ABSTRACT: The province of KwaZulu-Natal has the highest prevalence of HIV in South Africa, particularly among young women. In order to more closely examine the HIV prevalence and incidence in non-pregnant women from rural, semi-rural and urban areas, data from 5,753 women screened for enrolment into three HIV prevention studies were combined and analysed. The prevalence of HIV infection was 43% at screening. HIV incidence among the 2,523 enrolled HIV-negative women was determined every quarter, and sexual behaviour and socio-demographic data were collected as per respective protocols. During follow-up, 211 women seroconverted (6.6/100 women years). Multivariate analysis found that seroconversion rates were highest among women who were ≤24 years old, single and not cohabiting, and who had incident sexually transmitted infections. The epidemic in KwaZulu-Natal calls for targeted HIV prevention interventions among those at highest risk of acquiring or transmitting infection.
AIDS and Behavior 09/2011; 16(7):2062-71. · 3.49 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: To determine risk factors for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among women in Durban and Hlabisa (South Africa), Moshi (Tanzania), and Lusaka (Zambia).
Between 2003 and 2004, 958 women at risk of STIs were enrolled in a 1-year prospective study. They were interviewed at each monthly visit, and samples for STI testing were collected during quarterly and other visits when clinically indicated.
The incidence of infections as measured in person-years at risk (PYAR) was as follows: overall trichomoniasis, 31.9/100 PYAR; chlamydial infection in South Africa, 19.5/100 PYAR; chlamydial infection in Tanzania and Zambia, 4.9/100 PYAR; gonorrhea in South Africa, 16.5/100 PYAR; gonorrhea in Tanzania and Zambia, 5.3/100 PYAR; overall syphilis, 7.5/100 PYAR; and overall HIV, 3.8/100 PYAR. The incidence of most STIs was highest among the South African sites, where chlamydial infection and gonorrhea were detected by using a more sensitive assay. Independent risk factors included age, hormonal contraceptive methods, and measures of sexual behavior, including number of sex partners and occurrence of anal sex in the past 3 months. Women with incident HIV infection were at increased risk of chlamydial infection [odds ratio (OR) = 5.5, 95% confidence interval (CI): 2.0-15.2]and gonorrhea (OR = 5.7, 95% CI: 1.9-17.0) in South African sites. Despite ongoing counseling during the study, high-risk sexual behaviors were common, and consistent condom use remained low.
The incidence of STIs, including HIV, was high among women in this study. These findings highlight the urgent need for effective HIV/STI prevention programs in this population.
Sexually transmitted diseases 05/2009; 36(4):199-206. · 2.58 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: To evaluate the preparedness for phase 2/IIb/III microbicide trials at 4 clinical trial sites: Durban and Hlabisa (South Africa), Lusaka (Zambia), and Moshi (Tanzania).
A prospective cohort study was undertaken to assess site suitability for microbicide efficacy studies. Study objectives included assessing sites' ability to recruit and retain high-risk women with the appropriate HIV incidence rates needed to conduct microbicide efficacy studies.
Nine hundred fifty-eight consenting women were enrolled and followed for up to 1 year. Demographic, behavioral, laboratory, and clinical data were collected to determine the incidence rates of HIV, sexually transmitted infections, and pregnancy.
Accrual was completed in 6.3, 6.7, 7.1, and 8.3 months in Durban, Hlabisa, Moshi, and Lusaka, respectively. The highest month 12 participant retention rate was recorded in Durban (97%), followed by Hlabisa (94%), Moshi (86%), and Lusaka (93%). Mean overall age of enrolled participants was 28.6 years (ranging from 27.0 to 32.2 years) across sites. Despite condom counseling, rates of condom use were slightly lower at study end. Pregnancy incidence in the study as a whole was 20.2 per 100 women-years (wy). Overall HIV prevalence was 32.5%, and overall HIV incidence was 3.8 per 100 wy (95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.6 to 5.2). HIV incidence per site was 5.3 per 100 wy in Durban (95% CI: 2.7 to 9.2), 6.2 per 100 wy in Hlabisa (95% CI: 3.4 to 10.5); 2.6 per 100 wy in Lusaka (95% CI: 1.0 to 5.8), and 1.4 per 100 wy in Moshi (95% CI: 0.3 to 4.0).
Preparatory studies provide accurate local estimates of HIV incidence, recruitment and retention rates, and behavioral characteristics of targeted populations for large-scale clinical trials. Determining these factors allows for better preparation for design, sample size, and appropriate population for future selection of trial sites. Because of the lower than expected HIV incidence observed at the Moshi site, only the South African and Zambian sites were selected for the phase 2/IIb trial.
JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes 02/2008; 47(1):93-100. · 4.43 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: Vaginal microbicides will provide a woman-initiated prevention strategy that could substantially reduce rates of HIV infection. The acceptability of microbicides will greatly influence the use and, hence, effectiveness of such products. In this study, the acceptability of an investigational microbicide, PRO 2000 Gel (Indevus Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Lexington, MA), was assessed, and women's opinions about microbicides and their potential for real world use were gathered.
Quantitative and qualitative data were collected from 30 U.S. and 33 South African women. All sexually active HIV-uninfected women and all sexually abstinent HIV-infected women participating in this phase I clinical trial stated in a survey that they would use PRO 2000 Gel if they had reason to be concerned about HIV and the product were available. Qualitative data, however, provided insight into the nuances of acceptability ratings. Women rated product safety, ease of use, and positive effects on sexual pleasure among the most important characteristics of acceptable microbicides.
Opinions regarding product leakage, contraceptive capability, and the ability to be used without partners noticing, as well as characteristics of the product itself, varied substantially based on the context of sex and perceptions of risk within each individual woman's life.
As microbicide development continues and the first investigational products move into efficacy trials, the needs and preferences of those women who constitute the potential users of microbicides become paramount. Providing woman-initiated microbicides that are safe, easy to use, and pleasurable will be key to the impact these products will have on the AIDS epidemic worldwide.
Journal of Women s Health 10/2003; 12(7):655-66. · 1.57 Impact Factor