data from National HIV Behavioral Surveillance (NHBS) MSM 1, conducted in 2004, was used to estimate the total number of MSM in San Francisco and the size of race/ethnic sub-populations of MSM. Non-MSM estimates were calculated by subtracting the number of estimated MSM from the total number of males residing in San Francisco. Rates of MSM and non-MSM gonorrhea and chlamydia reported between 1999 and 2008 were stratified by race/ethnicity. Ratios of MSM and non-MSM rates of morbidity were calculated by race/ethnicity.
Between 1999-2008, MSM accounted for 72% of gonorrhea cases and 51% of chlamydia cases. Throughout the study period, African-American MSM had the highest chlamydia rate with 606 cases per 100,000 in 1999 increasing to 2067 cases per 100,000 in 2008. Asian/Pacific Islander MSM consistently had the lowest rate among MSM with1003 cases per 100,000 in 2008. The ratio of MSM/non-MSM for chlamydia was highest among whites 11.6 (95% CI: 8.8-14.4) and Asian/Pacific Islanders 8.6 (95% CI: 6.2-11), and lowest among African-Americans 1.53 (95% CI: 1.2-1.9) and Hispanics 4.43 (95% CI: 2.8-6.0). Gonorrhea rates were similar for African-American, white, and Hispanic MSM between 2137-2441 cases per 100,000 in 2008. Asian/Pacific Islander MSM had the lowest gonorrhea rate with 865 cases per 100,000 in 2008. The ratio of MSM/non-MSM for gonorrhea was highest among whites 11.6 (95% CI: 8.8-14.4) and Asian/Pacific Islanders 8.6 (95% CI: 6.2-11), and lowest among African-Americans 1.53 (95% CI: 1.2-1.9) and Hispanics 4.43 (95% CI: 2.8-6.0).
For all racial/ethnic groups in San Francisco, MSM carried a substantially higher burden of STIs compared to non-MSM except among African-American men. These racial and sexual behavior disparities warrant further public health attention and resources.
The objective of this study was to examine the epidemiology of syphilis among high-risk socially marginalized populations in urban, coastal Peru, to quantify the prevalence of recent syphilis infection and identify risk factors.
Survey data and serologic specimens were collected from a population-based sample of 3 populations: men who have sex with only men (MSOM), socially marginalized heterosexual men, and socially marginalized women. Syphilis prevalence was determined for each population, and multivariate analysis was used to analyze risk factors for recent syphilis infection among the MSOM and among the socially marginalized men.
The prevalence of recent syphilis infection was 10.5% among the MSOM, 1.5% among the socially marginalized men, and 2.0% among the women. Among both MSOM and the socially marginalized men, recent syphilis infection was significantly associated with Herpes simplex virus Type 2 infection (prevalence ratio = 1.96; 95% confidence interval, 1.03–3.74, and PR = 3.72; 95% CI, 2.12–6.53, respectively). Recent syphilis infection was also significantly associated with HIV infection among the socially marginalized men (PR = 11.13; 95% CI, 4.50 –27.51) and with the number of sexually active years among the MSOM (PR = 1.05, 95% CI, 1.01–1.10).
All 3 groups included in this study exhibited a high prevalence of recent syphilis infection, with recent infection being most prevalent among the MSOM. These findings demonstrate the need for more effective syphilis control services among those populations, to decrease syphilis-associated morbidity, transmission of syphilis, and the potential transmission of HIV.
To estimate Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) infection prevalence and associated risk factors among a low-income marginalized urban population in Peru.
Between April 2003 and April 2005, men and women at high-risk for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) were recruited from low-income urban areas in three coastal cities in Peru (Chiclayo, Lima, and Trujillo). Consenting participants were studied using a sero-epidemiologic survey. Urine and vaginal swabs collected from men and women were evaluated using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) (COBAS® AMPLICOR (CT/NG) Test, Roche Molecular Diagnostics, Branchburg, NJ, USA) for CT.
Among the 2 440 participants recruited for the study (2 145 men and 295 women), overall prevalence of CT infection was 6.6% (95% CI, 5.6–7.6%): 5.5% (95% CI, 4.5–6.5%) in men and 14.9% (95% CI, 11.7–27.1%) in women. Chlamydial infection was inversely associated with age and positively associated with HIV infection and dysuria in men. Among women, chlamydial infection was inversely associated with age and positively associated with number of sex partners.
