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1.  Factors Associated with PMTCT Cascade Completion in Four African Countries 
AIDS Research and Treatment  2016;2016:2403936.
Background. Many countries are working to reduce or eliminate mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV. Prevention efforts have been conceptualized as steps in a cascade but cascade completion rates during and after pregnancy are low. Methods. A cross-sectional survey was performed across 26 communities in Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, South Africa, and Zambia. Women who reported a pregnancy within two years were enrolled. Participant responses were used to construct the PMTCT cascade with all of the following steps required for completion: at least one antenatal visit, HIV testing performed, HIV testing result received, initiation of maternal prophylaxis, and initiation of infant prophylaxis. Factors associated with cascade completion were identified using multivariable logistic regression modeling. Results. Of 976 HIV-infected women, only 355 (36.4%) completed the PMTCT cascade. Although most women (69.2%) did not know their partner's HIV status; awareness of partner HIV status was associated with cascade completion (aOR 1.4, 95% CI 1.01–2.0). Completion was also associated with receiving an HIV diagnosis prior to pregnancy compared with HIV diagnosis during or after pregnancy (aOR 14.1, 95% CI 5.2–38.6). Conclusions. Pregnant women with HIV infection in Africa who were aware of their partner's HIV status and who were diagnosed with HIV before pregnancy were more likely to complete the PMTCT cascade.
doi:10.1155/2016/2403936
PMCID: PMC5107823  PMID: 27872760
2.  Insights into Adherence among a Cohort of Adolescents Aged 12–20 Years in South Africa: Reported Barriers to Antiretroviral Treatment 
AIDS Research and Treatment  2016;2016:4161738.
Adolescents experience disproportionately high rates of poor ART outcomes compared to adults despite prolonged use of antiretroviral therapy in Southern African treatment programs, presenting a significant challenge to national attempts to meet the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets for 2020. This cohort study among adolescents aged 12–20 years accessing ART care at two urban public-sector clinics in Johannesburg between September and November 2013 aimed to identify factors potentially associated with poor attendance at clinic visits. Patients were followed up through routine medical records to identify missed visits (failing to attend clinic within 30 days of scheduled visit date) up to 2 years after enrolment. We enrolled 126 adolescents on ART for a median of 6.3 years (IQR: 2.7–8.4). A total of 47 (38%) adolescents missed a scheduled visit within 24 months of enrolment. Older adolescents (18–20 years) were more likely to miss a visit compared to adolescents aged 12–14 years (risk ratio (RR) = 1.72; 95% CI: 1.00–2.95). Those who were identified to have difficulty in taking medication (RR = 1.57; 95% CI: 1.13–2.18) as a barrier to care were more likely to miss a visit compared to adolescents who did not. Awareness of treatment fatigue, challenges to taking ART, and caregiver difficulties is important when considering interventions to improve treatment outcomes among adolescents.
doi:10.1155/2016/4161738
PMCID: PMC5102702  PMID: 27867661
3.  Parents Support Implementation of HIV Testing and Counseling at School: Cross-Sectional Study with Parents of Adolescent Attending High School in Gauteng and North West Provinces, South Africa 
AIDS Research and Treatment  2016;2016:4842814.
Background. A formative assessment of the implementation of HIV testing and counseling (HTC) at school showed high acceptability and willingness to test among learners. However, the success of the proposed HTC depends on the support and acceptability of key stakeholders, including the parents. The aim of the study was to assess the opinions and acceptability of the implementation of HTC at school among parents of adolescents in high school. Methods. This was a cross-sectional household survey conducted with parents of adolescents attending high schools in educational districts in North West and Gauteng provinces, South Africa. Results. A total of 804 parents participated, and 548 (68.3%) were biological mothers, 85 (10.6%) were fathers, and the remaining were other relatives including grandmothers. Almost all (n = 742, 92.9%) parents were in support of implementation and provision of HTC at school, 701 (87.7%) would allow their children to be tested at school, 365 (46%) felt that parental consent was not needed to test at school, and 39.4% preferred to receive the HIV test results with their children. Conclusion. Parents accept the roll-out of an HTC program at school and have a role to play in supporting children who test positive for HIV.
doi:10.1155/2016/4842814
PMCID: PMC5078638  PMID: 27807481
4.  Pharmacokinetic, Pharmacogenetic, and Other Factors Influencing CNS Penetration of Antiretrovirals 
AIDS Research and Treatment  2016;2016:2587094.
