AIDS Research and Treatment
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Open Access journal
ISSN (Print) 2090-1240 - ISSN (Online) 2090-1259
Published by Hindawi [334 journals]
- Factors Affecting Utilization of Voluntary HIV Counseling and Testing
Services among Teachers in Awi Zone, Northwest Ethiopia
Abstract: HIV/AIDS affects the basic educational sector which is the most productive segment of the population and vital to the creation of human capital. The loss of skilled and experienced teachers due to the problem is increasingly compromising the provision of quality education in most African countries. The study was proposed to determine the magnitude of VCT utilization and assess contributing factors that affect VCT service utilization among secondary school teachers in Awi Zone. A cross-sectional study design was conducted among 588 participants in 2014. Self-administered questionnaire was used to collect data. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 16, presented as frequencies and summary statistics, and tested for presence of significant association with odds ratio at 95% CI. More than half (53.6%) of study participants were tested for HIV. Those who had sexual intercourse, had good knowledge about VCT, were divorced/widowed, were in the age group of 20–29 years, and were married utilized VCT services two, three, four, three, and two times better than their counterparts, respectively. Actions targeting unmarried status, increase of educational level, and teachers with age groups above 30 years are necessary to follow their counterparts to utilize VCT service in order to save loss of teachers.
PubDate: Sun, 23 Apr 2017 00:00:00 +000
- Describing Point of Entry into Care and Being Lost to Program in a Cohort
of HIV Positive Pregnant Women in a Large Urban Centre in Uganda
Abstract: Introduction. We aim to describe the time of entry into care and factors associated with being lost to program (LTP) in pregnant women on Option B Plus in an integrated HIV and antenatal care (ANC) clinic in Uganda. Methods. We included all pregnant women enrolled into the integrated HIV-ANC clinic from January 2012 to 31st July 2014, while the follow up period extended up to October 30th 2015. LTP was defined as being out of care for ≥3 months. Results. Overall 856 women were included. Only 36.4% (86/236) of the women were enrolled in the first trimester. Overall 69 (8.1%) were LTP. In the multivariate analysis older women (HR: 0.80 per five-year increase, CI: 0.64–1.0, and ) and women on ART at the time of pregnancy (0.58, CI: 0.34–0.98, and ) were more likely not to be LTP. Among women already on ART at the time of pregnancy no factor was associated with LTP. Conclusion. Our results suggest the need for interventions to enhance prompt linkage of HIV positive women to HIV services for ART initiation and for increased retention particularly in young and ART naive women.
PubDate: Sun, 02 Apr 2017 09:28:48 +000
- A Critical Review of the Evidence Concerning the HIV Latency Reversing
Effect of Disulfiram, the Possible Explanations for Its Inability to
Reduce the Size of the Latent Reservoir In Vivo, and the Caveats
Associated with Its Use in Practice
Abstract: Combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) effectively suppresses the replication of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), improves immune function, and decreases the morbidity of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). However, it is unable to eradicate the virus because it does not eliminate latently infected cells. The latent reservoir poses the major barrier to an HIV-1 cure. The “shock and kill” strategy aims to reactivate the virus and destroy latently infected cells. Many latency reversing agents (LRAs) reactivate HIV in vitro, but the absence of damaging side-effects and efficacy in vivo make disulfiram particularly promising. However, in clinical trials to date, disulfiram treatment has not resulted in a reduction in the size of the latent reservoir. In this article I will therefore discuss the evidence for the latency reversing effect of disulfiram, the possible explanations for its inability to reduce the size of the latent reservoir in vivo, and the caveats associated with its use in practice. These considerations will help to inform judgements about the prospect of an HIV cure from disulfiram based treatments.
