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1.  Plausibility of HIV-1 Infection of Oral Mucosal Epithelial Cells 
Advances in Dental Research  2011;23(1):38-44.
The AIDS pandemic continues. Little is understood about how HIV gains access to permissive cells across mucosal surfaces, yet such knowledge is crucial to the development of successful topical anti-HIV-1 agents and mucosal vaccines. HIV-1 rapidly internalizes and integrates into the mucosal keratinocyte genome, and integrated copies of HIV-1 persist upon cell passage. The virus does not appear to replicate, and the infection may become latent. Interactions between HIV-1 and oral keratinocytes have been modeled in the context of key environmental factors, including putative copathogens and saliva. In keratinocytes, HIV-1 internalizes within minutes; in saliva, an infectious fraction escapes inactivation and is harbored and transferable to permissive target cells for up to 48 hours. When incubated with the common oral pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis, CCR5− oral keratinocytes signal through protease-activated receptors and Toll-like receptors to induce expression of CCR5, which increases selective uptake of infectious R5-tropic HIV-1 into oral keratinocytes and transfer to permissive cells. Hence, oral keratinocytes—like squamous keratinocytes of other tissues—may be targets for low-level HIV-1 internalization and subsequent dissemination by transfer to permissive cells.
doi:10.1177/0022034511399283
PMCID: PMC3144042  PMID: 21441479
HIV/AIDS; epithelia; oral epithelium; infectious disease; mucosal immunity; vaccines
2.  Childbirth in Palestine 
Objective
This study describes staffing, caseloads and reported routine practices for normal childbirth in Palestinian West Bank (WB) governmental maternity facilities and compares these practices with evidence-based care.
Methods
Data on routine childbirth practices in all eight governmental hospitals were obtained through interviews with head obstetricians and midwives. Data on staffing and monthly number of births were collected by phone or personal interview from all 37 WB hospitals.
Results
Forty-eight percent of WB deliveries took place in crowded and understaffed governmental hospitals. Reported practices were not consistently in line with evidence-based care. Lack of knowledge and structural barriers were reasons for this gap.
Conclusion
The implications of limiting unnecessary interventions in the normal birth process are particularly important in a context of limited access and scarce resources. More skilled birth attendants and a universal commitment to effective care are needed.
doi:10.1016/j.ijgo.2005.01.029
PMCID: PMC1457108  PMID: 15847891
Childbirth; Maternity facilities; Evidence-based practices; Developing countries; Palestine; Health care in conflict

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