Simona Bignami-Van Assche
Full Text Available AIDS morbidity and mortality are expected to have a large impact on households' labor supply in rural Malawi since they reduce the time that adults can spend on production for subsistence and on income generating activities. However, the data demands for estimating this impact are high, limiting the amount of empirical evidence. In this paper, we utilize a unique combination of quantitative and qualitative data, including biomarkers for HIV, collected by the Malawi Diffusion and Ideational Change Project, to analyze the impact of AIDS-related morbidity and mortality on time allocation decisions for rural Malawians. We evaluate both the direct effect of HIV/AIDS on the time allocation of affected individuals as well as its indirect effect on the time allocation of surviving household members. We find that the latter is the most important effect of AIDS-related morbidity and mortality, especially on women's time. Specifically, AIDS induces diversification of income sources, with women reallocating their time from work-intensive (typically farming and heavy chores to cash-generating tasks (such as casual labor.
Kaponda, Chrissie P. N.; Norr, Kathleen F.; Crittenden, Kathleen S.; Norr, James L.; McCreary, Linda L.; Kachingwe, Sitingawawo I.; Mbeba, Mary M.; Jere, Diana L. N.; Dancy, Barbara L.
This study used a quasi-experimental design to evaluate a six-session peer group intervention for HIV prevention among rural adults in Malawi. Two rural districts were randomly assigned to intervention and control conditions. Independent random samples of community adults compared the districts at baseline and at 6 and 18 months postintervention.…
Banerjee, A; Moyo, S; Salaniponi, F; Harries, A
Unusually high mortality rates have been recorded among HIV-infected tuberculosis patients in urban Africa 6 and 12 months after initiation of tuberculosis treatment--a trend that impedes efforts to achieve the 85% cure rate target set by the World Health Organization. This study investigated tuberculosis treatment outcomes in relation to HIV serostatus in a rural district of Malawi (Ntcheu). All 205 smear-positive pulmonary tuberculosis patients newly diagnosed in the district in 1995 received 2 months of daily supervised streptomycin, rifampicin, isoniazid, and pyrazinamide in the hospital followed by 6 months of isoniazid and thiacetazone at home. HIV testing, offered to all tuberculosis patients, was accepted by 110 (54%), 73 (66%) of whom were HIV-positive. By the end of treatment, 126 patients (61%) had been cured and 56 (27%) had died. Significantly fewer HIV-positive patients or patients who declined HIV testing were cured (59% and 55%, respectively) than those who agreed to testing and were HIV-negative (84%). The mortality rate was 29% among patients who tested HIV-positive, 8% among those with a negative test result, and 34% among patients who declined HIV testing. Acceptance of HIV testing improved over the course of the study period in response to changes in counseling techniques, especially clarification that blood taken for HIV testing would not be used for transfusions. Overall, these findings suggest that, in areas where HIV infection is prevalent, an 85% tuberculosis cure rate may be unrealistic.
Sliep, Y; Poggenpoel, M; Gmeiner, A
Malawi has a population of 9 million people with AIDS the leading cause of death in the 20-40 age group. The HIV positive prevalence rate, estimated at 23% in urban areas and 8% in rural areas, is one of the highest in the world (AIDSEC, 1994:1). Evaluation of counselling practices showed poor results with counsellors feeling ineffective and inadequate. Patients are mostly tested on medical indication but patients who do not see the benefit of knowing their HIV status increasingly refuse testing. The counselling practise as it is known in the Western world is a foreign concept for patients living in rural Malawi. The high stigma of AIDS complicates support of the patients. The goal of the research study was to describe a model of counselling that would meet the needs of an AIDS patient in rural community in Malawi. A qualitative research design that was explorative, descriptive and contextually specific to rural Malawi was used for the study. In order to describe a counselling model it was important to understand the illness experience of HIV reactive patients. The patients are seen in group context congruent with the African culture and therefore the experience of the primary care giver of AIDS patients is explored as the other major factor in the phenomenon examined. One phase of the research is described in this article namely exploring and describing the experience of the HIV reactive patient in rural Malawi. Results show that patients are in an advanced stage of AIDS when they are diagnosed and complain of weakness and an inability to do work, including an inability to do their daily chores. This causes a feeling of desperateness that is worsened by the perception that support systems are inadequate. Support systems are mostly identified as parents, partners and siblings to assist mainly with the physical care and financial support. Despite the fact that the family is very important to patients there is a reluctance to acknowledge their HIV status. Patients
Full Text Available Malawi has a population of 9 million people with AIDS the leading cause of death in the 20 - 40 age group. The HIV positive prevalence rate, estimated at 23% in urban areas and 8% in rural areas, is one of the highest in the world (AIDSEC, 1994:1. Evaluation of counselling practices showed poor results with counsellors feeling ineffective and inadequate. Patients are mostly tested on medical indication but patients who do not see the benefit of knowing their HIV status increasingly refuse testing. The counselling practise as it is known in the Western world is a foreign concept for patients living in rural Malawi. The high stigma of AIDS complicates support of the patients. The goal of the research study was to describe a model of counselling that would meet the needs of an AIDS patient in rural community in Malawi. A qualitative research design that was explorative, descriptive and contextually specific to rural Malawi was used for the study. In order to describe a counselling model it was important to understand the illness experience of HIV reactive patients. The patients are seen in group context congruent with the African culture and therefore the experience of the primary care giver of AIDS patients is explored as the other major factor in the phenomenon examined. One phase of the research is described in this article namely exploring and describing the experience of the HIV reactive patient in rural Malawi. Results show that patients are in an advanced stage of AIDS when they are diagnosed and complain of weakness and an inability to do work, including an inability to do their daily chores. This causes a feeling of desperateness that is worsened by the perception that support systems are inadequate. Support systems are mostly identified as parents, partners and siblings to assist mainly with the physical care and financial support. Despite the fact that the family is very important to patients there is a reluctance to acknowledge their
Anglewicz, Philip; Clark, Shelley
A large and increasing proportion of HIV transmissions in sub-Saharan Africa occur within marriage. Condom use within marriage could, therefore, be an important prevention strategy, but there is considerable debate about whether married couples would be willing to use condoms. This paper contributes to this debate by identifying key factors that affect the acceptability of condom use within marriage and actual condom use among men and women in rural Malawi, using three waves of longitudinal data from 2004, 2006 and 2008. Specifically, we focused on the effect of (1) entry into first marriage, (2) respondent's HIV status, HIV perceptions, and risk behaviors, and (3) spouse's HIV characteristics on condom use acceptability within marriage and actual condom use with a spouse or steady partner. Using fixed-effects regression, we found that getting married coincides with a pronounced attitudinal shift regarding the acceptability of condom use within marriage that cannot be explained by differences in fertility status or selection into marriage. In addition, we found that, for women, perceived HIV status of the respondent and spouse generally had greater influence than actual HIV status on the acceptability of condom use within marriage and actual condom use with a spouse or steady partner, even after HIV status is known; while actual HIV status and HIV risk behaviors are generally more important among men. Although condom use within marriage remained low, these findings suggest that attitudes about and use of condoms are susceptible to change and that both marital status and perceptions of risk are important influences on condom use.
Clark, Shelley; Poulin, Michelle; Kohler, Hans-Peter
We explore how marital aspirations are related to the sexual behaviors of adolescents and young adults in Malawi, where HIV/AIDS prevalence among adults exceeds 10%. We also consider whether the specter of AIDS is shaping ideals about marriage. By combining survey data (N = 1,087) and in-depth interviews (N = 133) with young Malawians from the…
McGrath, Nuala; Kranzer, Katharina; Saul, Jacqueline; Crampin, Amelia C; Malema, Simon; Kachiwanda, Lackson; Zaba, Basia; Jahn, Andreas; Fine, Paul Em; Glynn, Judith R
Surveillance in the era of antiretroviral therapy (ART) requires estimates of HIV prevalence as well as the proportion eligible for ART. We estimated HIV prevalence and assessed field staging of individuals to estimate the burden of HIV disease needing treatment in rural Malawi. Adults aged 18-59 years in a demographic surveillance system were interviewed, examined, and HIV counselled and tested. Staging that used a simplified version of the WHO criteria ('field checklist') was compared with staging by a medical assistant using a 'clinic checklist' and to CD4 cell results. A total of 2129 of 2303 eligible adults (92.4%) were traced, and 2047 (96.1%) participated. Of the 1443 participants (70.5%) tested, 11.6% were HIV positive. ART eligibility classification by the field and clinic checklists were concordant in 122 of 133 HIV-positive individuals. Compared with the clinic checklist, the field checklist had a sensitivity of 50% and a specificity of 96%. Including those already known to be on ART, staging by the field and clinic checklists estimated ART eligibility at 16.3 and 17.7% of HIV-positive individuals, respectively. Using CD4 cell count under 250 cells/mul or WHO stage III/IV, the Malawi national programme criteria, 38% of HIV-positive individuals were eligible for ART, compared with 31% based on the 2006 WHO criteria of CD4 cell count under 200 cells/mul or WHO stage IV or CD4 cell count of 200-350 cells/mul and WHO stage III. The field checklist was not a suitable tool for individual staging. Criteria for ART eligibility based on clinical staging alone missed two-thirds of those eligible by clinical staging and CD4 cell count.
McBain, Ryan K; Petersen, Elizabeth; Tophof, Nora; Dunbar, Elizabeth L; Kalanga, Noel; Nazimera, Lawrence; Mganga, Andrew; Dullie, Luckson; Mukherjee, Joia; Wroe, Emily B
We performed an impact and cost-effectiveness analysis of a novel HIV service delivery model in a high prevalence, remote district of Malawi with a population of 143 800 people. A population-based retrospective analysis of 1-year survival rates among newly enrolled HIV-positive patients at 682 health facilities throughout Malawi, comparing facilities implementing the service delivery model (n = 13) and those implementing care-as-usual (n = 669). Through district-level health surveillance data, we evaluated 1-year survival rates among HIV patients newly enrolled between July 2013 and June 2014 - representing 129 938 patients in care across 682 health facilities - using a multilevel modeling framework. The model, focused on social determinants of health, was implemented throughout Neno District at 13 facilities and compared with facilities in all other districts. Activity-based costing was used to annualize financial and economic costs from a societal perspective. Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios were expressed as quality-adjusted life-years gained. The national average 1-year survival rate for newly enrolled antiretroviral therapy clients was 78.9%: this rate was 87.9% in Neno District, compared with 78.8% across all other districts in Malawi (P cost of receiving care in Neno district (n = 6541 patients) was $317/patient/year, compared with an estimated $219/patient in other districts. This translated to $906 per quality-adjusted life-year gained. Neno District's comprehensive model of care, featuring a strong focus on the community, is $98 more expensive per capita per annum but demonstrates superior 1-year survival rates, despite its remote location. Moreover, it should be considered cost-effective by traditional international standards.
Estelle M. Mclean
Full Text Available Objective: Verbal autopsies (VAs are interviews with a relative or friend of the deceased; VAs are a technique used in surveillance sites in many countries with incomplete death certification. The goal of this study was to assess the accuracy and validity of data on HIV status and antiretroviral therapy (ART usage reported in VAs and their influence on physician attribution of cause of death. Design: This was a prospective cohort study. Methods: The Karonga Health and Demographic Surveillance Site monitors demographic events in a population in a rural area of northern Malawi; a VA is attempted on all deaths reported. VAs are reviewed by clinicians, who, with additional HIV test information collected pre-mortem, assign a cause of death. We linked HIV/ART information reported by respondents during adult VAs to database information on HIV testing and ART use and analysed agreement using chi-square and kappa statistics. We used multivariable logistic regression to analyse factors associated with agreement. Results: From 2003 to 2014, out of a total of 1,952 VAs, 80% of respondents reported the HIV status of the deceased. In 2013–2014, this figure was 99%. Of those with an HIV status known to the study, there was 89% agreement on HIV status between the VA and pre-mortem data, higher for HIV-negative people (92% than HIV-positive people (83%. There was 84% agreement on whether the deceased had started ART, and 72% of ART initiation dates matched within 1 year. Conclusions: In this population, HIV/ART information was often disclosed during a VA and matched well with other data sources. Reported HIV/ART status appears to be a reliable source of information to help classification of cause of death.