PubDate: Thu, 30 Mar 2017 12:59:40 +000
- Antiretroviral Treatment Adherence: Knowledge and Experiences among
Adolescents and Young Adults in Soweto, South Africa
Abstract: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) management of adolescents and young adults (AYAs) is particularly pertinent to sub-Saharan Africa, where the pediatric HIV burden is marked. Antiretroviral treatment (ART) adherence is a major challenge for AYAs. This qualitative study explored knowledge and experiences of adherence amongst AYAs attending treatment at the Perinatal HIV Research Unit (PHRU), Soweto, South Africa. Four focus group discussions (FGDs) and eight in-depth interviews (IDIs) were conducted with HIV-infected 15–25-year-old ART recipients. Transcripts were coded thematically. Participants () were aged median 18.5 years, 59.1% female and 69.2% virally suppressed
PubDate: Mon, 20 Mar 2017 06:58:04 +000
- Male Partners Involvement in Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of
HIV Services in Southern Central Ethiopia: In Case of Lemo District,
Abstract: Male partners’ involvement is a vital issue to prevent human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission from mother to child; because it is much expectable that women were more vulnerable and high risk group of population portion. Therefore, to save lives of mothers and their newborn from acquiring HIV, male partners should do their maximum endeavor regardless of any determinant factors as our results revealed its status in our study context and elsewhere at past time too.
PubDate: Wed, 15 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +000
- Patient Experiences of Decentralized HIV Treatment and Care in Plateau
State, North Central Nigeria: A Qualitative Study
Abstract: Background. Decentralization of care and treatment for HIV infection in Africa makes services available in local health facilities. Decentralization has been associated with improved retention and comparable or superior treatment outcomes, but patient experiences are not well understood. Methods. We conducted a qualitative study of patient experiences in decentralized HIV care in Plateau State, north central Nigeria. Five decentralized care sites in the Plateau State Decentralization Initiative were purposefully selected. Ninety-three patients and 16 providers at these sites participated in individual interviews and focus groups. Data collection activities were audio-recorded and transcribed. Transcripts were inductively content analyzed to derive descriptive categories representing patient experiences of decentralized care. Results. Patient participants in this study experienced the transition to decentralized care as a series of “trade-offs.” Advantages cited included saving time and money on travel to clinic visits, avoiding dangers on the road, and the “family-like atmosphere” found in some decentralized clinics. Disadvantages were loss of access to ancillary services, reduced opportunities for interaction with providers, and increased risk of disclosure. Participants preferred decentralized services overall. Conclusion. Difficulty and cost of travel remain a fundamental barrier to accessing HIV care outside urban centers, suggesting increased availability of community-based services will be enthusiastically received.
PubDate: Sun, 26 Feb 2017 10:07:20 +000
- Evaluating Adherence to Antiretroviral Therapy Using Pharmacy Refill
Records in a Rural Treatment Site in South Africa
Abstract: Optimal adherence to combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) is critical to maintain virologic suppression, thereby ensuring the global success of HIV treatment. We evaluated adherence to cART using pharmacy refill records and determined the adherence threshold resulting in >90% virologic suppression in a community run treatment site in South Africa. Additionally, we analysed factors associated with adherence using univariable and multivariable logistic regression models. Logistic regression was also performed to determine the relationship between adherence and virologic suppression and the adherence threshold resulting in
PubDate: Tue, 31 Jan 2017 09:26:22 +000
- Cluster-Randomized Controlled Study of SMS Text Messages for Prevention of
Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV in Rural Kenya
Abstract: Background. Antiretroviral medications are key for prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV, and transmission mitigation is affected by service delivery, adherence, and retention. Methods. We conducted a cluster-randomized controlled study in 26 facilities in Nyanza, Kenya, to determine the efficacy of SMS text messages on PMTCT outcomes. The relative risk and confidence intervals were estimated at the facility level using STATA. Results. 550 women were enrolled, from June 2012 to July 2013. The median age was 25.6 years, and 85.3% received ARVs. Maternal ARV use was similar between the intervention and control arms: 254/261 (97.3%) versus 241/242 (99.6%) at 34–36 weeks of gestation and 234/247 (94.7%) versus 229/229 (100%) at delivery. Among infants, 199/246 (80.9%) and 209/232 (90.1%) received ARVs (RR: 0.91; 95% CI: 0.77–1.14); 88% versus 88.6% were tested for HIV at 6 weeks, with 1/243 (0.4%) and 3/217 (1.4%) positive results in the intervention and control arms, respectively. Communication increased in both the intervention and control arms, with the mean number of 7.5 (SD: 5.70) compared with 6 (SD: 9.96), . Conclusions. We identified high ARV uptake and infant HIV testing, with very low HIV transmission. Increased communication may influence health-seeking behaviors irrespective of technology. The long-term effectiveness of facilitated communication on PMTCT outcomes needs to be tested. The study has been registered on ClinicalTrials.gov under the identifier NCT01645865.