Neurological complications associated with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are a matter of great concern. While antiretroviral (ARV) drugs are the cornerstone of HIV treatment and typically produce neurological benefit, some ARV drugs have limited CNS penetration while others have been associated with neurotoxicity. CNS penetration is a function of several factors including sieving role of blood-brain and blood-CSF barriers and activity of innate drug transporters. Other factors are related to pharmacokinetics and pharmacogenetics of the specific ARV agent or mediated by drug interactions, local inflammation, and blood flow. In this review, we provide an overview of the various factors influencing CNS penetration of ARV drugs with an emphasis on those commonly used in sub-Saharan Africa. We also summarize some key associations between ARV drug penetration, CNS efficacy, and neurotoxicity.
doi:10.1155/2016/2587094
PMCID: PMC5061948  PMID: 27777797
5.  Perceptions and Experiences about Self-Disclosure of HIV Status among Adolescents with Perinatal Acquired HIV in Poor-Resourced Communities in South Africa 
AIDS Research and Treatment  2016;2016:2607249.
Background. There is limited research on the disclosure experiences of adolescents with perinatal acquired HIV (PAH). The study explores how adolescents with PAH experience living with HIV and examined their perceptions and experiences regarding disclosure and onward self-disclosure to friends and sexual partners. Methods. Thematic analysis was used to analyze in-depth interviews conducted with 37 adolescents. Findings. Adolescents received disclosure about their status at mean age of 12 years. They perceived disclosure as necessary and appreciated the truthful communication they received. Adolescents have learned to accept and live with HIV, and they desired to be healthy and normal like other people. After receiving disclosure, they found their treatment meaningful, and they adhered to medication. However, they also expressed a strong message that their HIV status was truly their secret and that self-disclosure to others will take the feeling of being normal away from them because they will be treated differently. Conclusion. Adolescents maintained secrecy in order to be accepted by their peers but also to protect themselves from stigma and isolation. Given that adolescents want to be informed of their HIV status but desire controlling self-disclosure of their HIV status, these should form the basis for development of disclosure interventions.
doi:10.1155/2016/2607249
PMCID: PMC5031873  PMID: 27672451
6.  Validation Protocol of Vitamin D Supplementation in Patients with HIV-Infection 
AIDS Research and Treatment  2016;2016:5120831.
Hypovitaminosis D and secondary hyperparathyroidism are frequent among HIV-infected patients. As there are no data about the best supplementation therapy both in treatment and in maintenance, we conducted an observational study of 300 HIV-infected patients for whom vitamin D and parathormone (PTH) had been measured in order to validate a protocol of vitamin D supplementation in patients with HIV-infection. Patients with vitamin D deficiency (defined as 25(OH)D < 10 ng/mL), insufficiency (defined as 25(OH)D < 20 ng/mL), or hyperparathyroidism (PTH > 65 pg/mL) were supplemented with cholecalciferol 16.000IU (0.266 mg) weekly (if deficiency) or fortnightly (if insufficiency or high PTH levels). Rates of normalization of 25(OH)D (levels above 20 ng/mL) and PTH levels (<65 pg/mL) were analyzed. Multivariate analysis of factors related to normalization was carried out. With a median follow-up of 2 years, 82.1% of patients with deficiency and 83.9% of cases with insufficiency reached levels above 20 ng/mL. However, only 67.2% of individuals with hyperparathyroidism at baseline reached target levels (<65 pg/mL). Independent factors for not achieving PTH objective were tenofovir (TDF) and protease inhibitors use. In HIV-infected patients with hypovitaminosis, the protocol of cholecalciferol supplementation normalized vitamin D levels regardless of antiretroviral regimen in a high proportion of patients but it was less effective to correct hyperparathyroidism.
doi:10.1155/2016/5120831
PMCID: PMC5028798  PMID: 27699068
7.  Retention in Care among HIV-Infected Pregnant Women in Haiti with PMTCT Option B 
AIDS Research and Treatment  2016;2016:6284290.
