Helen A Weiss

King's College London, Londinium, England, United Kingdom

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Publications (260)1416.56 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Background: Conflict and post-conflict communities in sub-Saharan Africa have a high under recognised problem of intimate partner violence (IPV). Part of the reason for this has been the limited data on IPV from conflict affected sub-Saharan Africa. This paper reports on the prevalence, risk factors and mental health consequences of IPV victimisation in both gender as seen in post-conflict eastern Uganda. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was carried out in two districts of eastern Uganda. The primary outcome of IPV victimisation was assessed using a modified Intimate Partner Violence assessment questionnaire of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. Results: The prevalence of any form of IPV victimisation (physical and/or sexual and/or psychological IPV) in this study was 43.7 % [95 % CI, 40.1-47.4 %], with no statistically significant difference between the two gender. The factors significantly associated with IPV victimisation were: sub-county (representing ecological factors), poverty, use of alcohol, and physical and sexual war torture experiences. The mental health problems associated with IPV victimisation were probable problem alcohol drinking, attempted suicide and probable major depressive disorder. Conclusion: In post-conflict eastern Uganda, in both gender, war torture was a risk factor for IPV victimisation and IPV victimisation was associated with mental health problems.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2016 · BMC International Health and Human Rights
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to describe the epidemiology of problem drinking in a cohort of women at high-risk of HIV in Kampala, Uganda. Overall, 1027 women at high risk of HIV infection were followed from 2008 to 2013. The CAGE and AUDIT questionnaires were used to identify problem drinkers in the cohort. Interviewer-administered questionnaires were used to ascertain socio-demographic and behavioural factors. Blood and genital samples were tested for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. At enrollment, most women (71%) reported using alcohol at least weekly and about a third reported having drunk alcohol daily for at least 2 weeks during the past 3 months. Over half (56%) were problem drinkers by CAGE at enrollment, and this was independently associated with vulnerability (being divorced/separated/widowed, less education, recruiting clients at bars/clubs, and forced sex at first sexual experience). Factors associated with problem drinking during follow-up included younger age, meeting clients in bars/clubs, number of clients, using drugs and HSV-2 infection. HIV prevalence was associated with drinking at enrollment, but not during follow-up. This longitudinal study found high levels of persistent problem drinking. Further research is needed to adapt and implement alcohol-focused interventions in vulnerable key populations in sub-Saharan Africa.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
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    ABSTRACT: Eyelid surgery is done to correct trachomatous trichiasis to prevent blindness. However, recurrent trichiasis is frequent. Two procedures are recommended by WHO and are in routine practice: bilamellar tarsal rotation (BLTR) and posterior lamellar tarsal rotation (PLTR). This study was done to identify which procedure gives the better results.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · The Lancet Global Health
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    ABSTRACT: Rates of perinatal depression (antenatal and postnatal depression) in South Asia are among the highest in the world. The delivery of effective psychological treatments for perinatal depression through existing health systems is a challenge due to a lack of human resources. This paper reports on a trial protocol that aims to evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the Thinking Healthy Programme delivered by peers (Thinking Healthy Programme Peer-delivered; THPP), for women with moderate to severe perinatal depression in rural and urban settings in Pakistan and India. THPP is evaluated with two randomised controlled trials: a cluster trial in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, and an individually randomised trial in Goa, India. Trial participants are pregnant women who are registered with the lady health workers in the study area in Pakistan and pregnant women attending outpatient antenatal clinics in India. They will be screened using the patient health questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) for depression symptoms and will be eligible if their PHQ-9 is equal to or greater than 10 (PHQ-9 ≥ 10). The sample size will be 560 and 280 women in Pakistan and India, respectively. Women in the intervention arm (THPP) will be offered