Agnes Mahomva

Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, Zimbabwe, Salisbury, Harare Province, Zimbabwe

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Publications (13)50.45 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: In several recent papers it has been suggested that HIV prevalence and incidence are declining in Zimbabwe as a result of changing sexual behavior. We provide further support for these suggestions, based on an analysis of more extensive, age-stratified, HIV prevalence data from 1990 to 2009 for perinatal women in Harare, as well as data on incidence and mortality. Pooled prevalence, incidence and mortality were fitted using a simple susceptible-infected (SI) model of HIV transmission; age-stratified prevalence data were fitted using double-logistic functions. We estimate that incidence peaked at 5.5% per year in 1991 declining to 1% per year in 2010. Prevalence peaked in 1998/9 [35.9% (CI95: 31.3-40.7)] and decreased by 67% to 11.9% (CI95: 10.1-13.8) in 2009. For women <20y, 20-24y, 25-29y, 30-34y and ≥35y, prevalence peaked at 25.4%, 34.2%, 47.1%, 44.0% and 33.5% in 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999, respectively, declining thereafter in every age group. Among women <25y, prevalence peaked in 1994 at 28.8% declining thereafter by 69% to 8.9% (CI95: 6.8-11.5) in 2009. HIV prevalence declined substantially among perinatal women in Harare after 1998 consequent upon a decline in incidence starting in the early 1990s. Our model suggests that this was primarily a result of changes in behavior which we attribute to a general increase in awareness of the dangers of AIDS and the ever more apparent increases in mortality.
    06/2011; 3(2):88-94. DOI:10.1016/j.epidem.2011.02.004
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    ABSTRACT: To determine the prevalence and risk factors for transmission of tuberculosis in children under five years of age who are household contact of sputum smear positive tuberculosis adults in Harare, Zimbabwe. Cross sectional study. City Health Infectious Diseases Hospital Outpatient Department. 174 children in contact with 102 index cases. TB infection status in children according to modified WHO classification of tuberculosis. Under five year old contacts of sputum smear positive TB adults were recruited over a three month period. A coded questionnaire was used to document the following: socio-demographic profile of caregivers, duration of stay with the index case and presenting complaints. Contacts were evaluated by clinical examination, Mantoux testing, HIV antibody testing and chest radiographs. Of the 174 children in contact with 102 index cases evaluated, 109 (62.6%) were Mantoux positive (> or = 10 mm), 42% had abnormal chest X-ray, with hilar lymphadenopathy being the commonest abnormality. Forty nine percent of the children evaluated had probable TB, 28% had suspected TB and 23% had no TB. High alcohol acid fast load (AAFB) in the index case was independently associated with probable and suspected TB (OR 2.27 95% CI (1.05 to 4.87). The documented high transmission rate among under five years contacts in the study justifies the need for strengthening contact tracing and appropriate therapeutic management of identified children.
    The Central African journal of medicine 02/2010; 48(3-4):28-32. DOI:10.4314/cajm.v48i3-4.51677
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    ABSTRACT: HIV Testing and Counselling (TC) programmes are being scaled-up as part of efforts to provide universal access to antiretroviral treatment (ART). Mathematical modelling of TC in Zimbabwe shows that if universal access is to be sustained, TC must include prevention counselling that enables behaviour change among infected and uninfected individuals. The predicted impact TC is modest, but improved programmes could generate substantial reductions in incidence, reducing need for ART in the long-term. TC programmes that focus only on identifying those in need of treatment will not be sufficient to bring the epidemic under control.
    06/2009; 1(2):77-82. DOI:10.1016/j.epidem.2009.02.001
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    ABSTRACT: The World Health Organization recommends a single-dose nevirapine (NVP) regimen for prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV in settings without the capacity to deliver more complex regimens, but the population-level impact of this intervention has rarely been assessed. A decision analysis model was developed, parameterized, and applied using local epidemiologic and demographic data to estimate vertical transmission of HIV and the impact of the PMTCT program in Zimbabwe up to 2005. Between 1980 and 2005, of approximately 10 million children born in Zimbabwe, a cumulative 504,000 (range: 362,000 to 665,000) were vertically infected with HIV; 59% of these infections occurred in nonurban areas. Mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV decreased from 8.2% (range: 6.0% to 10.7%) in 2000 to 6.2% (range: 4.9% to 8.9%) in 2005, predominantly attributable to declining maternal HIV prevalence rather than to the PMTCT program. Between 2002 and 2005, the single-dose NVP PMTCT program may have averted 4600 (range: 3900 to 7800) infections. In 2005, 32% (range: 26% to 44%) and 4.0% (range: 2.7% to 6.2%) of infections were attributable to breast-feeding and maternal seroconversion, respectively, and the PMTCT program reduced infant infections by 8.8% (range: 5.5% to 12.1%). Twice as many infections could have been averted had a more efficacious but logistically more complex NVP + zidovudine regimen been implemented with similar coverage (50%) and acceptance (42%). The decline in MTCT from 2000 to 2005 is attributable more to the concurrent decrease in HIV prevalence in pregnant women than to PMTCT at the current level of rollout. To improve the impact of PMTCT, program coverage and acceptance must be increased, especially in rural areas, and local infrastructure must then be strengthened so that single-dose NVP can be replaced with a more efficacious regimen.
    JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes 06/2008; 48(1):72-81. DOI:10.1097/QAI.0b013e31816bcdbb · 4.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) is a major public health challenge in Zimbabwe. Using trained peer counselors, a nevirapine (NVP)-based PMTCT program was implemented as part of routine care in urban antenatal clinics. Between October 2002 and December 2004, a total of 19,279 women presented for antenatal care. Of these, 18,817 (98%) underwent pre-test counseling; 10,513 (56%) accepted HIV testing, of whom 1986 (19%) were HIV-infected. Overall, 9696 (92%) of women collected results and received individual post-test counseling. Only 288 men opted for HIV testing. Of the 1807 HIV-infected women who received posttest counseling, 1387 (77%) collected NVP tablet and 727 (40%) delivered at the clinics. Of the 1986 HIV-infected women, 691 (35%) received NVPsd at onset of labor, and 615 (31%) infants received NVPsd. Of the 727 HIV-infected women who delivered in the clinics, only 396 women returned to the clinic with their infants for the 6-week follow-up visit; of these mothers, 258 (59%) joined support groups and 234 (53%) opted for contraception. By the end of the study period, 209 (53%) of mother-infant pairs (n = 396) came to the clinic for at least 3 follow-up visits. Despite considerable challenges and limited resources, it was feasible to implement a PMTCT program using peer counselors in urban clinics in Zimbabwe.
    AIDS Research and Therapy 02/2008; 5:17. DOI:10.1186/1742-6405-5-17 · 1.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To assess the impact of routine antenatal HIV testing for preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) in urban Zimbabwe. Community counsellors were trained in routine HIV testing policy using a specific training module from June 2005 through November 2005. Key outcomes during the first 6 months of routine testing were compared with the prior 6-month "opt-in" period, and clients were interviewed. Of the 4551 women presenting for antenatal care during the first 6 months of routine HIV testing, 4547 (99.9%) were tested for HIV compared with 3058 (65%) of 4700 women during the last 6 months of the opt-in testing (P < 0.001), with a corresponding increase in the numbers of HIV-infected women identified antenatally (926 compared with 513, P < 0.001). During routine testing, more HIV-infected women collected results compared to the opt-in testing (908 compared with 487, P < 0.001) resulting in a significant increase in deliveries by HIV-infected women (256 compared with 186, P = 0.001); more mother/infant pairs received antiretroviral prophylaxis (n = 256) compared to the opt-in testing (n = 185); and more mother/infant pairs followed up at clinics (105 compared with 49, P = 0.002). Women were satisfied with counselling services and most (89%) stated that offering routine testing is helpful. HIV-infected women reported low levels of spousal abuse and other adverse social consequences. Routine antenatal HIV testing should be implemented at all sites in Zimbabwe to maximize the public health impact of PMTCT.
    Bulletin of the World Health Organisation 11/2007; 85(11):843-50. DOI:10.1590/S0042-96862007001100010 · 5.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Prevention of mother-to-child human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission (PMTCT) programs are expanding in resource-limited countries and are increasingly implemented in antenatal clinics (ANC) in which HIV sentinel surveillance is conducted. ANC sentinel surveillance data can be used to evaluate the first visit of a pregnant woman to PMTCT programs. We analyzed data from Kenya and Ethiopia, where information on PMTCT test acceptance was collected on the 2005 ANC sentinel surveillance forms. For Zimbabwe, we compared the 2005 ANC sentinel surveillance data to the PMTCT program data. ANC surveillance data allowed us to calculate the number of HIV-positive women not participating in the PMTCT program. The percentage of HIV-positive women missed by the PMTCT program was 17% in Kenya, 57% Ethiopia, and 59% Zimbabwe. The HIV prevalence among women participating in PMTCT differed from women who did not. ANC sentinel surveillance can be used to evaluate and improve the first encounter in PMTCT programs. Countries should collect PMTCT-related program data through ANC surveillance to strengthen the PMTCT program.
