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    ABSTRACT: While research now highlights that men who have sex with men (MSM) in places such as South Africa are at particular risk of HIV infection, left relatively unexplored are potential relationships between one of the most pressing social issues affecting peri-urban MSM - namely homophobic stigma - and sexual risk-taking behaviour. Drawing on research from the Ukwazana baseline study of 316 township MSM in Cape Town we examine how homophobic stigma relates to psychosocial factors such as depression and self-efficacy and the risk activity of unprotected anal intercourse (UAI). By deploying cross-sectional association models, we examine a series of relationships between these variables and offer evidence to suggest that HIV prevention programmes aimed at sexual minority groups should be mindful of potentially complex relationships between social stigmas such as homophobia and sexual risk-taking behaviour.
    AIDS Care 12/2013;
  • Conservation Biology 09/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Men who have sex with men (MSM) in South Africa remain at particular risk of HIV infection. The Ukwazana baseline survey is the first to explore this risk in relation to psychological factors associated with unprotected anal intercourse (UAI). A cohort of 316 MSM from township peri-urban Cape Town took part in the survey. The survey found that 55.2% had engaged in UAI over the preceding 6 months. Depression was significantly associated with UAI. Respondents with self-efficacy scores less than two standard deviations above the mean were also more likely to have engaged in UAI. A Sobel test for mediation highlighted that the depression-UAI association was partially mediated by self-efficacy, indicating that most of the effect of depression on UAI was not covarying with self-efficacy. This study, therefore, highlights that both depression and self-efficacy should be considered factors to be addressed in HIV-prevention programmes aimed at peri-urban MSM.
    AIDS Care 02/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: This paper presents the results of empirical research on Montserrat, in the British West Indies, undertaken in 2008–2010. It highlights the challenges of managing a crisis that evolved from acute to chronic over a period of fifteen years. In particular, the paper considers the evolution of science and policy over a period of fifteen years in its social and cultural context. It discusses the relationship between different types of evolving knowledges, and the interaction between them. Finally, a reflexive model is introduced to draw attention to some of the challenges of managing the science–policy interface under high uncertainty and high stakes.
    Environmental Science & Policy 01/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: This article considers the complex ways volunteer outreach workers can frame their engagement with a community-based HIV prevention programme for South African township MSM. Drawing on research conducted during the Ukwazana programme in Cape Town it begins by exploring limitations towards MSM participation with programme facilitators (namely previous feelings of mistrust and community homophobia) and strategies developed to offset these concerns. It then considers how great care must also be taken to appreciate how volunteers from marginalised groups can frame training as a key condition for participation. To understand this it is therefore necessary for facilitators to acknowledge a number of additional concerns. These include community status, a lack of bonding social capital between volunteers and a highly developed from of critical consciousness by volunteers regarding HIV prevention possibilities. This article therefore suggests that effort to initially engage marginalised communities must also be met with effort to understand the complex ways volunteers relate to other MSM and to each other.
    AIDS and Behavior 08/2012;
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    ABSTRACT: Sugarcane combustion generates fine-grained particulate that has the potential to be a respiratory health hazard because of its grain size and composition. In particular, conversion of amorphous silica to crystalline forms during burning may provide a source of toxic particles. In this study, we investigate and evaluate the toxicity of sugarcane ash and bagasse ash formed from commercial sugarcane burning. Experiments to determine the main physicochemical properties of the particles, known to modulate biological responses, were combined with cellular toxicity assays to gain insight into the potential reactions that could occur at the particle-lung interface following inhalation. The specific surface area of the particles ranged from ∼16 to 90 m(2) g(-1) . The samples did not generate hydroxyl- or carbon-centered radicals in cell-free tests. However, all samples were able to 'scavenge' an external source of hydroxyl radicals, which may be indicative of defects on the particle surfaces that may interfere with cellular processes. The bioavailable iron on the particle surfaces was low (2-3 μmol m(-2) ), indicating a low propensity for iron-catalyzed radical generation. The sample surfaces were all hydrophilic and slightly acidic, which may be due to the presence of oxygenated (functional) groups. The ability to cause oxidative stress and membrane rupture in red blood cells (hemolysis) was found to be low, indicating that the samples are not toxic by the mechanisms tested. Cytotoxicity of sugarcane ash was observed, by measuring lactate dehydrogenase release, after incubation of relatively high concentrations of ash with murine alveolar macrophage cells. All samples induced nitrogen oxide release (although only at very high concentrations) and reactive oxygen species generation (although the bagasse samples were less potent than the sugarcane ash). However, the samples induced significantly lower cytotoxic effects and nitrogen oxide generation when compared with the positive control. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Environ Toxicol, 2012.
