[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We make use of the voluntary HIV and syphilis test results conducted at five gay saunas in Taipei from August of 1999 to end of 2002 to estimate the number of HIV-positive gay saunas patrons in Taipei area by utilizing Hierarchical Bayes method in Generalized Removal Model for Open Populations (GERMO). Considering the effect of a nearby anonymous HIV quick test program on the gay sauna HIV serotesting data, we make use of the association between HIV and syphilis serotesting results from the gay sauna program to amend possible measurement error occurred at the time of data collection by utilizing the regression calibration method. The median estimates for the number of HIV-positive patrons of the five gay saunas increase from 120 (95% CI: 76.5–159.0) during the first half of 2000 to 224 (95% CI: 171.0–265.5) for the second half of 2002. The result, indicating two-fold increase within two and half years, confirms that the gay sauna patrons in Taipei area are at high risk for HIV infection.
Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications 04/2006; 362(2):495-503. DOI:10.1016/j.physa.2005.08.068 · 1.72 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) Vpu protein promotes both extracellular release of viral particles and degradation of CD4 in the endoplasmic reticulum. The correlation of anti-Vpu antibody (Ab) reactivity to Vpu and AIDS disease progression was studied in 162 HIV-1/AIDS patients after they had received highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) for 1 year. Anti-Vpu Ab reactivity was analyzed by Western blot using a recombinant Vpu protein. Results showed that at baseline (prior to initiation of HAART), 31.5% of patients (51/162) had anti-Vpu Ab. The proportion of anti-Vpu Ab in patients with CD4 counts > or =500, 200-500 and <200/mm(3) were 40.6, 34.7 and 14.3%, respectively (chi(2) test, p < 0.05). In addition, decreasing levels of anti-Vpu Ab reactivity were significantly correlated with increasing levels of HIV-1 viral load. After receiving HAART for 1 year, 7 of 111 anti-Vpu Ab-negative patients (6.3%) seroconverted (- --> + group) and 8 of 51 anti-Vpu Ab-positive (15.7%) patients became negative (+ --> - group). Among 104 anti-Vpu Ab-negative patients, 40 were selected for analysis of the VPU gene. All of them had an intact VPU gene. Patients were further divided into four groups according to their anti-Vpu Ab serostatus and anti-HIV-1 Ab was measured. The results showed that only the anti-Vpu Ab seroconverted group (- --> +) had increased serum levels of anti-HIV-1 Abs after 1 year of HAART, while the other three groups (+ --> +, - --> - and + --> -) had decreased serum levels of anti-HIV-1 Abs after 1 year of HAART (p < 0.05). In conclusion, the presence of anti-Vpu Ab is associated with improved prognosis following HIV-1 infection, and seroconversion of anti-Vpu Ab in patients on HAART indicates significant recovery of immunity.