[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Sexual coercion is associated with sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies with consequential unsafe abortions and increased maternal morbidity and mortality. Current literature focuses mainly on its risk factors but less on its resultant deleterious health effects. We conducted a study to determine the prevalence of sexual coercion and its association with unwanted pregnancies among young pregnant women.
In a cross-sectional study, four hundred and sixteen (416) consenting pregnant females aged 15-24 years attending antenatal clinics in Lubaga division Kampala district in Uganda were enrolled using systematic sampling. Quantitative and qualitative data on sexual coercion were collected by female interviewers. Adjusted Prevalence Proportion Ratios (Adj. PPRs) of unwanted pregnancy and associated 95 % confidence intervals were estimated by generalized linear models with log link function and Poisson family distribution using robust variance estimator. Quantitative data were analyzed using Stata version 10.0, while qualitative data were analyzed using manifest content analysis.
Prevalence of sexual coercion was 24 % and was higher among those who had non consensual sexual debut (29.0 %) compared with those who had consensual sexual debut (22.6 %). The prevalence of unwanted pregnancy was 18.3 % and was higher among participants who had been sexually coerced relative to their counterparts (p < 0.001). History of sexual coercion in the past 12 months and non consensual sexual debut were associated with unwanted pregnancy [adj.PPR = 2.23, 95 % CI: (1.49-3.32)] and 1.72, 95 % CI: (1.16- 2.54)] respectively. Qualitative results indicated that different forms/contexts of sexual coercion, such as deception, transactional sex and physical force influenced unwanted pregnancies.
This study highlights that a quarter of our participants in our quantitative study had experienced sexual coercion in the past twelve months and nearly a third of these, had history of non consensual sexual debut. Unwanted pregnancy was higher among the sexually coerced and those who had non consensual sexual debut.
Sexual coercion among pregnant women aged 15-24 years in Kampala, Uganda is high and is significantly associated with unwanted pregnancy. Comprehensive sex education targeting young people (<25 years), along with availability and access to youth friendly centers may be useful in addressing sexual coercion and its negative outcomes.
BMC Women's Health 09/2015; 15(1):79. DOI:10.1186/s12905-015-0235-9 · 1.50 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Schistosoma mansoni infection has been associated with an increased HIV prevalence in humans and SHIV incidence in primate models. We hypothesized that immune activation from this gastrointestinal mucosa infection would increase highly HIV-susceptible CD4 T cell subsets in the blood and the foreskin through common mucosal homing.
Foreskin tissue and blood were obtained from 34 HIV- and malaria-uninfected Ugandan men who volunteered for elective circumcision, 12 of whom were definitively positive for S. mansoni eggs in stool and 12 definitively negative for both S. mansoni eggs and worm antigen. Tissue and blood T cell subsets were characterized by flow cytometry and immunohistochemistry (IHC). Th17 and Th1 cells from both the blood and foreskin expressed higher levels of CCR5 and were more activated than other CD4 T cell subsets. S. mansoni-infected men had a higher frequency of systemic Th1 cells (22.9 vs. 16.5% of blood CD4 T cells, p<0.05), Th17 cells (2.3 vs. 1.5%, p<0.05), and Th22 cells (0.5 vs. 0.3%, p<0.01) than uninfected men. Additionally, Th17 cells in the blood of S. mansoni-infected men demonstrated enhanced function (28.1 vs. 16.3% producing multiple cytokines, p = 0.046). However, these immune alterations were not observed in foreskin tissue.
S. mansoni infection was associated with an increased frequency of highly HIV-susceptible Th1, Th17 and Th22 cell subsets in the blood, but these T cell immune differences did not extend to the foreskin. S. mansoni induced changes in T cell immunology mediated through the common mucosal immune system are not likely to increase HIV susceptibility in the foreskin.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Delay in tuberculosis (TB) diagnosis adversely affects patients' outcomes and prolongs transmission in the community. The influence of social contacts on steps taken by active pulmonary TB patients to seek a diagnosis has not been well examined.
