Periodic presumptive treatment of curable sexually transmitted infections among sex workers

Department of Public Health, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases (Impact Factor: 5.01). 12/2011; 25(1):100-6. DOI: 10.1097/QCO.0b013e32834e9ad1
Source: PubMed


Curable sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are common occupational hazards for female sex workers in low-income and middle-income countries. Yet, most infections are asymptomatic and sensitive screening tests are rarely affordable or feasible. Periodic presumptive treatment (PPT) has been used as a component of STI control interventions to rapidly reduce STI prevalence.
Six recent observational studies confirm earlier randomized controlled trial findings that PPT reduces gonorrhoea and chlamydia prevalence among sex workers. One modeling study estimated effects on Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Chlamydia trachomatis, Haemophilus ducreyi, and HIV prevalence at different levels of PPT coverage and frequency, among sex workers who take PPT and among all sex workers. Important operational issues include use of single-dose combination antibiotics for high cure rates, conditions for introducing PPT, frequency and coverage, and use of PPT together with other intervention components to maximize and sustain STI control and reinforce HIV prevention.
PPT is an effective short-term measure to rapidly reduce prevalence of gonorrhoea, chlamydia, and ulcerative chancroid among female sex workers. It should be implemented together with other measures--to increase condom use, reduce risk and vulnerability--in order to maintain low STI prevalence when PPT is phased out.

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    • "Such services, with their consequent reduction in the burden of HIV and other STIs among sex workers, should be prioritised within all HIV epidemic settings. Reducing these burdens would markedly improve the health of sex workers, but also, evidence suggests (Steen, Chersich, and de Vlas 2012; WHO 2012), might interrupt transmission of these infections among their clients and the general population. This paper reports on a study in four countries of east and southern Africa that examined female, male and transgendered sex workers' experiences of seeking public and private healthcare, barriers to accessing these services and perspectives on how services might better address their needs. "
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    ABSTRACT: Sex workers in east and southern Africa are exposed to multiple occupational health and safety risks. Detailed understanding of barriers to accessing care would optimise design of improved services for this population. In this study, trained sex workers conducted 55 in-depth interviews and 12 focus group discussions with 106 female, 26 male and 4 transgender sex workers across 6 urban sites in Kenya, Zimbabwe, Uganda and South Africa. Data were analysed thematically, following an interpretive framework. Participants cited numerous unmet health needs, including diagnosis and treatment for sexually transmitted infections and insufficient access to condoms and lubricant. Denial of treatment for injuries following physical assault or rape and general hostility from public-sector providers was common. Resources permitting, many sex workers attended private services, citing higher quality and respect for dignity and confidentiality. Sex workers in southern Africa accessed specialised sex worker clinics, reporting mostly positive experiences. Across sites, participants called for additional targeted services, but also sensitisation and training of public-sector providers. Criminalisation of sex workers and associated stigmatisation, particularly of transgender and male sex workers, hinder HIV-prevention efforts and render access to mainstream healthcare precarious. Alongside law reform, sex worker-led peer outreach work should be strengthened and calls by sex workers for additional targeted services heeded.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2013 · Culture Health & Sexuality
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    • "Genital ulcer was reported as a self-reported history thus could be susceptible to social desirability bias with women being more prone to underreporting than men. Furthermore, genital ulcers in women are less likely to be diagnosed as they are not easily visible as in men and are generally painless [5], [62], [63]. We did not see a difference in the relationship between HIV and genital ulcer for men and women. "
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    ABSTRACT: Approximately 2.4 million people are living with HIV in India. This large disease burden, and potential for epidemic spread in some areas, demands a full understanding of transmission in that country. We wished to quantify the effects of key sexual risk factors for HIV infection for each gender and among high- and low-HIV risk populations in India. We conducted a systematic review of sexual risk factors for HIV infection from 35 published studies. Risk factors analyzed were: male circumcision/religion, Herpes Simplex Virus 2, syphilis, gonorrhoea, genital ulcer, multiple sexual partners and commercial sex. Studies were included if they met predetermined criteria. Data were extracted and checked by two researchers and random-effects meta analysis of effects was conducted. Heterogeneity in effect estimates was examined by I(2) statistic. Publication bias was tested by Begg's test and funnel plots. Meta regression was used to assess effect modification by various study attributes. All risk factors were significantly associated with HIV status. The factor most strongly associated with HIV for both sexes was HSV-2 infection (OR(men): 5.87; 95%CI: 2.46-14.03; OR(women): 6.44; 95%CI: 3.22-12.86). The effect of multiple sexual partners was similar among men (OR = 2.46; 95%CI: 1.91-3.17,) and women (OR = 2.02; 95%CI: 1.43-2.87) and when further stratified by HIV-risk group. The association between HSV-2 and HIV prevalence was consistently stronger than other STIs or self-reported genital ulcer. If the strong associations between HSV-2 and HIV were interpreted causally, these results implied that approximately half of the HIV infections observed in our study population were attributable to HSV-2 infection. The risk factors examined in our analysis should remain targets of HIV prevention programs. Our results confirm that sexual risk factors for HIV infection continue to be an important part of Indian HIV epidemic 26 years after it began.
    Preview · Article · Aug 2012 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: Haemophilus ducreyi, the etiologic agent of chancroid, has been previously reported to show genetic variance in several key virulence factors, placing strains of the bacterium into two genetically distinct classes. Recent studies done in yaws-endemic areas of the South Pacific have shown that H. ducreyi is also a major cause of cutaneous limb ulcers (CLU) that are not sexually transmitted. To genetically assess CLU strains relative to the previously described class I, class II phylogenetic hierarchy, we examined nucleotide sequence diversity at 11 H. ducreyi loci, including virulence and housekeeping genes, which encompass approximately 1% of the H. ducreyi genome. Sequences for all 11 loci indicated that strains collected from leg ulcers exhibit DNA sequences homologous to class I strains of H. ducreyi. However, sequences for 3 loci, including a hemoglobin receptor (hgbA), serum resistance protein (dsrA), and a collagen adhesin (ncaA) contained informative amounts of variation. Phylogenetic analyses suggest that these non-sexually transmitted strains of H. ducreyi comprise a sub-clonal population within class I strains of H. ducreyi. Molecular dating suggests that CLU strains are the most recently developed, having diverged approximately 0.355 million years ago, fourteen times more recently than the class I/class II divergence. The CLU strains' divergence falls after the divergence of humans from chimpanzees, making it the first known H. ducreyi divergence event directly influenced by the selective pressures accompanying human hosts.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2015 · PLoS ONE
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