CT infection was common among high-risk men and women in urban coastal Peru. Because chlamydial infection is associated with complications related to female reproduction, including infertility and ectopic pregnancy, interventions to prevent and treat infection and studies to determine the feasibility of population-based screening for CT should be conducted among the high-risk female population.
Chlamydia; sexually transmitted diseases; vulnerable populations; women; Peru
Using a real-time PCR assay specific for a mosaic penA allele that has been associated with oral cephalosporin resistance in Asia, 54 available Neisseria gonorrhoeae isolates collected in San Francisco, CA, from January to October 2008 were analyzed. Five isolates tested positive for the mosaic penA gene by real-time PCR. DNA sequencing revealed two mosaic penA alleles (SF-A and SF-B). Isolates with SF-A and SF-B alleles possessed elevated MICs for the oral cephalosporins cefpodoxime and cefixime.
Gonorrhea remains an important clinical and public health problem throughout the world. Gonococcal infections have historically been diagnosed by Gram stain and culture, but are increasingly diagnosed through nucleic acid tests thereby eliminating the opportunity for antimicrobial susceptibility testing. Gonococcal infections are typically treated with single-dose therapy with an agent found to cure >95% of cases. Unfortunately, the gonococcus has repeatedly developed resistance to antimicrobials including sulfonamides, penicillin, tetracyclines, and fluoroquinolones. This has left third-generation cephalosporins as the lone class of antimicrobials currently recommended as first line therapy for gonorrhea in some regions. However, resistance to oral third-generation cephalosporins has emerged and spread in Asia, Australia and elsewhere. The mechanism of this resistance seems to be associated with a mosaic penicillin binding protein (penA) in addition to other chromosomal mutations previously found to confer resistance to beta-lactam antimicrobials (ponA, mtrR, penB, pilQ). Few good options exist or are in development for treating cephalosporin resistant isolates as most have had multidrug resistance. Preventing the spread of resistant isolates will depend on ambitious antimicrobial management programs, strengthening and expanding surveillance networks, and through effective sexually transmitted disease control and prevention.
Neisseria gonorrhoeae; cephalosporin resistance
An immunoassay (IA) that simultaneously detects both antibody to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and HIV p24 antigen (Architect HIV Ag/Ab Combo) was evaluated for its ability to detect HIV infection by using a panel of specimens collected from individuals recently infected with HIV type 1 (HIV-1). This IA was found to be capable of detecting the majority (89%) of infections, including 80% of those considered acute infections based on the presence of HIV RNA and the lack of detectable antibody to HIV. Substantial improvements in detection of recent infections by the Architect HIV Ag/Ab Combo relative to previous generations of IAs as well as the capacity to detect acute infections have important implications for HIV prevention strategies.
Innovative methods are needed to systematically track the HIV epidemic and appropriately target prevention and care programs in vulnerable populations of women. We conducted sentinel surveillance among women entering the jail system of San Francisco from 1999 to 2001 to track trends in HIV incidence, HIV prevalence, and related risk behavior. Using geographic information software (GIS), we triangulated findings to examine the spatial distribution of risk and disease. A total of 1,577 female arrestees voluntarily screened for sexually transmitted diseases at intake were included. HIV incidence, estimated using the serologic testing algorithm for recent HIV seroconversion (STARHS), was 0.4% per year (95% confidence interval [95%CI] = 0.1–2.1). HIV prevalence was 1.8% (95%CI = 1.1–2.4). HIV infection was independently associated with age 30 to 39 years compared to all other ages, African-American race/ethnicity vs. non-African-American, and recent injection drug use. Maps showed that the communities in which arrested women reside are also those with the highest concentrations of newly detected female HIV cases, AIDS cases, and clients of substance use programs. The combined strategy of using sentinel surveillance in the jail setting and GIS to map the spatial distribution of disease provides a useful tool to identify patterns of risk in hard-to-reach, vulnerable populations of women.
Arrestees; HIV; Sentinel surveillance; GIS; Women; Sexually transmitted diseases