Tschirhart, Naomi; Kabanga, Lucky; Nichols, Sue
This paper examines the convergence of HIV/AIDS and the social processes through which women access customary land in rural Malawi. Data were collected from focus group discussions with women in patrilineal and matrilineal communities. Women's land tenure is primarily determined through kinship group membership, customary inheritance practices and location of residence. In patrilineal communities, land is inherited through the male lineage and women access land through relationships with male members who are the rightful heirs. Conversely in matrilineal matrilocal communities, women as daughters directly inherit the land. This research found that in patrilineal communities, HIV/AIDS, gendered inequalities embedded in customary inheritance practices and resource shortages combine to affect women's access to land. HIV/AIDS may cause the termination of a woman's relationship with the access individual due to stigma or the individual's death. Termination of such relationships increases tenure insecurity for women accessing land in a community where they do not have inheritance rights. In contrast to the patrilineal patrilocal experience, research on matrilineal matrilocal communities demonstrates that where women are the inheritors of the land and have robust land tenure rights, they are not at risk of losing their access to land due to HIV/AIDS.
Belinda Chimphamba Gombachika
Full Text Available With wider access to antiretroviral therapy, people living with HIV are reconsidering their reproductive decisions: remarrying and having children. The purpose of the paper is to explore sources of information for reproductive decision used by couples living with HIV in patrilineal and matrilineal districts of Malawi. Data were collected from forty couples from July to December 2010. Our results illuminate five specific issues: some of the informants (1 remarry after divorce/death of a spouse, (2 establish new marriage relationship with spouses living with HIV, and (3 have children hence the need for information to base their decisions. There are (4 shared and interactive couple decisions, and (5 informal networks of people living with HIV are the main sources of information. In addition, in matrilineal community, cultural practices about remarriage set up structures that constrained information availability unlike in patrilineal community where information on sexual and reproductive health, HIV, and AIDS was disseminated during remarriage counselling. However, both sources are not able to provide comprehensive information due to complexity and lack of up to date information. Therefore, health workers should, offer people living with HIV comprehensive information that takes into consideration the cultural specificity of groups, and empower already existing and accepted local structures with sexual and reproductive health, HIV, and AIDS knowledge.
Julia Cordero Coma
Full Text Available BACKGROUND Recent research on the HIV epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa has highlighted the relevance of married individuals' extramarital sexual behavior for the spread of the disease. At the same time, there is social disapproval of sexual infidelity. OBJECTIVE This article examines the extent to which Malawian married men's likelihood of having extramarital sex is influenced by their expectations about the prevalence of extramarital relationships in their social network. It also explores whether this effect depends on the network density, and whether it is also observed when the extramarital behavior of a particularly influential actor is controlled for. METHODS Data from the last two waves, 2004 and 2006, of the longitudinal survey provided by the Malawi Diffusion and Ideational Change Project are analyzed both cross-sectionally and through a panel analysis with fixed effects. The longitudinal approach enables the researcher to deal with the potential non-random distribution of social interactions among respondents, which bias the estimation in the cross-sectional analysis. RESULTS Married men's expectations about the prevalence of extramarital sexual relationships in the network were shown to have a substantial influence on their extramarital behavior, and the impact was found to be bigger in dense networks. In addition, there was some evidence that the perceived dominant behavior in the peer group is relevant, independent of the extramarital behavior of the respondents' best friends.
Nyirenda Lot J
Full Text Available Abstract Background In 2006 the World Health Organization described the status of prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT service implementation as unacceptable, with an urgent need for a renewed public health approach to improve access. For PMTCT to be effective it needs to be accessible, acceptable and affordable; however research in Africa into accessibility, uptake and acceptability of PMTCT services has been predominately urban based and usually focusing on women who deliver in hospitals. The importance of involving other community members to strengthen both PMTCT uptake and adherence, and to support women emotionally, has been advocated. Urban men's and rural traditional birth attendants' (TBAs involvement have improved uptake of HIV testing and of nevirapine. Methods A qualitative study was carried out in a rural district of Malawi's central region to explore the views about and perceptions of PMTCT antiretroviral treatment. Semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions were held with antenatal and postnatal women, fathers, grandmothers, TBAs, community leaders and PMTCT health workers. Results Two broad themes of findings emerged: those that relate to the hospital PMTCT service, and those that relate to the community. Trust in the hospital was strong, but distance, transport costs and perceived harsh, threatening health worker attitudes were barriers to access. Grandmothers were perceived to have influence on the management of labour, unlike fathers, but both were suggested as key people to ensure that babies are brought to the hospital for nevirapine syrup. TBAs were seen as powerful, local, and important community members, but some as uneducated. Conclusion PMTCT was seen as a community issue in which more than the mother alone can be involved. To support access to PMTCT, especially for rural women, there is need for further innovation and implementation research on involving TBAs in some aspects of PMTCT services
From October to December 1996, a surveillance for HIV among antenatal clinic attenders (ANC) was conducted in 19 hospitals serving as sentinel sites in Malawi. The sites consisted of 3 urban, 8 semiurban, and 8 rural hospitals drawn from all 3 regions of the country. Findings showed that of the 4163 samples, 793 were HIV positive, giving an overall prevalence of 19%, with a range from 27% in the urban areas to 18% in the semiurban areas and 10% in the rural areas. The age distribution of infection showed that seroprevalence was highest in the 25-29 age group. In terms of syphilis infection, the rate was more common in the southern than in the central or northern regions, but it did not vary according to urban, semiurban, or rural sites or according to age. Overall, the results showed that ANC HIV seroprevalence remained relatively stable from 1994 to 1996, increasing from 17.4% in 1994 to 18% in 1995 and 19% in 1996. Moreover, the national estimate for seroprevalence in the entire population was 6.4%, essentially the same as that for 1995 (6.6%), indicating that the level of HIV infection had been fairly stable since 1993. Continued close monitoring is required to assess whether the incidence of new infection is actually declining, particularly among young people, and to identify what interventions have the greatest impact.
Michael E Herce
Full Text Available Introduction: HIV-associated Kaposi sarcoma (HIV-KS is the most common cancer in Malawi. In 2008, the non-governmental organization, Partners In Health, and the Ministry of Health established the Neno Kaposi Sarcoma Clinic (NKSC to treat HIV-KS in rural Neno district. We aimed to evaluate 12-month clinical outcomes and retention in care for HIV-KS patients in the NKSC, and to describe our implementation model, which featured protocol-guided chemotherapy, integrated antiretroviral therapy (ART and psychosocial support delivered by community health workers. Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study using routine clinical data from 114 adult HIV-KS patients who received ART and ≥1 chemotherapy cycle in the NKSC between March 2008 and February 2012. Results: At enrolment 97% of patients (n/N=103/106 had advanced HIV-KS (stage T1. Most patients were male (n/N=85/114, 75% with median age 36 years (interquartile range, IQR: 29–42. Patients started ART a median of 77 days prior to chemotherapy (IQR: 36–252, with 97% (n/N=105/108 receiving nevirapine/lamivudine/stavudine. Following standardized protocols, we treated 20 patients (18% with first-line paclitaxel and 94 patients (82% with bleomycin plus vincristine (BV. Of the 94 BV patients, 24 (26% failed to respond to BV requiring change to second-line paclitaxel. A Division of AIDS grade 3/4 adverse event occurred in 29% of patients (n/N=30/102. Neutropenia was the most common grade 3/4 event (n/N=17/102, 17%. Twelve months after chemotherapy initiation, 83% of patients (95% CI: 74–89% were alive, including 88 (77% retained in care. Overall survival (OS at 12 months did not differ by initial chemotherapy regimen (p=0.6. Among patients with T1 disease, low body mass index (BMI (adjusted hazard ratio, aHR=4.10, 95% CI: 1.06–15.89 and 1 g/dL decrease in baseline haemoglobin (aHR=1.52, 95% CI: 1.03–2.25 were associated with increased death or loss to follow-up at 12 months. Conclusions
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: A study was conducted among newly registered HIV-positive tuberculosis (TB patients systematically offered anti-retroviral treatment (ART in a district hospital in rural Malawi in order to a determine the acceptance of ART b conduct a geographic mapping of those placed on ART and c examine the association between "cost of transport" and ART acceptance. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: A retrospective cross-sectional analysis was performed on routine program data for the period of February 2003 to July 2004. Standardized registers and patient cards were used to gather data. The place of residence was used to determine road distances to the Thyolo district hospital. Cost of transport from different parts of the district was based on the known cost for public transport to the road-stop closest to the patient's residence. Of 1,290 newly registered TB patients, 1,003(78% underwent HIV-testing of whom 770 (77% were HIV-positive. 742 of these individuals (pulmonary TB = 607; extra-pulmonary TB = 135 were considered eligible for ART of whom only 101(13.6% accepted ART. Cost of transport to the hospital ART site was significantly associated with ART acceptance and there was a linear trend in association between cost and ART acceptance (chi(2 for trend = 25.4, P<0.001. Individuals who had to pay 50 Malawi Kwacha (1 United States Dollar = 100 Malawi Kwacha, MW or less for a one-way trip to the Thyolo hospital were four times more likely to accept ART than those who had to pay over 100 MW (Adjusted Odds ratio = 4.0, 95% confidence interval: 2.0-8.1, P<0.001. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: ART acceptance among TB patients in a rural district in Malawi is low and associated with cost of transport to the centralized hospital based ART site. Decentralizing the ART offer from the hospital to health centers that are closer to home communities would be an essential step towards reducing the overall cost and burden of travel.
Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: To describe patient antiretroviral therapy (cART outcomes associated with intensive decentralization of services in a rural HIV program in Malawi. METHODS: Longitudinal analysis of data from HIV-infected patients starting cART between August 2001 and December 2008 and of a cross-sectional immunovirological assessment conducted 12 (±2 months after therapy start. One-year mortality, lost to follow-up, and attrition (deaths and lost to follow-up rates were estimated with exact Poisson 95% confidence intervals (CI by type of care delivery and year of initiation. Association of virological suppression (<50 copies/mL and immunological success (CD4 gain ≥100 cells/µL, with type of care was investigated using multiple logistic regression. RESULTS: During the study period, 4322 cART patients received centralized care and 11,090 decentralized care. At therapy start, patients treated in decentralized health facilities had higher median CD4 count levels (167 vs. 130 cell/µL, P<0.0001 than other patients. Two years after cART start, program attrition was lower in decentralized than centralized facilities (9.9 per 100 person-years, 95% CI: 9.5-10.4 vs. 20.8 per 100 person-years, 95% CI: 19.7-22.0. One year after treatment start, differences in immunological success (adjusted OR=1.23, 95% CI: 0.83-1.83, and viral suppression (adjusted OR=0.80, 95% CI: 0.56-1.14 between patients followed at centralized and decentralized facilities were not statistically significant. CONCLUSIONS: In rural Malawi, 1- and 2-year program attrition was lower in decentralized than in centralized health facilities and no statistically significant differences in one-year immunovirological outcomes were observed between the two health care levels. Longer follow-up is needed to confirm these results.
