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Publications (3)12.88 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: In 2006, a pediatric diarrhea outbreak occurred in Botswana, coinciding with heavy rains. Surveillance recorded a 3 times increase in cases and a 25 fold increase in deaths between January and March. Botswana has high HIV prevalence among pregnant women (33.4% in 2005), and an estimated 35% of all infants under the age of 6 months are not breastfed. We followed all children <5 years old with diarrhea in the country's second largest referral hospital at the peak of the outbreak by chart review, interviewed mothers, and conducted laboratory testing for HIV and enteric pathogens. Of 153 hospitalized children with diarrhea, 97% were <2 years old; 88% of these were not breastfeeding. HIV was diagnosed in 18% of children and 64% of mothers. Cryptosporidium and enteropathogenic Escherichia coli were common; many children had multiple pathogens. Severe acute malnutrition (kwashiorkor or marasmus) developed in 38 (25%) patients, and 33 (22%) died. Kwashiorkor increased risk for death (relative risk 2.0; P = 0.05); only one breastfeeding child died. Many children who died had been undersupplied with formula. Most of the severe morbidity and mortality in this outbreak occurred in children who were HIV negative and not breastfed. Feeding and nutritional factors were the most important determinants of severe illness and death. Breastfeeding is critical to infant survival in the developing world, and support for breastfeeding among HIV-negative women, and HIV-positive women who cannot formula feed safely, may prevent further high-mortality outbreaks.
    JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes 10/2009; 53(1):14-9. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Botswana has high antenatal human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevalence (33.4%). The public health system provides free services for prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) and antiretroviral therapy, which can reduce vertical HIV transmission from 35% to <5%. Infant HIV diagnosis is challenging in resource-limited settings, and HIV prevalence among HIV-exposed infants in Botswana is unknown. Dried blood spot (DBS) polymerase chain reaction (PCR) provides a feasible method to assess PMTCT programs and identify HIV-infected children. We trained staff in 15 clinics and a hospital to obtain DBS on HIV-exposed infants age 6 weeks to 17 months receiving routine care. Samples were sent to the national HIV reference laboratory. Roche Amplicor 1.5 DNA PCR testing was performed. Between June-December 2005, 1931 HIV-exposed infants age 6 weeks to 17 months were tested for HIV, of whom 136 (7.0%) were HIV infected. Among infants <or=8 weeks old, 27 of 544 (5.0%) were HIV infected. Among infants tested in clinics (primarily during routine health visits), 65 of 1376 (4.7%) were infected; among infants tested in the hospital, 71 of 555 (12.8%) were infected. Collection and testing of DBS was successfully integrated into routine infant care in the public health system. HIV prevalence among infants in the Botswana PMTCT program is low. National expansion of infant DBS PCR in Botswana is planned.
    The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal 01/2008; 27(1):22-6. · 3.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Botswana has high HIV prevalence among pregnant women (37.4% in 2003) and provides free services for prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV. Nearly all pregnant women (>95%) have antenatal care (ANC) and deliver in hospital. Uptake of antenatal HIV testing was low from 1999 through 2003. In 2004, Botswana's President declared that HIV testing should be "routine but not compulsory" in medical settings. Health workers were trained to provide group education and recommend HIV testing as part of routine ANC services. Logbook data on ANC attendance, HIV testing, and uptake of PMTCT interventions were reviewed before and after routine testing training, and ANC clients were interviewed. After routine testing started, the percentage of all HIV-infected women delivering in the regional hospital who knew their HIV status increased from 47% to 78% and the percentage receiving PMTCT interventions increased from 29% to 56%. ANC attendance and the percentage of HIV-positive women who disclosed their HIV status to others remained stable. Interviews indicated that ANC clients supported the policy. Routine HIV testing was more accepted than voluntary testing in this setting and led to substantial increases in the uptake of testing and PMTCT interventions without detectable adverse consequences. Routine testing in other settings may strengthen HIV care and prevention efforts.
    JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes 05/2007; 45(1):102-7. · 4.65 Impact Factor