A retrospective study design was use to enroll TB patients on treatment for 3 months or less and aged ≥18 years from 3 public clinics in Kampala, Uganda, from March to July 2014. Social network analysis was used to collect information about social contacts and health providers visited by patients to measure the number of steps and time between onset of symptoms and final diagnosis of TB.
Of 294 TB patients, 58 % were male and median age was 30 (IQR: 24-38) years. The median number of steps was 4 (IQR: 3, 7) corresponding to 70 (IQR: 28,140) days to diagnosis. New patients had more steps and time to diagnosis compared retreatment patients (5 vs. 3, P < 0.0001; 84 vs. 46 days P < 0.0001). Fifty-eight percent of patients first contacted persons in their social network. The first step to initiate seeking care accounted for 41 % of the patients' time to diagnosis while visits to non-TB providers and TB providers (without a TB diagnosis) accounted for 34 % and 11 % respectively. New TB patients vs. retreatment (HR: 0.66, 95 % CI; 1.11, 1.99), those who first contacted a non-TB health provider vs. contacting social network (HR: 0.72 95 % CI; 0.55, 0.95) and HIV seronegative vs. seropositive patients (HR: 0.70, 95 % CI; 0.53, 0.92) had a significantly lower likelihood of a timely final diagnosis.
There were four degrees of separation between the onset of symptoms in a TB patient and a final diagnosis. Both social and provider networks of patients influenced the diagnostic pathways. Most delays occurred in the first step which represents decisions to seek help, and through interactions with non-TB health providers. TB control programs should strengthen education and active screening in the community and in health care settings to ensure timely diagnosis of TB.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction
Women in fishing communities in Uganda are more at risk and have higher rates of HIV infection. Socio-cultural gender norms, limited access to health information and services, economic disempowerment, sexual abuse and their biological susceptibility make women more at risk of infection. There is need to design interventions that cater for women's vulnerability. We explore factors affecting recruitment and retention of women from fishing communities in HIV prevention research.
An HIV incidence cohort screened 2074 volunteers (1057 men and 1017 women) aged 13-49 years from 5 fishing communities along Lake Victoria using demographic, medical history, risk behaviour assessment questionnaires.1000 HIV negative high risk volunteers were enrolled and followed every 6 months for 18 months. Factors associated with completion of study visits among women were analyzed using multivariable logistic regression.
Women constituted 1,017(49%) of those screened, and 449(45%) of those enrolled with a median (IQR) age of 27 (22-33) years. Main reasons for non-enrolment were HIV infection (33.9%) and reported low risk behaviour (37.5%). A total of 382 (74%) women and 332 (69%) men completed all follow up visits. Older women (>24 yrs) and those unemployed, who had lived in the community for 5 years or more, were more likely to complete all study visits.
Women had better retention rates than men at 18 months. Strategies for recruiting and retaining younger women and those who have stayed for less than 5 years need to be developed for improved retention of women in fishing communities in HIV prevention and research Programs.
Pan African Medical Journal 06/2015; 21. DOI:10.11604/pamj.2015.21.104.4962
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It has been suggested that Schistosoma mansoni, which is endemic in African fishing communities, might increase susceptibility to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) acquisition. If confirmed, this would be of great public health importance in these high HIV-risk communities. This study was undertaken to determine whether S. mansoni infection is a risk factor for HIV infection among the fishing communities of Lake Victoria, Uganda. We conducted a matched case control study, nested within a prospective HIV incidence cohort, including 50 HIV-seroconverters (cases) and 150 controls during 2009-2011.
S. mansoni infection prior to HIV-seroconversion was determined by measuring serum circulating anodic antigen (CAA) in stored serum. HIV testing was done using the Determine rapid test and infection, confirmed by Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assays.
