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Kennedy N Otwombe

Kennedy N Otwombe
Perinatal HIV Research Unit, Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, Johannesburg, South Africa · Statistics and Data Management

PhD

About

166
Publications
19,263
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1,634
Citations
Citations since 2017
117 Research Items
1279 Citations
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Introduction

Publications

Publications (166)
Article
Full-text available
Introduction Routine efficacy assessments of new tuberculosis (TB) treatments include quantitative solid culture or routine liquid culture, which likely miss quantification of drug tolerant bacteria. To improve these assessments, comparative analyses using additional measures such as quantification of differentially culturable tubercle bacteria (DC...
Article
To deepen our understanding of sex work stigma, and to its drivers and their interrelation, we conducted an analysis using structural equation modelling of the South African National Sex Worker Survey. We enrolled 3005 women in sex work using multi-stage sampling across all South Africa’s provinces. Experience of external/enacted and internalised s...
Article
Introduction: HIV infection is associated with insulin resistance and dyslipidaemia driven by HIV-associated immune dysregulation and antiretroviral therapy (ART). Children living with perinatally acquired HIV (CHIV) face many decades of exposure to these factors. We evaluated the longitudinal trajectory of insulin resistance and dyslipidaemia in...
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Background The World Health Organization (WHO) risk assessment algorithm for vertical transmission of HIV (VT) assumes the availability of maternal viral load (VL) result at delivery and early viral control 4 weeks after initiating antiretroviral treatment (ART). However, in many low-and-middle-income countries, VL is often unavailable and mothers’...
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Awareness of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) status improves health outcomes in children living with HIV, yet caregivers often delay disclosure. This qualitative investigation explored, through observation, how 30 caregivers responded to a HIV Disclosure study conducted between 2017 and 2020 at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, Soweto, S...
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Tuberculosis (TB) infected individuals harbor a heterogenous population of differentially culturable tubercle bacilli (DCTB). Herein, we describe how DCTB assays using culture filtrate either containing or deficient in resuscitation promoting factors can uncover mixed infections. We demonstrate that Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) strain genotypes...
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Many early phase HIV prevention studies define HIV risk-related eligibility criteria. We conducted a retrospective review of HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) Phase 1 and 2 HIV vaccine clinical trials completed in South Africa from 2003 to 2020, evaluating HIV incidence by protocol-defined risk criteria. Comparisons between groups controlled for ag...
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Logistic regression (LR) is the most common prediction model in medicine. In recent years, supervised machine learning (ML) methods have gained popularity. However, there are many concerns about ML utility for small sample sizes. In this study, we aim to compare the performance of 7 algorithms in the prediction of 1-year mortality and clinical prog...
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Background Hyperglycaemia is a risk factor for tuberculosis. Evidence of changes in blood glucose levels during and after tuberculosis treatment is unclear. Objective To compile evidence of changes in blood glucose during and after tuberculosis treatment and the effects of elevated blood glucose changes on treatment outcomes in previously normogly...
Article
Aim We compared soluble transferrin receptors (sTfR), serum ferritin, mean cell volume (MCV) of red cells and the sTfR-ferritin index with the intensive method bone marrow trephine (BMT) iron stores in the diagnosis of iron deficiency anaemia (IDA) in HIV-positive hospitalised participants. Methods In this cross-sectional study, we recruited hospi...
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Female sex workers (FSWs) in South Africa experience a uniquely high prevalence of HIV. We describe the HIV cascade of care (CoC) in FSWs in South Africa, and explored service utilisation at sex work programmes. A cross-sectional, study enrolled FSWs across 12 sites in South Africa. Participants were recruited using chain-referral method. Inclusion...
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Background Although numerous studies have investigated HIV risk factors and shown high HIV prevalence among female sex workers in South Africa, no national HIV incidence estimate exists for this potentially important group for HIV transmission. We aimed to estimate HIV incidence among female sex workers in South Africa who could be accessed through...
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GeneXpert rollout in three high burden countries in Africa: A review of pulmonary TB diagnosis and and outcomes from 2001 to 2019
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In 2012 the World Health Organization (WHO) aimed to eliminate measles in five regions by 2020. This retrospective descriptive study reviewed measles surveillance data in South Africa for the period 2015—2020 to document the epidemiology of measles and the progress made towards meeting the 2020 measles elimination goal. A total of 22,578 specimens...
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Background: The rollout of GeneXpert aimed at increasing early diagnosis of tuberculosis to improve treatment outcomes and global tuberculosis targets. Objective: This study evaluated trends in tuberculosis diagnosis and outcomes pre- and post-introduction of GeneXpert in three African countries – the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Nigeri...
