[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fishermen in Southeast Asia have been found to be highly vulnerable to HIV, with research evidence highlighting the role of sexual risk behaviors. This study aims to estimate the rate of HIV as well as hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections among Malaysian fishermen, and the risky sexual and injection drug use behaviors that may contribute to these infections. The study also includes an assessment of socio-demographic, occupational and behavioral correlates of testing positive for HIV or HCV, and socio-demographic and occupational correlates of risk behaviors. The study had a cross-sectional design and recruited 406 fishermen through respondent-driven sampling (RDS). Participants self-completed a questionnaire and provided biological specimens for HIV and HCV testing. We conducted and compared results of analyses of both unweighted data and data weighted with the Respondent-Driven Sampling Analysis Tool (RDSAT). Of the participating fishermen, 12.4% were HIV positive and 48.6% had HCV infection. Contrary to expectations and findings from previous research, most fishermen (77.1%) were not sexually active. More than a third had a history of injection drug use, which often occurred during fishing trips on commercial vessels and during longer stays at sea. Of the fishermen who injected drugs, 42.5% reported unsafe injection practices in the past month. Reporting a history of injection drug use increased the odds of testing HIV positive by more than 6 times (AOR = 6.22, 95% CIs [2.74, 14.13]). Most fishermen who injected drugs tested positive for HCV. HCV infection was significantly associated with injection drug use, being older than 25 years, working on a commercial vessel and spending four or more days at sea per fishing trip. There is an urgent need to strengthen current harm reduction and drug treatment programs for Malaysian fishermen who inject drugs, especially among fishermen who work on commercial vessels and engage in deep-sea fishing.
PLoS ONE 08/2015; 10(8):e0118422. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0118422 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We estimated race/ethnicity-specific incident AIDS diagnosis rates (IARs) among people who inject drugs (PWID) in U.S. metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) over time to assess the change in disparities after highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) dissemination.
We compared IARs and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for black/African American and Hispanic/Latino PWID with those of white PWID in 93 of the most populous MSAs. We selected two three-year periods from the years immediately preceding HAART (1993-1995) and the years with the most recent available data (2005-2007). To maximize stability, we aggregated data across three-year periods, and we aggregated data for black/African American and Hispanic/Latino PWID for most comparisons with data for white PWID. We assessed disparities by comparing IAR 95% CIs for overlap.
IARs were significantly higher for black/African American and Hispanic/Latino PWID than for white PWID in 81% of MSAs in 1993-1995 and 77% of MSAs in 2005-2007. MSAs where disparities became non-significant over time were concentrated in the West. Significant differences were more frequent in comparisons between black/African American and white PWID (85% of MSAs in 1993-1995, 79% of MSAs in 2005-2007) than in comparisons between Hispanic/Latino and white PWID (53% of MSAs in 1993-1995, 56% of MSAs in 2005-2007). IARs declined modestly across racial/ethnic groups in most MSAs.
AIDS diagnosis rates continue to be substantially higher for black/African American and Hispanic/Latino PWID than for white PWID in most large MSAs. This finding suggests a need for increased targeting of prevention and treatment programs, as well as research on MSA-level conditions that may serve to maintain the disparities.
Public Health Reports 05/2014; 129(3):267-279. · 1.55 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose
We focus on a little-researched issue—how HIV epidemics and programs in key populations in metropolitan areas affect epidemics in other key populations. We consider: 1) How are earlier epidemics among people who inject drugs (PWID) and men who have sex with men (MSM) related to later AIDS incidence and mortality among heterosexuals?; 2) Were prevention programs targeting PWID or MSM associated with lower AIDS incidence and mortality among heterosexuals?; and 3) Was the size of the potential bridge population of non-injecting drug users (NIDUs) in a metropolitan area associated with later AIDS incidence and mortality among heterosexuals?
Using data for 96 large US metropolitan areas, Poisson regression assessed associations of population prevalences of HIV-infected PWID and MSM (1992); NIDU population prevalence (1992-1994); drug use treatment coverage for PWID (1993); HIV counseling and testing coverage for MSM and for PWID (1992); and syringe exchange presence (2000) with CDC data on AIDS incidence and mortality among heterosexuals in 2006 – 2008, with appropriate socioeconomic controls.
Population density of HIV+ PWID and of NIDUs were positively related, and prevention programs for PWID negatively related, to later AIDS incidence among heterosexuals and later mortality among heterosexuals living with AIDS. HIV+ MSM population density and prevention programs for MSM were not associated with these outcomes.
Efforts to reduce HIV transmission among PWID and NIDUs may reduce AIDS and AIDS-related mortality among heterosexuals. More research is needed at metropolitan area, network and individual levels into HIV bridging across key populations and how interventions in one key population affect HIV epidemics in other key populations.
