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1.  Effect of emergency oral contraceptive use on condom utilization and sexual risk taking behaviours among university students, Northwest Ethiopia: a cross-sectional study 
BMC Research Notes  2012;5:501.
Background
Young people between the ages of 15 and 24 years are both the most at risk of HIV and the greatest hope for turning the tide against HIV/AIDS. Although various surveys have been done on sexual behaviour of youth in Ethiopia, studies assessing the effect of emergency oral contraceptives on condom utilization of university students are lacking.
Methods
A cross-sectional study was conducted in two major universities of Ethiopia from January to May 2011 using structured self administered questionnaire with the aim to assess the effect of introducing oral emergency contraceptive pills on condom utilization and sexual risk taking behaviours among female university students. Study participants were selected by simple random sampling using the list from the associate registrars of each University. Data were entered, cleaned and analyzed using SPSS version 17.0. Bivariate and multiple logistic regression analyses were used to determine factors associated with condom utilization.
Results
a total of 623 students out of 660 were included giving response rate of 94.4%. A total of 103(16.5%) had history of sexual intercourse and nearly half (45.6%) of them had sex before the age of 20 years. Forty (6.4%) students had history of sexually transmitted infections (STI). Sixty seven percent of students had heard about emergency oral contraceptives. One hundred and ninety one (45.7%) of students believe that EOC is effective in preventing pregnancy. Believing that EOC is effective in preventing pregnancy (adjusted Odds ratio, AOR = 0.22 95% CI 0.06, 0.87), condom prevents STI (AOR = 10.37, 95% CI 1.73, 62.24) and younger age below 20 years (AOR = 11.68 95% CI 1.25, 109.19) were statistically significantly associated with condom use.
Conclusion
a significant number of students had history of sexual intercourse and used emergency contraception. The belief in the effectiveness of EOC negatively affects condom use. The preference for the pill may make teenagers less prepared to practice STI protective behaviours in specific situations. Therefore, there is an urgent need to educate young people in universities about reproductive health and family planning and skills on how to prevent HIV/STIs including unwanted pregnancy.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-501
PMCID: PMC3494538  PMID: 22971668
University students; Emergency contraceptive; Risky sexual behaviour; Condom use; Northwest Ethiopia
2.  Prevalence of Pulmonary tuberculosis and immunological profile of HIV co-infected patients in Northwest Ethiopia 
BMC Research Notes  2012;5:331.
Background
In sub-Saharan Africa, as high as 2/3 of tuberculosis patients are HIV/AIDS co-infected and tuberculosis is the most common cause of death among HIV/AIDS patients worldwide. Tuberculosis and HIV co-infections are associated with special diagnostic and therapeutic challenges and constitute an immense burden on healthcare systems of heavily infected countries like Ethiopia. The aim of the study was to determine the prevalence of pulmonary tuberculosis and their immunologic profiles among HIV positive patients.
Methods
A cross sectional study was conducted among adult HIV-positive patients attending HIV/AIDS clinic of Gondar University Hospital. Clinical and laboratory investigations including chest x-ray and acid fast staining were used to identify tuberculosis cases. Blood samples were collected to determine CD4+ lymphocyte count. A structured questionnaire was used to collect socio-demographic characteristics of study subjects. The data was entered and analyzed using SPSS version 16 software.
Results
A total of 400 HIV positive study participants were enrolled. Thirty (7.5%, 95%CI: 5.2-10.6%) of the study participants were found to have pulmonary tuberculosis. In multivariate analysis, only CD4+ lymphocyte count (AOR = 2.9; 95% CI: 1.002-8.368) was found to be independently associated with tuberculosis-HIV co-infection. Individuals who had advanced WHO clinical stage were also statistically significant for co-infection. The mean CD4+ lymphocyte count of HIV mono-infected participants were 296 ± 192 Cells/mm3 and tuberculosis-HIV co-infected patients had mean CD4+ lymphocyte count of 199 ± 149 Cells/mm3 with p value of 0.007.
Conclusions
We found high prevalence of tuberculosis-HIV co-infection. Lower CD4+ lymphocyte count was found to be the only predicting factor for co-infection. Early detection of co-infection is very necessary to prolong their ART initiation time and by then strengthening their immune status.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-331
PMCID: PMC3434071  PMID: 22738361
3.  Seroprevalence of hepatitis B and C viruses among medical waste handlers at Gondar town Health institutions, Northwest Ethiopia 
BMC Research Notes  2012;5:55.