ten individual and four group sessions (Pakistan) or 6–14 individual sessions (India) delivered by a peer (defined as a mother from the same community who is trained and supervised in delivering the intervention). Women in the control arm (enhanced usual care) will receive health care as usual, enhanced by providing the gynaecologist or primary-health facilities with adapted WHO mhGAP guidelines for depression treatment, and providing the woman with her diagnosis and information on how to seek help for herself. The primary outcomes are remission and severity of depression symptoms at the 6-month postnatal follow-up. Secondary outcomes include remission and severity of depression symptoms at the 3-month postnatal follow-up, functional disability, perceived social support, breastfeeding rates, infant height and weight, and costs of health care at the 3- and 6-month postnatal follow-ups. The primary analysis will be intention-to-treat. The trials have the potential to strengthen the evidence on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of an evidence-based psychological treatment recommended by the World Health Organisation and delivered by peers for perinatal depression. The trials have the unique opportunity to overcome the shortage of human resources in global mental health and may advance our understanding about the use of peers who work in partnership with the existing health systems in low-resource settings. Trial registration Pakistan Trial: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02111915 (9 April 2014) India Trial: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02104232 (1 April 2014)
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Trials
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    ABSTRACT: Common mental disorders (CMD) are a leading cause of disability globally. Emerging evidence indicates that in low and middle income countries the treatment gap for CMD can be addressed through the use of trained and supervised lay health workers (LHWs). Few clinical trials have evaluated the use of such task-shifting approaches in sub-Saharan Africa. In Zimbabwe, we have successfully piloted a task-shifting intervention delivered by LHWs. This protocol describes a cluster randomised controlled trial to assess the effectiveness of this intervention. Each of 24 randomly selected clinics from a pool of 42 in Harare will recruit 24 participants (N = 576). The clinics are randomised in a 1:1 ratio to receive either the intervention package [a problem solving therapy package delivered over a 4–6 week period by LHWs (N = 24) followed by a 6-week group support programme which focuses mainly on teaching a craft skill] or enhanced usual care, which includes usual care and psycho-education. Primary care attenders aged 18 years and above who score positive on a locally validated CMD screening questionnaire (Shona Symptom Questionnaire, SSQ-14) will be eligible for recruitment and asked for informed consent to participate in the trial. The primary measure is the SSQ score at 6 months. This effectiveness trial using LHWs to address the treatment gap for CMD will contribute to the body of knowledge on the feasibility and ability for scale-up of interventions for CMD. Trial registration
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · International Journal of Mental Health Systems
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    ABSTRACT: Importance Visualization and interpretation of the optic nerve and retina are essential parts of most physical examinations.Objective To design and validate a smartphone-based retinal adapter enabling image capture and remote grading of the retina.Design, Setting, and Participants This validation study compared the grading of optic nerves from smartphone images with those of a digital retinal camera. Both image sets were independently graded at Moorfields Eye Hospital Reading Centre. Nested within the 6-year follow-up (January 7, 2013, to March 12, 2014) of the Nakuru Eye Disease Cohort in Kenya, 1460 adults (2920 eyes) 55 years and older were recruited consecutively from the study. A subset of 100 optic disc images from both methods were further used to validate a grading app for the optic nerves. Data analysis was performed April 7 to April 12, 2015.Main Outcomes and Measures Vertical cup-disc ratio for each test was compared in terms of agreement (Bland-Altman and weighted κ) and test-retest variability.Results A total of 2152 optic nerve images were available from both methods (also 371 from the reference camera but not the smartphone, 170 from the smartphone but not the reference camera, and 227 from neither the reference camera nor the smartphone). Bland-Altman analysis revealed a mean difference of 0.02 (95% CI, −0.21 to 0.17) and a weighted κ coefficient of 0.69 (excellent agreement). The grades of an experienced retinal photographer were compared with those of a lay photographer (no health care experience before the study), and no observable difference in image acquisition quality was found.Conclusions and Relevance Nonclinical photographers using the low-cost smartphone adapter were able to acquire optic nerve images at a standard that enabled independent remote grading of the images comparable to those acquired using a desktop retinal camera operated by an ophthalmic assistant. The potential for task shifting and the detection of avoidable causes of blindness in the most at-risk communities makes this an attractive public health intervention.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Jama Ophthalmology