Mandala, Justin; Moyo, Tiwonge; Torpey, Kwasi; Weaver, Mark; Suzuki, Chiho; Dirks, Rebecca; Hayashi, Chika
Recent years have seen rapid and significant progress in science and implementation of programs to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV. Programs that support PMTCT routinely monitor service provision but very few have measured their effectiveness. The objective of the study was to use service data to inform HIV-free survival among HIV exposed children that received antiretroviral drugs to prevent mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV. The study was conducted in two rural districts in Malawi with support from FHI 360. A descriptive observational study of PMTCT outcomes was conducted between June 2005 and June 2009. The dataset included patient-level data of all pregnant women 1) that tested HIV-positive, 2) that were dispensed with antiretroviral prophylaxis, and 3) whose addresses were available for home visits. The data were matched to each woman's corresponding antenatal clinic data from home visit registers. Out of 438 children whose home addresses were available, 33 (8%) were lost to follow-up, 35 (8%) were alive but not tested for HIV by the time home visit was conducted, and 52 (12%) were confirmed deceased. A total of 318 children were alive at the time of the home visit and had an HIV antibody test done at median age 15 months. The resulting estimated 24-month probability of HIV-free survival over all children was 78%. Among children who did not receive nevirapine, the estimated 24-month probability of HIV-free survival was 61%, and among those who did receive NVP syrup the estimate was 82%. When mothers and newborns received nevirapine, the estimated 24-month probability of HIV-free survival among children was high at 82% (CI: 54% to 99%). However this conclusion should be interpreted cautiously 1) due to the wide confidence interval; and 2) because the confidence interval range includes 55%, which is the natural HIV-free survival rate in the absence of a PMTCT intervention. This analysis highlighted the need of quality data and well
Full Text Available Abstract Background Recent years have seen rapid and significant progress in science and implementation of programs to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV. Programs that support PMTCT routinely monitor service provision but very few have measured their effectiveness. The objective of the study was to use service data to inform HIV-free survival among HIV exposed children that received antiretroviral drugs to prevent mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT of HIV. The study was conducted in two rural districts in Malawi with support from FHI 360. Methods A descriptive observational study of PMTCT outcomes was conducted between June 2005 and June 2009. The dataset included patient-level data of all pregnant women 1 that tested HIV-positive, 2 that were dispensed with antiretroviral prophylaxis, and 3 whose addresses were available for home visits. The data were matched to each woman’s corresponding antenatal clinic data from home visit registers. Results Out of 438 children whose home addresses were available, 33 (8% were lost to follow-up, 35 (8% were alive but not tested for HIV by the time home visit was conducted, and 52 (12% were confirmed deceased. A total of 318 children were alive at the time of the home visit and had an HIV antibody test done at median age 15 months. The resulting estimated 24-month probability of HIV-free survival over all children was 78%. Among children who did not receive nevirapine, the estimated 24-month probability of HIV-free survival was 61%, and among those who did receive NVP syrup the estimate was 82%. Conclusions When mothers and newborns received nevirapine, the estimated 24-month probability of HIV-free survival among children was high at 82% (CI: 54% to 99%. However this conclusion should be interpreted cautiously 1 due to the wide confidence interval; and 2 because the confidence interval range includes 55%, which is the natural HIV-free survival rate in the absence of a PMTCT intervention. This
Background Recent years have seen rapid and significant progress in science and implementation of programs to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV. Programs that support PMTCT routinely monitor service provision but very few have measured their effectiveness. The objective of the study was to use service data to inform HIV-free survival among HIV exposed children that received antiretroviral drugs to prevent mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV. The study was conducted in two rural districts in Malawi with support from FHI 360. Methods A descriptive observational study of PMTCT outcomes was conducted between June 2005 and June 2009. The dataset included patient-level data of all pregnant women 1) that tested HIV-positive, 2) that were dispensed with antiretroviral prophylaxis, and 3) whose addresses were available for home visits. The data were matched to each woman’s corresponding antenatal clinic data from home visit registers. Results Out of 438 children whose home addresses were available, 33 (8%) were lost to follow-up, 35 (8%) were alive but not tested for HIV by the time home visit was conducted, and 52 (12%) were confirmed deceased. A total of 318 children were alive at the time of the home visit and had an HIV antibody test done at median age 15 months. The resulting estimated 24-month probability of HIV-free survival over all children was 78%. Among children who did not receive nevirapine, the estimated 24-month probability of HIV-free survival was 61%, and among those who did receive NVP syrup the estimate was 82%. Conclusions When mothers and newborns received nevirapine, the estimated 24-month probability of HIV-free survival among children was high at 82% (CI: 54% to 99%). However this conclusion should be interpreted cautiously 1) due to the wide confidence interval; and 2) because the confidence interval range includes 55%, which is the natural HIV-free survival rate in the absence of a PMTCT intervention. This analysis highlighted
Weinhardt, Lance S; Galvao, Loren W; Yan, Alice F; Stevens, Patricia; Mwenyekonde, Thokozani Ng'ombe; Ngui, Emmanuel; Emer, Lindsay; Grande, Katarina M; Mkandawire-Valhmu, Lucy; Watkins, Susan C
The objective of the Savings, Agriculture, Governance, and Empowerment for Health (SAGE4Health) study was to evaluate the impact of a large-scale multi-level economic and food security intervention on health outcomes and HIV vulnerability in rural Malawi. The study employed a quasi-experimental non-equivalent control group design to compare intervention participants (n = 598) with people participating in unrelated programs in distinct but similar geographical areas (control, n = 301). We conducted participant interviews at baseline, 18-, and 36-months on HIV vulnerability and related health outcomes, food security, and economic vulnerability. Randomly selected households (n = 1002) were interviewed in the intervention and control areas at baseline and 36 months. Compared to the control group, the intervention led to increased HIV testing (OR 1.90; 95 % CI 1.29-2.78) and HIV case finding (OR = 2.13; 95 % CI 1.07-4.22); decreased food insecurity (OR = 0.74; 95 % CI 0.63-0.87), increased nutritional diversity, and improved economic resilience to shocks. Most effects were sustained over a 3-year period. Further, no significant differences in change were found over the 3-year study period on surveys of randomly selected households in the intervention and control areas. Although there were general trends toward improvement in the study area, only intervention participants' outcomes were significantly better. Results indicate the intervention can improve economic and food security and HIV vulnerability through increased testing and case finding. Leveraging the resources of economic development NGOs to deliver locally-developed programs with scientific funding to conduct controlled evaluations has the potential to accelerate the scientific evidence base for the effects of economic development programs on health.
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: To report on the trend in all-cause mortality in a rural district of Malawi that has successfully scaled-up HIV/AIDS care including antiretroviral treatment (ART to its population, through corroborative evidence from a registered deaths at traditional authorities (TAs, b coffin sales and c church funerals. METHODS AND FINDINGS: Retrospective study in 5 of 12 TAs (covering approximately 50% of the population during the period 2000-2007. A total of 210 villages, 24 coffin workshops and 23 churches were included. There were a total of 18,473 registered deaths at TAs, 15781 coffins sold, and 2762 church funerals. Between 2000 and 2007, there was a highly significant linear downward trend in death rates, sale of coffins and church funerals (X(2 for linear trend: 338.4 P<0.0001, 989 P<0.0001 and 197, P<0.0001 respectively. Using data from TAs as the most reliable source of data on deaths, overall death rate reduction was 37% (95% CI:33-40 for the period. The mean annual incremental death rate reduction was 0.52/1000/year. Death rates decreased over time as the percentage of people living with HIV/AIDS enrolled into care and ART increased. Extrapolating these data to the entire district population, an estimated 10,156 (95% CI: 9786-10259 deaths would have been averted during the 8-year period. CONCLUSIONS: Registered deaths at traditional authorities, the sale of coffins and church funerals showed a significant downward trend over a 8-year period which we believe was associated with the scaling up HIV/AIDS care and ART.
Sally H. Rankin
Full Text Available With one of the highest rates of poverty and HIV in the world, Malawi faith-based organizations (FBOs, non-governmental organizations (NGOs, and community-based organizations (CBOs are expected to provide tangible and emotional support to people living with HIV (PLWH. Using Lin’s social capital theoretical approach, we examine the perspective of PLWH regarding the adequacy of support responses. Forty-six rural Malawi HIV+ adults provided interviews that were recorded digitally, translated, and transcribed by Malawi research assistants. Atlas.ti was used to organize the data and to aid in the analytic process. Participants expressed disappointment in the lack of resources that could be accessed through the FBOs although their expectations may have been unrealistic. Outcomes from accessing and mobilizing the FBO network were negative in terms of stigmatization by FBO leaders and members, whereas outcomes related to CBOs and NGOs were generally positive in terms of empowerment through HIV information and attendance at support groups.
Sally H. Rankin
Full Text Available With one of the highest rates of poverty and HIV in the world, Malawi faith-based organizations (FBOs, non-governmental organizations (NGOs, and community-based organizations (CBOs are expected to provide tangible and emotional support to people living with HIV (PLWH. Using Lin’s social capital theoretical approach, we examine the perspective of PLWH regarding the adequacy of support responses. Forty-six rural Malawi HIV+ adults provided interviews that were recorded digitally, translated, and transcribed by Malawi research assistants. Atlas.ti was used to organize the data and to aid in the analytic process. Participants expressed disappointment in the lack of resources that could be accessed through the FBOs although their expectations may have been unrealistic. Outcomes from accessing and mobilizing the FBO network were negative in terms of stigmatization by FBO leaders and members, whereas outcomes related to CBOs and NGOs were generally positive in terms of empowerment through HIV information and attendance at support groups.
Littrell, Megan; Murphy, Laura; Kumwenda, Moses; Macintyre, Kate
The role of older women in the care and protection of vulnerable children in sub-Saharan Africa may be changing given increasing rates of orphanhood due to AIDS. Concern regarding their capacity to provide for children and implications for their health and well-being dominate the literature. However, studies have not yet examined the situation of older caregivers in comparison to their younger counterparts over time. In this study, panel data on 1,219 caregivers in rural Malawi between 2007 and 2009 is complemented by in-depth interview (N=62) and group discussion (N=4) data. Caregiver responsibilities, capacity to care for children, and implications for well-being are examined. Chi-square tests examine differences in these measures between older foster caregivers and younger foster caregivers, parents of orphans, and parents of non-orphans. Older women, in comparison with younger counterparts, are more stable as primary caregivers for orphans. Care by older women is particularly valued when younger family stability is threatened by burdens of orphan care. Qualitative data reveal many challenges that older caregivers face, most notably provision of food. However, survey data suggest that the capacity to provide food, schooling and other basic needs is similar among older and younger caregivers. Self-reported health status is generally poorer among older caregivers, however levels of emotional distress and social capital are similar among older and younger caregivers. Providing care for children in old age appears to entail a number of benefits. Older women committed to providing care and protection for children are important assets, particularly in the context of threats to child well-being due to HIV and AIDS. Bolstering older caregivers with material and social support to help sustain their key roles in fostering is a promising avenue for maintaining extended family responses to HIV and AIDS.
Full Text Available The demographic study of nuptiality in African countries is not very developed and often of secondary interest in a discussion of the proximate determinants of fertility. This paper uses unusual marriage history data to examine divorce and remarriage in rural Malawi. Life table probabilities of divorce range from 40 to 65 percent and are among the highest on the continent. An investigation into the determinants of marital instability using proportional hazards models confirms the importance of kinship systems and female empowerment, but the mechanism underlying the high divorce rates in Malawi seems to be more complicated than that. This is, for example, illustrated in the effect of the polygyny variables. Marriage, divorce, and remarriage are further considered as empowering strategies that women deploy throughout their lives.
Malawi is located in southeastern Africa with Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia as its neighboring countries. The country's climate is subtropical, conducive to the tobacco, tea, coffee and sugar grown there. The population of Malawi is predominantly rural with 90% of the population engaging in subsistence farming. Most of the people are of Bantu origin. There is no visa requirement for those travelling in Malawi, but there are conditions to be aware of for the visitor to Malawi. The government bans the wearing of slacks or shorts by women and hair below the nape of the neck for men. Malaria is endemic and tsetse flies and the risk of encephalitis are present. The water, however, is potable and telecommunications within Malawi are good. The political structure of the country is headed by an elected present and a presidentially appointed cabinet. There are 118 seats in the country's unicameral National Assembly. Although Malawi has traditionally been self-sufficient, it suffered from the world commodity price recession in the 1980s. However, Malawi has continued to grow economically at a slower rate. The United States and Malawi enjoy good diplomatic relations and have an open exchange program. As well, relations with neighboring countries, particularly Mozambique, have improved greatly.
McCreary, Linda L.; Kaponda, Chrissie P. N.; Kafulafula, Ursula K.; Ngalande, Rebecca C.; Kumbani, Lily C.; Jere, Diana L. N.; Norr, James L.; Norr, Kathleen F.
This paper reports the process evaluation of a peer group intervention for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevention which had positive outcomes for three target groups in Malawi: rural adults, adolescents and urban hospital workers. The six-session intervention was delivered to small groups of 10-12 participants by 85 trained volunteer peer…
Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world (World Bank, 2014). Yet, our experiences working with rural schools suggest that the Malawi education system may be far ahead of many developed nations, including the United States, in terms of their practical and philosophical commitment to inclusive education for all children, including…
Full Text Available We review the relationship between polygyny and HIV and identify a positive individual-level correlation, and a negative ecological correlation. We subsequently examine two mechanisms that contribute to the individual-level correlation. First, we find that men in polygynous marriages have more extramarital sex than men in monogamous unions (both in terms of self reports and in terms of spousal reports of the suspicion of adultery. Second, we find evidence of adverse selection of HIV positive women into polygynous unions via an investigation of the relationship between marriage order and polygyny status. We conclude with reflections about possible explanations for the distinct individual and ecological correlations.
Key words: Malawi, AIDS, HIV, University of Malawi, college students ... Between 1992 and 2004, the contraception prevalence rate, .... respondents reported attendance at HIV/AIDS workshops and lectures and/or reported extensive reading ...
