[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Respondent-driven sampling (RDS) was used to conduct a biobehavioral survey among men who have sex with men (MSM) in three cities in the Republic of Panama. We estimated the prevalence of HIV, syphilis, and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), sociodemographic characteristics, and sexual risk behaviors. Among 603 MSM recruited, RDS-adjusted seroprevalences (95 % confidence intervals) were: HIV-David 6.6 % (2.2-11.4 %), Panama 29.4 % (19.7-39.7 %), and Colon 32.6 % (18.0-47.8 %); active syphilis-David 16.0 % (8.9-24.2 %), Panama 24.7 % (16.7-32.9 %), Colon 31.6 % (14.8-47.5 %); resolved HBV infection-David 10.0 % (4.8-16.8 %), Panama 29.4 % (20.0-38.3 %), and Colon 40.6 % (21.9-54.4 %); herpes simplex virus type 2-David 38.4 % (27.9-48.9 %), Panama 62.6 % (52.8-71.0 %), and Colon 72.9 % (57.4-85.8 %). At least a third of MSM in each city self-identified as heterosexual or bisexual. HIV prevalence is concentrated among MSM. Preventive interventions should focus on increasing HIV and syphilis testing, and increasing promotion of condom awareness and use.
Journal of urban health : bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine. 06/2014;
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fort Bragg, a large Army installation with reported high Chlamydia trachomatis (Ct) infection rates, is characterized by a highly mobile population and a surrounding Ct-endemic community. We assessed the rates of Ct incidence and recurrence among the installation's active component Army personnel and determined the association of soldier transience, sociodemographic factors, and history of sexually transmitted infection (STI) with these rates.
A cohort of soldiers stationed at Fort Bragg during 2005 to mid-2010 was followed for incident and recurrent Ct infection using laboratory-confirmed reportable disease data. Linkage to demographic and administrative data permitted multivariate analysis to determine association of covariates with initial or recurrent infection.
Among 67,425 soldiers, 2,198 (3.3%) contracted an incident Ct infection (crude incidence, 21.7 per 1,000 person-years). Among soldiers followed for incident infection, 223 (10.6%, crude incidence 110.8 per 1,000 person-years) contracted a recurrent Ct infection. Being female, of lower rank, under 26 years of age, of non-white race, single, or with a high school diploma or less was significantly associated with incident Ct infection. Having breaks in duty or having deployments during follow-up was associated with a lower infection rate. Among women, having prior deployments was associated with a lower rate of both incident and recurrent infection. Specifically associated with recurrent infection in women was age under 21 years or no education beyond high school.
This analysis reaffirms risk factors for Ct infection determined in other studies. In addition, infection risk was lower for more mobile soldiers and tied to the specific location of their regular duty assignment. The findings support the STI prevention efforts at Fort Bragg and the surrounding community, regardless of how often or for how long soldiers have deployed for military operations.