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Introduction: Previous studies indicate people with diabetes mellitus (DM) may have varying treatment outcomes when receiving treatment for tuberculosis (TB) and that TB infection or its treatment may predispose them to develop an abnormal blood glucose or type 2 DM. This has implications for Eswatini which is a high TB burden country and with inc...
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Objectives We evaluated the prevalence and risk factors for hepatic steatosis in South African children with perinatally acquired HIV (PHIV) who started treatment early and remain on long-term antiretroviral therapy (ART) compared to HIV-uninfected children.DesignA cross-sectional study from April 2019 to October 2021. PHIV, HIV-exposed uninfected...
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Background: The South African Central Chronic Medicine Dispensing and Distribution (CCMDD) programme is a National Health Insurance (NHI) initiative that improves access to medicine for patients. Objectives: To describe the frequency of adverse drug reactions (ADRs) and medication errors reported in stable patients living with HIV. Method: This d...
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The benefits of HIV status disclosure to children is widely cited. However, few studies have reported how children respond to the process in a longitudinal fashion. This paper describes children's responses, as documented by healthcare providers (HCPs), during a longitudinal disclosure study conducted at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital in...
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Coetzee (2022): Sex work and young women: a cross sectional study to understand the overlap of age and sex work as a central tenet to ABSTRACT Adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) engaging in sex-for-money transactions are at risk of HIV infection. A better understanding of the demographic, socioeconomic factors and risks of HIV acquisition is r...
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Background : Pre-eclampsia is a considerable cause of maternal and infant morbidity and mortality. Although its aetiology is unknown, pre-eclampsia has been described as a state of exaggerated maternal inflammatory response. It has therefore been hypothesized that pre-eclampsia would occur less commonly in states of immune deficiency. Objective(s)...
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Enveloped viruses, including the Human Immunodeficiency Virus-1 (HIV), incorporate host proteins such as human leucocyte antigens (HLA) into their envelope. Pre-existing antibodies against HLA, termed HLA antibodies, may bind to these surface proteins and reduce viral infectivity. Related evidence includes macaque studies which suggest that xenoimm...
Preprint
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In 2012 the World Health Organization (WHO) aimed to eliminate measles in five regions by 2020. This retrospective descriptive study reviewed measles surveillance data in South Africa for the period 2015 - 2020 to document the epidemiology of measles and the progress made towards meeting the 2020 measles elimination goal. A total of 22,578 specimen...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Assessment of sexual risk behavior among youths is crucial for HIV prevention strategies. However, the literature on sexual behavior in youth during the COVID-19 pandemic is sparse. Aim: This study surveyed sexual risk behavior among youth in Soweto, South Africa during the COVID-19 pandemic national lockdown in 2020. Methods: We c...
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Introduction Sex workers in South Africa experience high levels of trauma and mental health issues, but little is known about their drug and alcohol use. This study assessed the prevalence of substance use and its key risk factors amongst female sex workers (FSWs) at two sites in South Africa. Methods Two cross-sectional studies were conducted, in...
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Background Voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) reduces the risk of HIV transmission. Task shifting of VMMCs to non-doctor health workers is recommended to enhance scale-up of VMMC programs. This study evaluated outcomes of circumcision conducted by doctors compared to non-doctors in central Uganda. Methods In this prospective observational...
Article
Objective The study aim was to evaluate the prevalence and predictors of hypertension among an urban adult population in Mbarara city, Western Uganda. Methods We evaluated blood pressure measurements, social demographic and clinical parameters of adults living in Mbarara city, Uganda. These parameters were extracted from medical records of adults...
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Female sex workers (FSWs) are at increased risk of mental health problems, including mood disorders and substance abuse, and we need to understand the origins of these to treat and prevent them, and particularly understand how the context in which they sell sex impacts their mental health. We conducted a multi-stage, community-centric, cross-sectio...
Preprint
Full-text available
Awareness of HIV status improves health outcomes in HIV infected children, yet disclosure is often delayed by hesitant caregivers. This qualitative investigation explored how 30 caregivers responded to a HIV Disclosure study conducted between 2017 and 2020 at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, Soweto, South Africa. Caregivers were assisted i...
Article
Background: HIV and tuberculosis (TB) independently cause an increased risk for venous thromboembolic disease (VTE): deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and/or pulmonary embolism (PE). Data from high HIV and TB burden settings describing VTE are scarce. The Wells' DVT and PE scores are widely used but their utility in these settings has not been reported o...
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Background Reduction of the reservoir of latent HIV-infected cells might increase the possibility of long-term remission in individuals living with HIV. We investigated factors associated with HIV-1 proviral DNA levels in children receiving different antiretroviral therapy (ART) strategies in the children with HIV early antiretroviral therapy (CHER...