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    ABSTRACT: Background Trachoma is widely considered a disease of poverty. Although there are many epidemiological studies linking trachoma to factors normally associated with poverty, formal quantitative data linking trachoma to household economic poverty within endemic communities is very limited. Methodology/Principal Findings Two hundred people with trachomatous trichiasis were recruited through community-based screening in Amhara Region, Ethiopia. These were individually matched by age and gender to 200 controls without trichiasis, selected randomly from the same sub-village as the case. Household economic poverty was measured through (a) A broad set of asset-based wealth indicators and relative household economic poverty determined by principal component analysis (PCA, (b) Self-rated wealth, and (c) Peer-rated wealth. Activity participation data were collected using a modified ‘Stylised Activity List’ developed for the World Bank’s Living Standards Measurement Survey. Trichiasis cases were more likely to belong to poorer households by all measures: asset-based analysis (OR = 2.79; 95%CI: 2.06–3.78; p<0.0001), self-rated wealth (OR, 4.41, 95%CI, 2.75–7.07; p<0.0001) and peer-rated wealth (OR, 8.22, 95% CI, 4.59–14.72; p<0.0001). Cases had less access to latrines (57% v 76.5%, p = <0.0001) and higher person-to-room density (4.0 v 3.31; P = 0.0204) than the controls. Compared to controls, cases were significantly less likely to participate in economically productive activities regardless of visual impairment and other health problems, more likely to report difficulty in performing activities and more likely to receive assistance in performing productive activities. Conclusions/Significance This study demonstrated a strong association between trachomatous trichiasis and relative poverty, suggesting a bidirectional causative relationship possibly may exist between poverty and trachoma. Implementation of the full SAFE strategy in the context of general improvements might lead to a virtuous cycle of improving health and wealth. Trachoma is a good proxy of inequality within communities and it could be used to target and evaluate interventions for health and poverty alleviation.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Trachomatous trichiasis is thought to have a profound effect on quality of life (QoL), however, there is little research in this area. We measured vision and health-related QoL in a case-control study in Amhara Region, Ethiopia. Methodology/principal findings: We recruited 1000 adult trichiasis cases and 200 trichiasis-free controls, matched to every fifth trichiasis case on age (+/- two years), sex and location. Vision-related quality of life (VRQoL) and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) were measured using the WHO/PBD-VF20 and WHOQOL-BREF questionnaires. Comparisons were made using linear regression adjusted for age, sex and socioeconomic status. Trichiasis cases had substantially lower VRQoL than controls on all subscales (overall eyesight, visual symptom, general functioning and psychosocial, p<0.0001), even in the sub-group with normal vision (p<0.0001). Lower VRQoL scores in cases were associated with longer trichiasis duration, central corneal opacity, visual impairment and poor contrast sensitivity. Trichiasis cases had lower HRQoL in all domains (Physical-health, Psychological, Social, Environment, p<0.0001), lower overall QoL (mean, 34.5 v 64.6; p<0.0001) and overall health satisfaction (mean, 38.2 v 71.7; p<0.0001). This association persisted in a sub-group analysis of cases and controls with normal vision. Not having a marriage partner (p<0.0001), visual impairment (p = 0.0068), daily labouring (p<0.0001), presence of other health problems (p = 0.0018) and low self-rated wealth (p<0.0001) were independently associated with lower overall QoL scores in cases. Among cases, trichiasis caused 596 (59%) to feel embarrassed, 913 (91.3%) to worry they may lose their remaining eyesight and 681 (68.1%) to have sleep disturbance. Conclusions/significance: Trachomatous trichiasis substantially reduces vision and health related QoL and is disabling, even without visual impairment. Prompt trichiasis intervention is needed both to prevent vision loss and to alleviate physical and psychological suffering, social exclusion and improve overall well-being. Implementation of the full SAFE strategy is needed to prevent the development of trachomatous trichiasis.