BMC Public Health 02/2014; 14(1):181. · 2.08 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Emergency whole blood transfusions may increase the risk of transmitting bloodborne pathogens, including human T-lymphotropic viruses (HTLVs). U.S. military personnel with any medical encounter for HTLV infection during 2000-2013;2008 were identified from surveillance data. Using both inclusive and restrictive case definitions, the incidence of diagnoses of HTLV infection was analyzed in relation to demographic factors and prior deployment. There were 247 "possible" cases of HTLV infection identified, or 1.88 cases per 100,000 person-years (p-yrs) (95% CI 1.66, 2.13). Seventy of these met the restrictive definition, translating to a rate of 0.53 per 100,000 p-yrs (95% CI 0.42, 0.67). Under the restrictive definition, a higher rate was noted among females versus males (RR 2.37; 95% CI 1.41, 3.98), service members with a healthcare occupation versus those who are primarily trained to engage in combat (RR 2.54; 95% CI 1.06, 6.10), and service members with any deployment experience (RR 8.98; 95% CI 5.61, 14.37). These findings, and a prior military case report of transfusion-transmitted HTLV-I, suggest a need to better define the epidemiology of HTLV in U.S. military personnel to further ensure emergency transfusion safety.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES: Biological and behavioural surveillance of HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among populations at highest risk have been used to monitor trends in prevalence and in risk behaviours. Sex work in Panama is regulated through registration with the Social Hygiene Programme, Ministry of Health. We estimated prevalence of HIV and STIs, and factors associated with active syphilis among female sex workers (FSWs). METHODS: A cross-sectional study using venue-based, time-space sampling was conducted among FSWs in Panama from 2009 to 2010. FSWs were interviewed about sociodemographic characteristics, sexual risk behaviour, health history and drug use using an anonymous structured questionnaire. Blood was collected for serological testing of HIV and other STIs. Factors associated with active syphilis were studied using logistic regression analysis. RESULTS: The overall HIV-1 prevalence of 0.7% varied by FSW category; 1.6% in 379 unregistered, and 0.2% in 620 registered FSWs. Overall prevalence (and 95% CI) of STIs were: syphilis antibody, 3.8% (2.7% to 5.2%); herpes simplex virus type 2 antibody (anti-HSV-2), 74.2% (71.4% to 76.9%); hepatitis B surface antigen, 0.6% (0.2% to 1.3%); hepatitis B core antibody, 8.7% (7.0% to 10.6%); and hepatitis C antibody, 0.2% (0.0% to 0.7%). In multivariate analysis, registration (adjusted OR (AOR)=0.35; 95% CI 0.16 to 0.74), having a history of STI (AOR=2.37; 95% CI 1.01 to 5.58), forced sex (AOR=2.47; 95% CI 1.11 to 5.48), and anti-HSV-2 (AOR=10.05; 95% CI 1.36 to 74.38) were associated with active syphilis. CONCLUSIONS: Although HIV prevalence is low among FSWs in Panama, unregistered FSWs bear a higher burden of HIV and STIs than registered FSWs. Programmes aimed at overcoming obstacles to registration, and HIV, STI and harm reduction among unregistered FSWs is warranted to prevent HIV transmission, and to improve their sexual and reproductive health.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The United States (U.S.) military represents a unique population within the human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1) pandemic. The last comprehensive study of HIV-1 in members of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps (Sea Services) was completed in 2000, before large-scale combat operations were taking place. Here, we present molecular characterization of HIV-1 from 40 Sea Services personnel who were identified during their seroconversion window and initially classified as HIV-1 negative during screening. Protease/reverse transcriptase (pro/rt) and envelope (env) sequences were obtained from each member of the cohort. Phylogenetic analyses were carried out on these regions to determine relatedness within the cohort and calculate the most recent common ancestor for the related sequences. We identified 39 individuals infected with subtype B and 1 infected with CRF01_AE. Comparison of the pairwise genetic distance of Sea Service sequences and reference sequences in the env and pro/rt regions showed that 5 samples were part of molecular clusters, a group of two and a group of three, confirmed by single genome amplification. Real-time molecular monitoring of new HIV-1 acquisitions in the Sea Services may have a role in facilitating public health interventions at sites where related HIV-1 infections are identified.
AIDS research and human retroviruses 08/2013; · 2.18 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The United States introduced human T-lymphotropic virus Type I (HTLV-I) screening of blood donors in 1988. The US military uses freshly collected blood products for life-threatening injuries when available stored blood components in theater have been exhausted or when these components are unsuccessful for resuscitation. These donors are screened after donation by the Department of Defense (DoD) retrospective testing program. All recipients of blood collected in combat are tested according to policy soon after and at 3, 6, and 12 months after transfusion. CASE REPORT: A 31-year-old US Army soldier tested positive for HTLV-I 44 days after receipt of emergency blood transfusions for severe improvised explosive device blast injuries. One donor's unit tested HTLV-I positive on the DoD-mandated retrospective testing. Both the donor and the recipient tested reactive with enzyme immunoassay and supplemental confirmation by HTLV-I Western blot. The donor and recipient reported no major risk factors for HTLV-I. Phylogenetic analysis of HTLV-I sequences indicated Cosmopolitan subtype, Subgroup B infections. Comparison of long terminal repeat and env sequences revealed molecular genetic linkage of the viruses from the donor and recipient. CONCLUSION: This case is the first report of transfusion transmission of HTLV-I in the US military during combat operations. The emergency fresh whole blood policy enabled both the donor and the recipient to be notified of their HTLV-I infection. While difficult in combat, predonation screening of potential emergency blood donors with Food and Drug Administration-mandated infectious disease testing as stated by the DoD Health Affairs policy should be the goal of every facility engaged with emergency blood collection in theater.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction The role of explosions and patient transport vehicles as sources and vectors of Gram-negative, multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs) that predominate infections following lengthy evacuations after disasters due to natural hazards and in current war-trauma patients is unknown. Hypothesis/Problem Damaged or heavily-used vehicles could be sources of the MDROs subsequently linked to nosocomial infections. METHODS: From January through May 2008 in Iraq, inside surfaces of heavily-used, tactical vehicles (Experimental Group) were sampled with sterile, pre-moistened swabs. Swabs, along with positive and negative controls, were shipped to the reference laboratory in Washington, DC, where they underwent culture, identification and susceptibility testing, and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. Multidrug-resistant organisms were defined according to the standard Centers for Disease Control and Prevention definitions. High risk organisms (HROs) were defined as susceptible E. coli, A. baumannii, P. aeruginosa, Enterobacter spp, or Klebsiella spp. Concurrently, new counterparts (Control Group) were similarly surveyed in a storage lot in Georgia, USA. Groups were compared using the Chi-squared test. RESULTS: One hundred thirty-nine consecutive vehicles including all available ambulances were sampled, yielding 153 swabs. Nineteen were lost or damaged during shipping. Seventy-nine swabs yielded growth of one or more Gram-negative bacteria. The amount and genotype of MDROs in heavily-used vehicles, including those involved in roadside bombings, were compared to control vehicles and to strains isolated from wounds and environmental surfaces at the base hospital. Predominant organisms included P. agglomerans (34%), S. flexneri (8%), E. vulneris (6%), Pseudomonas sp. (6%), and K. pneumonia (6%). No MDROs were isolated. Thirteen vehicles (eight of 94 experimental and five of 45 control) yielded HRO. There was no difference in contamination rates (P = .63). No HROs were isolated from ambulances. No clonal association existed between vehicle and hospital strains. Conclusion Given the implications that this knowledge gap has on military and civilian prehospital reservoirs of infection, further study is warranted to confirm these findings and identify targets for preventive intervention throughout civilian disaster and military casualty evacuation chains. Lesho E , Ake J , Huang X , Cash DM , Nikolich M , Barber M , Robens K , Garnett E , Lindler L , Scott P . Amount of usage and involvement in explosions not associated with increased contamination of prehospital vehicles with multi-drug-resistant organisms. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2013;28(2):1-3..
Prehospital and disaster medicine: the official journal of the National Association of EMS Physicians and the World Association for Emergency and Disaster Medicine in association with the Acute Care Foundation 12/2012;
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Little information is available regarding blood supply safety in Afghanistan. The purpose of this study was to assess blood safety through serologic and observational measures in Afghanistan. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: This cross-sectional assessment included the 40 highest-volume facilities collecting and transfusing blood nationally identified in a previous survey. At each facility, study representatives completed a standardized instrument assessing staff performance of transfusion-related activities and performed rapid testing for human immunodeficiency virus, syphilis, and hepatitis B and C with rapid diagnostic tests on clinically discarded specimens. Reactive samples received confirmatory testing. Descriptive statistics were generated, with differences analyzed using chi-square or Fisher's exact tests. RESULTS: Between November 2010 and May 2011, a total of 332 blood donor collection procedures were observed. Only 52.4% of observed encounters correctly screened and deferred donors by international criteria. Public and private facilities demonstrated glove use, proper sharps disposal, and patient counseling and relayed screening test results in less than 75% of observed events, significantly less likely than military facilities (p < 0.01). Of 1612 specimens assessed, confirmed cases of hepatitis B (n = 6), hepatitis C (n = 1), and syphilis (n = 3) were detected among units already prescreened and accepted for transfusion. CONCLUSION: Lapses in proper donor screening contributed to the presence of confirmed-positive units available for transfusion, as detected in this study. Steps must be taken to ensure standardization of testing kits requirements, documentation, and mandatory training and continuing education for blood bank staff with regard to counseling, drawing, processing, and transfusion of blood products.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection continues at a steady rate among U.S. Sailors and Marines. This study provides the first service-specific description of HIV infection demographics. All Sailors and Marines identified as HIV infected between January 2005 and August 2010 were included. The project compared personnel and epidemiologic data, and tested reposed sera in the Department of Defense Serum Repository. This group comprised 410 Sailors and 86 Marines, predominantly men. HIV infected Marines were more likely to be foreign born than their Navy counterparts, 42% versus 10%, p < 0.001. Approximately half of the patients had deployed including to the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan. Nearly half of each group was infected by the age of 25. Similar to the U.S. epidemic, Black race was over-represented. Unlike national rates, Hispanic Sailors and Marines were not over-represented. Demographics were distinct for those of specific occupational specialties. Certain ship classes carried lower incidences. Clustering of HIV infection risk occurred around deployment. The Navy and Marine Corps have different patterns of HIV infection, which may merit distinct approaches to prevention. The Navy may have unique targets for prevention efforts to include pipeline training and first assignment as well as particular occupational environments.
Military medicine 11/2012; 177(11):1328-34. · 0.77 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Few data are available in Afghanistan to shape national military force health practices, particularly with regard to sexually-transmitted infections (STIs). We measured prevalence and correlates of HIV, syphilis, herpes simplex 2 virus (HSV-2), and hepatitis C virus (HCV) among Afghan National Army (ANA) recruits. METHODS: A cross-sectional sample of male ANA recruits aged 18--35 years were randomly selected at the Kabul Military Training Center between February 2010 and January 2011. Participants completed an interviewer-administered questionnaire and serum-based rapid testing for syphilis, hepatitis C virus antibody on-site; HIV and HSV-2 screening, and confirmatory testing were performed off-site. Prevalence of each infection was calculated and logistic regression analysis performed to identify correlates. RESULTS: Of 5313 recruits approached, 4750 consented to participation. Participants had a mean age of 21.8 years (SD[PLUS-MINUS SIGN]3.8), 65.5% had lived outside Afghanistan, and 44.3% had no formal education. Few reported prior marijuana (16.3%), alcohol (5.3%), or opium (3.4%) use. Of sexually active recruits (58.7%, N = 2786), 21.3% reported paying women for sex and 21.3% reported sex with males. Prevalence of HIV (0.063%, 95% CI: 0.013- 0.19), syphilis (0.65%, 95% CI: 0.44 -- 0.93), and HCV (0.82%, 95% CI: 0.58 -- 1.12) were quite low. Prevalence of HSV-2 was 3.03% (95% CI: 2.56 - 3.57), which was independently associated with age (Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR) = 1.04, 95% CI: 1.00 - 1.09) and having a television (socioeconomic marker) (AOR = 1.46, 95% CI: 1.03 -- 2.05). CONCLUSION: Though prevalence of HIV, HCV, syphilis, and HSV-2 was low, sexual risk behaviors and intoxicant use were present among a substantial minority, indicating need for prevention programming. Formative work is needed to determine a culturally appropriate approach for prevention programming to reduce STI risk among Afghan National Army troops.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: On January 30, 2009, nursing staff at a military hospital in Texas reported that single-patient use insulin pens were used on multiple patients. An investigation was initiated to determine if patient-to-patient bloodbome transmission occurred from the practice. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), and hepatitis C virus (HCV) testing was offered to patients hospitalized from August 2007 to January 2009 and prescribed insulin pen injections. Virus from HCV-infected patients' sera was sequenced and compared for relatedness. An anonymous survey was administered to nurses. Of 2,113 patients prescribed insulin pen injections, 1,501 (71%) underwent testing; 6 (0.4%) were HIV positive, 6 (0.4%) were hepatitis B surface antigen positive, and 56 (3.7%) had HCV antibody. No viral sequences from 10 of 28 patients with newly diagnosed and 12 of 28 patients with preexisting HCV infection were closely related. Of 54 nurses surveyed, 74% reported being trained on insulin pen use, but 24% believed nurses used insulin pens on more than one patient. We found no clear evidence of bloodborne pathogen transmission. Training of hospital staff on correct use of insulin pens should be prioritized and their practices evaluated. Insulin pens should be more clearly labeled for single-patient use.
Military medicine 08/2012; 177(8):930-8. · 0.77 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Department of Defense policy Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT) ended in September, 2011. The Navy Bloodborne Infection Management Center conducted a post-DADT pilot survey of HIV seroconverters identified when the DADT policy was in effect. Sailors and Marines newly-diagnosed as HIV positive from 2005 to 2010 were invited to participate in an online survey. A structured questionnaire elicited risk information about the three-year period prior to HIV diagnosis. Respondents reported engaging commonly in same sex sexual activity, having concurrent partners, and poor condom use for anal sex. In this first post-DADT repeal report of self-reported behaviors, male-to-male sexual contact was a much more common mode of infection than previously reported. Several opportunities for primary prevention messaging now possible after DADT repeal are evident.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to assess functionality and resources of facilities providing blood collection and transfusion services in Afghanistan. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: This national cross-sectional assessment included facilities collecting or transfusing blood identified through official data sources and private key informants. At each facility, study representatives completed a standardized instrument assessing presence of records logbook, electricity, refrigeration, and required transfusion-transmitted infection (TTI; human immunodeficiency virus, syphilis, and hepatitis B and C) test kits. Descriptive statistics were generated, with differences analyzed using chi-square or Fisher's exact tests. RESULTS: Between August and November 2010, a total of 243 facilities were surveyed with public (52.3%, n = 127) and private (43.2%, n = 105) sector comprising the majority. Most (63%) facilities were urban, with 23.5% located in Kabul province. Of 92,682 units collected nationally in the 12 months before evaluation, 7.5% (n = 6952) had no disposition record. Many (62%, n = 151) facilities had an established recordkeeping system; the remainder provided estimates. Half of surveyed facilities had regular power supply (57.8%), refrigerators for storing blood (52.3%), or all necessary TTI test kits (62.1%). Military (83.3%) and public (74.8%) facilities were more likely to have all TTI test kits present compared to private (46.7%, p < 0.01) but not nongovernmental organization (40.0%, p = 0.37) facilities. CONCLUSION: In Afghanistan, blood donation and transfusion occur with substantial differences in data recording and TTI test availability, with private facilities less likely to have these resources. Efforts are needed to improve available resources and ensure that facilities are in compliance with national standards for donor screening.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Antibody screening alone may fail to detect human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in recently infected individuals. By U.S. Army regulation, HIV-infected soldiers are not permitted to deploy to areas of conflict, including Iraq and Afghanistan. We report here the first case of acute HIV infection (AHI) in a soldier in a combat area of operation detected by an enhanced U.S. Army HIV testing algorithm and discuss features of the tests which aided in clinical diagnosis. We tested the sample from the AHI case with a third generation HIV-1/HIV-2 plus O enzyme immunoassay, HIV-1 Western Blot, and a qualitative HIV-1 ribonucleic acid molecular diagnostic assay. Risk factors for HIV acquisition were elicited in an epidemiologic interview. Evaluation of the blood sample for AHI indicated an inconclusive serologic profile and a reactive HIV-1 ribonucleic acid result. The main risk factor for acquisition reported was unprotected sexual intercourse with casual strangers in the U.S. while on leave during deployment. The clinical diagnosis of AHI in a combat area of operation is important. Diagnosis of HIV is key to preventing adverse effects to the infected soldier from deployment stressors of deployment and further transmission via parenteral or sexual exposures.
Military medicine 05/2012; 177(5):609-13. · 0.77 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abstract The U.S. Army initiated an investigation in response to observations of a possible increase in HIV incidence among soldiers deployed to combat. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected U.S. Army soldiers are not eligible to deploy. Combat presents a health hazard to HIV-infected soldiers and they pose a threat to the safety of the battlefield blood supply and their contacts. All soldiers are routinely screened for HIV every 2 years and those who deploy are also screened both prior to and after deployment. Seroconversion rates were estimated for all soldiers who deployed to Afghanistan or Iraq in the period 2001-2007 and all active duty soldiers who did not. Seroconverters with an estimated date of infection, based on calculation of the midpoint between the last seronegative and first seropositive test date, that was either before or during deployment were eligible for inclusion. Confidential interviews and medical record reviews were conducted to determine the most likely time, geographic location, and mode of infection. Reposed predeployment samples were tested for HIV ribonucleic acid. The HIV seroconversion rate among all soldiers who deployed was less than the rate among those who did not deploy: 1.04 and 1.42 per 10,000 person-years, respectively. Among 48 cases, most were determined to have been infected in the United States or Germany and prior to deployment (n=20, 42%) or during rest and relaxation leave (n=13, 27%). Seven seronegative acute infections were identified in the predeployment period. Subtype was determined for 40 individuals; all were subtype B infections. All were acquired through sexual contact. These findings can inform development of preventive interventions and refinement of existing screening policy to further reduce HIV-infected deployed soldier person time.
AIDS research and human retroviruses 01/2012; 28(10):1308-12. · 2.18 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To investigate potential sources of gram-negative multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs) in a deployed US military healthcare facility.
Swab sampling of patients, hospital personnel, and environmental surfaces was performed before the opening of a new medical treatment facility in Iraq and then serially for the next 6 months. Multidrug resistant isolates were genotypically characterized using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Univariate and multivariate analysis were performed to evaluate associations between patient characteristics and MDRO carriage.
Deployed US military medical facility.
A total of 1,348 samples were obtained, yielding 654 isolates, 42 of which were MDROs. One hundred fifty-eight patients were sampled; swabs from 18 patients yielded 29 MDR isolates. Host nation patients comprised 89% of patients with MDROs and 37% of patients without MDROs (P < .001). Host nation patient status was also significantly associated with MDRO carriage in multivariate logistic regression analysis (adjusted odds ratio, 2.9; confidence interval, 1.3-6.3; P = .009). Bacteria with PFGE patterns matching those recovered from host nation patients were later isolated from environmental surfaces including recovery room patient monitors and the trauma bay floor.
At this facility, MDRO isolation was predominantly obtained from newly admitted host nation patients, which may reflect baseline colonization with MDROs in the community. Patient MDRO carriage was linked to subsequent environmental contamination. These findings support intensive infection control efforts in forward deployed facilities.
Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology 06/2011; 32(6):545-52. · 4.02 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is little information about HIV awareness or condom use among female sex workers (FSWs) in Afghanistan. The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to assess HIV awareness, knowledge, and condom use among FSWs in three Afghan cities. FSWs residing in Jalalabad, Kabul, and Mazar-i-Sharif were recruited through outreach programs and completed an interviewer-administered questionnaire and rapid tests for hepatitis B surface antigen, HIV, syphilis, and hepatitis C virus. Logistic regression identified factors associated with HIV awareness, comprehensive HIV knowledge (knowledge that HIV cannot be detected by sight, that condoms prevent HIV, and rejection of local misconceptions about HIV transmission), and consistent condom use (use with every sex act) with clients in the last six months. Of 520 participants, 76.9% had no formal education and 37.7% lived outside Afghanistan in the last five years. Nearly half (44.2%) were aware of HIV but, of these, only 17.4% (N = 40) had comprehensive HIV knowledge. There were significant differences by site; FSWs in Jalalabad were more likely to be aware of HIV but FSWs in Kabul were more likely to have correct HIV knowledge and use condoms consistently with clients. Consistent client condom use was reported by 11.5% (N = 60) and was independently associated with having more clients per month (AOR = 1.99, 95% CI: 1.04-3.81). In conclusion, comprehensive HIV knowledge and consistent condom use with clients are low among Afghan FSWs in these cities. Efforts to reach this population should focus on relaying accurate information and expanding condom use with clients.
