[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Avahan intervention promotes consistent (100%) condom use amongst men who have sex with men in southern India. We assessed how condom use varies with intervention exposure for men who have sex with men in Bangalore.
Self-reported condom use and intervention exposure data were derived from a cross-sectional survey. Consistent condom use and condom use at last sex act with all, main, and casual male sex partners were assessed. Binary and continuous variables reflecting intervention exposure (including contact(s) with intervention staff, receiving condoms and seeing condom demonstrations) were used. Multivariable logistic regression was employed to assess the relationship between condom use with each type of partner and each exposure variable independently, controlling for socio-demographic and behavioural factors associated with condom use or intervention exposure.
Condom use with all partners was higher among those who had ever been contacted by, received condoms from, or seen a condom demonstration by intervention staff (adjusted odds ratio >2, p < 0.02 for all). Consistent condom use with all types of partner increased with the number of condom demonstrations seen in the last month (adjusted odds ratio = 2.1 per demonstration, p < 0.025), while condom use at last sex act with a casual (but not main) partner increased with the number of condoms received from the intervention (adjusted odds ratio = 1.4 per condom, p = 0.04).
Direct contact with Avahan program staff is associated with increased reported condom use among men who have sex with men in Bangalore. Reported consistent condom use and condom use at last sex act are associated with contacts involving demonstrations of correct condom use, and with receiving condoms, respectively.
BMC Public Health 12/2014; 14(1):1245. · 2.08 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Although there is considerable evidence of the effectiveness of needle and syringe programme (NSP), opioid substitution therapy (OST) and antiretroviral therapy (ART) in reducing HIV prevalence, most Central and Eastern European sub-regions still have low or no coverage of most or all of these interventions.
We conducted a modelling analysis to consider the potential impact on HIV incidence and prevalence of OST, NSP and ART in three illustrative epidemic scenarios: Russia (St. Petersburg); Estonia (Tallinn) and Tajikistan (Dushanbe). For each intervention, we consider the coverage needed of each intervention separately or in combination to: (1) achieve a 30% or 50% relative reduction in HIV incidence or prevalence over 10 years; and (2) reduce HIV incidence to below 1% or HIV prevalence below 10% after 20 years. A sensitivity analysis for St. Petersburg considered the implications of greater on no risk heterogeneity, none or more sexual HIV transmission, like-with-like mixing, different injecting cessation rates and assuming a lower HIV acute phase cofactor.
For St. Petersburg, when OST, NSP and ART are combined, only 14% coverage of each intervention is required to achieve a 30% reduction in HIV incidence over 10 years. Similar findings are obtained for Tallinn and Dushanbe. In order to achieve the same reductions in HIV prevalence over 10 years, over double the coverage level is required relative to what was required to achieve the same reduction in HIV incidence in that setting. To either reduce HIV incidence to less than 1% or HIV prevalence to less than 10% over 20 years, with all interventions combined, projections suggest that very high coverage levels of 74-85% are generally required for the higher prevalence settings of Tallinn and St. Petersburg, whereas lower coverage levels (23-34%) are needed in Dushanbe. Coverage requirements are robust to increased sexual HIV transmission, risk heterogeneity and like-with-like mixing, as well as to assuming a lower HIV acute phase cofactor or different injecting cessation rate.
The projections suggest that high but achievable coverage levels of NSP can result in large decreases (30%) in HIV incidence in settings with high HIV prevalence among PWID. Required coverage levels are much lower when interventions are combined or in lower prevalence settings. However, even when all three interventions are combined, the targets of reducing HIV incidence to less than 1% or prevalence to less than 10% in 20 years may be hard to achieve except in lower prevalence settings.
The International journal on drug policy 11/2014; 25(6):1163–1173. · 2.54 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) antiviral treatment for people who inject drugs (PWID) could prevent onwards transmission and reduce chronic prevalence. We assessed current PWID treatment rates in seven UK settings and projected the potential impact of current and scaled-up treatment on HCV chronic prevalence. Data on number of PWID treated and sustained viral response rates (SVR) were collected from seven UK settings: Bristol (37–48% HCV chronic prevalence among PWID), East London (37–48%), Manchester (48–56%), Nottingham (37–44%), Plymouth (30–37%), Dundee (20–27%) and North Wales (27–33%). A model of HCV transmission among PWID projected the 10-year impact of (i) current treatment rates and SVR (ii) scale-up with interferon-free direct acting antivirals (IFN-free DAAs) with 90% SVR. Treatment rates varied from <5 to over 25 per 1000 PWID. Pooled intention-to-treat SVR for PWID were 45% genotypes 1/4 [95%CI 33–57%] and 61% genotypes 2/3 [95%CI 47–76%]. Projections of chronic HCV prevalence among PWID after 10 years of current levels of treatment overlapped substantially with current HCV prevalence estimates. Scaling-up treatment to 26/1000 PWID annually (achieved already in two sites) with IFN-free DAAs could achieve an observable absolute reduction in HCV chronic prevalence of at least 15% among PWID in all sites and greater than a halving in chronic HCV in Plymouth, Dundee and North Wales within a decade. Current treatment rates among PWID are unlikely to achieve observable reductions in HCV chronic prevalence over the next 10 years. Achievable scale-up, however, could lead to substantial reductions in HCV chronic prevalence.
Journal of Viral Hepatitis 10/2014; · 3.08 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The study objective is to measure, analyse costs of scaling up HIV prevention for high-risk groups in India, in order to assist the design of future HIV prevention programmes in South Asia and beyond.
PLoS ONE 09/2014; 9(9):e106582. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Avahan is a large-scale, HIV preventive intervention, targeting high-risk populations in south India. We assessed the cost-effectiveness of Avahan to inform global and national funding institutions who are considering investing in worldwide HIV prevention in concentrated epidemics.