Anna Odone; Crampin, Amelia C.; Venance Mwinuka; Simon Malema; J Nimrod Mwaungulu; Lumbani Munthali; Glynn, Judith R
SETTING There is increasing interest in social structural interventions for tuberculosis. The association between poverty and tuberculosis is well established in many settings, but less clear in rural Africa. In Karonga District, Malawi, we found an association between higher socioeconomic status and tuberculosis from 1986-1996, independent of HIV status and other factors. OBJECTIVE To investigate the relationship in the same area in 1997-2010. DESIGN All adults in the district with...
Full Text Available Abstract Background Only about one-third of eligible HIV/AIDS patients receive anti-retroviral treatment (ART. Decentralizing treatment is crucial to wider and more equitable access, but key obstacles are a shortage of trained healthcare workers (HCW and challenges integrating HIV/AIDS care with other primary care. This report describes the development of a guideline and training program (PALM PLUS designed to integrate HIV/AIDS care with other primary care in Malawi. PALM PLUS was adapted from PALSA PLUS, developed in South Africa, and targets middle-cadre HCWs (clinical officers, nurses, and medical assistants. We adapted it to align with Malawi's national treatment protocols, more varied healthcare workforce, and weaker health system infrastructure. Methods/Design The international research team included the developers of the PALSA PLUS program, key Malawi-based team members and personnel from national and district level Ministry of Health (MoH, professional associations, and an international non-governmental organization. The PALSA PLUS guideline was extensively revised based on Malawi national disease-specific guidelines. Advice and input was sought from local clinical experts, including middle-cadre personnel, as well as Malawi MoH personnel and representatives of Malawian professional associations. Results An integrated guideline adapted to Malawian protocols for adults with respiratory conditions, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and other primary care conditions was developed. The training program was adapted to Malawi's health system and district-level supervision structure. PALM PLUS is currently being piloted in a cluster-randomized trial in health centers in Malawi (ISRCTN47805230. Discussion The PALM PLUS guideline and training intervention targets primary care middle-cadre HCWs with the objective of improving HCW satisfaction and retention, and the quality of patient care. Successful adaptations are feasible, even across health systems as
Weinhardt, Lance S; Galvao, Loren W; Mwenyekonde, Thokozani; Grande, Katarina M; Stevens, Patricia; Yan, Alice F; Mkandawire-Valhmu, Lucy; Masanjala, Winford; Kibicho, Jennifer; Ngui, Emmanuel; Emer, Lindsay; Watkins, Susan C
Poverty and lack of a predictable, stable source of food are two fundamental determinants of ill health, including HIV/AIDS. Conversely, episodes of poor health and death from HIV can disrupt the ability to maintain economic stability in affected households, especially those that rely on subsistence farming. However, little empirical research has examined if, and how, improvements in people's economic status and food security translate into changes in HIV vulnerability. In this paper, we describe in detail the methods and protocol of an academic-NGO collaboration on a quasi-experimental, longitudinal study of the mechanisms and magnitude of the impact of a multilevel economic and food security program (Support to Able-Bodied Vulnerable Groups to Achieve Food Security; SAFE), as implemented by CARE. Primary outcomes include HIV vulnerability (i.e., HIV risk behaviors, HIV infection), economic status (i.e., income, household assets) and food security (including anthropometric measures). We recruited participants from two types of areas of rural central Malawi: traditional authorities (TA) selected by CARE to receive the SAFE program (intervention group) and TAs receiving other unrelated CARE programming (controls). In the intervention TAs, we recruited 598 program participants (398 women, 200 men) and interviewed them at baseline and 18- and 36-month follow-ups; we interviewed 301 control households. In addition, we conducted random surveys (n = 1002) in the intervention and control areas with a 36-month assessment interval, prior to and after implementation of SAFE. Thus, we are examining intervention outcomes both in direct SAFE program participants and their larger communities. We are using multilevel modeling to examine mediators and moderators of the effects of SAFE on HIV outcomes at the individual and community levels and determine the ways in which changes in HIV outcomes feed back into economic outcomes and food security at later interviews. Finally, we
Banerjee, A; Harries, A D; Salaniponi, F M
There has been a large upsurge of tuberculosis (TB) in many countries in sub-Saharan Africa, mainly as a result of the co-existing human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) epidemic. Malawi has had a well-run National TB Control Programme (NTP) with good registration and recording of cases. For some years the NTP has had the impression that TB in the country is concentrated around townships and is less prevalent in the rural areas. This impression was investigated in a rural district (Ntcheu District) in Malawi. Data on new TB cases were collected from the district TB register for the years 1992-96 and average annual TB incidence rates per 100,000 for semi-urban and rural populations were calculated for this period. There was a significantly higher incidence of TB, particularly amongst cases with smear-negative pulmonary TB and extrapulmonary TB, in the semi-urban population compared with the rural population. Possible explanations could be higher HIV seroprevalence rates in semi-urban areas compared with rural areas, under-diagnosis at health centres or poor access to medical facilities for rural people.
Tavory, Iddo; Swidler, Ann
This article examines the widespread resistance to condom use in sub-Saharan Africa by describing the major semiotic axes that organize how people talk about condoms and condom use. These axes include the "sweetness" of sex, trust and love between sexual partners, and assessments of risk and danger. Using data from rural Malawi, we show…
Nagoli, Joseph; Holvoet, Katrien; Remme, Michelle
The fisheries sector contributes significantly to Malawi's national economy and to the livelihoods of the poor as certain activities in the sector have relatively low barriers to entry. Various studies have shown that the fisheries sector suffers from high HIV prevalence in many low-income countries. In Malawi, HIV prevalence as well as the causes and impact of HIV infections among fisherfolk are yet to be assessed. Participatory action research was conducted in Mangochi District, in the southern part of Lake Malawi, between December 2007 and January 2008, to identify critical HIV-risk points along the value-chain for the Lake Sardine or usipa (Engraulicypris sardella) fishery. Data were collected through interviews with key informants and from focus group discussions at the community, institution, district and market levels. An analysis of vulnerability resulted in the formulation of mechanisms to redress HIV and AIDS prevention and mitigation at each point of vulnerability. The findings show that HIV and AIDS vulnerability in the fishery's market-chain is highest where fish processing and trading influence sexual relationships between fishermen and female fish traders. The period of high usipa catches (December to March) coincides with a period of food shortage and fishing offers income-generating opportunities for many food-insecure households. This increases competition in processing and trading fish, a socio-economic situation that may result in increased instances of transactional sex. The interactions along the usipa fishery's market-chain, from rural to urban settings, also favour the transmission of HIV from areas of high prevalence to areas with otherwise low HIV risk.
Full Text Available Food security has deteriorated for many people in developing regions facing high and volatile food prices. Without effective and equitable responses, the situation is likely to worsen due to diminishing access to land and water, competition from non-food uses of agricultural products, and the effects of climate change and variability. Understanding how this will affect the burden and distribution of major diseases such as HIV is critical. This study makes use of the near-experimental conditions created by the Malawi famine to shed new light on this issue.Multilevel, random intercept models were used to relate the change in HIV prevalence at antenatal surveillance sites over the course of the famine to the proportion of rural households requiring food aid in the surrounding district at the famine's peak. Similar models were used to relate this indicator of rural hunger to changes in the composition of the antenatal population. The extent and direction of migration were estimated from a household survey conducted 1-2 years after the famine.At rural sites, the change in HIV prevalence was positively and non-linearly related to the extent of rural hunger (P = 0.016, consistent with contemporary accounts of increased transactional sex and with hunger compromising immune function. At non-rural sites, prevalence declined as rural hunger increased (P = 0.006, concentrated in women who self-identified as farmers (P = 0.010. This finding is consistent with contemporary accounts of migration in search of food and work from villages where HIV risk was lower to towns and cities where it was higher. Corroborating this interpretation, the proportion of farmers in the antenatal population was found to rise at non-rural sites as rural hunger increased in the surrounding district (P = 0.015 whereas the proportion fell with increasing rural hunger at rural sites (P<0.001. The models suggest migrants were predominantly farming women under 25 years (P = 0.010. The
Zolowere, Davie; Manda, Kumbukani; Panulo, Ben; Muula, Adamson S
Tuberculosis (Tb) is a significant public health problem in Southern Africa, largely as a consequence of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Self-disclosure of diagnosis to others within the patients' social environment may be problematic because the diagnosis of Tb may attract stigma, largely derived from the association of this disease with HIV infection. In Malawi, there are limited reports of the diagnosis disclosure experiences of Tb patients. A qualitative study using in-depth interviews was conducted in Thyolo, a rural southern Malawi district to: (1) explore the relationship of persons to whom Tb patients disclose their diagnoses; and (2) identify the motivations for such disclosures. Thirty-two adult Tb patients participated in the study. Their ages ranged from 22 to 49 years (median 31 years), and 19 were male. The majority of patients reported having disclosed their disease status to close family members, such as spouses, siblings and parents; only a few had disclosed their status to their children. The most common way of disclosure was through personal discussion between the patient and their significant others. Study participants perceived that disclosure brought returns in terms of encouragement and empowerment. Some patients felt stigmatized or feared stigmatization following disclosure of their disease status, and some patients on antiretroviral therapy for HIV felt stigmatized by fellow patients. Patient-to-patient interaction was perceived as a valuable resource in trying to cope with a Tb diagnosis. The findings of this study suggest that Tb patients in southern Malawi were interested in disclosing their Tb diagnosis if they felt they would not be stigmatized or stood to gain as a result of self-disclosure. Disclosure of diagnosis was facilitated by trust, a feeling of safety, and a sense of obligation to others. The perceived stigmatization of patients by other patients is cause for concern. This study calls for the health education of patients, with the
Skinner, Joanna; Underwood, Carol; Schwandt, Hilary; Magombo, Assana
Although some cultural practices have been identified as a determinant of HIV transmission, research investigating how specific practices affect HIV risk is lacking. In Malawi, initiation rites, in which young people attend ceremonies around the time of puberty, have received little attention. In this qualitative study, we explored whether communities in southern Malawi perceive initiation rites to be an HIV risk factor for girls. Twelve focus group discussions were held with adolescents and adults in a rural community of Thyolo district and a peri-urban community of Mangochi district. Community members observed that certain aspects of traditional initiation rites propel girls into sexual roles expected of adulthood, without facilitating their adaption to the emerging landscape of HIV, thereby increasing HIV risk. HIV prevention programming needs to address the role of initiation rites in adolescent girls' vulnerability to HIV and help young girls navigate the conflicting messages they receive from a wide range of channels about expected sexual behavior.
Mkandawire-Valhmu, Lucy; Stevens, Patricia E
This article is based on a critical ethnography about HIV and gender-based issues of power and violence conducted in Malawi in 2008. In all, 72 women living with HIV were recruited from four antiretroviral treatment clinics, three rural and one urban, to participate in 12 focus groups. Informed by a postcolonial feminist perspective, we analyze the process and products of these focus groups to interrogate their capacity to facilitate collective engagement with the social and structural realities confronting women in a resource-limited, highly AIDS-affected country. We present exemplars to show how women together created collective narratives to mobilize individuals to action. Findings indicate that focus groups can be used innovatively to benefit both the research and the participants, not only as a critical method of inquiry with marginalized groups but also as a forum in which validating dialogue, mutual support, and exchange of strategic information can generate transformative change to improve women's lives.
Research on the relationship between migration and HIV infection in sub-Saharan Africa often suggests that migrants are at higher risk of HIV infection because they are more likely to engage in risk behavior than non-migrants, and tend to move to areas with a relatively higher HIV prevalence. While migration may be a risk factor for HIV infection, I instead focus on the possibility that the HIV positive are more likely to migrate. Using a longitudinal dataset of permanent rural residents and ...
Thorsen, Viva Combs
Abstract Title: HIV-related Stigmatization: Experiences from women enrolled in a Mother-to-child of HIV Prevention Program in Malawi Researcher: Viva Combs Thorsen Supervisors: Johanne Sundby, MD, MPH (Professor, University of Oslo) Francis Martinson, MD, PhD (Country Director, UNC Project) Introduction: Despite two decades into the epidemic (first HIV diagnosis in Malawi in 1985) and its pervasiveness in Malawi, stigma insidiously continues to overshadow HIV, resulting in...