Background. Preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV relies on engagement in care during the prenatal, peripartum, and postpartum periods. Under PMTCT Option B, pregnant women with elevated CD4 counts are provided with antiretroviral prophylaxis until cessation of breastfeeding. Methods. Retrospective analysis of retention in care among HIV-infected pregnant women in Haiti was performed. Logistic regression was used to identify risk factors associated with loss to follow-up (LFU) defined as no medical visit for at least 6 months and Kaplan-Meier curves were created to show LFU timing. Results. Women in the cohort had 463 pregnancies between 2009 and 2012 with retention rates of 80% at delivery, 67% at one year, and 59% at 2 years. Among those who were LFU, the highest risk period was during pregnancy (60%) or shortly afterwards (24.4% by 12 months). Never starting on antiretroviral therapy (aRR 2.29, 95% CI 1.4–3.8) was associated with loss to follow-up. Conclusions. Loss to follow-up during and after pregnancy was common in HIV-infected women in Haiti under PMTCT Option B. Since sociodemographic factors and distance from home to facility did not predict LFU, future work should elicit and address barriers to retention at the initial prenatal care visit in all women. Better tracking systems to capture engagement in care in the wider network are needed.
doi:10.1155/2016/6284290
PMCID: PMC5019862  PMID: 27651953
8.  Feasibility and Acceptability of a Smartphone App for Daily Reports of Substance Use and Antiretroviral Therapy Adherence among HIV-Infected Adults 
AIDS Research and Treatment  2016;2016:9510172.
While substance use is one of the most consistent predictors of poor adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART), few studies among people living with HIV (PLH) have utilized mobile phone-based assessment of these health behaviors. PLH were recruited from primary care clinics to report ART and substance use using a smartphone application (app) for 14 consecutive days. The app's feasibility as a data collection tool was evaluated quantitatively via surveys and qualitatively via in-depth interviews to assess daily report completion, compliance, and study satisfaction. Overall, 26 participants (M = 49.5 years, 76% male) completed 95.3% of time-based daily reports. Participants reported high satisfaction with the app and expressed future interest in using smartphones to report daily behaviors. High completion rates and participant acceptability suggest that smartphones are a feasible, acceptable method for collecting substance use and ART data among PLH. Potential areas of concern such as sufficient training and assistance for those with limited smartphone experience should be considered for future app-based research studies among PLH.
doi:10.1155/2016/9510172
PMCID: PMC5004007  PMID: 27610243
9.  Liver Enzymes Abnormalities among Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy Experienced and HAART Naïve HIV-1 Infected Patients at Debre Tabor Hospital, North West Ethiopia: A Comparative Cross-Sectional Study 
AIDS Research and Treatment  2016;2016:1985452.
Liver disease has emerged as the most common non-AIDS-related cause of death in HIV patients. However, there is limited data regarding this condition including our setting in Ethiopia. Hence, liver enzyme abnormalities among highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) experienced and HAART naïve patients were assessed in this study. A total of 164 HAART experienced and 164 HAART naïve patients were studied. Blood specimen was collected to determine alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST), CD4 count, and viral hepatitis. The prevalence of liver enzyme abnormality was 20.1% and 22.0% among HAART experienced and HAART naïve patients, respectively. The HAART experienced patients had higher mean ALT than HAART naïve patients (P = 0.002). Viral hepatitis (AOR = 6.02; 95% CI = 1.87–19.39), opportunistic infections (AOR = 2.91; 95% CI = 1.04–8.19), current CD4 count <200 cells/mm3 (AOR = 2.16; 95% CI = 1.06–4.39), and male sex (AOR = 1.83; 95% CI = 1.001–3.33) were associated with elevated ALT and/or AST. In conclusion, liver enzyme abnormalities were high in both HAART experienced and HAART naïve HIV-1 infected patients. Hence, monitoring and management of liver enzyme abnormalities in HIV-1 infected patients are important in our setting.
doi:10.1155/2016/1985452
PMCID: PMC4963552  PMID: 27493798
10.  The Need for Pediatric Formulations to Treat Children with HIV 
AIDS Research and Treatment  2016;2016:1654938.
Over 3.2 million children worldwide are infected with HIV, but only 24% of these children receive antiretroviral therapy (ART). ART adherence among children is a crucial part of managing human-immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and extending the life and health of infected children. Important causes of poor adherence are formulation- and regimen-specific properties, including poor palatability, large pill burden, short dosing intervals, and the complex storage and transportation of drugs. This review aims to summarize the various regimen- and formulation-based barriers to ART adherence among children to support the need for new and innovative pediatric formulations for antiretroviral therapy (ART). Detailing the arguments both for and against investing in the development of pediatric HIV medications, as well as highlighting recent advances in pediatric ART formulation research, provides a synopsis of the current data related to pediatric ART formulations and adherence.
doi:10.1155/2016/1654938
PMCID: PMC4927993  PMID: 27413548
11.  Language and Culture in Health Literacy for People Living with HIV: Perspectives of Health Care Providers and Professional Care Team Members 
AIDS Research and Treatment  2016;2016:5015707.