    Preview · Article · Nov 2015 · PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
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    Full-text · Dataset · Nov 2015
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    Full-text · Dataset · Nov 2015
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    ABSTRACT: The alcohol dependence section of the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview questionnaire (MINI) has not been evaluated in young Africans. We applied the MINI in a cross-sectional study of 202 alcohol users from northern-Tanzania, aged 18-24 years (103 male casual workers and 99 students), and validated it against phophatidylethanol (PEth) at a cut-off suggesting heavy chronic alcohol use (≥0.30 µmol/L). Blood was assayed for PEth (16:0/18:1-subform) by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. The MINI dependence criteria (≥3 positive responses) were met by 39% participants although their PEth levels were low. Contrary, many young people with high PEth levels were not classified as dependent. The sensitivity of the MINI ranged from 0% to 69% (female students and male workers, respectively) and specificity from 52% to 85% (workers and female students, respectively). The highest AUROC (0.68) occurred with a cut-off of ≥4 positive responses. A modified MINI with three affirmative responses to five questions increased specificity to 92%-97%; however, sensitivity remained low. The performance of the MINI in detecting dependence among young people from northern-Tanzania is unsatisfactory. Specificity was improved using a modified version but sensitivity remained low. An accurate tool for the diagnosis of alcohol dependence is needed for epidemiological and clinical purposes.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
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    ABSTRACT: Background: The impact of antiretroviral therapy (ART) on herpes simplex virus type-2 (HSV-2) replication is unclear. The aim of this study was to assess factors associated with cervico-vaginal HSV-2 DNA shedding and genital ulcer disease (GUD) in a cohort of women living with HIV-1 in Burkina Faso. Methods: Participants were screened for cervico-vaginal HSV-2 DNA, GUD, cervico-vaginal and systemic HIV-1 RNA and reproductive tract infections every 3-6 months over 8 years. Associations with HSV-2 shedding and quantity were examined using random effects logistic and linear regression, respectively. Results: Of the 236 women with data on HSV-2 shedding, 151 took ART during the study period. Cervico-vaginal HSV-2 DNA was detected in 42% (99/236) of women in 8.2% of visits (151/1848). ART was associated with a reduction in HSV-2 shedding which declined for each year on ART (odds ratio [OR]=0.74; 95%CI, 0.59-0.92). In the multivariable model, the impact of ART was primarily associated with suppression of systemic HIV-1 RNA (aOR=0.32; 95%CI, 0.15-0.67). A reduction in GUD was also observed while on ART, mainly in those with HIV-1 viral suppression (aOR=0.53; 95%CI, 0.25-1.11). Conclusions: ART is strongly associated with a decrease in cervico-vaginal HSV-2 shedding, and the impact was sustained over several years.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · The Journal of Infectious Diseases
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    ABSTRACT: Background: The one-month Time Line Follow Back calendar (TLFB) and the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) are used to collect self-reported alcohol intake data. We compared these instruments with the alcohol biomarker phosphatidylethanol (PEth) among young-people in northern Tanzania. Methods: AUDIT and TLFB were applied in a cross-sectional study of 202 young people (18-24 years), who reported using alcohol during the past year (103 male casual labourers; 99 college students). We assayed whole blood for PEth 16:0/18:1, using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Results: For both self-report methods, alcohol consumption was high, particularly among men (e.g. a median of 54 drinks per month in labourers), and about half of male students (48%) reported hazardous or harmful levels of drinking (AUDIT ≥8). Almost half (49%) of participants were PEth-positive (median concentration 0.03μmol/L). There were significant positive correlations between reported total alcohol intake and PEth concentration in males (Spearman's correlation rs=0.65 in college students and rs=0.57 in casual labourers; p<0.001). Self-reported use in the past month was a sensitive marker of having a positive PEth result (≥0.01μmol/L) with 89% of those with a PEth positive result reporting alcohol use, and this was similar in all groups. The proportion of those with AUDIT scores ≥8 and AUDIT-C scores ≥6 among those with a high cut-off positive PEth result (≥0.30μmol/L) ranged between 94 and 100%. Conclusion: TLFB and AUDIT are sensitive measures to detect heavy alcohol use among young-people in northern Tanzania. They can be used to identify young people who may benefit from alcohol-focused interventions.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Drug and alcohol dependence