Full Text Available In this paper we present a newly-developed interactive elicitation methodology to collect probabilistic expectations in a developing country context with low levels of literacy and numeracy, and we evaluate the feasibility and success of this method for a wide range of outcomes in rural Malawi. We find that respondent's answers about subjective expectations respect basic properties of probabilities, and vary meaningfully with observable characteristics and past experience. From a substantive point of view, the elicited expectations indicate that individuals are generally aware of differential risks. For example, individuals with less income and less land feel rightly at more risk of financial distress than people with higher SES, or people who are divorced or widow feel rightly at more risk of being infected with HIV than currently married individuals. While many expectations---including also the probability of being currently infected with HIV---are well-calibrated compared to actual probabilities, mortality expectations are substantially over-estimated compared to lifetable estimates. This overestimation may lead individuals to underestimate the benefits of adopting HIV risk-reduction strategies. The skewed distribution of expectations about condom use also suggests that a small group of innovators are the forerunners in the adoption of condoms within marriage for HIV prevention.
McCreary, Linda L; Kaponda, Chrissie P N; Kafulafula, Ursula K; Ngalande, Rebecca C; Kumbani, Lily C; Jere, Diana L N; Norr, James L; Norr, Kathleen F
This paper reports the process evaluation of a peer group intervention for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevention which had positive outcomes for three target groups in Malawi: rural adults, adolescents and urban hospital workers. The six-session intervention was delivered to small groups of 10-12 participants by 85 trained volunteer peer leaders working in pairs. A descriptive, observational mixed methods design was used with a convenience sample of 294 intervention sessions. Using project records and a conceptually based observation guide, we examined five aspects of the implementation process. The context was favorable, but privacy to discuss sensitive issues was a concern for some groups. In study communities, program reach was 58% of rural adults, 70% of adolescents and nearly all hospital workers. Session records confirmed that all peer groups received the intended six sessions (dose delivered). The dose received was high, as evidenced by high participant engagement in peer group activities. Peer leaders were rated above the median for three indicators of peer group content and process fidelity: session management skills, interpersonal facilitation skills and whether more like a peer group than classroom. Documenting that this HIV prevention peer group intervention was delivered as intended by trained peer volunteers supports widespread dissemination of the intervention.
Andrew D Pinto
Full Text Available Introduction: The decentralization of HIV services has been shown to improve equity in access to care for the rural poor of sub-Saharan Africa. This study aims to contribute to our understanding of the impact of decentralization on costs borne by patients. Such information is valuable for economic evaluations of anti-retroviral therapy programmes that take a societal perspective. We compared costs reported by patients who received care in an urban centralized programme to those in the same district who received care through rural decentralized care (DC. Methods: A cross-sectional survey on patient characteristics and costs associated with accessing HIV care was conducted, in May 2010, on 120 patients in centralized care (CC at a tertiary referral hospital and 120 patients in DC at five rural health centres in Zomba District, Malawi. Differences in costs borne by each group were compared using χ2 and t-tests, and a regression model was developed to adjust for confounders, using bootstrapping to address skewed cost data. Results: There was no significant difference between the groups with respect to sex and age. However, there were significant differences in socio-economic status, with higher educational attainment (p<0.001, personal income (p=0.007 and household income per person (p=0.005 in CC. Travel times were similar (p=0.65, as was time waiting at the clinic (p=0.63 and total time spent seeking care (p=0.65. There was a significant difference in travel-related expenses (p<0.001 related to the type of travel participants noted that they used. In CC, 60% of participants reported using a mini-bus to reach the clinic; in DC only 4% reported using a mini-bus, and the remainder reported travelling on foot or by bicycle. There were no significant differences between the groups in the amount of lost income reported or other out-of-pocket costs. Approximately 91 Malawi Kwacha (95% confidence intervals: 1–182 MKW or US$0.59 represents the adjusted
Mtibo, Charles; Kennedy, Neil; Umar, Eric
Objective: A commonly cited, but unproven reason given for the rise in reported cases of child sexual abuse in Sub-Saharan Africa is the "HIV cleansing myth"--the belief that an HIV infected individual can be cured by having sex with a child virgin. The purpose of this study was to explore in Malawi the reasons given by convicted sex…
Laufer, M.K.; Oosterhout, J.J. van; Thesing, P.C.; Thumba, F.; Zijlstra, E.E; Graham, S.M.; Taylor, T.E.; Plowe, C.V.
BACKGROUND: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and malaria coexist in much of Africa. Previous studies differ in their findings on the interactions between the 2 infections. METHODS: Adults living with HIV infection in Blantyre, Malawi, were enrolled in a longitudinal observational study f
Laufer, M.K.; Oosterhout, J.J. van; Thesing, P.C.; Thumba, F.; Zijlstra, E.E; Graham, S.M.; Taylor, T.E.; Plowe, C.V.
BACKGROUND: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and malaria coexist in much of Africa. Previous studies differ in their findings on the interactions between the 2 infections. METHODS: Adults living with HIV infection in Blantyre, Malawi, were enrolled in a longitudinal observational study
Laufer, M.K.; Oosterhout, J.J. van; Thesing, P.C.; Thumba, F.; Zijlstra, E.E; Graham, S.M.; Taylor, T.E.; Plowe, C.V.
BACKGROUND: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and malaria coexist in much of Africa. Previous studies differ in their findings on the interactions between the 2 infections. METHODS: Adults living with HIV infection in Blantyre, Malawi, were enrolled in a longitudinal observational study f
This paper examines how men's reproductive bodies are problematised in rural northern Malawi as access to biomedically defined diagnoses of the health of men's sperm contribute to the visibility of male infertility. Ethnographic research with infertile and fertile men explored pathways into the
Ghosh, Jayati; Kalipeni, Ezekiel
Malawi, a very poor country located in southern Africa, is no exception to the growing trend and severity in HIV prevalence. By the end of 2003 there were 900 000 adults and children in Malawi living with HIV/AIDS. Adult prevalence was estimated to be 15%, which is higher than the 7.1% average rate for sub-Saharan Africa. In order to understand the spread of HIV/AIDS it is imperative to address the economic, social, cultural, and political issues that impact on women's contraction and spread of the virus. We do so in this paper by critically examining the gendered context of HIV/AIDS with reference to Malawi. The theoretical framework for this research focuses on poverty, gender relations, regional migration patterns, and global economic changes which place women in highly vulnerable situations. The study was conducted in a low-income area in Lilongwe, the capital city of Malawi. In 2003 and 2004, 60 randomly selected women who lived in a low socioeconomic residential area completed a structured interview on issues concerning individual economic situations, marriage history, fertility, family planning and social networks, gender, sexual partnerships, and HIV/AIDS. Focus group interviews were also conducted with an additional 20 women. The results of our study indicate that the rising epidemic among women in Malawi is firstly driven by poverty which limits their options. Secondly, gender inequality and asymmetrical sexual relations are basic to spreading HIV/AIDS among women. Thirdly, in spite of their awareness through media and health care professionals, women are unable to protect themselves, which further increases their vulnerability.
Mlangeni, Angstone Noel J. Thembachako; Chiotha, Sosten Staphael
A study was conducted to investigate factors that affect students' poor performance in physical science examinations at Malawi School Certificate of Education and Junior Certificate of Education levels in Community day secondary schools (CDSS) in Lilongwe Rural West Education District in Malawi. Students' performance was collected from schools'…
Malawi to explore how gender roles and relations affect the way in which key diseases related to ... Gender analysis provides a useful tool for critically examining ..... Global Poor: Current Situation, Future Trends, and Implications for Strategy.
Jul 18, 2008 ... of U. kirkiana is limited to ranking of priority indigenous fruit trees (Minae .... In Malawi, fuel wood is a necessity and 84% of the urban population use ..... dominant in the hilly mountainous areas, whilst 45% of the respondents ...
Grant, Monica; Lloyd, Cynthia; Mensch, Barbara
The provision of toilets and menstrual supplies appears to be a promising strategy to promote adolescent girls' school attendance and performance in less developed countries. In this article, we use the first round of the Malawi Schooling and Adolescent Survey (MSAS) to examine the individual- and school-level factors associated with…
Kathryn Elizabeth Lancaster
Full Text Available The HIV care continuum among female sex workers (FSW, a key population, has not been well characterized, especially within the generalized epidemics of sub-Saharan Africa. This was the first study to characterize the HIV care continuum among FSW in Lilongwe, Malawi.From July through September 2014, we used venue-based sampling to enroll 200 adult FSW in Lilongwe, Malawi into a cross-sectional evaluation assessing HIV care continuum outcomes. Seropositive FSW, identified using HIV rapid testing, received rapid CD4 counts in addition to viral loads using dried blood spots. We calculated proportions of HIV-infected FSW who had history of care, were on ART, and had suppressed viral load and we used Poisson regression to estimate the associations of demographic characteristics and transmission risk behaviors with each outcome.HIV seroprevalence was 69% (n = 138. Among all FSW the median age was 24 years (IQR: 22-28. Among the 20% who were newly diagnosed and reported previously testing negative, the median time since last HIV test was 11 months (interquartile range: 3-17. The majority (69% of HIV-infected FSW had a history of HIV care, 52% reported current ART use, and 45% were virally suppressed. Of the FSW who reported current ART use, 86% were virally suppressed. Transmission risk behaviors were not associated with continuum outcomes.FSW in Lilongwe were predominately young and have a high HIV prevalence. Only half of HIV-infected FSW reported current ART use, but the majority of those on ART were virally suppressed. To reduce ongoing transmission and improve health outcomes, increased HIV testing, care engagement, and ART coverage is urgently needed among FSW. Universal testing and treatment strategies for all FSW in Malawi must be strongly considered.
Bello, George; Faragher, Brian; Sanudi, Lifah; Namakhoma, Ireen; Banda, Hastings; Malmborg, Rasmus; Thomson, Rachael; Squire, S Bertel
The poor face barriers in accessing services for tuberculosis (TB) and Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV) disease. A cluster randomised trial was conducted to investigate the effectiveness of engaging unpaid informal providers (IPs) to promote access in a rural district. The intervention consisted of training unpaid IPs in TB and HIV disease recognition, sputum specimen collection, appropriate referrals, and raising community awareness. In total, six clusters were defined in the study areas. Through a pair-matched cluster randomization process, three clusters (average cluster population = 200,714) were allocated to receive the intervention in the Early arm. Eleven months later the intervention was rolled out to the remaining three clusters (average cluster population = 209,564)-the Delayed arm. Treatment initiation rates for TB and Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) were the primary outcome measures. Secondary outcome measures included testing rates for TB and HIV. We report the results of the comparisons between the Early and Delayed arms over the 23 month trial period. Data were obtained from patient registers. Poisson regression models with robust standard errors were used to express the effectiveness of the intervention as incidence rate ratios (IRR). The Early and Delayed clusters were well matched in terms of baseline monthly mean counts and incidence rate ratios for TB and ART treatment initiation. However there were fewer testing and treatment initiation facilities in the Early clusters (TB treatment n = 2, TB testing n = 7, ART initiation n = 3, HIV testing n = 20) than in the Delayed clusters (TB treatment n = 4, TB testing n = 9, ART initiation n = 6, HIV testing n = 18). Overall there were more HIV testing and treatment centres than TB testing and treatment centres. The IRR was 1.18 (95% CI: 0.903-1.533; p = 0.112) for TB treatment initiation and 1.347 (CI:1.00-1.694; p = 0.049) for ART initiation in the first 12 months and the IRR were 0.552 (95% CI:0
Underwood, Carol; Skinner, Joanna; Osman, Nadia; Schwandt, Hilary
In sub-Saharan Africa, adolescent girls are three to four times more likely than adolescent boys to be living with HIV/AIDS. A literature review revealed only four studies that had examined HIV vulnerability from the perspective of community members. None of the studies focused specifically on adolescent girls. To fill this gap, in 2008 12 focus group discussions were held in selected peri-urban and rural sites in Botswana, 12 in Malawi, and 11 in Mozambique to identify factors that render girls vulnerable to HIV infection from the community members' perspective. The preponderance of comments identified structural factors--insufficient economic, educational, socio-cultural, and legal support for adolescent girls--as the root causes of girls' vulnerability to HIV through exposure to unprotected sexual relationships, primarily relationships that are transactional and age-disparate. Community members explicitly called for policies and interventions to strengthen cultural, economic, educational, and legal structures to protect girls, recognized community members' responsibility to take action, and requested programs to enhance adult-child communication, thus revealing an understanding that girls' vulnerability is multi-level and multi-faceted, so must be addressed through a comprehensive approach to HIV prevention.
Simtowe, Franklin; Kassie, Menale; Asfaw, Solomon; Shiferaw, Bekele A.; Monyo, Emmanuel; Siambi, Moses
This paper applies a program evaluation technique to assess the causal effect of the adoption of improved groundnut technologies on consumption expenditure and poverty measured by headcount, poverty gap and poverty severity indices. The paper is based on a cross-sectional farm household level data collected in 2008 from a sample of 594 households in rural Malawi. A sensitivity analysis is conducted to test the robustness of the propensity score based results using the rbounds test and the mea...