Low health literacy has been linked to inadequate engagement in care and may serve as a contributor to poor health outcomes among people living with HIV and AIDS. The purpose of this paper was to examine the perspectives of health care providers and professional care team members regarding health literacy in HIV disease. A secondary data analysis was conducted from a qualitative study aimed at understanding factors that help an HIV positive person to manage their HIV disease. Data were collected from sites in Botswana, the US, and Puerto Rico. In the parent study, data were collected through focus group discussions with 135 people living with HIV, 32 HIV health care providers (HCPs), and 39 HIV professional care team members (PCTMs). SPSS was used to analyze quantitative data while ATLAS.ti was used to analyze qualitative data. The findings from analyses of the perspectives of HCPs/PCTMs suggested that linguistic and cultural factors were important themes in the exchange of HIV information between health care providers and PLHIV. These themes included ineffective communication, health seeking behavior, cultural facilitators, and complementary and alternative/traditional healing methods. Thus, this study suggests that language and culture have a major role in health literacy for PLHIV.
doi:10.1155/2016/5015707
PMCID: PMC4909894  PMID: 27340564
12.  Treatment of Dermatological Conditions Associated with HIV/AIDS: The Scarcity of Guidance on a Global Scale 
AIDS Research and Treatment  2016;2016:3272483.
Background. Skin diseases associated with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection are associated with significant morbidity and mortality. In resource-limited settings, nondermatologists and lay health care providers on the front line of HIV care provide much of the treatment for these conditions. Objective. To evaluate guidelines for treatment of HIV-related skin conditions and assess their accessibility, comprehensiveness, and quality of evidence employed. Methods. A review was undertaken of all national and society guidelines which included treatment information on the ten highest burden HIV-related skin conditions. The search strategy included gray and peer-reviewed literature. Results. Of 430 potential guidelines, 86 met inclusion criteria, and only 2 were written specifically to address HIV-related skin diseases as a whole. Treatment information for HIV-related skin conditions was embedded within guidelines written for other purposes, primarily HIV/AIDs treatment guidelines (49%). Development of guidelines relied either partially or completely on expert opinion (62%). Only 16% of guidelines used gradation of evidence quality and these were primarily from high-income countries (p = 0.001). Limitations. Due to the nature of gray literature, not all guidelines may have been identified. Conclusion. This review highlights the need for evidence-based summary guidelines that address treatment for HIV-related skin conditions in an accessible format.
doi:10.1155/2016/3272483
PMCID: PMC4868888  PMID: 27242923
13.  Prevalence of HIV and Associated Risks of Sex Work among Youth in the Slums of Kampala 
AIDS Research and Treatment  2016;2016:5360180.
Purpose. The purpose of this study is to examine the prevalence of and risk factors for engaging in sex work among youth living in Kampala, Uganda. Methods. Analyses are based on a cross-sectional study (N = 1,134) of youth aged 12-18 years, living in the slums of Kampala, conducted in Spring of 2014. The analytic sample consisted of only sexually active youth (n = 590). Youth who reported engaging in sex work were compared to youth who did not report sex work. Multivariable analyses were conducted to examine factors associated with sex work. Results. Among the youth who had ever had sexual intercourse (n = 590), 13.7% (n = 81) reported engaging in sex work. Self-reported HIV prevalence was 13.9% among the total sample (n = 81) and 22.5% (n = 18) among youth engaged in sex work. Engaging in sex work was associated with being female (AOR 10.4; 95% CI: 3.9, 27.4), being an orphan (AOR 3.8; 95% CI: 1.7, 8.4), ever drinking alcohol (AOR 8.3; 95% CI 3.7, 19.0), and experiencing any rape (AOR 5.3; 95% CI: 2.9, 9.5). Discussion. The reported prevalence of sex work is high among youth in the slums of Kampala and is associated with high HIV prevalence, ever drinking alcohol, previously being raped, and being an orphan.
doi:10.1155/2016/5360180
PMCID: PMC4864562  PMID: 27239340
14.  Experiences and Impact of Stigma and Discrimination among People on Antiretroviral Therapy in Dar es Salaam: A Qualitative Perspective 
AIDS Research and Treatment  2016;2016:7925052.
