Search tips
Search criteria

Results 1-9 (9)

Clipboard (0)

Select a Filter Below

Year of Publication
1.  HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C prevalence and associated risk behaviors among female sex workers in three Afghan cities 
AIDS (London, England)  2010;24(0 2):S69-S75.
To assess prevalence of HIV, syphilis, and hepatitis B (HBV) and C virus and associated risk behaviors among female sex workers (FSWs) in three Afghan cities. Design: Cross-sectional prevalence assessment.
Consented FSWs from Jalalabad, Kabul, and Mazar-i-Sharif completed an interviewer-administered questionnaire, pre and post-test counseling, and rapid and confirmatory testing for HIV, HCV, HBV and syphilis. Logistic regression was used to detect correlates associated with HBV infection.
Of 520 participants, median age and age of initiating sex work were 29 and 23 years, respectively, and median number of monthly clients was 12. Few FSWs reported ever having used illicit drugs (6.9%) or alcohol (4.7%). Demographic and risk behaviors varied significantly by enrollment site, with Kabul FSWs more likely to report sexually-transmitted infection (STI) symptoms, longer sex work duration, and sex work in other cities. Prevalence of HIV was 0.19%, HCV was 1.92%, and HBV was 6.54%, with no cases of syphilis detected. HBV was independently associated with ≥12 clients monthly (AOR=3.15, 95% CI: 1.38 – 7.17), ever using alcohol (AOR=2.61, 95% CI: 1.45 – 4.69), anal sex (AOR=2.42, 95% CI: 1.15 – 5.08), and having children (AOR=2.12, 95% CI: 1.72 – 2.63) in site-controlled multivariate analysis.
While prevalence of HIV, HCV, and syphilis is currently low in these three Afghan cities, risky sexual practices were common and associated with HBV. Programming inclusive of voluntary testing for HIV, viral hepatitis, and STIs, hepatitis vaccination, substance abuse prevention, and condom promotion for both FSWs and clients should be pursued in Afghanistan.
PMCID: PMC3650731  PMID: 20610952
HIV; hepatitis B; female sex worker; Afghanistan
2.  Ventricular assist device therapy in post-cardiotomy cardiogenic shock: historical outcomes and current trends† 
Ventricular assist device (VAD) therapy has been used successfully as a bridge to recovery, bridge to transplant and in the last decade as a destination therapy. The use of VAD for post-cardiotomy cardiogenic shock (PCCS) is not currently reported in national databases in the UK and Ireland. Data were collected through a telephone survey of chief perfusionists from all the cardiac surgery units in the UK and Ireland between October 2007 and October 2008. Approximately 28 000 adult cardiac surgical procedures were performed at 45 cardiac centres, of which 33 (73%) reported using VAD. The total number of patients supported was 66, of which 41% (n = 27) survived to be discharged home. About 42.5% (n = 28) died during VAD in place, and 16.5% died after successful weaning from VAD. Preferences for device types were Biomedicus (n = 25), Levitronix (n = 10), Sorin (n = 3), roller pump (n = 3) and Berlin heart (n = 2). Despite the reasonable survival rates after VAD use in post-cardiotomy heart failure, there are significant differences in their availability and individual's attitude towards their use. VAD use in PCCS should be prospectively documented in the audit returns of all the units, for further analysis and for generation of protocols.
PMCID: PMC3329302  PMID: 22314011
Post-cardiotomy cardiogenic shock; Ventricular assist device; Mechanical support
3.  Multiple synchronous primary tumours in a single lobe 
We present the case of a 70-year-old man with three synchronous histologically different primary tumours in the same lobe. He initially presented with an intermittent productive cough, dyspnoea and non-specific abdominal pains. Radiological investigation revealed three areas of high-intensity fludeoxyglucose uptake of varying size within the right upper lobe. He underwent thoracoscopic right upper lobectomy. Histological analysis confirmed the three lesions to be undifferentiated squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma and atypical adenomatous hyperplasia. The reclassification of the T descriptors of the tumour–node–metastasis staging of a lung cancer has lead to the transition of classification of tumour nodules in the ipsilateral primary tumour lobe from T4 to T3. In the case of our patient, this has lead to the downstaging of the tumour allowing consideration for surgical management.
PMCID: PMC3290363  PMID: 22159234
Lung cancer surgery; Lobectomy; Positron emission tomography; Histology
4.  Does mechanical pleurodesis result in better outcomes than chemical pleurodesis for recurrent primary spontaneous pneumothorax? 