The paper investigates two issues regarding household expenditure on primary education of own children using the Second Malawi Integrated Household Survey(IHS2) data. Firstly, we look at factors which infuence a household's decision to spend or not (the participation decision), and by how much (the expenditure decision). This is done for urban and rural households. We �find that there are differences in the factors which influence both decision levels for the two groups of households. Secondl...
Full Text Available Abstract Background Malawi is reassessing its HIV prevention strategy in the light of a limited reduction in the epidemic. No community based incidence studies have been carried out in Malawi, so estimates of where new infections are occurring require the use of mathematical models and knowledge of the size and sexual behaviour of different groups. The results can help to choose where HIV prevention interventions are most needed. Methods The UNAIDS Mode of Transmission model was populated with Malawi data and estimates of incident cases calculated for each exposure group. Scenarios of single and multiple interventions of varying success were used to identify those interventions most likely to reduce incident cases. Results The groups accounting for most new infections were the low-risk heterosexual group - the discordant couples (37% and those who had casual sex and their partners (a further 16% and 27% respectively of new cases. Circumcision, condoms with casual sex and bar girls and improved STI treatment had limited effect in reducing incident cases, while condom use with discordant couples, abstinence and a zero-grazing campaign had major effects. The combination of a successful strategy to eliminate multiple concurrent partners and a successful strategy to eliminate all infections between discordant couples would reduce incident cases by 99%. Conclusions A revitalised HIV prevention strategy will need to include interventions which tackle the two modes of transmission now found to be so important in Malawi - concurrency and discordancy.
Rodas-Moya, Santiago; Kodish, Stephen; Manary, Mark; Grede, Nils; de Pee, Saskia
To elucidate the factors influencing food intake and preferences for potential nutritional supplements to treat mild and moderate malnutrition among adult people living with HIV (PLHIV). Qualitative research using in-depth interviews with a triangulation of participants and an iterative approach to data collection. The study was conducted in a health clinic of rural Chilomoni, a southern town of Blantyre district, Malawi. Male and female participants, aged 18-49 years (n 24), affected by HIV; health surveillance assistants of Chilomoni clinic (n 8). Six themes emerged from the in-depth interviews: (i) PLHIV perceived having a poor-quality diet; (ii) health challenges determine the preferences of PLHIV for food; (iii) liquid-thick, soft textures and subtle natural colours and flavours are preferred; (iv) preferred organoleptic characteristics of nutritional supplements resemble those of local foods; (v) food insecurity may contribute to intra-household sharing of nutritional supplements; and (vi) health surveillance assistants and family members influence PLHIV's dietary behaviours. No differences by sex were found. The emergent themes were corroborated by health surveillance assistants through participant triangulation. In this setting, a thickened liquid supplement, slightly sweet and sour, may be well accepted. A combination of quantitative and qualitative methods for data collection should follow to further develop the nutritional supplement and to fine tune the organoleptic characteristics of the product to the taste and requirements of PLHIV. Results of the present study provide a first approach to elucidate the factors influencing food intake and preferences for potential nutritional supplements among adult PLHIV.
Malawi has for a long time relied on agriculture for the generation of foreign exchange. Due to varied reasons like climate change, the Malawi government has, therefore, identified tourism as one way of boosting foreign exchange earnings and is already in the process of developing the sector especially in the area of ecotourism. However, tourism is associated with increasing prostitution, drug abuse and a whole range of other sexual and reproductive health (SRH) problems such as teenage pregnancies, HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). This paper examines the knowledge, attitudes, practices and behaviour as well as risk perceptions associated with HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies among staff in the tourism industry and communities around tourist facilities in Malawi. The study was descriptive in nature and used both qualitative and quantitative research methods. The qualitative methods involved in-depth interviews and focus group discussions. The quantitative technique employed a survey of 205 purposively selected subjects from the tourism sector. The study concludes that people in the tourism sector are at high risk of HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies and should be considered as a vulnerable group. The study further observes that this group of people has not adopted behaviours that can protect them from HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies although there is high demand for voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) which offers a very good entry point for HIV prevention and treatment in the tourism sector. The study recommends that a comprehensive tourism policy covering tourists, employees and communities around tourist facilities is required. Such a policy should address the rights of HIV infected employees and the provision of prevention and treatment services for HIV/AIDS and STIs as well as a broad range of SRH and family planning services especially
Full Text Available Despite the centrality of religion and fertility to life in rural Africa, the relationship between the two remains poorly understood. The study presented here uses unique integrated individual- and congregational-level data from rural Malawi to examine religious influences on contraceptive use. In this religiously diverse population, we find evidence that the particular characteristics of a congregation-leader's positive attitudes toward family planning and discussion of sexual morality, which do not fall along broad denominational lines-are more relevant than denominational categories for predicting women's contraceptive use. We further find evidence for a relationship between religious socialization and contraceptive behavior.
Yeatman, Sara E; Trinitapoli, Jenny
Despite the centrality of religion and fertility to life in rural Africa, the relationship between the two remains poorly understood. The study presented here uses unique integrated individual and congregational level data from rural Malawi to examine religious influences on contraceptive use. In this religiously diverse population, we find evidence that the particular characteristics of a congregation-leader's positive attitudes toward family planning and discussion of sexual morality, which do not fall along broad denominational lines-are more relevant than denominational categories for predicting women's contraceptive use. We further find evidence for a relationship between religious socialization and contraceptive behavior.
De Paula, A.; Shapira, G.; Todd, P. E.
This paper examines how beliefs about own HIV status affect decisions to engage in risky sexual behavior, as measured by having extramarital sex and/or multiple sex partners. The empirical analysis is based on a panel survey of males from the 2006 and 2008 rounds of the Malawi Diffusion and Ideational Change Project (MDICP). The paper develops a behavioral model of the belief-risky behavior relationship and estimates the causal effect of beliefs on risky behavior using the Arellano and Carras...
Full Text Available Identification, propagation, and introduction of a nutritionally rich, indigenous plant species in the existing cropping system are presented in this paper as a method of rural nutrition intervention. A case study of Moringa (Moringa oleifera Lam., Moringaceae, which is a common tree in Malawi and one of the richest sources of vitamin A and vitamin C compared to the commonly consumed vegetables is presented to address the problem of vitamin A deficiency. After a brief review of the prevalence of vitamin A deficiency and the efforts to reduce its incidence in Malawi, Moringa is suggested as a potential solution to the problem. A framework for designing nutrition intervention with Moringa is described for actual implementation. It is argued that attempts to identify, document, and encourage the utilization of nutrient-rich indigenous plants could be cost-effective, and a sustainable method of improving the nutritional status of local populations.
Mkandawire-Valhmu, Lucy; Wendland, Claire; Stevens, Patricia E; Kako, Peninnah M; Dressel, Anne; Kibicho, Jennifer
The gender inequalities that characterise intimate partner relationships in Malawi, a country with one of the highest HIV prevalence rates in the world, arguably place marriage as an important risk factor for HIV infection among women, yet few studies detail the complex interactions of marriage and risk. In order to develop HIV-prevention interventions that have lasting impacts in such communities, we need a deeper understanding of the intricacies of women's lives, how and why they are involved in marital relationships, and the implications of these relationships for HIV transmission or prevention. This article describes how women understand marriage's effects on their lives and their HIV risks. Drawing from focus group discussions with 72 women attending antiretroviral clinics in Malawi, we explore why women enter marriage, what women's experiences are within marriage and how they leave spouses for other relationships. Based on their narratives, we describe women's lives after separation, abandonment or widowhood, and report their reflections on marriage after being married two or three times. We then review women's narratives in light of published work on HIV, and provide recommendations that would minimise the risks of HIV attendant on marriage.
Fedor, Theresa M; Kohler, Hans-Peter; McMahon, James M
Female empowerment and positive attitudes towards women's rights in sexual relationships have been found to be key elements of successful behaviour-based HIV prevention programmes. However, HIV prevention programmes that do not specifically engage with gender issues may also affect attitudes and beliefs towards women's rights within sexual relationships. Using data from the Malawi Longitudinal Study of Families and Health we compare measures of female empowerment and changing gender norms between intervention participants and non-participants. Results suggest that female intervention participants were more likely than non-participants to believe that: (1) women have more rights within sexual relationships in general and (2) women have the right to protect themselves against HIV risk (indicating possible increases in female self-efficacy in making HIV prevention decisions). Male intervention participants showed no substantial positive change in attitudes towards women's rights. These results highlight an important positive effect of HIV prevention programmes on women's attitudes towards their own rights.
Chazema, Jacqueline; O'Meara, James
The establishment of formal teacher training systems is a relatively new innovation in some parts of Africa. Formal training of secondary teachers in Malawi commenced when the government of Malawi opened the University of Malawi in 1965. The contribution of Malawi's ruling parties to the development of teacher education in Malawi since then is an…
Chazema, Jacqueline; O'Meara, James
The establishment of formal teacher training systems is a relatively new innovation in some parts of Africa. Formal training of secondary teachers in Malawi commenced when the government of Malawi opened the University of Malawi in 1965. The contribution of Malawi's ruling parties to the development of teacher education in Malawi since then is an…
In this feature, guest writer Kondwani Wella presents an overview of his PhD - a study which investigated the information experience of serodiscordant couples with HIV and AIDS in Malawi. In particular, for this article, he considers the information behaviour of people who need HIV- and AIDS-specific information and the role of the librarian in helping to deliver what is needed to support engagement in relevant learning. H.S. © 2014 The authors. Health Information and Libraries Journal © 2014 Health Libraries Journal.
A growing body of literature has examined the impact of different types of family structures on children's schooling in sub-Saharan Africa. These studies have investigated how living arrangements, gender of the household head, parental death, and paternal migration are related to schooling. Although many sub-Saharan African countries have high divorce rates, very few studies have explored the impact of parental divorce on children's schooling. The present study uses three waves of data from the Malawi Longitudinal Study of Families and Health (MLSFH) to investigate the effect of parental divorce on children's schooling and the possible mechanisms driving this relationship. Unlike prior studies, this study uses child-level fixed-effects models to control for selection into divorce. Results show that parental divorce is associated with lower grade attainment and a larger schooling gap, defined as the number of years a child is behind in school (among children currently attending school). Although no association exists between parental divorce and current school attendance, girls affected by divorce are significantly less likely to be attending school. Differences in economic resources, maternal coresidence, or maternal psychological well-being do not explain the relationship between parental divorce and children's schooling.
Flax, Valerie L; Ashorn, Ulla; Phuka, John; Maleta, Kenneth; Manary, Mark J; Ashorn, Per
Fortified spread (FS), containing dry food particles embedded in edible fat, offers a convenient means for nutrition rehabilitation. To describe how caregivers feed FS to their undernourished children at home, and how FS use affects other feeding patterns, we conducted a longitudinal observational study in rural Malawi. Sixteen 6- to 17-month-old underweight children (weight-for-age z-score foods and does not take extra caregiver time. To limit wastage, caregivers should be advised to serve FS plain or to mix it with only a small quantity of porridge.