Background. The impact of stigma on adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) has been less studied in Tanzania. Recent studies indicate that people on ART still experience stigma. Qualitative information on the subject matter is especially insufficient. Objective. This paper reports on the dimensions of stigma and discrimination and their impact on adherence to ART as experienced by people living with HIV (PLHIV). Design. A phenomenological approach was used to gather information on the lived experiences of stigma and discrimination. The sample size was determined according to the saturation principle. Results. Respondents experienced different forms of HIV-related stigma such as verbal, social, and perceived stigma. Various forms of discrimination were experienced, including relational discrimination, mistreatment by health care workers, blame and rejection by spouses, and workplace discrimination. HIV-related stigma and discrimination compromised ART adherence by reinforcing concealment of HIV status and undermining social suppport. Conclusion. After nearly a decade of increasing the provision of ART in Tanzania, PLHIV still experience stigma and discrimination; these experiences still appear to have a negative impact on treatment adherence. Efforts to reduce stigma and discrimination remain relevant in the ART period and should be given more impetus in order to maximize positive treatment outcomes.
doi:10.1155/2016/7925052
PMCID: PMC4823479  PMID: 27110395
15.  Treatment Buddies Improve Clinic Attendance among Women but Not Men on Antiretroviral Therapy in the Nyanza Region of Kenya 
AIDS Research and Treatment  2016;2016:9124541.
Background. Kenyan antiretroviral (ART) guidelines encourage treatment buddies (TBy) to maximize treatment adherence. This study examined the effect of TBys on clinic attendance in men and women on ART. Methods. This retrospective cohort study included all adult patients initiating ART from August 2007 to December 2011 at four health facilities in Kenya. Data were abstracted from electronic medical records and analyzed using Poisson regression. Results. Of 2,430 patients, 2,199 (91%) had a TBy. Relationship between TBy and clinic attendance differed in females and males (interaction p = 0.09). After demographic and clinic factor adjustment, females with a TBy were 28% more likely to adhere to all appointments than those without (adjusted aRR = 1.28; 95% CI 1.08–1.53), whereas males were no more likely to adhere (aRR = 1.01; 95% CI 0.76–1.32). Males reported partner/spouse (33%) or brother (11%) as the TBy while females reported sister (17%), partner/spouse (14%), or another family member (12%). Multivariable analysis found no association between clinic attendance and TBy relationship in either gender. Conclusion. Clinic attendance was higher among women with TBys but not men. Results support TBys to help women achieve ART success; alternate strategies to bolster TBy benefits are needed for men.
doi:10.1155/2016/9124541
PMCID: PMC4820594  PMID: 27092271
16.  Anaemia and Iron Homeostasis in a Cohort of HIV-Infected Patients: A Cross-Sectional Study in Ghana 
AIDS Research and Treatment  2016;2016:1623094.
Aim. We determined the prevalence of anaemia and evaluated markers of iron homeostasis in a cohort of HIV patients. Methods. A comparative cross-sectional study on 319 participants was carried out at the Tamale Teaching Hospital from July 2013 to December 2013, 219 patients on HAART (designated On-HAART) and 100 HAART-naive patients. Data gathered include sociodemography, clinical history, and selected laboratory assays. Results. Prevalence of anaemia was 23.8%. On-HAART participants had higher CD4/CD3 lymphocyte counts, Hb, HCT/PCV, MCV, MCH, iron, ferritin, and TSAT (P < 0.05). Hb, iron, ferritin, and TSAT decreased from grade 1 to grade 3 anaemia and CD4/CD3 lymphocyte count was lowest in grade 3 anaemia (P < 0.05). Iron (P = 0.0072) decreased with disease severity whilst transferrin (P = 0.0143) and TIBC (P = 0.0143) increased with disease severity. Seventy-six (23.8%) participants fulfilled the criteria for anaemia, 86 (26.9%) for iron deficiency, 41 (12.8%) for iron deficiency anaemia, and 17 (5.3%) for iron overload. The frequency of anaemia was higher amongst participants not on HAART (OR 2.6 for grade 1 anaemia; OR 3.0 for grade 3 anaemia). Conclusion. In this study population, HIV-associated anaemia is common and is related to HAART status and disease progression. HIV itself is the most important cause of anaemia and treatment of HIV should be a priority compared to iron supplementation.
doi:10.1155/2016/1623094
PMCID: PMC4820609  PMID: 27092270
17.  Burden of Suicidal Ideation and Attempt among Persons Living with HIV and AIDS in Semiurban Uganda 
AIDS Research and Treatment  2016;2016:3015468.