A best-evidence topic was written according to a structured protocol. The question addressed was whether mechanical pleurodesis results in better outcomes in comparison with chemical pleurodesis in patients undergoing surgery for recurrent primary spontaneous pneumothorax. A total of 542 papers were found using the reported searches, of which 6 represented the best evidence to answer the clinical question. The authors, date, journal, study type, population, main outcome measures and results are tabulated. The studies found compared the outcomes of mechanical and chemical pleurodesis and also focused on the outcomes of the different methods of mechanical pleurodesis: pleural abrasion and pleurectomy. Reported measures were operative mortality, mean operation time, post-operative bleeding, persistent air leaks, chest drain duration, pain levels, pneumonia, respiratory failure, wound infection, pulmonary function, re-exploration for bleeding and air leak, hospital stay, recurrence and re-operation for recurrence. One large cohort study compared the outcomes of mechanical and chemical talc pleurodesis and reported a significant reduction in recurrence with talc pleurodesis in comparison with pleurectomy (1.79 vs. 9.15%, P = 0.00018). Another large cohort study, analysing pleural abrasion, pleurectomy and talc pleurodesis, both in isolation and in combination with apical bullectomy, reported the highest rate of recurrence in bullectomy plus abrasion patients (1.4%) followed by bullectomy plus talc pleurodesis patients (0.4%). No recurrence was seen with other techniques. The reported freedom from surgery at 10-year follow-up was 98.9% with talc pleurodesis, 97.5% with pleurectomy and 96.4% with pleural abrasion, however, with no statistical significance. A prospective randomized study, a retrospective case series review and two smaller cohort studies compared the outcomes of pleural abrasion and pleurectomy as different techniques of mechanical pleurodesis and reported statistically significant shorter operation times, lower rates of post-operative bleeding, re-exploration and pain observed with pleural abrasion and lower rates of recurrence with pleurectomy. Three studies reported the outcomes of apical bullectomy or wedge resection with recurrence rates ranging from 0.4 to 6.2%. We conclude that there is a very similar outcome profile in the comparison of mechanical and chemical pleurodesis, with modest evidence suggesting lower rates of recurrence with chemical talc pleurodesis.
PMCID: PMC3290368  PMID: 22184464
Mechanical pleurodesis; Chemical pleurodesis; Pleurectomy; Abrasion; Talc; Primary spontaneous pneumothorax
5.  Cross-sectional assessment of prevalence and correlates of blood-borne and sexually-transmitted infections among Afghan National Army recruits 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2012;12:196.
Few data are available in Afghanistan to shape national military force health practices, particularly with regard to sexually-transmitted infections (STIs). We measured prevalence and correlates of HIV, syphilis, herpes simplex 2 virus (HSV-2), and hepatitis C virus (HCV) among Afghan National Army (ANA) recruits.
A cross-sectional sample of male ANA recruits aged 18–35 years were randomly selected at the Kabul Military Training Center between February 2010 and January 2011. Participants completed an interviewer-administered questionnaire and serum-based rapid testing for syphilis and hepatitis C virus antibody on-site; HIV and HSV-2 screening, and confirmatory testing were performed off-site. Prevalence of each infection was calculated and logistic regression analysis performed to identify correlates.
Of 5313 recruits approached, 4750 consented to participation. Participants had a mean age of 21.8 years (SD±3.8), 65.5% had lived outside Afghanistan, and 44.3% had no formal education. Few reported prior marijuana (16.3%), alcohol (5.3%), or opiate (3.4%) use. Of sexually active recruits (58.7%, N = 2786), 21.3% reported paying women for sex and 21.3% reported sex with males. Prevalence of HIV (0.063%, 95% CI: 0.013- 0.19), syphilis (0.65%, 95% CI: 0.44 – 0.93), and HCV (0.82%, 95% CI: 0.58 – 1.12) were quite low. Prevalence of HSV-2 was 3.03% (95% CI: 2.56 - 3.57), which was independently associated with age (Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR) = 1.04, 95% CI: 1.00 - 1.09) and having a television (socioeconomic marker) (AOR = 1.46, 95% CI: 1.03 – 2.05).
Though prevalence of HIV, HCV, syphilis, and HSV-2 was low, sexual risk behaviors and intoxicant use were present among a substantial minority, indicating need for prevention programming. Formative work is needed to determine a culturally appropriate approach for prevention programming to reduce STI risk among Afghan National Army troops.
PMCID: PMC3482585  PMID: 22909128
Afghanistan; Military populations; HIV; Sexual risk behavior; Drug use
6.  Contraceptive Utilization and Pregnancy Termination Among Female Sex Workers in Afghanistan 
Journal of Women's Health  2010;19(11):2057-2062.
To determine the prevalence and correlates of prior pregnancy termination and unmet need for contraception among female sex workers (FSWs) in Afghanistan.
FSWs in Jalalabad, Kabul, and Mazar-i-Sharif were recruited between June 2006 and December 2007 through outreach programs. Participants completed an interviewer-administered survey describing demographics, behaviors associated with risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unplanned pregnancy, and medical history. Correlates of prior pregnancy termination and current unmet need for contraception were assessed with logistic regression analysis, controlling for site.