AIDS Care 03/2011; 23(3):348-56. · 1.60 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Active duty US Army and Air Force military personnel undergo mandatory biennial HIV antibody screening. We compared pre- and post-HIV seroconversion health status by conducting a case-control study, which evaluated all medical encounters and sociodemographic factors among incident HIV seroconverters and HIV-negative controls from June 2000 through February 2004.
A total of 274 HIV seroconverters and 6205 HIV-negative personnel were included. In multivariate analysis restricted to male personnel (cases = 261, controls = 5801), single marital status (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 14.37), clinical indicators or symptoms within four years of HIV diagnosis (AOR = 6.22), black race (AOR = 5.88), nonindicator clinical syndromes within 2 years of HIV diagnosis (AOR = 3.31), any mental disorder within 4 years of HIV diagnosis (AOR = 3.04), increasing service-connected time (AOR = 1.69), and older age (AOR = 1.12) were associated with HIV diagnosis among males. A prior history of a sexually transmitted infection (STI) was associated with post-HIV seroconversion STI (OR(M-H) = 4.10). Similarly, a prior history of mental disorder was associated with post-HIV seroconversion mental disorder (OR(M-H) = 4.98). Forty-seven (18%) male cases were hospitalized at least once after HIV diagnosis; infectious diseases, and mental disorders made up 53% of initial admissions.
HIV seroconversion was associated with increased health care-seeking behavior, STIs, and mental disorders, some of which may be amenable to screening. The higher STI rate after HIV diagnosis may partially be a consequence of monitoring, but secondary transmission of STI and possibly HIV require further definition and subsequent tailored preventive interventions.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To assess differences between injecting drug users (IDUs) with hepatitis C virus (HCV) viremia and IDUs with HCV antibody (Ab) or no evidence of prior infection in three Afghan cities.
IDUs in Hirat, Jalalabad, and Mazar-i-Sharif completed questionnaires and rapid testing for blood-borne infections including HCV Ab. HCV Ab was confirmed with a recombinant immunoblot assay (RIBA); RIBA-positive specimens underwent reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for HCV. Risk behaviors associated with viremia were assessed with site-controlled ordinal regression analysis.
Of 609 participants, 223 (36.6%) had confirmed HCV Ab. Of 221 with serum available for PCR evaluation, 127 (57.5%) were viremic. HCV viremia prevalence did not differ by site (range 41.7-59.1%; p=0.52). Among all IDUs, in age and site-controlled ordinal regression analysis, HCV was independently associated with HIV co-infection (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 7.16, 95% confidence interval (CI) 4.41-11.64), prior addiction treatment (AOR 1.95, 95% CI 1.57-2.42), ever aspirating and re-injecting blood (AOR 1.62, 95% CI 1.18-2.23), prior incarceration (AOR 1.60, 95% CI 1.04-2.45), and sharing injecting equipment in the last 6 months (AOR 1.35, 95% CI 1.02-1.80).
HCV viremia was present in many participants with prior HCV infection and was associated with some injecting risk behaviors, indicating a substantial risk for transmission. Current harm reduction programs should aim to improve HCV awareness and prevention among IDUs in Afghanistan as a matter of urgency.
International journal of infectious diseases: IJID: official publication of the International Society for Infectious Diseases 12/2010; 15(3):e201-5. · 2.17 Impact Factor