Although the impact of HIV/AIDS has changed globally, it still causes considerable morbidity and mortality, including suicidality, in countries like Uganda. This paper describes the burden and risk factors for suicidal ideation and attempt among 543 HIV-positive attending two HIV specialized clinics in Mbarara municipality, Uganda. The rate of suicidal ideation was 8.8% (n = 48; 95% CI: 6.70–11.50) and suicidal attempt was 3.1% (17, 95% CI 2.00–5.00). The factors associated with increased risk for suicidal ideation and attempts were state anger (OR = 1.06, 95% CI: 1.03–1.09; p = 0.001); trait anger (OR 1.10, 95% CI 1.04–1.16, p = 0.002); depression (OR 1.13, 95% CI 1.07–1.20, p = 0.001); hopelessness (OR 1.12, 95% CI 1.02–1.23, p = 0.024); anxiety (OR 1.06, 95% CI 1.03–1.09); low social support (OR 0.19, 95% CI 0.07–0.47, p = 0.001); inability to provide for others (OR 0.19, 95% CI 0.07–0.47, p = 0.001); and stigma (OR 2.48, 95% CI 1.11–5.54, p = 0.027). At multivariate analysis, only state anger remained statistically significant. HIV/AIDS is associated with several clinical, psychological, and social factors which increase vulnerability to suicidal ideation and attempts. Making suicide risk assessment and management an integral part of HIV care is warranted.
doi:10.1155/2016/3015468
PMCID: PMC4814631  PMID: 27073694
18.  Impulsivity, Sensation Seeking, and Risk-Taking Behaviors among HIV-Positive and HIV-Negative Heroin Dependent Persons 
AIDS Research and Treatment  2016;2016:5323256.
Objective. The aim of this study was to compare impulsivity and risky decision making among HIV-positive and negative heroin dependent persons. Methods. We compared different dimensions of impulsivity and risky decision making in two groups of 60 HIV-positive and 60 HIV-negative male heroin dependent persons. Each group was comprised of equal numbers of current (treatment seeker) and former (abstinent) heroin addicts. Data collection tools included Balloon Analogue Risk Task (BART), Iowa Gambling Task (IGT), Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS), and Zuckerman Sensation Seeking Scale (SSS). Results. In SSS, comprised of four subscales including thrill and adventure seeking (TAS), experience seeking (ES), disinhibition (DIS), and boredom susceptibility (BS), there was a borderline difference in DIS (P = 0.08) as HIV-positive group scored higher than HIV-negative group. Also, ES and total score were significantly higher among HIV-positive patients. In BART, HIV-positive subjects scored higher in risk taking than HIV-negative subjects as reflected in higher Average Number of puffs in Successful Balloons (ANSB). In BIS, HIV-positive group scored significantly higher in cognitive impulsivity (CI) (P = 0.03) and nonplanning impulsivity (NPI) (P = 0.05) in comparison to HIV-negative group. Also, current heroin addicts scored significantly higher in NPI compared to former addict HIV-negative participants (P = 0.015). IGT did not show any significant difference between groups. Conclusion. Higher levels of impulsivity and risk taking behaviors among HIV-positive heroin addicts will increase serious concerns regarding HIV transmission from this group to other opiate dependents and healthy people.
doi:10.1155/2016/5323256
PMCID: PMC4802021  PMID: 27051528
19.  Evaluation of Olfactory and Gustatory Function of HIV Infected Women 
AIDS Research and Treatment  2016;2016:2045383.
Background. Compliance with medication requires good sense of smell and taste. Objective. To evaluate the olfactory and gustatory function of HIV infected women in Ibadan, Nigeria. Methods. A case control study of women comprising 83 HIV infected women and 79 HIV uninfected women. Subjective self-rating of taste and smell function was by visual analogue scale. Olfactory function was measured via olfactory threshold (OT), olfactory discrimination (OD), olfactory identification (OI), and TDI using “Sniffin' sticks” kits and taste function (Total Taste Strips (TTS) score) measurement was by taste strips. Results. The mean age of the HIV infected women was 43.67 years ± 10.72 and control was 41.48 years ± 10.99. There was no significant difference in the self-reported assessment of smell (p = 0.67) and taste (p = 0.84) of HIV infected and uninfected women. Although the mean OT, OD, OI, TDI, and TTS scores of HIV infected and uninfected women were within the normosmic and normogeusic values, the values were significantly higher in the controls (p < 0.05). Hyposmia was in 39.7% of subjects and 12.6% of controls while hypogeusia was in 15.7% of subjects and 1.3% of controls. Conclusions. Hyposmia and hypogeusia are commoner among the HIV infected women than the HIV uninfected women and the risk increases with an increased duration of highly active antiretroviral therapy.
doi:10.1155/2016/2045383
PMCID: PMC4800074  PMID: 27047688
20.  Use of Cognitive Interviews to Adapt PROMIS Measurement Items for Spanish Speakers Living with HIV 
AIDS Research and Treatment  2016;2016:8340863.