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Objective: The aim of this study was to describe the disclosure process in children with perinatally acquired HIV infection (PHIV+) and its impact on their emotional well-being and adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) in South Africa. Methods: This prospective cohort study followed PHIV+ children aged 7 to 13 years attending counseling over...
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Background The ubiquity of cellular phone (cellphone) use in young people’s daily lives has emerged as a priority area of concern for youth mental health. Objective This study measured the prevalence of depression and its association with high cellphone use among youth in Soweto and Durban, South Africa. Methods We analysed cross-sectional, basel...
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Background: In South Africa, female sex workers (FSWs) are perceived to play a pivotal role in the country’s HIV epidemic. Understanding their health status and risk factors for adverse health outcomes is foundational for developing evidence-based health care for this population. Objective: Describe the methodology used to successfully implement...
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Background South Africa is disproportionately impacted by non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and HIV/AIDS. We investigated the prevalence of known/unknown NCD risk factors, HIV, and NCD risk factor-HIV comorbidity; and treatment status on known diseases to determine the prevalence of controlled/uncontrolled disease. Methods This cross-sectional stud...
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Background Globally female sex workers (FSWs) are vulnerable to violence from intimate partners, police and clients due to stigma and criminalisation. In this paper we describe South African FSWs' exposure to violence and factors associated with having been raped in the past year. Methods We conducted a multi-stage, community-centric, cross-sectio...
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Objective A screening centre in Soweto, South Africa (SA), investigated high-risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV), HIV, cervical cancer risk amongst women. Methods This cross-sectional study (June 2018-March 2019) describes screening results (Roche Linear Array HPV test and Pap smear liquid based cytology) and history of screening (known HIV status,...
Article
While some healthcare systems have shifted to molecular diagnostics, culture still remains the gold standard for tuberculosis diagnosis, but it is limited by its long duration to a positive result. Methods to reduce time to culture positivity (TTP) are urgently required. We determined if growth factor supplementation in the mycobacterial growth ind...
Article
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Background: Contracting private medical practitioners for the National Health Insurance pilot project in 2012 by the National Department of Health in South Africa was envisaged to reduce workload at referral district hospitals by reducing self-referral by clients as the perceived quality of care at the primary healthcare level improves. Aim: To de...
Article
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Background Pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) in people living with HIV (PLH) frequently presents as sputum smear-negative. However, clinical trials of TB in adults often use smear-positive individuals to ensure measurable bacterial responses following initiation of treatment, thereby excluding HIV-infected patients from trials. Methods In this prospecti...
Preprint
Full-text available
BACKGROUND: Reduction of the reservoir of latent HIV-infected cells might increase the possibility of long-term remission in individuals living with HIV. We investigated factors associated with HIV-1 proviral DNA levels in children receiving different antiretroviral therapy (ART) strategies in the Children with HIV Early Antiretroviral Therapy (CHE...
Article
Full-text available
Background For pregnant women living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), concurrent active Tuberculosis (TB) disease increases the risk of maternal mortality and poor pregnancy outcomes. Plasma indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) activity, measured by kynurenine-to-tryptophan (K/T) ratio has been proposed as a blood-based TB biomarker. We invest...
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Introduction: In generalized epidemic settings, there is insufficient understanding of how the unmet HIV prevention and treatment needs of key populations (KPs), such as female sex workers (FSWs) and men who have sex with men (MSM), contribute to HIV transmission. In such settings, it is typically assumed that HIV transmission is driven by the gen...
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Benign ethnic neutropenia (BEN) is defined as a neutrophil count of <1.5×10 ⁹ cells/L in healthy individuals and is more common in populations of certain ethnicities, e.g. African or Middle Eastern ethnicity. Neutrophil values are commonly included in eligibility criteria for research participation, but little is known about the relationship betwee...
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Background The uptake and adherence of daily oral PrEP has been poor in high-risk populations in South Africa including young people. We used qualitative research methods to explore user preferences for daily and on-demand oral PrEP use among young South Africans, and to inform the identification of critical attributes and attribute-levels for quan...
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The quality and success of postgraduate education largely rely on effective supervision. Since its inception in 2008, the Consortium for Advanced Research Training in Africa (CARTA) has been at the forefront of providing training to both students and supervisors in the field of public and population health. However, there are few studies on supervi...
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Introduction The current COVID-19 pandemic is a global threat. This elicits questions on the level of preparedness and capacity of health systems to respond to emergencies relative to other parts of the world. Methods This cross-sectional study uses publicly available core health data for 53 African countries to determine risk factors for cumulati...