Kanyerere, Henry; Harries, Anthony D; Tayler-Smith, Katie; Jahn, Andreas; Zachariah, Rony; Chimbwandira, Frank M; Mpunga, James
Since 1985, Malawi has experienced a dual epidemic of HIV and tuberculosis (TB) which has been moderated recently by the advent of antiretroviral therapy (ART). The aim of this study was to describe the association over several decades between HIV/AIDS, the scale-up of ART and TB case notifications. Aggregate data were extracted from annual reports of the National TB Control Programme, the Ministry of Health HIV Department and the National Statistics Office. ART coverage was calculated using the total HIV population as denominator (derived from UNAIDS Spectrum software). In 1970, there were no HIV-infected persons but numbers had increased to a maximum of 1.18 million by 2014. HIV prevalence reached a maximum of 10.8% in 2000, thereafter decreasing to 7.5% by 2014. Numbers alive on ART increased from 2586 in 2003 to 536 527 (coverage 45.3%) by 2014. In 1985, there were 5286 TB cases which reached a maximum of 28 234 in 2003 and then decreased to 17 723 by 2014 (37% decline from 2003). There were increases in all types of new TB between 1998-2003 which then declined by 30% for extrapulmonary TB, by 37% for new smear-positive PTB and by 50% for smear-negative PTB. Previously treated TB cases reached a maximum of 3443 in 2003 and then declined by 42% by 2014. The rise and fall of TB in Malawi between 1985 and 2014 was strongly associated with HIV infection and ART scale-up; this has implications for ending the TB epidemic in high HIV-TB burden countries. © 2015 The Authors. Tropical Medicine & International Health Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Yeatman, Sara; Dovel, Kathryn; Conroy, Amy; Namadingo, Hazel
This study measures HIV treatment optimism and its predictors in a representative sample of young adults in southern Malawi. In 2010, 1275 women and 470 men between the ages of 16 and 26 were asked about their exposure to people on antiretroviral therapy (ART), sexual risk behavior, HIV status, and beliefs about ART. We used confirmatory factor analysis to develop a 4-item scale of the belief that HIV is a less serious health threat due to ART (reduced-severity optimism) and used a single measure to capture belief in the reduced infectivity of HIV due to ART (reduced-susceptibility optimism). Overall, respondents reported low levels of HIV treatment optimism. Being female and using ART were the largest predictors of both types of treatment optimism. We found a nonlinear relationship between exposure to people on ART and reduced-severity optimism. People who knew someone on ART but did not discuss it with them had lower levels of reduced-severity optimism than people who did not know anyone on ART and people who regularly discussed treatment with someone on ART. In multivariate regression models, HIV treatment optimism was positively associated with all measures of sexual risk behavior among men, but negatively associated with unprotected sex with a nonprimary partner among women. Our findings suggest that the spread of ART in Malawi has not led to widespread HIV treatment optimism. This may reflect the relatively recent spread of ART, the generalized nature of the HIV epidemic, or the fact that access to ART is complicated by structural limitations that delay treatment and limited availability of second-line medicines.
Gay, Cynthia L.; Mwapasa, Victor; Murdoch, David M.; Kwiek, Jesse J.; Fiscus, Susan A.; Meshnick, Steven R.; Cohen, Myron S.
Introduction There are limited data on acute HIV infection (AHI) prevalence during pregnancy. Methods Malawian pregnant women admitted in the third trimester and meeting eligibility criteria underwent dual HIV rapid antibody testing. AHI prevalence was retrospectively detected through HIV RNA pooling of seronegative plasma. Results Among 3825 pregnant women screened, dual HIV rapid testing indicated that 30.2% were HIV positive, 69.7% were HIV negative and 0.1% were indeterminate. Sensitivity and specificity of dual rapid testing was 99.0% and 98.7%, respectively. Of 2666 seronegative specimens, 2327 had samples available for HIV RNA pooling; 5 women (0.21%) (95% CI: 0.03, 0.40%) had AHI with a median peripartum viral load of 1,324,766 copies/mL. Discussion Pregnant women are at risk for AHI, warranting counseling of all women and their sexual partners about incident HIV during pregnancy. Dual HIV rapid tests have high sensitivity and specificity. HIV testing should be repeated in the third trimester and/or at delivery. PMID:20226326
Gombachika, Belinda Chimphamba; Sundby, Johanne; Chirwa, Ellen; Malata, Address
The advent of antiretroviral therapy (ART) has allowed couples living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) to live longer and healthier lives. The reduction in the mother-to-child transmission of HIV has encouraged some people living with HIV (PLWH) to have children. However, little is known about the parenting experiences of couples living with HIV (CLWH). The aim of this qualitative study was to explore and describe parenting experiences of seroconcordant couples who have a child while living with HIV in Malawi. Data were collected using in-depth interviews with 14 couples purposively sampled in matrilineal Chiradzulu and patrilineal Chikhwawa communities from July to December 2010. The research findings shows that irrespective of kinship organization, economic hardships, food insecurity, gender-specific role expectations and conflicting information from health institutions and media about sources of support underpin their parenting roles. In addition, male spouses are directly involved in household activities, childcare and child feeding decisions, challenging the existing stereotyped gender norms. In the absence of widow inheritance, widows from patrilineal communities are not receiving the expected support from the deceased husband relatives. Finally, the study has shown that CLWH are able to find solutions for the challenges they encounter. Contrary to existing belief that such who have children depend solely on public aid. Such claims without proper knowledge of local social cultural contexts, may contribute to stigmatizing CLWH who continue to have children. The study is also relevant to PLWH who, although not parents themselves, are confronted with a situation where they have to accept responsibility for raising children from their kin. We suggest the longer-term vision for ART wide access in Malawi to be broadened beyond provision of ART to incorporate social and economic interventions that support the rebuilding of CLWH social and economic lives. The
Andrea L Wirtz
Full Text Available Introduction: There are limited data characterizing the burden of HIV among men who have sex with men (MSM in Malawi. Epidemiologic research and access to HIV prevention, treatment and care services have been traditionally limited in Malawi by criminalization and stigmatization of same-sex practices. To inform the development of a comprehensive HIV prevention intervention for Malawian MSM, we conducted a community-led assessment of HIV prevalence and correlates of infection. Methods: From April 2011 to March 2012, 338 MSM were enrolled in a cross-sectional study in Blantyre, Malawi. Participants were recruited by respondent-driven sampling methods (RDS, reaching 19 waves. Trained staff administered the socio-behavioural survey and HIV and syphilis voluntary counselling and testing. Results: Crude HIV and syphilis prevalence estimates were 15.4% (RDS-weighted 12.5%, 95% confidence interval (CI: 7.3–17.8 and 5.3% (RDS-weighted 4.4%, 95% CI: 3.1–7.6, respectively. Ninety per cent (90.4%, unweighted of HIV infections were reported as being previously undiagnosed. Participants were predominantly gay-identified (60.8% or bisexually identified (36.3%; 50.7% reported recent concurrent relationships. Approximately half reported consistent condom use (always or almost always with casual male partners, and proportions were relatively uniform across partner types and genders. The prevalence of perceived and experienced stigma exceeded 20% for almost all variables, 11.4% ever experienced physical violence and 7% were ever raped. Current age >25 years (RDS-weighted adjusted odds ratio (AOR 3.9, 95% CI: 1.2–12.7, single marital status (RDS-weighted AOR: 0.3; 95% CI: 0.1–0.8 and age of first sex with a man <16 years (RDS-weighted AOR: 4.3, 95% CI: 1.2–15.0 were independently associated with HIV infection. Conclusions: Results demonstrate that MSM represent an underserved, at-risk population for HIV services in Malawi and merit comprehensive HIV
Mwapasa, Victor; Joseph, Jessica; Tchereni, Timothy; Jousset, Aurelie; Gunda, Andrews
Poor retention of mothers and HIV-exposed infants (HEIs) in HIV care threatens efforts to eliminate pediatric HIV. Novel strategies are required to address this challenge. We compared 12-month maternal and HEI postpartum retention in health facilities implementing the following HIV care delivery models: integrated HIV and maternal, neonatal, and child health services [mother-infant pair (MIP) clinics], MIP clinics plus short-text messaging service (SMS) reminders to prevent default (MIP + SMS), and standard of care (SOC). From May 2013 to August 2016, a cluster randomized trial was conducted in rural Malawi, which randomized 30 health facilities to the 3 service delivery models. HIV+ pregnant women and HEIs were enrolled and followed up to monitor compliance with prescheduled visits and retention. Log binomial regression, using generalized estimated equation, was used to assess the impact of the models on retention. The trial enrolled 461, 493, and 396 HIV+ pregnant women and 386, 399, and 300 HEIs into the MIP, MIP + SMS, and SOC arms, respectively. Compared with the 12-month maternal retention rate in the SOC arm (22.2%), the rates were similar in the MIP arm [19.3%, risk ratio (RR): 0.85, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.56 to 1.30] and in the MIP + SMS arm (24.9%, RR: 1.08, 95% CI: 0.87 to 1.35). Compared with the 12-month infant retention rate in the SOC arm (9.8%), the rates were similar in the MIP arm (8.0%, RR: 0.89, 95% CI: 0.31 to 2.58) and in the MIP + SMS arm (19.5%, RR: 1.40, 95% CI: 0.85 to 2.31). MIP and MIP + SMS service delivery models were ineffective in improving maternal and infant retention in rural Malawi.
Grant, Monica J
Despite its relative infrequency, pregnancy is perceived by parents in rural Malawi as a leading cause of school dropout among female students. This paper explores parents' beliefs about adolescent sexual activity and schoolgirl pregnancy and how these perceptions frame parents' aspirations and expectations about girls' schooling. In-depth interviews were collected in rural Malawi from 60 adults aged 25-50 who were the parent of at least one school-aged child. Four themes emerged from the data: how expectations about sexual activity frame parental expectations about schooling duration and dropout, the loss of parental control, the negative influence of classmates and schools as unsafe environments. These concerns frame how parents consider a daughter's schooling prospects and are active even for parents whose daughters are not sexually active or who are not yet old enough to have gone through puberty. Although all parents aspire for their children to attend secondary school, these perceptions of daughters' relative risk weaken parents' motivation to encourage daughters to remain in school.
Taniguchi, Kyoko; Hirakawa, Yukiko
School management in many sub-Saharan African countries has been enhanced through community participation in an attempt to improve education quality. This study uses field research in a rural district of Malawi to assess how community and parent participation differs between schools, the intentions of communities and parents when carrying out…
Khasu, Denis S.; Williams, Thomas O., Jr.
In this brief article, the reliability of scores for the Draw-A-Person Intellectual Ability Test for Children, Adolescents, and Adults (DAP: IQ; Reynolds & Hickman, 2004) was examined through several analyses with a sample of 147 children from rural Malawi, Africa using a Chichewa translation of instructions. Cronbach alpha coefficients for…
Peterson, Kristin; Folayan, Morenike Oluwatoyin; Chigwedere, Edward; Nthete, Evaristo
Between 2004 and 2005, the first multi-sited clinical trial tested whether an existing, marketed antiretroviral drug, Tenofovir (TDF), could prevent HIV transmission. Referred to as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), most of these trial sites prematurely closed down. Two sites located in Cambodia and Cameroon received international media attention. But little attention was drawn to sites in Malawi and Nigeria, where university ethicists and research scientists extensively debated PrEP. This article focuses on events that took place in Malawi where there was a prolonged dispute over the scientific rationales of PrEP and not trial specific ethics referred to as 'bioethics'. Specifically, the article discusses debates pertaining to three PrEP trial protocols that were refused ethics approval in Malawi between 2004 and 2009. It is argued that HIV science debates in Malawi are embedded in postcolonial politics--geopolitical histories and state and household economic dispossessions that have created the structural possibilities for Malawi to become an offshore destination for HIV clinical research. As such, ethics in this case does not pertain to trial or bioethical 'failures'. Rather, ethics is located at the scale of imperial relations that give rise to multiple, often invisible, research concerns and constraints.
Smith, Emily R; Hudgens, Michael; Sheahan, Anna D; Miller, William C; Wheeler, Stephanie; Nelson, Julie A E; Dube, Queen; Van Rie, Annelies
Introduction Rapid HIV serological tests are a cost-effective, point-of-care test among HIV exposed infants but cannot distinguish between maternal and infant antibodies. The lack of data on the timing of decay of maternal antibodies in young infants hinders the potential use of rapid tests in exposed infants. We aimed to determine the time to seroreversion for two commonly used rapid tests in a prospective cohort of HIV-exposed breastfeeding infants ages 3-18 months of life. Methods We collected data on the performance of two commonly used rapid tests (Determine and Unigold) in Malawi between 2008 and 2012 or at the University of North Carolina between 2014 and 2015. Time to seroreversion was estimated for both rapid tests using the Kaplan-Meier product limit estimator which allows for interval censored data. Results At 3 months of age, 3 % of infants had seroreverted according to Determine and 7 % had seroreverted according to Unigold. About one in four infants had achieved seroreversion by 4 months using Unigold, but only about one in twelve infants by 4 months when using Determine. More than 95 % of all infants had seroverted by 7 months according to Unigold and by 12 months according to the Determine assay. Discussion We show that the time of seroreversion depends greatly on the type of test used. Our results highlight the need for recommendations to specify the timing and type of test used in the context of infant HIV detection in resource-poor settings, and base the interpretation of test result on knowledge of time to seroreversion of the selected test.