Purpose. To use cognitive interviewing techniques to assess comprehension of existing Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) items among Latinos living with HIV and then refine items based on participant feedback. Methods. Latino monolingual Spanish speakers living with HIV (n = 56) participated in cognitive interviews. Items from four PROMIS domains, including depression, anxiety, fatigue, and alcohol use, were assessed for comprehension. Audiotaped interviews and handwritten notes were subjected to content analysis to identify problems specific to each instrument for each domain. Results. The assessments from the cognitive interviews identified areas for improvement in each domain. We present data on the type of items that were difficult to comprehend and provide examples for how items were refined based on participants' and PROMIS Statistical Coordinating Center (PSCC) feedback. Six out of 48 depression items, 7 out of the 61 anxiety items, 18 out of 42 fatigue items, and 7 out of 44 alcohol use items were found to have poor comprehension. These items were refined based on participant feedback; the items were then submitted to the PSCC for additional guidance on linguistics and grammar to improve comprehension. Conclusions. Cognitive interviews may be used to enhance comprehension of PROMIS items among Latinos.
doi:10.1155/2016/8340863
PMCID: PMC4789049  PMID: 27022480
21.  HIV-Associated Oral Mucosal Melanin Hyperpigmentation: A Clinical Study in a South African Population Sample 
AIDS Research and Treatment  2016;2016:8389214.
Objective. The aim of the study was to determine the prevalence of HIV-associated oral mucosal melanin hyperpigmentation (HIV-OMH) in a specific population of HIV-seropositive South Africans and to analyse the associations between HIV-OMH clinical features and the demographic and immunological characteristics of the study cohort. Material and Methods. This cross-sectional study included 200 HIV-seropositive Black subjects. The collected data comprised age, gender, CD4+ T cell count, viral load, systemic disease, medications, oral site affected by HIV-OMH, extent (localized or generalized), intensity of the pigmentation (dark or light), and smoking and snuff use. Results. Overall, 18.5% of the study cohort had HIV-OMH. Twenty-two and a half percent had OMH that could not with confidence be attributed to HIV infection, and 59% did not have any OMH. There was a significant but weak association between smoking and the presence of HIV-OMH. Conclusions. The prevalence of HIV-OMH in the study population was 18.5%, the gingiva being the most commonly affected site. It appears that the CD4+ T cell count does not play any role in the biopathology of HIV-OMH.
doi:10.1155/2016/8389214
PMCID: PMC4783540  PMID: 27006825
22.  Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV Infection and Its Determinants among Exposed Infants on Care and Follow-Up in Dire Dawa City, Eastern Ethiopia 
AIDS Research and Treatment  2016;2016:3262746.
Since the scale-up for prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) services, rates of HIV infection among exposed infants have significantly declined. However, current achievements fell short of achieving the target sets. We investigated mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV infection and its determinants among HIV-exposed infants on care at Dilchora Referral Hospital in Dire Dawa City Administration. A retrospective institutional cohort study was conducted by reviewing follow-up records of HIV-exposed infants who were enrolled into care. Infants' HIV serostatus was the outcome measure of the study. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regressions were employed to identify significant determinants. Of the 382 HIV-exposed infants enrolled into care, 60 (15.7%) became HIV positive. Rural residence (AOR: 3.29; 95% CI: 1.40, 7.22), home delivery (AOR: 3.35; 95% CI: 1.58, 8.38), infant not receiving ARV prophylaxis at birth (AOR: 5.83; 95% CI: 2.84, 11.94), mixed feeding practices (AOR: 42.21; 95% CI: 8.31, 214.38), and mother-child pairs neither receiving ARV (AOR: 4.42; 95% CI: 2.01, 9.82) were significant independent determinants of MTCT of HIV infection. Our findings suggest additional efforts to intensify scale-up of PMTCT services in rural setting and improve institutional delivery and postnatal care for HIV positive mothers and proper follow-up for HIV-exposed infants.
doi:10.1155/2016/3262746
PMCID: PMC4771871  PMID: 26989507
23.  Failure to Return for Posttest Counseling and HIV Test Results at the Prevention and Voluntary Testing and Counseling Centers of Douala, Cameroon: An Evaluation of a Routine Five-Year Program 
AIDS Research and Treatment  2016;2016:9720148.