We estimated cost effectiveness from a programme perspective in 22 districts in four high-prevalence states. We used the UNAIDS Costing Guidelines for HIV Prevention Strategies as the basis for our costing method, and calculated effect estimates using a dynamic transmission model of HIV and sexually transmitted disease transmission that was parameterised and fitted to locally observed behavioural and prevalence trends. We calculated incremental cost-effective ratios (ICERs), comparing the incremental cost of Avahan per disability-adjusted life-year (DALY) averted versus a no-Avahan counterfactual scenario. We also estimated incremental cost per HIV infection averted and incremental cost per person reached.
Avahan reached roughly 150 000 high-risk individuals between 2004 and 2008 in the 22 districts studied, at a mean cost per person reached of US$327 during the 4 years. This reach resulted in an estimated 61 000 HIV infections averted, with roughly 11 000 HIV infections averted in the general population, at a mean incremental cost per HIV infection averted of $785 (SD 166). We estimate that roughly 1 million DALYs were averted across the 22 districts, at a mean incremental cost per DALY averted of $46 (SD 10). Future antiretroviral treatment (ART) cost savings during the lifetime of the cohort exposed to HIV prevention were estimated to be more than $77 million (compared with the slightly more than $50 million spent on Avahan in the 22 districts during the 4 years of the study).
This study provides evidence that the investment in targeted HIV prevention programmes in south India has been cost effective, and is likely to be cost saving if a commitment is made to provide ART to all that can benefit from it. Policy makers should consider funding and sustaining large-scale targeted HIV prevention programmes in India and beyond.
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The Lancet Global Health. 09/2014; 2(9):e531–e540.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To achieve viral suppression and fully benefit from antiretroviral therapy (ART), it is important that individuals with HIV know that they are HIV infected, link to and remain in HIV care, start and remain on ART and adhere to treatment. In HIV epidemics where female sex workers (FSWs) are key drivers of HIV transmission, the extent to which FSWs use ART and engage in the HIV care cascade could have a considerable impact on HIV transmission from FSWs to the wider population. In this article we review the spectrum of FSW engagement in the HIV care cascade, look at the impact of the HIV care cascade and ART use among FSWs on population-level HIV transmission and discuss HIV prevention for FSWs in the context of ART and the HIV care cascade.
Expert Review of Anti-infective Therapy 08/2014; · 3.06 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: People who inject drugs (PWID) are a key population affected by hepatitis C virus (HCV). Treatment options are improving and may enhance prevention; however access for PWID may be poor. The availability in the literature of information on seven main topic areas (incidence, chronicity, genotypes, HIV co-infection, diagnosis and treatment uptake, and burden of disease) to guide HCV treatment and prevention scale-up for PWID in the 27 countries of the European Union is systematically reviewed.
Methods and Findings: We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE and Cochrane Library for publications between 1 January 2000 and 31 December 2012, with a search strategy of general keywords regarding viral hepatitis, substance abuse and geographic scope, as well as topic-specific keywords. Additional articles were found through structured email consultations with a large European expert network. Data availability was highly variable and important limitations existed in comparability and representativeness. Nine of 27 countries had data on HCV incidence among PWID, which was often high (2.7-66/100 person-years, median 13, Interquartile range (IQR) 8.7–28). Most common HCV genotypes were G1 and G3; however, G4 may be increasing, while the proportion of traditionally ‘difficult to treat’ genotypes (G1+G4) showed large variation (median 53, IQR 43–62). Twelve countries reported on HCV chronicity (median 72, IQR 64–81) and 22 on HIV prevalence in HCV-infected PWID (median 3.9%, IQR 0.2–28). Undiagnosed infection, assessed in five countries, was high (median 49%, IQR 38–64), while of those diagnosed, the proportion entering treatment was low (median 9.5%, IQR 3.5–15). Burden of disease, where assessed, was high and will rise in the next decade.
Conclusion: Key data on HCV epidemiology, care and disease burden among PWID in Europe are sparse but suggest many undiagnosed infections and poor treatment uptake. Stronger efforts are needed to improve data availability to guide an increase in HCV treatment among PWID.
PLoS ONE 07/2014; 9(7):e103345. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives. We examined the impact of community mobilization (CM) on the empowerment, risk behaviors, and prevalence of HIV and sexually transmitted infection in female sex workers (FSWs) in Karnataka, India. Methods. We conducted behavioral-biological surveys in 2008 and 2011 in 4 districts of Karnataka, India. We defined exposure to CM as low, medium (attended nongovernmental organization meeting or drop-in centre), or high (member of collective or peer group). We used regression analyses to explore whether exposure to CM was associated with the preceding outcomes. Pathway analyses explored the degree to which effects could be attributable to CM. Results. By the final survey, FSWs with high CM exposure were more likely to have been tested for HIV (adjusted odd ratio [AOR] = 25.13; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 13.07, 48.34) and to have used a condom at last sex with occasional clients (AOR = 4.74; 95% CI = 2.17, 10.37), repeat clients (AOR = 4.29; 95% CI = 2.24, 8.20), and regular partners (AOR = 2.80; 95% CI = 1.43, 5.45) than FSWs with low CM exposure. They were also less likely to be infected with gonorrhea or chlamydia (AOR = 0.53; 95% CI = 0.31, 0.87). Pathway analyses suggested CM acted above and beyond peer education; reduction in gonorrhea or chlamydia was attributable to CM. Conclusions. CM is a central part of HIV prevention programming among FSWs, empowering them to better negotiate condom use and access services, as well as address other concerns in their lives. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print June 12, 2014: e1-e10. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2014.301911).
American Journal of Public Health 06/2014; · 3.93 Impact Factor