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: Alcohol use is a global public health problem, including as a risk factor for HIV infection, but few data are available on the epidemiology of alcohol use and alcohol use disorders (AUD) among young people in sub-Saharan Africa. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional survey among 4 groups of young people aged 15-24 years old (secondary school students, college/university students, employees of local industries and casual labourers) in two regions (Kilimanjaro and Mwanza) of northern Tanzania. Using a multistage stratified random sampling strategy, we collected information on demographics, alcohol use, and behavioural factors. We screened severity of alcohol use using the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT) and estimated the quantity and frequency of alcohol consumption using the timeline-follow-back-calendar (TLFB) method. Results: A total of 1954 young people were surveyed. The prevalence of reported alcohol use was higher among males (47-70% ever users and 20-45% current users) than females (24-54% ever users and 12-47% current users). Prevalence of use was substantially higher in Kilimanjaro than Mwanza region. In both regions, participants reported high exposure to alcohol advertisements, and wide alcohol availability. College students reported the highest prevalence of current alcohol use (45% among males; 26% among females) and of heavy episodic drinking (71% among males; 27% among females) followed by casual labourers. Males were more likely to have AUD (an AUDIT score ≥8) than females, with 11-28% of males screening positive for AUD. Alcohol use was associated with male gender, being in a relationship, greater disposable income, non-Muslim religion and a higher number of sexual partners. Conclusions: Alcohol use is a significant problem among young people in northern Tanzania. There is an urgent need to develop, pilot and deliver interventions to help young people delay initiation and reduce levels of harmful drinking, particularly among college students and casual labourers.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: Across sub-Saharan Africa, men's levels of HIV-testing remain inadequate relative to women’s. Men are less likely to access anti-retroviral therapy and experience higher levels of morbidity and mortality once initiated on treatment. More frequent HIV-testing by men at continued risk of HIV-infection is required to facilitate earlier diagnosis. This study explored the frequency of HIV-testing among a rural population of men and the factors associated with more frequent HIV-testing. We conducted a secondary analysis of a population-based survey in three rural district in Zambia, from February-November, 2013. Households (N = 300) in randomly selected squares from 42 study sites, defined as a health facility and its catchment area, were invited to participate. Individuals in eligible households were invited to complete questionnaires regarding demographics and HIV-testing behaviours. Men were defined as multiple HIV-testers if they reported more than one lifetime test. Upon questionnaire completion, individuals were offered rapid home-based HIV-testing. Of the 2376 men, more than half (61 %) reported having ever-tested for HIV. The median number of lifetime tests was 2 (interquartile range = 1-3). Just over half (n = 834; 57 %) of ever-testers were defined as multiple-testers. Relative to never-testers, multiple-testers had higher levels of education and were more likely to report an occupation. Among the 719 men linked to a spouse, multiple-testing was higher among men whose spouse reported ever-testing (adjusted prevalence ratio = 3.02 95 % CI: 1.37-4.66). Multiple-testing was higher in study sites where anti-retroviral therapy was available at the health facility on the day of a health facility audit. Among ever-testers, education and occupation were positively associated with multiple-testing relative to reporting one lifetime HIV-test. Almost half (49 %) of ever-testers accepted the offer of home-based HIV-testing. Reported HIV-testing increased among this population of men since a 2011/12 survey. Yet, only 35 % of all men reported multiple lifetime HIV-tests. The factors associated with multiple HIV-testing were similar to factors associated with ever-testing for HIV. Men living with HIV were less likely to report multiple HIV-tests and employment and education were associated with multiple-testing. The offer of home-based HIV-testing increased the frequency of HIV-testing among men. Although men's levels of ever-testing for HIV have increased, strategies need to increase the lifetime frequency of HIV-testing among men at continued risk of HIV-infection.
    Preview · Article · Sep 2015 · BMC Public Health
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    ABSTRACT: Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) for HIV prevention in Tanzania was introduced by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in 2010 as part of the national HIV prevention strategy. A qualitative study was conducted prior to a cluster randomized trial which tested effective strategies to increase VMMC up take among men aged ≥20 years. During the formative qualitative study, we conducted in-depth interviews with circumcised males (n = 14), uncircumcised males (n = 16), and participatory group discussions (n = 20) with men and women aged 20-49 years in Njombe and Tabora regions of Tanzania. Participants reported that mothers and female partners have an important influence on men's decisions to seek VMMC both directly by denying sex, and indirectly through discussion, advice and providing information on VMMC to uncircumcised partners and sons. Our findings suggest that in Tanzania and potentially other settings, an expanded role for women in VMMC communication strategies could increase adult male uptake of VMMC services.