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Background: In 2012, the National Department of Health in South Africa started contracting of private medical practitioners (MPs) as part of the first phase of National Health Insurance (NHI) in 11 pilot districts to improve access to healthcare. Aim: The aim of this study was to describe the effect of contracting private MPs on the utilisation of...
Article
South Africa is the HIV epidemic epicentre; however, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) will be the most common cause of death by 2030. To improve identification and initiation of care for HIV and NCDs, we assessed proportion of clients referred and linked to care (LTC) for abnormal/positive screening results and time to LTC and treatment initiation...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction South Africa is the HIV epidemic epicentre; however, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) will be the most common cause of death by 2030. To improve identification and initiation of care for HIV and NCDs, we assessed proportion of clients referred and linked to care (LTC) for abnormal/positive screening results and time to LTC and treatmen...
Article
Aim To describe the trajectory of clinical signs in children who developed human immunodeficiency virus encephalopathy (HIVE) after starting early antiretroviral therapy (ART). Method This was a retrospective case‐cohort description of HIVE among Cape Town participants from the Children with HIV Early AntiRetroviral treatment (CHER) trial. Criteri...
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Introduction The World Health Organization has identified the need for a non-sputum-based test capable of detecting active Tuberculosis (TB) as a priority. Plasma kynurenine to tryptophan ratio, largely mediated by activity of the enzyme indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase, may hold potential as a suitable biomarker for active tuberculosis disease. Method...
Preprint
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Background Oral Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) was approved for use in South Africa (SA) in 2017. The uptake and adherence of daily oral PrEP has been poor in high-risk populations in SA including adults and young people. We used a Discrete Choice Experiment (DCE) technique to identify critical attributes and attribute-levels to understand user pr...
Article
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Objective To assess whether organisational culture influences the fidelity of implementation of the Integrated Chronic Disease Management (ICDM) model at primary healthcare (PHC) clinics. Design A cross-sectional study. Setting The ICDM model was introduced in South African clinics to strengthen delivery of care and improve clinical outcomes for...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background The uptake and adherence of daily oral PrEP has been poor in high-risk populations in South Africa including young people. We used qualitative research methods to explore user preferences for daily and on-demand oral PrEP use among young South Africans, and to inform the identification of critical attributes and attribute-levels for quan...
Preprint
Full-text available
Objective: Task shifting for male circumcision is still a challenge. The aim of this study was to evaluate the outcomes of circumcision conducted by doctors compared to non-doctors in Kampala, Uganda Results: In this prospective cohort study, we observed and followed 274 males at 3 health facilities in Kampala, Uganda. Each participant was observed...
Article
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Background: While HIV Testing Services (HTS) have increased, many South Africans have not been tested. Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are the top cause of death worldwide. Integrated NCD-HTS could be a strategy to control both epidemics. Healthcare service strategies depends partially on positive user experience. We investigated client satisfact...
Article
Full-text available
Background The HIV epidemiology in South Africa reveals stark age and gender disparities, with young women being the most vulnerable to HIV acquisition in 2017. Evaluation of HIV exposure is a challenge in HIV prevention research. Intermittent in-clinic interviewer-administered risk behaviour assessments are utilised but may be limited by social de...
Article
Purpose The HIV infection may predispose perinatally HIV-infected (PHIV+) adolescents to mental illness. Adolescence can be when mental health disorders manifest for the first time. This study investigates the prevalence of mental illness in PHIV+ and HIV-uninfected adolescents in Soweto. Methods PHIV+ adolescents aged 13–19 years were recruited f...
Article
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Background: Drug safety assessments in clinical trials present unique analytical challenges. Some of these include adjusting for individual follow-up time, repeated measurements of multiple outcomes and missing data among others. Furthermore, pre-specifying appropriate analysis becomes difficult as some safety endpoints are unexpected. Although ex...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Drug safety assessments in clinical trials present unique analytical challenges. Some of these include adjusting for individual follow-up time, repeated measurements of multiple outcomes and missing data among others. Furthermore, pre-specifying appropriate analysis becomes difficult as some safety endpoints are unexpected. Although exis...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Drug safety assessments in clinical trials present unique analytical challenges. Some of these include adjusting for individual follow-up time, repeated measurements of multiple outcomes and missing data among others. Furthermore, pre-specifying appropriate analysis becomes difficult as some safety endpoints are unexpected. Although exis...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: While HIV Testing Services (HTS) have increased, many South Africans have not been tested. Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are the top cause of death worldwide. Integrated NCD-HTS could be a strategy to control both epidemics. Healthcare service strategies depends partially on positive user experience. We investigated client satisfacti...