    Environmental Toxicology 03/2012;
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    ABSTRACT: This paper focuses on the interplay between environmental narratives, identity politics and the management of forest resources in Madagascar. While efforts to conserve the island's biological diversity have centred primarily on the designation of protected areas, policies have increasingly focused on local communities. The experiences of the last 20 years have shown that community-based approaches to conservation offer considerable challenges due to the complex politics of natural resource use, which involve multiple and diverse stakeholders, often with very different and sometimes conflicting values. In this paper, I focus on the environmental perceptions and values of two groups in the Central Menabe region of western Madagascar – conservation organisations and rural households – revealing a contrasting set of views regarding the region's forest. I show that the conservation discourse has changed over time, increasingly emphasising the biological diversity of the region's tropical dry-deciduous forest and prioritising non-consumptive uses of natural resources. Although policy has changed in response to changing values, I show that it has been underpinned by the notion that hatsake (‘slash-and-burn’ agriculture) is an irrational practice driven by necessity rather than choice. Policy has thus sought to provide livelihood alternatives, firstly through forestry, then through changes in cultivation and increasingly through tourism. This misunderstands the local view of the forest, which sees hatsake as a way to make the land productive, as long as it is carried out responsibly according to local fady (taboos). As well as facing problems of translating conservation goals into local values and misunderstanding the motives for forest clearance, policy has been based on a narrative that attaches particular land use practices to ethnic identities. I argue that this ignores the history and fluid reality of both identity and land use.
    Geographical Journal 01/2012; 178(1):67-79.
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    ABSTRACT: In most studies of early modern north-western Europe, England is regarded as the successor of the Netherlands in terms of economic leadership. Whereas related topics like institutional and technological change or changes in trade and capital flows have been incorporated into the research on the comparison of these two rival states, labour migration is usually omitted. This article aims to fill this lacuna by focusing on labour migration to the two core regions of the Netherlands and England: the Randstad and London. Two main research questions are raised in this article. First of all, in what way did the two cores and their hinterlands differ with regard to their demographic, economic, and spatial structures, and how did this contribute to different trends in labour migration over time? Secondly, what was the effect of the configuration of the demand and supply factors of London and the Randstad for their economies and for those who lived in them? By trying to answer these two questions this article aims not only to shed light on a hitherto largely unexplored topic in the comparative geographic, economic, and demographic history of the two countries, but also to contribute to the understanding of migration as a factor in the promotion of economic growth.
    The Economic History Review 04/2011; 64(2):531 - 570.
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    ABSTRACT: The relation of structural responses to underlying functional processes at the landscape scale helps develop our understanding of geomorphological phenomena at the coastline. This paper demonstrates how a habitat map derived from remotely sensed imagery was used as the basis for the development of an explanatory model to investigate factors influencing the linearity of alternating carbonate sand and seagrass patches on a reef flat in the Seychelles, western Indian Ocean. In combination with techniques established in landscape ecology for interrogating broad scale processes and spatial statistical procedures that bring geography explicitly into the analysis, an emergent framework for the quantification and investigation of geomorphological processes is illustrated. The combined influence of adjacent spur and groove amplitude and incident wave power accounted for 81% of the variation in sand and seagrass patch linearity across the habitat map. A series of steps in model development are examined, including observation, measurement, experimentation and interpretation. These steps both define and permit an empirical approach to geomorphology and the case study highlights how each can be achieved by adopting an interdisciplinary framework.
    Continental Shelf Research 01/2011;
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    ABSTRACT: Volcanic eruptions are commonly preceded, accompanied, and followed by variations of a number of detectable geophysical and geochemical manifestations. Many remote sensing techniques have been applied to tracking anomalies and eruptive precursors, and monitoring ongoing volcanic eruptions, offering obvious advantages over in situ techniques especially during hazardous activity. Whilst spaceborne instruments provide a distinct advantage for collecting data remotely in this regard, they still cannot match the spatial detail or time resolution achievable using portable imagers on the ground or aircraft. Hand-held infrared camera technology has advanced significantly over the last decade, resulting in a proliferation of commercially available instruments, such that volcano observatories are increasingly implementing them in monitoring efforts. Improved thermal surveillance of active volcanoes has not only enhanced hazard assessment but it has contributed substantially to understanding a variety of volcanic processes. Drawing on over a decade of operational volcano surveillance in Italy, we provide here a critical review of the application of infrared thermal cameras to volcano monitoring. Following a summary of key physical principles, instrument capabilities, and the practicalities and methods of data collection, we discuss the types of information that can be retrieved from thermal imagery and what they have contributed to hazard assessment and risk management, and to physical volcanology. With continued developments in thermal imager technology and lower instrument costs, there will be increasing opportunity to gather valuable observations of volcanoes. It is thus timely to review the state of the art and we hope thereby to stimulate further research and innovation in this area.
    Earth-Science Reviews 01/2011;
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