    American journal of obstetrics and gynecology 10/2007; 197(3 Suppl):S17-25. DOI:10.1016/j.ajog.2007.03.082 · 3.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To determine whether observed changes in HIV prevalence in countries with generalised HIV epidemics are associated with changes in sexual risk behaviour. A mathematical model was developed to explore the relation between prevalence recorded at antenatal clinics (ANCs) and the pattern of incidence of infection throughout the population. To create a null model a range of assumptions about sexual behaviour, natural history of infection, and sampling biases in ANC populations were explored to determine which factors maximised declines in prevalence in the absence of behaviour change. Modelled prevalence, where possible based on locally collected behavioural data, was compared with the observed prevalence data in urban Haiti, urban Kenya, urban Cote d'Ivoire, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Uganda, and urban Ethiopia. Recent downturns in prevalence observed in urban Kenya, Zimbabwe, and urban Haiti, like Uganda before them, could only be replicated in the model through reductions in risk associated with changes in behaviour. In contrast, prevalence trends in urban Cote d'Ivoire, Malawi, urban Ethiopia, and Rwanda show no signs of changed sexual behaviour. Changes in patterns of HIV prevalence in urban Kenya, Zimbabwe, and urban Haiti are quite recent and caution is required because of doubts over the accuracy and representativeness of these estimates. Nonetheless, the observed changes are consistent with behaviour change and not the natural course of the HIV epidemic.
    Sexually Transmitted Infections 05/2006; 82 Suppl 1:i1-8. DOI:10.1136/sti.2005.016014 · 3.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This paper brings together data from a variety of reports to provide a basis for assessing future steps for responding to and monitoring the HIV epidemic in Zimbabwe. Data reported from four antenatal clinic (ANC) surveys conducted between 2000 and 2004, two small local studies in Zimbabwe conducted from 1997 through 2003, four general population surveys from 1999 through 2003, and service statistics covering 1990 through 2004 were used to describe recent trends in HIV prevalence and incidence, behaviour change, and programme provision. HIV prevalence among pregnant women attending ANCs declined substantially from 32.1% in 2000 to 23.9% in 2004. The local studies confirmed the decline in prevalence. However, prevalence continued to be high. Sexual behaviour data from surveys suggests a reduction in sexual experience before age 15 years among both males and females age 15-19 years, and in the proportions of males and females aged 15-29 years reporting non-regular sexual partners in the past 12 months. Reported condom use with non-regular partners has been high since 1999. Condom distribution and HIV counseling and testing increased from 2000 to 2004. On the basis of examination of data from a variety of sources, the recent decrease in HIV prevalence may be related to recent reductions in early-age sexual activity and non-regular sexual partnerships and increases in condom use. Comparison of data from sentinel surveillance systems, population based serosurveys, local studies, and service statistics provide increased confidence that a decline in HIV prevalence in Zimbabwe is actually happening in the population.
    Sexually Transmitted Infections 05/2006; 82 Suppl 1:i42-7. DOI:10.1136/sti.2005.019174 · 3.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Low maternal serum retinol level is a risk factor for mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Multiple-large-dose vitamin A supplementation of HIV-positive children reduces mortality. The World Health Organization recommends single-large-dose vitamin A supplementation for postpartum women in areas of prevalent vitamin A deficiency; neonatal dosing is under consideration. We investigated the effect that single-large-dose maternal/neonatal vitamin A supplementation has on MTCT, HIV-free survival, and mortality in HIV-exposed infants. A total of 14,110 mother-infant pairs were enrolled < or =96 h after delivery, and both mother and infant, mother only, infant only, or neither received vitamin A supplementation in a randomized, placebo-controlled trial with a 2 x 2 factorial design. All but 4 mothers initiated breast-feeding. A total of 4495 infants born to HIV-positive women were included in the present analysis. Neither maternal nor neonatal vitamin A supplementation significantly affected postnatal MTCT or overall mortality between baseline and 24 months. However, the timing of infant HIV infection modified the effect that supplementation had on mortality. Vitamin A supplementation had no effect in infants who were polymerase chain reaction (PCR) positive [corrected] for HIV at baseline. In infants who were PCR negative at baseline and PCR positive at 6 weeks, neonatal supplementation reduced mortality by 28% (P=.01), but maternal supplementation had no effect. In infants who were PCR negative at 6 weeks, all 3 vitamin A regimens were associated with ~2-fold higher mortality (P< or =.05). Targeted vitamin A supplementation of HIV-positive children prolongs their survival. However, postpartum maternal and neonatal vitamin A supplementation may hasten progression to death in breast-fed children who are PCR negative at 6 weeks. These findings raise concern about universal maternal or neonatal vitamin A supplementation in HIV-endemic areas.