This study examined the magnitude and time trends in failure to return (FTR) rates and the relation between FTR and individual characteristics, tests procedures, waiting period for the results, and HIV test results among people who were screened for HIV in the prevention and voluntary testing and counseling centers (PVTCCs) of six district hospitals of the city of Douala in Cameroon, between January 2009 and December 2013. It was a retrospective analysis of medical records. Among the 32,020 analyzed records, the failure to return (FTR) rate was 14.3%. Overall, people aged 50 years and over, those tested between 2011 and 2012, and those tested in the PVTCC of Bonassama were less likely to return for their results. Significant factors associated with FTR included being a housewife, having a positive/undetermined/requiring confirmation result, and provider-initiated testing and counseling (PITC). There was an increasing trend for FTR in the PVTCCs of Bonassama, New-Bell, Nylon, and Cité des Palmiers. HIV testing and counseling services in Douala district hospitals must be reorganized such that individuals tested for HIV receive their results on the same day of the test. Also counselors need to better alert clients concerning the importance of returning for their test results.
doi:10.1155/2016/9720148
PMCID: PMC4746278  PMID: 26925261
24.  Advancing Behavioral HIV Prevention: Adapting an Evidence-Based Intervention for People Living with HIV and Alcohol Use Disorders 
AIDS Research and Treatment  2015;2015:879052.
Alcohol use disorders (AUDs) are highly prevalent among people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) and are associated with increased HIV risk behaviors, suboptimal treatment adherence, and greater risk for disease progression. We used the ADAPT-ITT strategy to adapt an evidence-based intervention (EBI), the Holistic Health Recovery Program (HHRP+), that focuses on secondary HIV prevention and antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence and apply it to PLWHA with problematic drinking. Focus groups (FGs) were conducted with PLWHA who consume alcohol and with treatment providers at the largest HIV primary care clinic in New Orleans, LA. Overall themes that emerged from the FGs included the following: (1) negative mood states contribute to heavy alcohol consumption in PLWHA; (2) high levels of psychosocial stress, paired with few adaptive coping strategies, perpetuate the use of harmful alcohol consumption in PLWHA; (3) local cultural norms are related to the permissiveness and pervasiveness of drinking and contribute to heavy alcohol use; (4) healthcare providers unanimously stated that outpatient options for AUD intervention are scarce, (5) misperceptions about the relationships between alcohol and HIV are common; (6) PLWHA are interested in learning about alcohol's impact on ART and HIV disease progression. These data were used to design the adapted EBI.
doi:10.1155/2015/879052
PMCID: PMC4678056  PMID: 26697216
25.  Pregnant and Postpartum Women's Experiences and Perspectives on the Acceptability and Feasibility of Copackaged Medicine for Antenatal Care and PMTCT in Lesotho 
AIDS Research and Treatment  2015;2015:435868.
Objective. To improve PMTCT and antenatal care-related service delivery, a pack with centrally prepackaged medicine was rolled out to all pregnant women in Lesotho in 2011. This study assessed acceptability and feasibility of this copackaging mechanism for drug delivery among pregnant and postpartum women. Methods. Acceptability and feasibility were assessed in a mixed method, cross-sectional study through structured interviews (SI) and semistructured interviews (SSI) conducted in 2012 and 2013. Results. 290 HIV-negative women and 437 HIV-positive women (n = 727) participated. Nearly all SI participants found prepackaged medicines acceptable, though modifications such as size reduction of the pack were suggested. Positive experiences included that the pack helped women take pills as instructed and contents promoted healthy pregnancies. Negative experiences included inadvertent pregnancy disclosure and discomfort carrying the pack in communities. Implementation was also feasible; 85.2% of SI participants reported adequate counseling time, though 37.8% felt pack use caused clinic delays. SSI participants reported improvement in service quality following pack introduction, due to more comprehensive counseling. Conclusions. A prepackaged drug delivery mechanism for ANC/PMTCT medicines was acceptable and feasible. Findings support continued use of this approach in Lesotho with improved design modifications to reflect the current PMTCT program of lifelong treatment for all HIV-positive pregnant women.
doi:10.1155/2015/435868
PMCID: PMC4663282  PMID: 26649193

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