Annals of epidemiology 04/2014; 24(4). DOI:10.1016/j.annepidem.2014.01.008 · 2.00 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: People who inject drugs (PWID) have increased risk of morbidity and mortality. We update and present estimates and trends of the prevalence of current PWID and PWID subpopulations in 96 US metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) for 1992-2007. Current estimates of PWID and PWID subpopulations will help target services and help to understand long-term health trends among PWID populations.
We calculated the number of PWID in the US annually from 1992-2007 and apportioned estimates to MSAs using multiplier methods. We used four types of data indicating drug injection to allocate national annual totals to MSAs, creating four distinct series of component estimates of PWID in each MSA and year. The four component estimates are averaged to create the best estimate of PWID for each MSA and year. We estimated PWID prevalence rates for three subpopulations defined by gender, age, and race/ethnicity. We evaluated trends using multi-level polynomial models.
PWID per 10,000 persons aged 15-64 years varied across MSAs from 31 to 345 in 1992 (median 104.4) to 34 to 324 in 2007 (median 91.5). Trend analysis indicates that this rate declined during the early period and then was relatively stable in 2002-2007. Overall prevalence rates for non-Hispanic black PWID increased in 2005 as compared to other racial/ethnic groups. Hispanic prevalence, in contrast, declined across time. Importantly, results show a worrisome trend in young PWID prevalence since HAART was initiated - the mean prevalence was 90 to 100 per 10,000 youth in 1992-1996, but increased to >120 PWID per 10,000 youth in 2006-2007.
Overall, PWID rates remained constant since 2002, but increased for two subpopulations: non-Hispanic black PWID and young PWID. Estimates of PWID are important for planning and evaluating public health programs to reduce harm among PWID and for understanding related trends in social and health outcomes.
PLoS ONE 06/2013; 8(6):e64789. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0064789 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Among the largest US metropolitan areas, trends in mortality rates for injection drug users (IDUs) with AIDS vary substantially. Ecosocial, risk environment and dialectical theories suggest many metropolitan areas characteristics that might drive this variation. We assess metropolitan area characteristics associated with decline in mortality rates among IDUs living with AIDS (per 10,000 adult MSA residents) after highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) was developed.
This is an ecological cohort study of 86 large US metropolitan areas from 1993-2006. The proportional rate of decline in mortality among IDUs diagnosed with AIDS (as a proportion of adult residents) from 1993-1995 to 2004-2006 was the outcome of interest. This rate of decline was modeled as a function of MSA-level variables suggested by ecosocial, risk environment and dialectical theories. In multiple regression analyses, we used 1993-1995 mortality rates to (partially) control for pre-HAART epidemic history and study how other independent variables affected the outcomes.
In multivariable models, pre-HAART to HAART era increases in 'hard drug' arrest rates and higher pre-HAART income inequality were associated with lower relative declines in mortality rates. Pre-HAART per capita health expenditure and drug abuse treatment rates, and pre- to HAART-era increases in HIV counseling and testing rates, were weakly associated with greater decline in AIDS mortality.
Mortality among IDUs living with AIDS might be decreased by reducing metropolitan income inequality, increasing public health expenditures, and perhaps increasing drug abuse treatment and HIV testing services. Given prior evidence that drug-related arrest rates are associated with higher HIV prevalence rates among IDUs and do not seem to decrease IDU population prevalence, changes in laws and policing practices to reduce such arrests while still protecting public order should be considered.
PLoS ONE 02/2013; 8(2):e57201. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0057201 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
HIV prevalence among Malaysian fishermen is ten times that of the general population. Fishing boats are a key place where drug use occurs, but we know little about how these environments shape HIV risk behaviour. Utilizing Rhodes’ ‘risk environment’ framework, we assessed drug use contexts and how characteristics of place associated with fishing and fishermen's social networks served as key axes along which drug use and HIV risk behaviour occurred.
Data were collected during 2009-2011 in Kuantan, a fishing port on the eastern coast of Malaysia, and include 28 in-depth interviews and 398 surveys collected using RDS. Logistic regression was used to determine the effect of occupational, network and risk environment characteristics on unsafe injection behaviour and access to clean needles/syringes; qualitative data were coded and analyzed thematically.
Drug injecting was common and occurred on boats, often with other crewmembers. Captains and crewmembers were aware of drug use. Unsafe injection practices were significantly associated with having a larger proportion of drug injectors in network (OR = 3.510, 95% CI = 1.053-11.700) and having a captain provide drugs for work (OR = 2.777, 95% CI = 1.018-7.576). Size of fishermen network (OR = 0.987, 95% CI = 0.977-0.996), crewmembers’ knowledge of drug use (OR = 7.234, 95% CI = 1.430-36.604), and having a captain provide drugs for work (OR = 0.134, 95% CI = 0.025-0.720) predicted access to clean needles/syringes. Qualitative analyses revealed that occupational culture and social relationships on boats drove drug use and HIV risk.
While marginalized in broader society, the acceptance of drug use within the fishing community created occupational networks of risk. Fishing boats were spaces of both risk and safety; where drug users participated in the formal economy, but also where HIV risk behaviour occurred. Understanding the interplay between social networks and place is essential for developing HIV prevention and harm reduction policies appropriate for the unique needs of this fishing population.
The International journal on drug policy 01/2013; 25(3). DOI:10.1016/j.drugpo.2013.11.007 · 2.54 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The health consequences for HIV-affected families of insufficient access to safe water and sanitation are particularly dire: inadequate access complicates medication adherence and increases vulnerability to opportunistic infections for persons living with HIV. The gendered nature of water collection and HIV care—with women disproportionately bearing the burden in both areas—presents an unrealized opportunity to improve HIV outcomes through investments in water/sanitation. We synthesize the literature on HIV and water/sanitation to develop a conceptual model that maps the connections between women’s double burden of resource collection and HIV care. Drawing on theories of gender and systems science, we posit that there are multiple paths through which improved water/sanitation could improve HIV-related outcomes. Our findings suggest that the positive synergies of investing in water/sanitation in high HIV prevalence communities that are also expanding access to ART would be significant, with health multiplying effects that impact women and entire communities.
AIDS and Behavior 06/2012; 17(5). DOI:10.1007/s10461-012-0219-9 · 3.49 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Research suggests that fishermen engage in high levels of HIV risk behavior. Yet, little intervention research has been conducted among this population. This presentation will report the results of a systematic review and meta-analysis of the literature on fishermen and HIV risks globally.
Methods: This systematic review includes 53 peer-reviewed articles and gray literature from 1985 to 2011 that addressed HIV risks among fishermen. Inclusion criteria allowed for the approximation of seafarer and boatmen samples without biasing the analysis in order to increase the total sample. Event rates, 95% confidence intervals, and pooled proportions were calculated for the meta-analysis. Heterogeneity was assessed using Q-statistic and the I statistic. Publication bias was examined with Egger's and Begg's tests.
Results: Preliminary results show that fishermen engage in high risk sexual behaviors for HIV and a shortage of injection drug use data. Fishermen tend to engage in sex trading and have less access to HIV prevention. The pooled estimates indicated that more than half of fishermen engaged in sex trading with a female sex worker (FSW) (pooled proportion = 0.527; CI: 0.510, 0.545). However, most of these fishermen who reported sex with FSW did also report using a condom (pooled proportion = 0.791; CI: 0.769, 0.813). Additionally, more than half of the fishermen reported having had extra-marital sex (pooled proportion = 0.573; CI: 0.526, 0.619).
Conclusions: The findings have important implications for HIV research with fishermen and prevention strategies to address the growing HIV epidemic among this population.
139st APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition 2011; 10/2011
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We examined the relationships between mobility characteristics and sexual risk behaviors among male and female migrant market vendors in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
Participants completed a structured interview covering sociodemographics, mobility characteristics, sexual behaviors, and biomarkers for HIV, HCV, and syphilis. We used multivariate analyses to examine associations between mobility patterns and HIV risks after adjusting for sociodemographics.
Longer duration of a participant's last trip outside Almaty increased the odds of reporting multiple sexual partners. More frequent travel to visit family or friends was associated with multiple sexual partners and unprotected sex with steady partners. More frequent travel to buy goods in the past year was associated with multiple sexual partners. Men who traveled more often to buy goods were more likely to have purchased sex within the previous 90 days.
Relationships between mobility patterns and sexual risk behaviors underscore the need for HIV-prevention strategies targeting the specific transmission dynamics that migrant vendors are likely to present.
American Journal of Public Health 06/2011; 101(6):1075-81. DOI:10.2105/AJPH.2010.300085 · 4.55 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Health care providers can play a key role in influencing clients to initiate and maintain use of the female condom, an underused method for HIV/STI and pregnancy prevention. In 2001-2002, based on semistructured interviews with 78 health care providers from four types of settings in New York City, we found that most providers had seen the female condom, but they had not used it and did not propose the method to clients. They lacked details about the method-when to insert it, where it can be obtained, and its cost. Gender of provider, provider level of training, and setting appeared to influence their attitudes. Unless and until provider training on the female condom is greatly improved, broader acceptance of this significant public health contribution to preventing HIV/AIDS and unwanted pregnancy will not be achieved.
AIDS education and prevention: official publication of the International Society for AIDS Education 02/2011; 23(1):65-77. DOI:10.1521/aeap.2011.23.1.65 · 1.51 Impact Factor