Of 520 FSWs, most (82.3%) had been pregnant at least once (mean 4.9 ± 2.7, range 1–17), among whom unplanned pregnancy (36.9%) and termination (33.2%) were common. Jalalabad participants were more likely to report both prior unplanned pregnancy (60.6% vs. 48.3% in Kabul or 20.7% in Mazar, p < 0.001) and prior termination (54.9% vs. 31.8% in Kabul or 26.8% in Mazar, p < 0.001). Most FSWs (90.0%) stated pregnancy was not currently desirable, and 85.2% were using contraception. Unmet need for contraception (14.7% of participants) was positively associated with having sold sex outside their city of residence (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 1.88, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.28-2.77) and inversely associated with illicit drug use (AOR 0.41, 95% CI 0.31-0.53).
Although FSWs in Afghanistan report high rates of contraceptive use, unplanned pregnancy is common. Reproductive health services should be included in programming for FSWs to reduce unplanned pregnancies and to reduce HIV/STI risks.
PMCID: PMC2971650  PMID: 20879869
7.  Prevalence and correlates of HIV, syphilis, and hepatitis B and C infection and harm reduction program use among male injecting drug users in Kabul, Afghanistan: A cross-sectional assessment 
A nascent HIV epidemic and high prevalence of risky drug practices were detected among injecting drug users (IDUs) in Kabul, Afghanistan from 2005-2006. We assessed prevalence of HIV, hepatitis C virus (HCV), hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), syphilis, and needle and syringe program (NSP) use among this population.
IDUs were recruited between June, 2007 and March, 2009 and completed questionnaires and rapid testing for HIV, HCV, HBsAg, and syphilis; positive samples received confirmatory testing. Logistic regression was used to identify correlates of HIV, HCV, and current NSP use.
Of 483 participants, all were male and median age, age at first injection, and duration of injection were 28, 24, and 2.0 years, respectively. One-fifth (23.0%) had initiated injecting within the last year. Reported risky injecting practices included ever sharing needles/syringes (16.9%) or other injecting equipment (38.4%). Prevalence of HIV, HCV Ab, HBSAg, and syphilis was 2.1% (95% CI: 1.0-3.8), 36.1% (95% CI: 31.8-40.4), 4.6% (95% CI: 2.9-6.9), and 1.2% (95% CI: 0.5-2.7), respectively. HIV and HCV infection were both independently associated with sharing needles/syringes (AOR = 5.96, 95% CI: 1.58 - 22.38 and AOR = 2.33, 95% CI: 1.38 - 3.95, respectively). Approximately half (53.8%) of the participants were using NSP services at time of enrollment and 51.3% reported receiving syringes from NSPs in the last three months. Current NSP use was associated with initiating drug use with injecting (AOR = 2.58, 95% CI: 1.22 - 5.44), sharing injecting equipment in the last three months (AOR = 1.79, 95% CI: 1.16 - 2.77), prior incarceration (AOR = 1.57, 95% CI: 1.06 - 2.32), and greater daily frequency of injecting (AOR = 1.40 injections daily, 95% CI: 1.08 - 1.82).
HIV and HCV prevalence appear stable among Kabul IDUs, though the substantial number having recently initiated injecting raises concern that transmission risk may increase over time. Harm reduction programming appears to be reaching high-risk drug user populations; however, monitoring is warranted to determine efficacy of prevention programming in this dynamic environment.
PMCID: PMC3180253  PMID: 21867518
injection drug user; Afghanistan; HIV; hepatitis C; harm reduction
8.  Distinct Circulating Recombinant HIV-1 Strains Among Injecting Drug Users and Sex Workers in Afghanistan 
Little information is available regarding a circulating HIV genotype among high-risk groups in Afghanistan; we describe HIV genotypes among injecting drug users (IDUs) and sex workers (SWs) in four Afghan cities. Participants completed behavioral questionnaires and HIV testing. Western blot–confirmed specimens had peripheral mononuclear blood cells isolated for genotyping. Analysis of recombinants was done by bootscanning and manual sequence alignment. The single SW sample harbored a CRF01_AE strain. Of 10 IDUs available for analysis, all were CRF35_AD and from Hirat. Analyzed subregions (gag p17 and env C1-C5) revealed close homology between the Hirat specimens. Three distinct subclusters comprising two or three strains were identified, whereas two other strains were generally equidistant from previously identified Kabul strains. Results suggest that the nascent HIV epidemic among IDUs in Hirat is largely, if not entirely, subtype CRF35_AD, and the close homology suggests recent infection; harm reduction should be supported to avert further transmission.
PMCID: PMC2933162  PMID: 20438383
9.  Minerva 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2007;334(7604):1172.
PMCID: PMC1885294

Results 1-9 (9)