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: Importance Clinical features are unreliable for distinguishing ocular surface squamous neoplasia (OSSN) from benign conjunctival lesions.Objective To evaluate the adverse effects, accuracy, and interobserver variation of toluidine blue 0.05% vital staining in distinguishing OSSN, confirmed by histopathology, from other conjunctival lesions.Design, Setting, and Participants Cross-sectional study in Kenya from July 2012 through July 2014 of 419 adults with suspicious conjunctival lesions. Pregnant and breastfeeding women were excluded.Exposures Comprehensive ophthalmic slitlamp examination was conducted. Vital staining with toluidine blue 0.05% aqueous solution was performed before surgery. Initial safety testing was conducted on large tumors scheduled for exenteration looking for corneal toxicity on histology before testing smaller tumors. We asked about pain or discomfort after staining and evaluated the cornea at the slitlamp for epithelial defects. Lesions were photographed before and after staining.Main Outcomes and Measures Diagnosis was confirmed by histopathology. Six examiners assessed photographs from a subset of 100 consecutive participants for staining and made a diagnosis of OSSN vs non-OSSN. Staining was compared with histopathology to estimate sensitivity, specificity, and predictive values. Adverse effects were enumerated. Interobserver agreement was estimated using the κ statistic.Results A total of 143 of 419 participants (34%) had OSSN by histopathology. The median age of all participants was 37 years (interquartile range, 32-45 years) and 278 (66%) were female. A total of 322 of the 419 participants had positive staining while 2 of 419 were equivocal. There was no histological evidence of corneal toxicity. Mild discomfort was reported by 88 (21%) and mild superficial punctate keratopathy seen in 7 (1.7%). For detecting OSSN, toluidine blue had a sensitivity of 92% (95% CI, 87%-96%), specificity of 31% (95% CI, 25%-36%), positive predictive value of 41% (95% CI, 35%-46%), and negative predictive value of 88% (95% CI, 80%-94%). Interobserver agreement was substantial for staining (κ = 0.76) and moderate for diagnosis (κ = 0.40).Conclusions and Relevance With the high sensitivity and low specificity for OSSN compared with histopathology among patients with conjunctival lesions, toluidine blue 0.05% vital staining is a good screening tool. However, it is not a good diagnostic tool owing to a high frequency of false-positives. The high negative predictive value suggests that a negative staining result indicates that OSSN is relatively unlikely.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Jama Ophthalmology
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    ABSTRACT: Importance There is a trend toward treating conjunctival lesions suspected to be ocular surface squamous neoplasia (OSSN) based on the clinical impression.Objective To describe the presentation of OSSN and identify clinical features that distinguish it from benign lesions and subsequently evaluate their recognizability.Design, Setting, and Participants Prospective multicenter study in Kenya from July 2012 through July 2014 of 496 adults presenting with conjunctival lesions. One histopathologist examined all specimens. Six additional masked ophthalmologists independently examined photographs from 100 participants and assessed clinical features.Exposures Comprehensive history, slitlamp examination, and photography before excision biopsy. Main Outcomes and Measures Frequency of clinical features in OSSN and benign lesions were recorded. Proportions and means were compared using χ2, Fisher exact test, or t test as appropriate. Interobserver agreement was estimated using the κ statistic. Examiners’ assessments were compared with a reference.Results Among 496 participants, OSSN was the most common (38%) histological diagnosis, followed by pterygium (36%) and actinic keratosis (19%). Patients with OSSN were slightly older (mean [SD] age, 41 [11.6] vs 38 [10.9] years; P = .002) and tended to have lower levels of education than patients with benign lesions (P = .001). Females predominated (67% of OSSN vs 64% of benign lesions; P = .65). Human immunodeficiency virus infection was common among patients with OSSN (74%). The most common location was the nasal limbus (61% OSSN vs 78% benign lesions; P < .001). Signs more frequent in OSSN included feeder vessels (odds ratio [OR], 5.8 [95% CI, 3.2-10.5]), moderate inflammation (OR, 3.5 [95% CI, 1.8-6.8]), corneal involvement (OR, 2.7 [95% CI, 1.8-4.0]), leukoplakia (OR, 2.6 [95% CI, 1.7-3.9]), papilliform surface (OR, 2.1 [95% CI, 1.3-3.5]), pigmentation (OR, 1.5 [95% CI, 1.0-2.2]), temporal location (OR, 2.0 [95% CI, 1.2-3.2]), circumlimbal location (6.7% vs 0.3%; P < .001), severe inflammation (6.7% vs 0.3%; P < .001), and larger mean (SD) diameter (6.8 [3.2] vs 4.8 [2.8] mm; P < .001). All OSSN signs were also observed in benign lesions. There was slight to fair interobserver agreement in assessment of most signs and diagnosis (κ, 0.1-0.4). The positive predictive value of clinical appearance in identifying OSSN was 54% (interquartile range, 51%-56%) from photographs in which prevalence was 32%.Conclusions and Relevance With overlapping phenotypes and modest interobserver agreement, OSSN and benign conjunctival lesions are not reliably distinguished clinically. Point-of-care diagnostic tools may help.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Jama Ophthalmology