Background
Viral hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver due to viral infections and there are groups of viruses that affects the liver of which hepatitis B and C viruses are the causative agents of sever form of liver disease with high rate of mortality. Medical waste handlers who undergo collection, transportation, and disposal of medical wastes in the health institutions are at risk of exposure to acquire those infections which transmit mainly as a result of contaminated blood and other body fluids including injury with sharp instruments, splash to the eye or mucous membrane. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of hepatitis B and/or C viruses and associated risk factors among medical waste handlers.
Results
A cross-sectional study was conducted from April, 2011 to June, 2011 in government health institutions at Gondar town. Socio-demographic and possible risk factors data from medical waste handlers were collected using pre-tested and well structured questionnaires. Venous bloods were collected and the serums were tested for hepatitis B surface antigen and anti-hepatitis C antibody using rapid Immunochromatography assay. Data was entered and analyzed using SPSS software package (version16). Chi-square and Fisher exact tests were used to assess risk of association. A p-value of < 0.05 was considered statistical significance.
A total of 100 medical waste handlers and 100 non-clinical waste handlers were examined for HBV and HCV viruses. HBV was detected in 6 (6.0%) and 1 (1.0%) and HCV in 1 (1.0%) and 0 (0.0%) of medical waste handlers and non-clinical waste handlers, respectively. Significant differences were observed in the detection rates of HBV (OR = 6.3; X2 = 4.1; P = 0.04) and overall infection rate (HBV + HCV) (OR = 7.5; X2 = 5.2; P: 0.02) in medical waste handlers when compared with non-clinical waste handlers. It was found that none of the observed risk factors significantly associated with rate of hepatitis infection compared to others.
Conclusions
Prevalence of HBV and HCV were significantly higher in medical waste in relation to non-clinical waste handlers. There were poor waste management system which contributed for occurrence of higher degree of sharps injury and blood and body fluids splash.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-55
PMCID: PMC3274440  PMID: 22264306
Medical waste handlers; Hepatitis B virus; Hepatitis C virus; Gondar Ethiopia
4.  Intestinal parasitosis and shigellosis among diarrheal patients in Gondar teaching hospital, northwest Ethiopia 
BMC Research Notes  2011;4:472.
Background
Diarrheal diseases are the major causes of morbidity and mortality in developing world. Understanding the etiologic agents of diarrheal diseases and their association with socio-demographic characteristics of patients would help to design better preventive measures. Thus, this study was aimed to determine the prevalence of intestinal parasites and enteropathogenic bacteria in diarrheic patients.
Methods
A cross-sectional study involving 384 consecutive diarrheal patients who visited Gondar teaching hospital, Gondar, Ethiopia from October 2006 to March 2007 was conducted. Stool specimens were collected and examined for intestinal parasites and enteropathogenic bacteria following standard parasitological and microbiological procedures.
Results
Intestinal parasites were diagnosed in 36.5% of the patients. The most frequently encountered protozoan parasite was Entamoeba histolytica/dispar (7.3%) followed by Giardia lamblia (5.0%), Cryptosporidium parvum (1.8%) and Isospora belli (1.3%). The dominant helminthic parasite identified was Ascaris lumbricoides (5.5%) followed by Strongyloides stercoralis and Schistosoma mansoni (3.1% each), hookworm infection (1.8%), and Hymenolepis species (1.3%). Multiple infections of intestinal parasites were also observed in 6.3% of the patients. Among the enteropathogenic bacteria Shigella and Salmonella species were isolated from 15.6% and 1.6%, respectively, of the patients. Escherichia coli O57:H7 was not found in any of the stool samples tested. Eighty eight percent and 83.3% of the Shigella and Salmonella isolates were resistant to one or more commonly used antibiotics, respectively.
Intestinal parasitosis was higher in patients who live in rural area, in patients who were washing their hands after visiting toilet either irregularly with soap and without soap or not at all, in patients who used well and spring water for household consumption, and in patients who had nausea (P < 0.05). Statistically significant associations were also observed between Shigella infections and patients who were using well and spring water for household consumption, and patients who had dysentery and mucoid stool (P < 0.05).
Conclusions
The high prevalence of intestinal parasites and Shigella species in diarrheic patients calls for institution of appropriate public health intervention measures to reduce morbidity and mortality associated with these diseases. The rational use of antibiotics should also be practiced.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-472
PMCID: PMC3234293  PMID: 22041102
Intestinal parasitosis; Shigellosis; Gondar

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