49% of cases and 52% of controls had S. mansoni infection prior to HIV seroconversion (or at the time of a similar study visit, for controls): odds ratio, adjusting for ethnicity, religion, marital status, education, occupation, frequency of alcohol consumption in previous three months, number of sexual partners while drunk, duration of stay in the community and history of schistosomiasis treatment in the past two years 1.23 (95% CI 0.3-5.7) P=0.79. S. mansoni infections were chronic (with little change in status between enrolment and HIV seroconversion) and there was no difference in median CAA concentration between cases and controls.
These results do not support the hypothesis that S. mansoni infection promotes HIV acquisition. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Tropical Medicine & International Health 05/2015; 20(9). DOI:10.1111/tmi.12531 · 2.33 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Medical male circumcision (MC) of HIV-infected men may increase plasma HIV viral load and place female partners at risk of infection. We assessed the effect of MC on plasma HIV viral load in HIV-infected men in Rakai, Uganda.
195 consenting HIV-positive, HAART naïve men aged 12 and above provided blood for plasma HIV viral load testing before surgery and weekly for six weeks and at 2 and 3 months post surgery. Data were also collected on baseline social demographic characteristics and CD4 counts. Change in log10 plasma viral load between baseline and follow-up visits was estimated using paired t tests and multivariate generalized estimating equation (GEE).
Of the 195 men, 129 had a CD4 count ≧350 and 66 had CD4 <350 cells/mm3. Men with CD4 counts <350 had higher baseline mean log10 plasma viral load than those with CD4 counts ≧350 cells/mm3 (4.715 vs 4.217 cps/mL, respectively, p = 0.0005). Compared to baseline, there was no statistically significant increase in post-MC HIV plasma viral loads irrespective of CD4. Multivariate analysis showed that higher baseline log10 plasma viral load was significantly associated with reduction in mean log10 plasma viral load following MC (coef. = -0.134, p<0.001).
We observed no increase in plasma HIV viral load following MC in HIV-infected, HAART naïve men.
PLoS ONE 11/2014; 9(11):e110382. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0110382 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Abduction by the Lords Resistance Army profoundly impacts the physical and psychosocial wellbeing of those surviving the conflict in Northern Uganda. It is estimated that more than 66,000 were abducted between 1986-2006. It is important to understand the HIV related vulnerabilities of this ‘at risk’ population.
Methods: The Cango Lyec Project is a prospective cohort of 2448 participants aged 13-49 in Northern Uganda. Participants consented to HIV testing and completed surveys on socio-demographics, PTSD (HTQ), and depression (HSCL-25). Multivariable logistic regression models were used to assess HIV vulnerability.
Results: Of formerly-abducted participants 319 (54.1%) were women and 271 (45.9%) were men. HIV prevalence was 20.4% and 11.8% respectively (p=0.005). Males were abducted more times (2.1 vs. 1.6 times; p=0.006). 34.2% of women and 3.3% of men experienced war related sexual violence. 26.3% of abducted women were given as a wife to LRA commanders. Of those with HIV, 9.4% of men and 24.6% of women screened positively for PTSD, while 21.8% and 43.1% screened positively for depression. There is difference in levels of PTSD or depression between those with and without HIV. In the multi-variable logistic regression, being female (AOR: 1.68; 95%CI: 1.03-2.80), one-year increase in age (1.04; 1.01-1.07), genital ulcers in the past year (3.77; 2.15-6.58), and living in the Gulu (2.34; 1.25-4.20) or Nwoya (2.25; 1.10-4.67) compared to Amuru district were associated with HIV positivity.
Discussion: Culturally safe HIV programming addressing these specific HIV related vulnerabilities of people surviving abduction and war in Northern Uganda are urgently required.
142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition 2014; 11/2014
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Untreated human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV) infection is associated with persistent immune activation, which is an independent driver of disease progression in European and United States cohorts. In Uganda, HIV-1 subtypes A and D and recombinant AD viruses predominate and exhibit differential rates of disease progression.
HIV-1 seroconverters (n = 156) from rural Uganda were evaluated to assess the effects of T-cell activation, viral load, and viral subtype on disease progression during clinical follow-up.
The frequency of activated T cells was increased in HIV-1-infected Ugandans, compared with community matched uninfected individuals, but did not differ significantly between viral subtypes. Higher HIV-1 load, subtype D, older age, and high T-cell activation levels were associated with faster disease progression to AIDS or death. In a multivariate Cox regression analysis, HIV-1 load was the strongest predictor of progression, with subtype also contributing. T-cell activation did not emerge an independent predictor of disease progression from this particular cohort.
These findings suggest that the independent contribution of T-cell activation on morbidity and mortality observed in European and North American cohorts may not be directly translated to the HIV epidemic in East Africa. In this setting, HIV-1 load appears to be the primary determinant of disease progression.
The Journal of Infectious Diseases 11/2014; 211(10). DOI:10.1093/infdis/jiu646 · 6.00 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: War-related violence in Northern Uganda is well documented and may be accelerating HIV spread. We studied the differences in prevalence and risk factors for HIV infection between men and women in this post-conflict region.
Methods: The “Cango Lyec Project” is a prospective cohort study in Northern Uganda. We randomly selected study communities and mapped and enumerated the entire population. 2448 residents aged 13-59 consented to participate in the survey. Trauma, depression and sociodemographic-behavioural surveys and HIV testing were conducted.
Results: Of 2448 participants, 58.2% were females; 24% had been abducted, and 23% sexually-assaulted in captivity. HIV prevalence was 14.4% in women vs. 7.9% in men (p< 0.001), reaching 19.77% among women in one community. PTSD was observed in 13.9% of women compared to 8.6% of men and depression was reported by 19.9% and 8.2% respectively (p< 0.001). Among sexually-active men, HIV positivity was associated with never using condoms with most recent sex partner (AOR: 2.03, 95% CI: 1.09-3.78); history of genital ulcers in last year (4.64, [2.2-9.4]); and residing in Gulu district (1.83, [0.98-3.42]). For sexually active women, HIV positivity was associated with never use of condoms with most recent sex partner in last year (1.83, [1.28-2.62]), history of genital ulcers in last year (2.51, [1.65-3.82]), war-related sexual violence (1.80 [1.19-2.73]), depression (1.82, [1.26-2.64]) and residing in Gulu district (1.45, [1.04-2.04])
Conclusions: Women are disproportionately impacted by HIV, trauma and depression in this conflict-affected population. Trauma-informed HIV prevention and culturally safe mental health care initiatives are urgently required.
142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition 2014; 11/2014
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Results: Overall retention rate was 76.9% (1685/2191), highest (89%) among participants who had spent 5+ years in the community and lowest (54.1%) among those with <1 year stay. Significant predictors of retention included tribe/ethnicity, baseline HIV negative status, and longer than 1 year stay in the community. Overall WTP was 89.1% (1953/2191). Lack of WTP was significantly higher among women than men [adj.OR = 1.51 (95% CI, 1.14- 2.00)] and among participants who had stayed in fishing communities for 10 or more years relative to those with less than one year [adj.OR = 1.78 (95% CI, 1.11 - 2.88)]. Overall HIV incidence rate per 100 pyar was 3.39 (95% CI; 2.55 - 4.49). Participants aged 25-29 years had highest incidence rates (4.61 - 7.67/100 pyar) and high retention rates between 78.5 and 83.1%. In a combined analysis of retention and incidence rates participants aged 30+ years had retention rates ∼80% but low incidence rates (2.45 - 3.57 per 100 pyar) while those aged 25-29 years had the highest incidence rates (4.61 - 7.67/100 pyar) and retention rates 78.5 - 83.1%.
BMC Public Health 09/2014; 14(1):986. DOI:10.1186/1471-2458-14-986 · 2.26 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background. Defining the parameters that modulate vaccine responses in African populations will be imperative to design effective vaccines for protection against HIV, malaria, tuberculosis, and dengue virus infections. This study aimed to evaluate the contribution of the patient-specific immune microenvironrnent to the response to the licensed yellow fever vaccine 17D (YF-17D) in an African cohort. Methods. We compared responses to YF-17D in 50 volunteers in Entebbe, Uganda, and 50 volunteers in Lausanne, Switzerland. We measured the CD8(+) T cell and B cell responses induced by YF-17D and correlated them with immune parameters analyzed by flow cytometry prior to vaccination. Results. We showed that YF-17D-induced CD8(+) T cell and B cell responses were substantially lower in immunized individuals from Entebbe compared with immunized individuals from Lausanne. The impaired vaccine response in the Entebbe cohort associated with reduced YF-17D replication. Prior to vaccination, we observed higher frequencies of exhausted and activated NK cells, differentiated T and B cell subsets and proinflammatory monocytes, suggesting an activated immune microenvironment in the Entebbe volunteers. Interestingly, activation of CD8(+) T cells and B cells as well as proinflammatory monocytes at baseline negatively correlated with YF-17D-neutralizing antibody titers after vaccination. Additionally, memory T and B cell responses in preimmunized volunteers exhibited reduced persistence in the Entebbe cohort but were boosted by a second vaccination. Conclusion. Together, these results demonstrate that an activated immune microenvironment prior to vaccination impedes efficacy of the YF-17D vaccine in an African cohort and suggest that vaccine regimens may need to be boosted in African populations to achieve efficient immunity.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
High HIV-1 incidence rates were reported among persons in fisherfolk communities (FFC) in Uganda who were selected for high risk behaviour. We assessed the incidence of HIV-1 and associated risk factors in a general population FFC to determine population-wide HIV rates.
A community-based cohort study was conducted among a random sample of 2191 participants aged 18–49 years. At baseline and 12 months post-baseline, data were collected on socio-demographic characteristics and risky behaviors (including number of partners, new partners, condom use, use of alcohol and illicit drug use). Venous blood was collected for HIV serological testing. HIV incidence was calculated per 100 person years at-risk (pyar) and adjusted incidence rate ratios (Adj.IRR) were estimated by multivariable Poisson regression.
Overall follow up at 12 months was 76.9% (1685/2191) and was significantly higher among HIV uninfected persons and those with at least 1 year duration of stay in community. Overall HIV-1 incidence was 3.39/100 pyar (95% CI: 2.55–4.49). Among the 25–29 years who drank alcohol, HIV incidence was 7.67/100pyar (95% CI;4.62–12.7) while it was 5.67/100pyar (95% CI;3.14–10.2) for 18–24 year olds who drank alcohol. The risk of HIV infection was higher among 25–29 years (adj.IRR = 3.36; 95% CI: 1.48–7.65) and 18–24 years (adj.IRR = 2.65; 95% CI: 1.05–6.70) relative to 30+ years. Compared to non-drinkers, HIV incidence increased by frequency of alcohol drinking - occasional drinkers (adj.IRR = 3.18; 95% CI: 1.18–8.57) and regular drinkers (adj.IRR = 4.93; 95% CI: 1.91–12.8).
HIV-1 incidence in general fisherfolk population along L.Victoria, Uganda, is high and is mainly associated with young age and alcohol drinking. HIV prevention and control strategies are urgently needed in this population.
PLoS ONE 05/2014; 9(5):e94932. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0094932 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background. Intermittent preventive treatment (IPT) in schoolchildren offers a promising option for malaria control. However, the optimal drug and dosing regimens for IPT remain to be determined.
Methods. We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in 740 schoolchildren aged 6–14 years living in a setting of high malaria transmission in Uganda. Enrolled children were randomized to dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DP) given once a month (IPTm), DP given once a school term (4 treatments over 12 months, IPTst), or placebo and followed for 12 months. The primary outcome was the incidence of malaria over 12 months. Secondary outcomes included parasite prevalence and anemia over 12 months. Analyses were conducted on an intention-to-treat basis.
Results. In the placebo arm, the incidence of malaria was 0.34 episodes per person-year and the prevalence of parasitemia and anemia was 38% and 20%, respectively. IPTm reduced the incidence of malaria by 96% (95% confidence interval [CI], 88%–99%, P < .0001), the prevalence of asymptomatic parasitemia by 94% (95% CI, 92%–96%, P < .0001), and the prevalence of anemia by 40% (95% CI, 19%–56%, P < .0001). IPTst had no significant effect on the incidence of symptomatic malaria or the prevalence of anemia, but reduced the prevalence of asymptomatic parasitemia by 54% (95% CI, 47%–60%, P < .0001).
Conclusions. Monthly IPT with DP offered remarkable protection against clinical malaria, parasitemia, and anemia in schoolchildren living in a high-malaria-transmission setting.
Clinical Trials Registration. NCT01231880.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Despite growing knowledge of the dynamics of HIV infection during conflict, far less is known about the period that follows cessation of hostilities and its implications for population health. This study sought to fill a lacuna in epidemiological evidence by examining HIV infection and related vulnerabilities of young people living in resource-scarce, post-emergency transit camps that are now home to thousands of displaced people following two decades of war in northern Uganda. In 2010, a cross-sectional demographic and behavioural survey was conducted with 384 transit camp residents aged 15-29 years old in Gulu District. Biological specimens were collected for rapid and confirmatory HIV testing. Separate multivariable logistic regression models by sex identified risk factors for HIV infection. HIV prevalence was 15.6% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 10.8%, 21.6%) among females and 9.9% (95% CI: 6.1%, 15.0%) among males. The strongest correlate of HIV infection among men was a non-consensual sexual debut (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 3.24; 95% CI: 1.37-7.67), and having practiced dry sex (AOR 7.62; 95% CI: 1.56-16.95) was the strongest correlate among women. Conflict-affected men and women experience vulnerability to HIV infection in different ways than may have originally been understood. Post-conflict programme planners must therefore design and implement contextualised, evidence-based responses to HIV that are sensitive to gender and cultural issues.
Global Public Health 02/2014; 9(3). DOI:10.1080/17441692.2014.887136 · 0.92 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rheumatic heart disease (RHD), the only long term consequence of acute rheumatic fever, remains a leading cause of morbidity and mortality among young adults in Uganda. An inherited susceptibility to acute rheumatic fever centers around the major histocompatibility class II human leucocyte antigens. However, there is paucity of data from sub-Saharan Africa. This study compares the frequency of HLA class II DR alleles between RHD cases and normal controls in Uganda.
One hundred ninety-nine participants including 96 established RHD cases aged 5-60 years and 103 age and sex matched normal controls were recruited for participation. DNA was manually extracted from buffy coat samples and HLA analysis was performed. HLA-DR allelic frequency comparison between cases and controls were estimated using conditional logistic regression with 95% confidence intervals. P -values were corrected for multiple hypothesis testing.
199 participants (103 female, 51.8%) completed the study. The mean (SD) age in years for cases and controls were 29.6 (10.2) and 29(18), respectively. After conditional logistic regression and multiple hypothesis testing, HLA-DR1was associated with a decreased risk of RHD (OR = 0.42, CI 0.21-085, P = 0.01, Corrected P value (PC) = 0.09,) while HLA-DR11 was associated with increased risk of RHD (OR = 3.31, CI 1.57-6.97, P = <0.001, Pc < 0.001). No other significant associations were found.
In this first study of HLA genetic susceptibility to RHD in Uganda, HLA- DR1 was more common in normal controls while HLA- DR11 was more common among RHD cases suggesting a disease susceptibility association. In future studies, high resolution HLA analysis and genome wide studies should be carried out to confirm this pattern.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Little is known about HIV infection and the related vulnerabilities of young people living in resource-scarce, post-emergency transit camps that are now home to thousands of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) following two decades of war in northern Uganda. The objective of this analysis was to assess the prevalence and correlates of HIV infection among young people living in post-conflict transition in Gulu District, northern Uganda.
In 2010, a cross-sectional demographic and behavioural survey was conducted in two of Gulu District's sub-counties with 384 purposively selected transit camp residents aged 15 to 29 years. Biological specimens were collected for rapid HIV testing in the field and confirmatory laboratory testing. Multivariable logistic regression identified independent determinants of HIV infection.
HIV prevalence was alarmingly high at 12.8% (95% CI: 9.6%, 16.5%). The strongest determinant of HIV infection among young people was a non-consensual sexual debut (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 9.88; 95% CI: 1.70-18.06). Residing in Awach sub-county (AOR, 2.93; 95% CI: 1.28-6.68), experiencing STI symptoms in the previous 12 months (AOR, 2.36; 95% CI: 1.43-6.17), and practicing dry sex (AOR, 2.31; 95% CI: 1.04-5.13) were other key determinants of HIV infection.
Study findings contribute to filling an important gap in epidemiological evidence and are useful for planning public health interventions in northern Uganda that effectively target young people in post-conflict transition and support them in the resettlement process. Findings serve to recommend reaching beyond traditional prevention programming in a way more effectively beneficial to young people in post-conflict settings by developing population-specific responses sensitive to local contexts and sufficient to address the underlying causes of the complex risk factors influencing the spread of HIV.
PLoS ONE 02/2014; 9(2):e89786. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0089786 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have previously shown that in successful pregnancies increased arginase activity is a mechanism that contributes to the suppression of the maternal immune system. We identified the main type of arginase-expressing cells as a population of activated low-density granulocytes (LDGs) in peripheral blood mononuclear cells and in term placentae. In the present study, we analyzed the phenotype of LDGs and compared it to the phenotype of normal density granulocytes (NDGs) in maternal peripheral blood, placental biopsies and cord blood. Our data reveal that only LDGs but no NDGs could be detected in placental biopsies. Phenotypically, NDGs and LDGs from both maternal and cord blood expressed different levels of maturation, activation and degranulation markers. NDGs from the maternal and cord blood were phenotypically similar, while maternal, cord and placental LDGs showed different expression levels of CD66b. LDGs present in cord blood expressed higher levels of arginase compared to maternal and placental LDGs. In summary, our results show that in maternal and cord blood, two phenotypically different populations of neutrophils can be identified, whereas in term placentae, only activated neutrophils are present.
PLoS ONE 02/2014; 9(2):e85696. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0085696 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: HIV epidemics are sustained and propagated by new cases of infection which result from transmission from infected persons to uninfected susceptible individuals. People living with HIV (PLHIV) play a critical role in prevention if they adopt safer sexual behaviors. This study estimated the prevalence of and factors associated with safer sexual behaviors among PLHIV seeking care from civil society organizations (CSOs).
In a cross sectional study PLHIV were interviewed about their sexual practices, use of alcohol, HIV status of their regular sexual partners, desire for more children and about their socio-demographic characteristics. We calculated the proportion of PLHIV who abstained and consistently used condoms in the previous twelve months. Independent associations between safer sex and other variables were estimated using adjusted prevalence ratios (aPR) and their 95% confidence intervals (CI).
Of the 939 PLHIV, 54% (508) were either abstaining or using condoms consistently and 291 (31%) desired more children. The prevalence of consistent condom use among the sexually active was 41.3% (300/731). Consistent condom use was higher among PLHIV who: didn't use alcohol (aPR 1.30, CI 1.03-1.63); were educated about re-infection with a new strain of HIV (aPR 1.84, CI 1.08-3.12) and had regular sexual partner who was HIV negative (aPR 1.29, CI 1.05-1.57). Prevalence of abstinence was 22.2% (208/939). Abstinence increased with age from 9.4% among PLHIV <25 years to 40.5% among those >50 years. Abstinence was extremely low (2.5%) among PLHIV who were married.
Effective interventions that reduce alcohol consumption among PLHIV are needed to avert HIV transmission, prevent acquisition of new HIV strains and STIs. In addition, strategies are needed to address needs of PLHIV who desire more children.
PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(1):e85646. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0085646 · 3.23 Impact Factor