PubDate: Thu, 08 Dec 2016 06:17:42 +000
- Analytical Performances of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 RNA-Based
Amplix® Real-Time PCR Platform for HIV-1 RNA Quantification
Abstract: Objectives. We evaluated the performances of Amplix real-time PCR platform developed by Biosynex (Strasbourg, France), combining automated station extraction (Amplix station 16 Dx) and real-time PCR (Amplix NG), for quantifying plasma HIV-1 RNA by lyophilized HIV-1 RNA-based Amplix reagents targeting gag and LTR, using samples from HIV-1-infected adults from Central African Republic. Results. Amplix real-time PCR assay showed low limit of detection (28 copies/mL), across wide dynamic range (1.4–10 log copies/mL), 100% sensitivity and 99% specificity, high reproducibility, and accuracy with mean bias < 5%. The assay showed excellent correlations and concordance of 95.3% with the reference HIV-1 RNA load assay (Roche), with mean absolute bias of +0.097 log copies/mL by Bland-Altman analysis. The assay was able to detect and quantify the most prevalent HIV-1 subtype strains and the majority of non-B subtypes, CRFs of HIV-1 group M, and HIV-1 groups N and O circulating in Central Africa. The Amplix assay showed 100% sensitivity and 99.6% specificity to diagnose virological failure in clinical samples from antiretroviral drug-experienced patients. Conclusions. The HIV-1 RNA-based Amplix real-time PCR platform constitutes sensitive and reliable system for clinical monitoring of HIV-1 RNA load in HIV-1-infected children and adults, particularly adapted to intermediate laboratory facilities in sub-Saharan Africa.
PubDate: Mon, 05 Dec 2016 10:18:05 +000
- Costing of Paediatric Treatment alongside Clinical Trials under Low
Resource Constraint Environments: Cotrimoxazole and Antiretroviral
Medications in Children Living with HIV/AIDS
Abstract: Introduction. Costing evidence is essential for policy makers for priority setting and resource allocation. It is in this context that the clinical trials of ARVs and cotrimoxazole provided a costing component to provide evidence for budgeting and resource needs alongside the clinical efficacy studies. Methods. A micro based costing approach was adopted, using case record forms for maintaining patient records. Costs for fixed assets were allocated based on the paediatric space. Medication and other resource costs were costed using the WHO/MSH Drug Price Indicators as well as procurement data where these were available. Results. The costs for cotrimoxazole and ARVs are significantly different. The average costs for human resources were US$22 and US$71 for physician costs and $1.3 and $16 for nursing costs while in-patient costs were $257 and $15 for the cotrimoxazole and ARV cohorts, respectively. Mean or average costs were $870 for the cotrimoxazole cohort and $218 for the ARV. The causal factors for the significant cost differences are attributable to the higher human resource time, higher infections of opportunistic conditions, and longer and higher frequency of hospitalisations, among others.
PubDate: Tue, 29 Nov 2016 14:02:58 +000
- Factors Associated with PMTCT Cascade Completion in Four African Countries
Abstract: 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.
PubDate: Mon, 31 Oct 2016 09:14:39 +000
- Insights into Adherence among a Cohort of Adolescents Aged 12–20 Years
in South Africa: Reported Barriers to Antiretroviral Treatment
Abstract: 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.
PubDate: Thu, 27 Oct 2016 15:42:40 +000
- 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
Abstract: 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 (, 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.
PubDate: Tue, 11 Oct 2016 08:24:34 +000
- Pharmacokinetic, Pharmacogenetic, and Other Factors Influencing CNS
Penetration of Antiretrovirals
Abstract: 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.
PubDate: Thu, 29 Sep 2016 14:17:47 +000
- Perceptions and Experiences about Self-Disclosure of HIV Status among
Adolescents with Perinatal Acquired HIV in Poor-Resourced Communities in
Abstract: 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.