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: The objective of this study is to understand the association between HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) among people who inject drugs (PWIDs) in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), and to estimate HIV epidemic potential among PWIDs using HCV prevalence. Design/methods: Using data from a systematic review of HIV and HCV among PWID in MENA, we conducted two analyses, stratified by HIV epidemic state: a meta-analysis of the risk ratio of HCV to HIV prevalence (RRHCV/HIV) using DerSimonian-Laird random-effects models, and multivariable linear regression predicting log HIV prevalence. The HCV-HIV association from both analyses was used to estimate HIV prevalence at endemic equilibrium. We compared predicted with current HIV prevalence to classify HIV epidemic potential at country-level as low, medium or high, using predefined criteria. Results: The review identified 88 HCV prevalence measures among PWID in MENA, of which 54 had a paired HIV prevalence measure. The pooled RRHCV/HIV were 16, 4 and 3 in low-level, emerging and established HIV epidemics, respectively. There was a significant linear relationship between HCV and HIV at endemic equilibrium (P = 0.002). The predicted endemic HIV prevalence ranged between 8% (Tunisia) and 22% (Pakistan). Of the nine countries with data, five have high and three medium HIV epidemic potential. Only one country, Pakistan, appears to have reached saturation. Conclusion: HCV prevalence could be a predictor of future endemic HIV prevalence. In MENA, we predict that there will be further HIV epidemic growth among PWID. The proposed methodology can identify PWID populations that should be prioritized for HIV prevention interventions.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · AIDS (London, England)
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    ABSTRACT: Background Traditionally marriage has been considered a safe context in which to have sexual relations. However, research in adults has shown that risk of infection with HIV and other STIs can be high within marriage. We investigated risk behaviour within different types of sexual partnerships reported by young people in Tanzania. Methods In 2007/8 in 20 communities of rural Mwanza Region, Tanzania, sexual partnership histories of 13,814 young people aged 15–30 years were collected through a face-to-face questionnaire. Participants reported on their most recent sexual partners in the previous 12 months, up to a maximum of 3. We analysed data on 16,623 partnerships reported by 11,301 participants. Participants who were living with a man/woman as wife/husband were included as married. Participants described their sexual partners as spousal, regular, casual or sex worker. Chi-squared and Wald tests were used to calculate p-values. Results The mean age in the study was 21 years. A third of males (34%) and over half of females (57%) were currently married and 9% females and 3% males were previously married. Of those currently married, 13% of females reported that their husband had other wives and 2% of males reported more than one wife. A small proportion (6%) of currently married females reported >1 sexual partner in the previous 12 months. However, reports of multiple partnerships in the previous 12 months were high among married males (49%) and previously married individuals (females 34%; males 75%). In almost half of spousal partnerships but only 20% of other regular/casual partnerships there was at least a 4 year age difference between partners. Participants reported having used a condom at last sex with only 5% of their spousal partners compared to 45% of their other partners (p < 0.001). Mean and median (IQR) coital frequency in the last 4 weeks were 5 and 3 (1,6) with spousal partners and 1 and 0 (0,1) with other partners (p < 0.001). Conclusion Young people report less condom use and a higher frequency of sex with their spousal partners. High levels of multiple partnerships reported by men and large age differentials in spousal partnerships suggest that risk of transmission of HIV and STIs within marriage is likely to be high. Interventions are needed to help married and previously married young people manage risk of HIV/STIs within their partnerships.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health

Publication Stats

8k Citations
1,416.56 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2015
    • King's College London
      • Department of Health Service and Population Research
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
  • 1999-2015
    • London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
      • • Tropical Epidemiology Group (TEG)
      • • Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology
      • • Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health
      • • Department of Clinical Research
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
  • 2010
    • Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre
      • Department of Ophthalmology
      Moschi, Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
  • 2008
    • National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR)
      Dār es Salām, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
  • 2007
    • Hôpital Européen Georges-Pompidou (Hôpitaux Universitaires Paris-Ouest)
      Lutetia Parisorum, Île-de-France, France
  • 2004
    • Kwame Nkrumah University Of Science and Technology
      • School of Medical Sciences
      Coomassie, Ashanti, Ghana
  • 2003
    • Latrobe Regional Hospital
      Latrobe, Tasmania, Australia
    • Imperial College London
      • Faculty of Medicine
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom