[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Effective interventions to reduce HIV incidence in sub-Saharan Africa are urgently needed. Mathematical modelling and the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) 052 trial results suggest that universal HIV testing combined with immediate antiretroviral treatment (ART) should substantially reduce incidence and may eliminate HIV as a public health problem. We describe the rationale and design of a trial to evaluate this hypothesis.
A rigorously-designed trial of universal testing and treatment (UTT) interventions is needed because: i) it is unknown whether these interventions can be delivered to scale with adequate uptake; ii) there are many uncertainties in the models such that the population-level impact of these interventions is unknown; and ii) there are potential adverse effects including sexual risk disinhibition, HIV-related stigma, over-burdening of health systems, poor adherence, toxicity, and drug resistance.In the HPTN 071 (PopART) trial, 21 communities in Zambia and South Africa (total population 1.2 m) will be randomly allocated to three arms. Arm A will receive the full PopART combination HIV prevention package including annual home-based HIV testing, promotion of medical male circumcision for HIV-negative men, and offer of immediate ART for those testing HIV-positive; Arm B will receive the full package except that ART initiation will follow current national guidelines; Arm C will receive standard of care. A Population Cohort of 2,500 adults will be randomly selected in each community and followed for 3 years to measure the primary outcome of HIV incidence. Based on model projections, the trial will be well-powered to detect predicted effects on HIV incidence and secondary outcomes.
Trial results, combined with modelling and cost data, will provide short-term and long-term estimates of cost-effectiveness of UTT interventions. Importantly, the three-arm design will enable assessment of how much could be achieved by optimal delivery of current policies and the costs and benefits of extending this to UTT.Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01900977.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Some types of intravaginal practices (IVP) may increase the risk for HIV acquisition. This is particularly worrisome for populations with dual high prevalence of HIV and IVP. Women involved in transactional sex are at increased risk for HIV infection in sub-Saharan Africa. Social, cultural and economic influences are strong drivers of IVP in this population. To explore this, we carried out a qualitative research study to investigate the drivers and motivations for using IVP within a large observational study of women at high risk of HIV in Tanzania and Uganda from September 2008 to September 2009. Of the 201 women selected, 176 women took part in a semi-structured in-depth interview. Additionally, in Tanzania, eight focus group discussions among study participants and community members were carried out to obtain information on community norms and expectations. IVP were motivated by overlapping concerns with hygiene, morality, sexual pleasure, fertility, relationship security, and economic security. These motives were driven by the need to meet cultural and social expectations of womanhood, and at the same time attend to personal well-being. Among women involved in transactional sex in East Africa, interventions aimed at modifying or eliminating IVP should attend to local cultural and social norms as well as the individual as an agent of change.
Social Science [?] Medicine 02/2014; 102:165-73. · 2.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report the main results, among adults, of a cluster-randomised-trial of Well London, a community-engagement programme promoting healthy eating, physical activity and mental well-being in deprived neighbourhoods. The hypothesis was that benefits would be neighbourhood-wide, and not restricted to intervention participants. The trial was part of a multicomponent process/outcome evaluation which included non-experimental components (self-reported behaviour change amongst participants, case studies and evaluations of individual projects) which suggested health, well-being and social benefits to participants.
Twenty matched pairs of neighbourhoods in London were randomised to intervention/control condition. Primary outcomes (five portions fruit/vegetables/day; 5×30 m of moderate intensity physical activity/week, abnormal General Health Questionnaire (GHQ)-12 score and Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale (WEMWBS) score) were measured by postintervention questionnaire survey, among 3986 adults in a random sample of households across neighbourhoods.
There was no evidence of impact on primary outcomes: healthy eating (relative risk [RR] 1.04, 95% CI 0.93 to 1.17); physical activity (RR:1.01, 95% CI 0.88 to 1.16); abnormal GHQ12 (RR:1.15, 95% CI 0.84 to 1.61); WEMWBS (mean difference [MD]: -1.52, 95% CI -3.93 to 0.88). There was evidence of impact on some secondary outcomes: reducing unhealthy eating-score (MD: -0.14, 95% CI -0.02 to 0.27) and increased perception that people in the neighbourhood pulled together (RR: 1.92, 95% CI 1.12 to 3.29).
The trial findings do not provide evidence supporting the conclusion of non-experimental components of the evaluation that intervention improved health behaviours, well-being and social outcomes. Low participation rates and population churn likely compromised any impact of the intervention. Imprecise estimation of outcomes and sampling bias may also have influenced findings. There is a need for greater investment in refining such programmes before implementation; new methods to understand, longitudinally different pathways residents take through such interventions and their outcomes, and new theories of change that apply to each pathway.
Journal of epidemiology and community health 01/2014; · 3.04 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Endemic malaria and helminth infections in sub-Saharan Africa can act as immunological modulators and impact responses to standard immunizations. We conducted a cohort study to measure the influence of malaria and helminth infections on the immunogenicity of the bivalent HPV-16/18 vaccine.
We evaluated the association between malaria and helminth infections, and HPV-16/18 antibody responses among 298 Tanzanian females aged 10-25 years enrolled in a randomized controlled trial of the HPV-16/18 vaccine. Malaria parasitaemia was diagnosed by examination of blood smears, and helminth infections were diagnosed by examination of urine and stool samples, respectively. Geometric mean antibody titres (GMT) against HPV-16/18 antibodies were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
Parasitic infections were common; one-third (30.4%) of participants had a helminth infection and 10.2% had malaria parasitaemia. Overall, the vaccine induced high HPV-16/18 GMTs, and there was no evidence of a reduction in HPV-16 or HPV-18 GMT at Month 7 or Month 12 follow-up visits among participants with helminths or malaria. There was some evidence that participants with malaria had increased GMTs compared to those without malaria.
The data show high HPV immunogenicity regardless of the presence of malaria and helminth infections. The mechanism and significance for the increase in GMT in those with malaria is unknown.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: With effective contraceptives available, unplanned pregnancies are preventable and educational interventions have been cited as a promising platform to increase contraceptive use through improving knowledge. However, results from trials of educational interventions have been disappointing. In order to effectively target future interventions, this study aimed to identify risk factors for unplanned pregnancy among young women in Mwanza, Tanzania.
Data were analysed from the MEMA kwa Vijiana Trial Long-term Evaluation Survey, a cross-sectional study of 13 814 young adults aged 15-30 years in Mwanza, Tanzania. Potential risk factors for unplanned pregnancy were grouped under three headings: socio-demographic, knowledge of and attitude towards sexual health, and sexual behaviour and contraceptive use. Conditional logistic regression was used to identify predictors of reported unplanned pregnancy among all sexually active women.
Increasing age, lower educational level, not being currently married, knowing where to access condoms, increasing number of sexual partners and younger reported age at sexual debut were associated with unplanned pregnancy.
A number of demographic and sexual behaviour risk factors for pregnancy are identified which will help guide future intervention programmes aiming to reduce unplanned pregnancies. This study suggests effective measures to prevent unplanned pregnancies should focus on encouraging girls to stay in school.
Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care 07/2013; · 2.10 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives To prepare for future HIV prevention trials, we conducted prospective cohort studies among women working in food and recreational facilities in northern Tanzania. We examined the prevalence and incidence of HIV and HSV-2, and associated risk factors. Methods Women aged 18–44 years working in food and recreational facilities were screened to determine their eligibility for the studies. Between 2008–2010, HIV-negative women were enrolled and followed for 12 months. At enrolment and 3-monthly, we collected socio-demographic and behavioural data, and performed clinical examinations for collection of biological specimens that were tested for reproductive tract infections. Risk factors for HIV and HSV-2 incidence were investigated using Poisson regression models. Results We screened 2,229 and enrolled 1,378 women. The median age was 27 years (interquartile range, IQR 22, 33), and median duration working at current facility was 2 years. The prevalences of HIV at screening and HSV-2 at enrolment were 16% and 67%, respectively. Attendance at the 12-month visit was 86%. HIV and HSV-2 incidence rates were 3.7 (95% confidence interval, CI: 2.8,5.1) and 28.6 (95% CI: 23.5,35.0)/100 person-years, respectively. Women who were separated, divorced, or widowed were at increased risk of HIV (adjusted incidence rate ratio, aRR = 6.63; 95% CI: 1.97,22.2) and HSV-2 (aRR = 2.00; 95% CI: 1.15,3.47) compared with married women. Women reporting ≥3 partners in the past 3 months were at higher HIV risk compared with women with 0–1 partner (aRR = 4.75; 95% CI: 2.10,10.8), while those who had reached secondary education or above were at lower risk of HSV-2 compared with women with incomplete primary education (aRR = 0.42; 95% CI: 0.22,0.82). Conclusions HIV and HSV-2 rates remain substantially higher in this cohort than in the general population, indicating urgent need for effective interventions. These studies demonstrate the feasibility of conducting trials to test new interventions in this highly-mobile population.
PLoS ONE 07/2013; 8(7):e68825. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: For trials of user-dependent HIV prevention products, accurate adherence measurements are essential to interpret and compare results across trials. We used pill count data from two recent HIV prevention trials of herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) suppression, to show that estimates of adherence vary substantially depending on assumptions that are made in analysing pill count data. We associate calculated adherence with biological markers of anti-HSV-2 activity. In both trials, calculated adherence varied considerably, depending on the summary measure used, and the handling of intervals with apparent 'over-adherence' (fewer pills returned than expected), and unreturned pills. Intervals of apparent over-adherence were associated with reduced antiviral effects on biological markers of herpes reactivation, indicating these are likely to represent periods of non-adherence. Our results demonstrate the clear need for standardisation in reporting of adherence data that are based on pill counts.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There have been few studies of the natural history of Mycoplasma genitalium in women. We investigated patterns of clearance and recurrence of untreated M. genitalium infection in a cohort of female sex workers in Uganda.
Women diagnosed as having M. genitalium infection at enrollment were retested for the infection at 3-month intervals. Clearance of infection was defined as testing negative after having a previous positive result: persistence was defined as testing positive after a preceding positive test result, and recurrence as testing positive after a preceding negative test result. Adjusted hazard ratios for M. genitalium clearance were estimated using Cox proportional hazards regression.
Among 119 participants infected with M. genitalium at enrollment (prevalence, 14%), 55% had spontaneously cleared the infection within 3 months; 83%, within 6; and 93%, within 12 months. The overall clearance rate was 25.7/100 person-years (pyr; 95% confidence interval, 21.4-31.0). HIV-positive women cleared M. genitalium infection more slowly than did HIV-negative women (20.6/100 pyr vs. 31.3/100 pyr, P = 0.03). The clearance rate was slower among HIV-positive women with CD4 counts less than 350/mL than among those with higher CD4 counts (9.88/100 pyr vs. 29.5/100 pyr, P <; 0.001). After clearing the infection, M. genitalium infection recurred in 39% women.
M. genitalium is likely to persist and recur in the female genital tract. Because of the urogenital tract morbidity caused by the infection and the observed association with HIV acquisition, further research is needed to define screening modalities, especially in populations at high risk for HIV, and to optimize effective and affordable treatment options.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES: We measured the prevalence and incidence of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection in young female subjects recruited for a safety and immunogenicity trial of the bivalent HPV-16/18 vaccine in Tanzania. METHODS: Healthy HIV negative female subjects aged 10-25 years were enrolled and randomised (2:1) to receive HPV-16/18 vaccine or placebo (Al(OH)3 control). At enrolment, if sexually active, genital specimens were collected for HPV DNA, other reproductive tract infections and cervical cytology. Subjects were followed to 12 months when HPV testing was repeated. RESULTS: In total 334 participants were enrolled; 221 and 113 in vaccine and control arms, respectively. At enrolment, 74% of 142 sexually active subjects had HPV infection of whom 69% had >1 genotype. Prevalent infections were HPV-45 (16%), HPV-53 (14%), HPV-16 (13%) and HPV-58 (13%). Only age was associated with prevalent HPV infection at enrolment. Among 23 girls who reported age at first sex as 1 year younger than their current age, 15 (65.2%) had HPV infection. Of 187 genotype-specific infections at enrolment, 51 (27%) were present at 12 months. Overall, 67% of 97 sexually active participants with results at enrolment and 12 months had a new HPV genotype at follow-up. Among HPV uninfected female subjects at enrolment, the incidence of any HPV infection was 76 per 100 person-years. CONCLUSIONS: Among young women in Tanzania, HPV is highly prevalent and acquired soon after sexual debut. Early HPV vaccination is highly recommended in this population.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: HIV research has identified approaches that can be combined to be more effective in transmission reduction than any 1 modality alone: delayed adolescent sexual debut, mutual monogamy or sexual partner reduction, correct and consistent condom use, pre-exposure prophylaxis with oral antiretroviral drugs or vaginal microbicides, voluntary medical male circumcision, antiretroviral therapy (ART) for prevention (including prevention of mother to child HIV transmission [PMTCT]), treatment of sexually transmitted infections, use of clean needles for all injections, blood screening prior to donation, a future HIV prime/boost vaccine, and the female condom. The extent to which evidence-based modalities can be combined to prevent substantial HIV transmission is largely unknown, but combination approaches that are truly implementable in field conditions are likely to be far more effective than single interventions alone. Analogous to PMTCT, "treatment as prevention" for adult-to-adult transmission reduction includes expanded HIV testing, linkage to care, antiretroviral coverage, retention in care, adherence to therapy, and management of key co-morbidities such as depression and substance use. With successful viral suppression, persons with HIV are far less infectious to others, as we see in the fields of sexually transmitted infection control and mycobacterial disease control (tuberculosis and leprosy). Combination approaches are complex, may involve high program costs, and require substantial global commitments. We present a rationale for such investments and cite an ongoing research agenda that seeks to determine how feasible and cost-effective a combination prevention approach would be in a variety of epidemic contexts, notably that in a sub-Saharan Africa.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: A safe and effective vaginal microbicide could substantially reduce HIV acquisition for women. Consistent gel use is, however, of great importance to ensure continued protection against HIV infection, even with a safe and effective microbicide. We assessed the long-term correlates of consistent gel use in the MDP 301 clinical trial among HIV-negative women in sero-discordant couples in south-west Uganda. METHODS: HIV-negative women living with an HIV-infected partner were enrolled between 2005 and 2008, in a three-arm phase III microbicide trial and randomized to 2% PRO2000, 0.5% PRO2000 or placebo gel arms. Follow-up visits continued up to September 2009. The 2% arm was stopped early due to futility and the 229 women enrolled in this arm were excluded from this analysis. Data were analyzed on 544 women on the 0.5% and placebo arms who completed at least 52 weeks of follow-up, sero-converted or became pregnant before 52 weeks. Consistent gel use was defined as satisfying all of the following three conditions: (i) reported gel use at the last sex act for at least 92% of the 26 scheduled visits or at least 92% of the visits attended if fewer than 26; (ii) at least one used applicator returned for each visit for which gel use was reported at the last sex act; (iii) attended at least 13 visits (unless the woman sero-converted or became pregnant during follow-up). Logistic regression models were fitted to investigate factors associated with consistent gel use. RESULTS: Of the 544 women, 473 (86.9%) were followed for at least 52 weeks, 29 (5.3%) sero-converted and 42 (7.7%) became pregnant before their week 52 visit. Consistent gel use was reported by 67.8%. Women aged 25 to 34 years and those aged 35 years or older were both more than twice as likely to have reported consistently using gel compared to women aged 17 to 24 years. Living in a household with three or more rooms used for sleeping compared to one room was associated with a twofold increase in consistent gel use. CONCLUSION: In rural Uganda younger women and women in houses with less space are likely to require additional support to achieve consistent microbicide gel use.Trial registration: Protocol Number ISRCTN64716212.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Assessing socio-economic position can be difficult, particularly in developing countries. Collection of socio-economic data usually relies on interviewer-administered questionnaires, but there is little research exploring how questionnaire delivery mode (QDM) influences reporting of these indicators. This paper reports on results of a trial of four QDMs, and the effect of mode on poverty reporting.
This trial was nested within a community-randomised trial of an adolescent reproductive health intervention conducted in rural Zimbabwe. Participants were randomly allocated to one of four QDMs (three different self-administered modes and one interviewer-administered mode); a subset was randomly selected to complete the questionnaire twice. Questions covered three socio-economic domains: i) ownership of sellable and fixed assets; ii) ability to afford essential items; and iii) food sufficiency. Statistical analyses assessed the association between QDM and reporting of poverty, and compared the extent of response agreement between questionnaire rounds.
96% (n = 1483) of those eligible took part; 395 completed the questionnaire twice. Reported levels of poverty were high. Respondents using self-administered modes were more likely to report being unable to afford essential items and having insufficient food. Among those completing the questionnaire twice using different modes, higher levels of poverty and food insufficiency were reported when they completed the questionnaire using a self-administered mode.
These data suggest that QDM plays a significant role in how different socio-economic indicators are reported, and reminds us to consider the mode of collection when identifying indicators to determine socio-economic position.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(9):e74977. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objectives of this study were to examine relationships between neighbourhood-level and individual-level characteristics and physical activity in deprived London neighbourhoods.
In 40 of the most deprived neighbourhoods in London (ranked in top 11% in London by Index of Multiple Deprivation) a cross-sectional survey (n = 4107 adults aged > = 16 years), neighbourhood audit tool, GIS measures and routine data measured neighbourhood and individual-level characteristics. The binary outcome was meeting the minimum recommended (CMO, UK) 5×30 mins moderate physical activity per week. Multilevel modelling was used to examine associations between physical activity and individual and neighbourhood-level characteristics.
Respondents living more than 300 m away from accessible greenspace had lower odds of achieving recommended physical activity levels than those who lived within 300 m; from 301-600 m (OR = 0.7; 95% CI 0.5-0.9) and from 601-900 m (OR = 0.6; 95% CI 0.4-0.8). There was substantial residual between-neighbourhood variance in physical activity (median odds ratio = 1.7). Other objectively measured neighbourhood-level characteristics were not associated with physical activity levels.
Distance to nearest greenspace is associated with meeting recommended physical activity levels in deprived London neighbourhoods. Despite residual variance in physical activity levels between neighbourhoods, we found little evidence for the influence of other measured neighbourhood-level characteristics.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(7):e69472. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Respondent-driven sampling (RDS) is a variant of a link-tracing design intended for generating unbiased estimates of the composition of hidden populations that typically involves giving participants several coupons to recruit their peers into the study. RDS may generate biased estimates if coupons are distributed non-randomly or if potential recruits present for interview non-randomly. We explore if biases detected in an RDS study were due to either of these mechanisms, and propose and apply weights to reduce bias due to non-random presentation for interview.
Using data from the total population, and the population to whom recruiters offered their coupons, we explored how age and socioeconomic status were associated with being offered a coupon, and, if offered a coupon, with presenting for interview. Population proportions were estimated by weighting by the assumed inverse probabilities of being offered a coupon (as in existing RDS methods), and also of presentation for interview if offered a coupon by age and socioeconomic status group.
Younger men were under-recruited primarily because they were less likely to be offered coupons. The under-recruitment of higher socioeconomic status men was due in part to them being less likely to present for interview. Consistent with these findings, weighting for non-random presentation for interview by age and socioeconomic status group greatly improved the estimate of the proportion of men in the lowest socioeconomic group, reducing the root-mean-squared error of RDS estimates of socioeconomic status by 38%, but had little effect on estimates for age. The weighting also improved estimates for tribe and religion (reducing root-mean-squared-errors by 19-29%), but had little effect for sexual activity or HIV status.
Data collected from recruiters on the characteristics of men to whom they offered coupons may be used to reduce bias in RDS studies. Further evaluation of this new method is required.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(10):e78402. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To compare the presence and quantity of cervicovaginal HIV among HIV seropositive women with clinical herpes, subclinical HSV-2 infection and without HSV-2 infection respectively; to evaluate the association between cervicovaginal HIV and HSV shedding; and identify factors associated with quantity of cervicovaginal HIV.
Four groups of HIV seropositive adult female barworkers were identified and examined at three-monthly intervals between October 2000 and March 2003 in Mbeya, Tanzania: (1) 57 women at 70 clinic visits with clinical genital herpes; (2) 39 of the same women at 46 clinic visits when asymptomatic; (3) 55 HSV-2 seropositive women at 60 clinic visits who were never observed with herpetic lesions; (4) 18 HSV-2 seronegative women at 45 clinic visits. Associations of genital HIV shedding with HIV plasma viral load (PVL), herpetic lesions, HSV shedding and other factors were examined.
Prevalence of detectable genital HIV RNA varied from 73% in HSV-2 seronegative women to 94% in women with herpetic lesions (geometric means 1634 vs 3339 copies/ml, p = 0.03). In paired specimens from HSV-2 positive women, genital HIV viral shedding was similar during symptomatic and asymptomatic visits. On multivariate regression, genital HIV RNA (log10 copies/mL) was closely associated with HIV PVL (β = 0.51 per log10 copies/ml increase, 95%CI:0.41-0.60, p<0.001) and HSV shedding (β = 0.24 per log10 copies/ml increase, 95% CI:0.16-0.32, p<0.001) but not the presence of herpetic lesions (β = -0.10, 95%CI:-0.28-0.08, p = 0.27).
HIV PVL and HSV shedding were more important determinants of genital HIV than the presence of herpetic lesions. These data support a role of HSV-2 infection in enhancing HIV transmissibility.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(3):e59037. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Intravaginal practices (IVP) are highly prevalent in sub-Saharan African and have been implicated as risk factors for HIV acquisition. However, types of IVP vary between populations, and detailed information on IVP among women at risk for HIV in different populations is needed. We investigated IVP among women who practice transactional sex in two populations: semi-urban, facility workers in Tanzania who engage in opportunistic sex work; and urban, self-identified sex workers and bar workers in Uganda. The aim of the study was to describe and compare IVP using a daily pictorial diary. METHODOLOGYPRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Two hundred women were recruited from a HIV prevention intervention feasibility study in Kampala, Uganda and in North-West Tanzania. Women were given diaries to record IVP daily for six weeks. Baseline data showed that Ugandan participants had more lifetime partners and transactional sex than Tanzanian participants. Results from the diary showed that 96% of Tanzanian participants and 100% of Ugandan participants reported intravaginal cleansing during the six week study period. The most common types of cleansing were with water only or water and soap. In both countries, intravaginal insertion (e.g. with herbs) was less common than cleansing, but insertion was practiced by more participants in Uganda (46%) than in Tanzania (10%). In Uganda, participants also reported more frequent sex, and more insertion related to sex. In both populations, cleansing was more often reported on days with reported sex and during menstruation, and in Uganda, when participants experienced vaginal discomfort. Participants were more likely to cleanse after sex if they reported no condom use. CONCLUSIONS: While intravaginal cleansing was commonly practiced in both cohorts, there was higher frequency of cleansing and insertion in Uganda. Differences in IVP were likely to reflect differences in sexual behaviour between populations, and may warrant different approaches to interventions targeting IVP. Vaginal practices among women at high risk in Uganda and Tanzania: recorded behaviour from a daily pictorial diary.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(3):e59085. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Young people are at high risk of HIV and developing appropriate prevention programmes requires an understanding of the risk factors for HIV in this age group. We investigated factors associated with HIV among participants aged 15-30 years in a 2007-8 cross-sectional survey nested within a community-randomised trial of the MEMA kwa Vijana intervention in 20 rural communities in northwest Tanzania.
We analysed data for 7259(53%) males and 6476(47%) females. Using a proximate-determinant conceptual framework and conditional logistic regression, we obtained sex-specific Odds Ratios (ORs) for the association of HIV infection with socio-demographic, knowledge, behavioural and biological factors.
HSV-2 infection was strongly associated with HIV infection (females: adjOR 4.4, 95%CI 3.2-6.1; males: adjOR 4.2, 95%CI 2.8-6.2). Several socio-demographic factors (such as age, marital status and mobility), behavioural factors (condom use, number and type of sexual partnerships) and biological factors (blood transfusion, lifetime pregnancies, genital ulcers, Neisseria gonorrhoeae) were also associated with HIV infection. Among females, lifetime sexual partners (linear trend, p<0.001), ≥2 partners in the past year (adjOR 2.0, 95%CI 1.4-2.8), ≥2 new partners in the past year (adjOR 1.9 95%CI 1.2, 3.3) and concurrent partners in the past year (adjOR 1.6 95%CI 1.1, 2.4) were all associated with HIV infection.
Efforts must be intensified to find effective interventions to reduce HSV-2. Effective behavioural interventions focusing on reducing the number of sexual partnerships and risk behaviour within partnerships are also needed. An increase in risky sexual behaviour may occur following marriage dissolution or when a young woman travels outside of her community and interventions addressing the needs of these subgroups of vulnerable women may be important.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(6):e66287. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Increased understanding of the genetic diversity of HIV-1 is challenging but important in the development of an effective vaccine. We aimed to describe the distribution of HIV-1 subtypes in northern Tanzania among women enrolled in studies preparing for HIV-1 prevention trials (hospitality facility-worker cohorts), and among men and women in an open cohort demographic surveillance system (Kisesa cohort).
The polymerase encompassing partial reverse transcriptase was sequenced and phylogenetic analysis performed and subtype determined. Questionnaires documented demographic data. We examined factors associated with subtype using multinomial logistic regression, adjusted for study, age, and sex.
Among 140 individuals (125 women and 15 men), subtype A1 predominated (54, 39%), followed by C (46, 33%), D (25, 18%) and unique recombinant forms (URFs) (15, 11%). There was weak evidence to suggest different subtype frequencies by study (for example, 18% URFs in the Kisesa cohort versus 5-9% in the hospitality facility-worker cohorts; adjusted relative-risk ratio (aRR) = 2.35 [95% CI 0.59,9.32]; global p = 0.09). Compared to men, women were less likely to have subtype D versus A (aRR = 0.12 [95% CI 0.02,0.76]; global p = 0.05). There was a trend to suggest lower relative risk of subtype D compared to A with older age (aRR = 0.44 [95% CI 0.23,0.85] per 10 years; global p = 0.05).
We observed multiple subtypes, confirming the complex genetic diversity of HIV-1 strains circulating in northern Tanzania, and found some differences between cohorts and by age and sex. This has important implications for vaccine design and development, providing opportunity to determine vaccine efficacy in diverse HIV-1 strains.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(12):e81848. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is growing evidence that alcohol consumption is associated with increased risk of HIV infection. To determine factors associated with problem drinking, we analyzed data collected in two prospective cohorts of at-risk female food and recreational facility workers in northern Tanzania.
We enrolled HIV seronegative women aged 18-44 years and employed in the towns of Geita, Kahama, Moshi, and Shinyanga. At enrolment, women were interviewed to obtain information about alcohol use, using CAGE and AUDIT screening scales, and risk factors for HIV infection. Blood and genital samples were collected for detection of HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). We characterized alcohol use, concordance, and agreement of the scales, and examined the associations between characteristics of participants and problem drinking as defined by both scales using logistic regression. Lastly, we assessed problem drinking as a risk factor for recent sexual behavior and prevalent STIs.
Among enrollees, 68% women reported ever drinking alcohol; of these 76% reported drinking alcohol in the past 12 months. The prevalence of problem drinking was 20% using CAGE and 13% using AUDIT. Overall concordance between the scales was 75.0% with a Kappa statistic of 0.58. After adjusting for age, independent factors associated with problem drinking, on both scales, were marital status, occupation, facility type, increasing number of lifetime sexual partners, and transactional sex in the past 12 months. In addition, women who were problem drinkers on either scale were more likely to report having ≥1 sexual partner (CAGE: aOR = 1.56, 95% confidence interval, CI: 1.10-2.23; AUDIT: aOR = 2.00, 95% CI: 1.34-3.00) and transactional sex (CAGE: aOR = 1.79, 95% CI: 1.26-2.56; AUDIT: aOR = 1.51, 95% CI: 1.04-2.18), in the past 3 months.
These findings suggest that interventions to reduce problem drinking in this population may reduce high-risk sexual behaviors and contribute in lowering the risk of HIV infection.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(12):e84447. · 3.73 Impact Factor