    The Journal of Infectious Diseases 04/2006; 193(6):860-71. DOI:10.1086/500366 · 5.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Zimbabwe has one of the highest rates of HIV seroprevalence in the world. In 2001 only 4% of women and children in need of services for prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV were receiving them. Pilot implementation of the first programme for prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV in rural Zimbabwe. 120 bed district hospital in Buhera district (285,000 inhabitants), Manicaland, Zimbabwe. Programme uptake indicators monitored for 18 months; impact of policy evaluated by assessing up-scaling of programme. Voluntary counselling and testing services for HIV were provided in the hospital antenatal clinic. Women identified as HIV positive and informed of their serostatus and their newborn were offered a single dose antiretroviral treatment of nevirapine; mother-child pairs were followed up through routine health services. Nursing staff and social workers were trained, and community mobilisation was conducted. No services for prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV were available at baseline. Within 18 months, 2298 pregnant women had received pretest counselling, and the acceptance of HIV testing reached 93.0%. Of all 2137 women who had an HIV test, 1588 (74.3%) returned to collect their result; 326 of the 437 HIV positive women diagnosed had post-test counselling, and 104 (24%) mother-child pairs received nevirapine prophylaxis. Minimum staffing, an enhanced training programme, and involvement of district health authorities are needed for the implementation and successful integration of services for prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV. Voluntary counselling and testing services are important entry points for HIV prevention and care and for referral to community networks and medical HIV care services. A district approach is critical to extend programmes for prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV in rural settings. The lessons learnt from this pilot programme have contributed to the design of the national expansion strategy for prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV in Zimbabwe.
    BMJ (online) 11/2004; 329(7475):1147-50. DOI:10.1136/bmj.329.7475.1147 · 16.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We assessed the sensitivity and specificity of a newly developed DNA PCR kit (Roche Diagnostic Corporation, Indianapolis, Ind.) that incorporates primers for all the group M viruses for the detection of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type 1 (HIV-1) infection in Zimbabwe. A total of 202 whole-blood samples from adults whose HIV status was known were studied. This included 100 HIV-1-positive and 102 HIV-1-negative samples selected on the basis of concordant results obtained with two enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kits. The prototype Roche DNA PCR assay had a 100% sensitivity for the detection of HIV-1 DNA and a specificity of 100%. We conclude that the new Roche DNA PCR kit is accurate for the detection of HIV DNA in Zimbabwean samples, in which HIV-1 subtype C dominates.
    Journal of Clinical Microbiology 12/1999; 37(11):3569-71. · 4.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: To assess the acute side effects of a 400,000 IU oral dose of vitamin A given to a newly delivered mother and a 50,000 IU oral dose of vitamin A given at the same time to her baby.Design: Randomised double blind placebo controlled clinical trial, with follow up one to two days after dosing.Setting: Urban maternity centres in Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe.Subjects: 839 newly delivered mothers and babies.Outcome measures: Symptoms and signs possibly attributable to acute vitamin A toxicity in the baby (especially bulging fontanelle) or mother (headache, blurred vision, nausea, vomiting).Results: 788 (94%) of 839 recruits were assessed. Vitamin A and control groups were similar in baseline characteristics. The incidence of reported side effects was low and comparable to that found previously. Two mothers in each group spontaneously reported bulging fontanelles in their babies. One of these babies (in the placebo group) was reported to have been vomiting. The rate of incident bulging fontanelles found on examination was 1.5% and 1.0% in the treatment and control groups respectively (odds ratio 1.48, 95% confidence limits 0.35 and 7.19, p=0.5). Only one baby (in the vitamin A group) of the eleven who were found to have bulging fontanelles on examination had a symptom (vomiting) possibly attributable to raised intracranial pressure. Maternal symptoms did not differ between groups.Conclusion: These large doses of vitamin A are well tolerated by newly delivered mothers and babies.
    Nutrition Research 10/1999; 19(10-19):1437-1446. DOI:10.1016/S0271-5317(99)00101-3 · 2.59 Impact Factor