PubDate: Thu, 08 Sep 2016 12:39:18 +000
- Validation Protocol of Vitamin D Supplementation in Patients with
Abstract: 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 (
PubDate: Tue, 06 Sep 2016 07:15:36 +000
- Retention in Care among HIV-Infected Pregnant Women in Haiti with PMTCT
Abstract: 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.
PubDate: Mon, 29 Aug 2016 16:30:14 +000
- Feasibility and Acceptability of a Smartphone App for Daily Reports of
Substance Use and Antiretroviral Therapy Adherence among HIV-Infected
Abstract: 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 ( 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.
PubDate: Tue, 16 Aug 2016 11:57:11 +000
- 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
Abstract: 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 (). 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
PubDate: Thu, 14 Jul 2016 07:04:56 +000
- The Need for Pediatric Formulations to Treat Children with HIV
Abstract: 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.
PubDate: Thu, 16 Jun 2016 09:50:40 +000
- Language and Culture in Health Literacy for People Living with HIV:
Perspectives of Health Care Providers and Professional Care Team Members
Abstract: 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.
PubDate: Thu, 02 Jun 2016 09:58:47 +000
- Treatment of Dermatological Conditions Associated with HIV/AIDS: The
Scarcity of Guidance on a Global Scale
Abstract: 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 . 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.
PubDate: Tue, 03 May 2016 11:13:30 +000
- Prevalence of HIV and Associated Risks of Sex Work among Youth in the
Slums of Kampala
Abstract: 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.
PubDate: Thu, 28 Apr 2016 07:51:59 +000
- Experiences and Impact of Stigma and Discrimination among People on
Antiretroviral Therapy in Dar es Salaam: A Qualitative Perspective
Abstract: 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.
PubDate: Thu, 24 Mar 2016 09:35:01 +000
- Anaemia and Iron Homeostasis in a Cohort of HIV-Infected Patients: A
Cross-Sectional Study in Ghana
Abstract: 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 (). Hb, iron, ferritin, and TSAT decreased from grade 1 to grade 3 anaemia and CD4/CD3 lymphocyte count was lowest in grade 3 anaemia (). Iron () decreased with disease severity whilst transferrin () and TIBC () 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.
PubDate: Tue, 22 Mar 2016 13:52:19 +000
- Treatment Buddies Improve Clinic Attendance among Women but Not Men on
Antiretroviral Therapy in the Nyanza Region of Kenya
Abstract: 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 ). 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.
PubDate: Tue, 22 Mar 2016 11:39:58 +000
- Burden of Suicidal Ideation and Attempt among Persons Living with HIV and
AIDS in Semiurban Uganda
Abstract: 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% (; 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; ); trait anger (OR 1.10, 95% CI 1.04–1.16, ); depression (OR 1.13, 95% CI 1.07–1.20, ); hopelessness (OR 1.12, 95% CI 1.02–1.23, ); anxiety (OR 1.06, 95% CI 1.03–1.09); low social support (OR 0.19, 95% CI 0.07–0.47, ); inability to provide for others (OR 0.19, 95% CI 0.07–0.47, ); and stigma (OR 2.48, 95% CI 1.11–5.54, ). 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.
PubDate: Thu, 17 Mar 2016 06:44:30 +000
- Impulsivity, Sensation Seeking, and Risk-Taking Behaviors among
HIV-Positive and HIV-Negative Heroin Dependent Persons
Abstract: 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 () 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) () and nonplanning impulsivity (NPI) () in comparison to HIV-negative group. Also, current heroin addicts scored significantly higher in NPI compared to former addict HIV-negative participants (). 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.
PubDate: Tue, 08 Mar 2016 08:06:40 +000
- Evaluation of Olfactory and Gustatory Function of HIV Infected Women
Abstract: 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 () and taste () 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 (). 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.
PubDate: Mon, 07 Mar 2016 11:12:45 +000
- Use of Cognitive Interviews to Adapt PROMIS Measurement Items for Spanish
Speakers Living with HIV
Abstract: 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 () 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.
PubDate: Sun, 28 Feb 2016 08:13:08 +000