Decreased HIV transmission after a policy of providing free access to highly active antiretroviral therapy in Taiwan
ABSTRACT Taiwan established a nationwide surveillance system for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in 1989 and adopted a policy to provide all HIV-infected citizens with free access to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) beginning in April 1997. This provided an opportunity to determine the effect of the widespread use of HAART on the evolution of the HIV epidemic.
We analyzed national HIV surveillance data. The HIV transmission rate was estimated by use of an exponential model of HIV epidemic evolution, with statistical projection over the interval between infection and detection to fit the surveillance data.
By the end of 2002, the cumulative number of HIV-infected citizens in Taiwan had reached 4390 (0.019% of the total population). After free access to HAART was established, the estimated HIV transmission rate decreased by 53% (0.391 vs. 0.184 new cases/prevalent case-year [95% confidence interval, 31%-65%]). There was no statistically significant change in the incidence of syphilis, in the general population or among HIV-positive patients, during the same period.
Providing free HAART to all HIV-infected citizens was associated with a 53% decrease in the HIV transmission rate and contributed to the control of the HIV epidemic in Taiwan.
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ABSTRACT: Food insecurity may be a barrier to achieving optimal HIV treatment-related outcomes among illicit drug users. This study therefore, aimed to assess the impact of severe food insecurity, or hunger, on plasma HIV RNA suppression among illicit drug users receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART). A cross-sectional Multivariate logistic regression model was used to assess the potential relationship between hunger and plasma HIV RNA suppression. A sample of n = 406 adults was derived from a community-recruited open prospective cohort of HIV-positive illicit drug users, in Vancouver, British Columbia (BC), Canada. A total of 235 (63.7%) reported "being hungry and unable to afford enough food," and 241 (59.4%) had plasma HIV RNA < 50 copies/ml. In unadjusted analyses, self-reported hunger was associated with lower odds of plasma HIV RNA suppression (Odds Ratio = 0.59, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.39-0.90, p = 0.015). In multivariate analyses, this association was no longer significant after controlling for socio-demographic, behavioral, and clinical characteristics, including 95% adherence (Adjusted Odds Ratio [AOR] = 0.65, 95% CI: 0.37-1.10, p = 0.105). Multivariate models stratified by 95% adherence found that the direction and magnitude of this association was not significantly altered by the adherence level. Hunger was common among illicit drug users in this setting. Although, there was an association between hunger and lower likelihood of plasma HIV RNA suppression, this did not persist in adjusted analyses. Further research is warranted to understand the social-structural, policy, and physical factors shaping the HIV outcomes of illicit drug users.AIDS Care 09/2013; DOI:10.1080/09540121.2013.832724 · 1.60 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In developing countries, access to antiretroviral therapy (ART) is improving as HIV treatment becomes a greater priority in the global fight against AIDS. While ART has clearly beneficial clinical effects, increased access to treatment may also affect sexual behaviour. To examine the strength of evidence for the impact of medical treatment for HIV-positive individuals on behavioural outcomes in developing countries, we conducted a comprehensive search of the peer-reviewed literature. Studies were included if they provided clinical treatment to HIV-positive individuals in a developing country, compared behavioural, psychological, social, care, or biological outcomes related to HIV-prevention using a pre/post or multi-arm study design, and were published between January 1990 and January 2006. Only three studies were identified that met the inclusion criteria. All were conducted in Africa, utilized before/after or multi-arm study designs, and relied on self-reported behaviour. In all three studies, a majority of HIV-infected individuals reported being sexually abstinent, and access to ART was not associated with an increase in HIV-related risky sexual behaviours. However, one cross-sectional study found that ART patients were more likely to report STD treatment. The available evidence indicates a significant reduction in risk behaviour associated with ART in developing countries. However, there are few existing studies and the rigor of these studies is weak. More studies are needed to build an evidence base on which to make programmatic and policy decisions.AIDS Care 08/2007; 19(6):707-20. DOI:10.1080/09540120701203261 · 1.60 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To identify and analyze HIV/AIDS treatment adherence among Colombian women. A qualitative, descriptive-interpretative study with content analysis was developed between 2008 and 2009. Sixty six women participated in five focus group discussions. To complement data, semi-structured interviews with seven key informants were conducted. Main barriers are determined structurally by the current Colombian health system, based on insurance market. The right to access to treatment in a timely and continuous manner, the rights to confidentiality and non discrimination, and the right to quality care with gender focus are affected among participant women. Consequently, adherence is negatively affected. The current Colombian health system determines critical processes affecting HIV/AIDS treatment adherence in women. However, further research must be conducted to identify specific associations with non-universal health systems.Salud publica de Mexico 01/2010; 52(4):350-6. · 0.94 Impact Factor