Bwirire, L D; Fitzgerald, M; Zachariah, R; Chikafa, V; Massaquoi, M; Moens, M; Kamoto, K; Schouten, E J
This study was conducted to identify reasons for a high and progressive loss to follow-up among HIV-positive mothers within a prevention-of-mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT) program in a rural district hospital in Malawi. Three focus group discussions were conducted among a total of 25 antenatal and post-natal mothers as well as nurse midwives (median age 39 years, range 22-55 years). The main reasons for loss to follow-up included: (1) not being prepared for HIV testing and its implications before the antenatal clinic (ANC) visit; (2) fear of stigma, discrimination, household conflict and even divorce on disclosure of HIV status; (3) lack of support from husbands who do not want to undergo HIV testing; (4) the feeling that one is obliged to rely on artificial feeding, which is associated with social and cultural taboos; (5) long waiting times at the ANC; and (6) inability to afford transport costs related to the long distances to the hospital. This study reveals a number of community- and provider-related operational and cultural barriers hindering the overall acceptability of PMTCT that need to be addressed urgently. Mothers attending antenatal services need to be better informed and supported, at both community and health-provider level.
Full Text Available Background: Epilepsy is a disability as defined in the 2012 Disability Act of the Government of Malawi.Objectives: This article explores the health-seeking behaviour of people with epilepsy in a rural town in southern Malawi and how having a person with epilepsy impacts on the households’ productivity.Method: A snowball approach was used to identify persons with various forms of disabilities. The article is based on a bigger study carried out in Malawi which explored how persons with disabilities seek health care. In this bigger study, a total of 63 interviews were done with persons with disabilities or their guardians. Eight of the 63 interviews were with persons with epilepsy and this article is based on these interviews.Results: The study found that persons with epilepsy seek both traditional and modern medicines to treat the condition. Informants mentioned that barriers to accessing western treatment include lack of medicines, congestion at health facilities, lack of knowledge about epilepsy, misdiagnosis by health workers and the belief that epilepsy caused by witchcraft cannot be treated by western medicine. The study also highlights the wider impacts of epilepsy on the household such as the failure of children to attend school, children dropping out of school, stigma and discrimination and households being driven deeper into poverty as a result of seeking care for members with epilepsy.Conclusion: The existing barriers to accessing treatment for epilepsy can be addressed by using a combination of public education, simple treatments and regular reviews. Ensuring constant availability of drugs for the treatment of epilepsy is key to effective treatment of the condition. This would contribute to closing the treatment gap for epilepsy as advocated by the Global Campaign against Epilepsy.
Judith R. Glynn
Full Text Available Background: Verbal autopsy could be more widely used if interpretation by computer algorithm could be relied on. We assessed how InterVA-4 results compared with clinician review in diagnosing HIV/AIDS-related deaths over the period of antiretroviral (ART roll-out. Design: In the Karonga Prevention Study demographic surveillance site in northern Malawi, all deaths are followed by verbal autopsy using a semi-structured questionnaire. Cause of death is assigned by two clinicians with a third as a tie-breaker. The clinician review diagnosis was compared with the InterVA diagnosis using the same questionnaire data, including all adult deaths from late 2002 to 2012. For both methods data on HIV status were used. ART was first available in the district from 2005, and within the demographic surveillance area from 2006. Results: There were 1,637 adult deaths, with verbal autopsy data for 1,615. Adult mortality and the proportion of deaths attributable to HIV/AIDS fell dramatically following ART introduction, but for each year the proportion attributed to HIV/AIDS by InterVA was lower than that attributed by clinician review. This was partly explained by the handling of TB cases. Using clinician review as the best available ‘gold standard’, for those aged 15–59, the sensitivity of InterVA for HIV/AIDS deaths was 59% and specificity 88%. Grouping HIV/AIDS/TB sensitivity was 78% and specificity 83%. Sensitivity was lower after widespread ART use. Conclusions: InterVA underestimates the proportion of deaths due to HIV/AIDS. Accepting that it is unrealistic to try and differentiate TB and AIDS deaths would improve the estimates. Caution is needed in interpreting trends in causes of death as ART use may affect the performance of the algorithm.
Liotta, Giuseppe; Chimbwandira, Frank; Wouters, Kristien; Nielsen-Saines, Karin; Jere, Haswell; Mancinelli, Sandro; Ceffa, Susanna; Erba, Fulvio; Palombi, Leonardo; Marazzi, Maria Cristina
Combination antiretroviral therapy has been shown to reduce HIV transmission and incident infections. In recent years, Malawi has significantly increased the number of individuals on combination antiretroviral drugs through more inclusive treatment policies. Using a retrospective observational cohort design, records with HIV test results were reviewed for pregnant women attending a referral hospital in Malawi over a 5-year period, with viral load measurements recorded. HIV prevalence over time was determined, and results correlated with population viral load. A total of 11 052 women were included in this analysis, with 440 (4.1%) HIV infections identified. HIV prevalence rates in pregnant women in Malawi halved from 6.4% to 3.0% over 5 years. Mean viral loads of adult patients decreased from 120 000 copies/mL to less than 20 000 copies/mL. Results suggest that community viral load has an effect on HIV incidence rates in the population, which in turn correlates with reduced HIV prevalence rates in pregnant women.
Rock, Amelia; Barrington, Clare; Abdoulayi, Sara; Tsoka, Maxton; Mvula, Peter; Handa, Sudhanshu
Extensive research documents that social network characteristics affect health, but knowledge of peer networks of youth in Malawi and sub-Saharan Africa is limited. We examine the networks and social participation of youth living in extreme poverty in rural Malawi, using in-depth interviews with 32 youth and caregivers. We describe youth's peer networks and assess how gender and the context of extreme poverty influence their networks and participation, and how their networks influence health. In-school youth had larger, more interactive, and more supportive networks than out-of-school youth, and girls described less social participation and more isolation than boys. Youth exchanged social support and influence within their networks that helped cope with poverty-induced stress and sadness, and encouraged protective sexual health practices. However, poverty hampered their involvement in school, religious schools, and community organizations, directly by denying them required material means, and indirectly by reducing time and emotional resources and creating shame and stigma. Poverty alleviation policy holds promise for improving youth's social wellbeing and mental and physical health by increasing their opportunities to form networks, receive social support, and experience positive influence.
Full Text Available Background: Infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV has changed from an acute to a chronic illness in the past decade, because of highly active antiretroviral therapy (ART. Malawi’s response to the HIV challenge included provision of ART for people living with HIV or AIDS (PLWHA, which significantly reduced HIV- and AIDS-related mortality. In addition, palliative care for PLWHA was introduced as a strategy that improves the success of ART.Objective: The purpose of the study was to explore the needs of PLWHA concerning care received from primary caregivers and palliative care nurses in Malawi.Methods: A qualitative, explorative design was used and 18 participants were selected purposefully and interviewed individually using a semi-structured interview guide. Data were analysed using NVivo software package version 10.Results: Results revealed that PLWHA needed physical care from the primary caregivers due to severity of illness, integration of healthcare services, and continuity of care and proper care from nurses. They also needed knowledge from nurses in several areas which affected decision-making and needed financial and nutritional support.Conclusion: More could be done in meeting needs of PLWHA to improve their health and survival and assist them to achieve a better quality of life.Keywords: people living with HIV/AIDS, palliative care, palliative care nurse, primary caregiver, support
Grant, Monica J; Soler-Hampejsek, Erica
Little is known about whether the timing of marriage is used as a strategy to avoid HIV infection among young people in sub-Saharan Africa. Analyzing five rounds of longitudinal data from the Malawi Schooling and Adolescent Survey, we do not find support for the hypothesis that young women's perceived chances of future HIV infection are associated with the transition to marriage, but we do find evidence that young married women who see themselves as at risk of future infection have a greater likelihood of divorcing than do women who perceive no chance of future infection. We also use individual-level fixed-effects regressions to examine how the transition to marriage affects respondents' expectations of future HIV infection. Respondents are consistently more likely to perceive any chance of future HIV infection in the years following marriage than in the years preceding it. Our findings suggest that young women revise their risk perceptions based on their marital experiences and that divorce may serve as a protective strategy for young married women concerned about their chance of future HIV infection.
Kanyerere, H; Girma, B; Mpunga, J; Tayler-Smith, K; Harries, A D; Jahn, A; Chimbwandira, F M
Setting: For 30 years, Malawi has experienced a dual epidemic of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and tuberculosis (TB) that has recently begun to be attenuated by the scale-up of antiretroviral therapy (ART). Objective: To report on the correlation between ART scale-up and annual national TB case notification rates (CNR) in Malawi, stratified by HIV-positive and HIV-negative status, from 2005 to 2015. Design: A retrospective descriptive ecological study using aggregate data from national reports. Results: From 2005 to 2015, ART was scaled up in Malawi from 28 470 to 618 488 total patients, with population coverage increasing from 2.4% to 52.2%. During this time, annual TB notifications declined by 35%, from 26 344 to 17 104, and the TB CNR per 100 000 population declined by 49%, from 206 to 105. HIV testing uptake increased from 51% to 92%. In known HIV-positive TB patients, the CNR decreased from a high of 1247/100 000 to 710/100 000, a 43% decrease. In known HIV-negative TB patients, the CNR also decreased, from a high of 66/100 000 to 49/100 000, a 26% decrease. Conclusion: TB case notifications have continued to decline in association with ART scale-up, with the decline seen more in HIV-positive than HIV-negative TB. These findings have programmatic implications for national TB control efforts.
Full Text Available Abstract Background Severe malnutrition in childhood associated with HIV infection presents a serious humanitarian and public health challenge in Southern Africa. The aim of this study was to collect country wide data on HIV infection patterns in severely malnourished children to guide the development of integrated care in a resource limited setting. Methods A cross sectional survey was conducted in 12 representative rural and urban Nutrition Rehabilitation Units (NRUs, from each of Malawi's 3 regions. All children and their caretakers admitted to each NRU over a two week period were offered HIV counselling and testing. Testing was carried out using two different rapid antibody tests, with PCR testing for discordant results. Children under 15 months were excluded, to avoid difficulties with interpretation of false positive rapid test results. The survey was conducted once in the dry/post-harvest season, and repeated in the rainy/hungry season. Results 570 children were eligible for study inclusion. Acceptability and uptake of HIV testing was high: 523(91.7% of carers consented for their children to take part; 368(70.6% themselves accepted testing. Overall HIV prevalence amongst children tested was 21.6%(95% confidence intervals, 18.2–25.5%. There was wide variation between individual NRUs: 2.0–50.0%. Geographical prevalence variations were significant between the three regions (p HIV prevalence was significantly higher in urban areas, 32.9%(95%CI 26.8–39.4% than in rural 13.2%(95%CI 9.5–17.6%(p NRU HIV prevalence rates were lower in the rainy/hungry season 18.4%(95%CI 14.7–22.7% than in the dry/post-harvest season 30.9%(95%CI 23.2–39.4% (p Conclusion There is a high prevalence of HIV infection in severely malnourished Malawian children attending NRUs with children in urban areas most likely to be infected. Testing for HIV is accepted by their carers in both urban and rural areas. NRUs could act as entry points to HIV treatment and
Phiri, K; Whitty, C J; Graham, S M; Ssembatya-Lule, G
Urbanization may increase the risk of human infection with intestinal helminths. A cross-sectional survey was conducted to investigate the prevalence, intensity and potential risk factors of acquiring such infection, among children aged 3-14 years in similar urban and rural communities in southern Malawi. Stool samples were collected from 553 children (273 urban and 280 rural). The overall prevalence of helminth infection was significantly higher in the urban subjects than in the rural (16.5% v. 3.6%; P urban community was associated with a significantly higher risk of infection [odds ratio (OR) = 5.3; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 2.6-12.1], even after controlling for potential confounding factors. In the urban community, risk factors included having pools of water/sewage around houses (OR = 3.0; CI = 1.4-6.5), not wearing shoes (OR = 7.1; CI = 2.7-19.2), not attending school (OR = 2.8; CI = 1.2-6.5), having mothers with 4-8 years of education (OR = 5.2; CI = 2.0-14.0), and having mothers below 35 years of age (OR = 4.09; CI = 1.39-16.28). In this part of Africa, efforts to reduce helminth infections may best be focused on reducing geohelminth burden in urban areas.
Full Text Available In 2007, the World Health Organization (WHO recommended scaling up voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC in priority countries with high HIV prevalence and low male circumcision (MC prevalence. According to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS, an estimated 5.8 million males had undergone VMMC by the end of 2013. Implementation experience has raised questions about the need to refocus VMMC programs on specific subpopulations for the greatest epidemiological impact and programmatic effectiveness. As Malawi prepared its national operational plan for VMMC, it sought to examine the impacts of focusing on specific subpopulations by age and region.We used the Decision Makers' Program Planning Toolkit, Version 2.0, to study the impact of scaling up VMMC to different target populations of Malawi. National MC prevalence by age group from the 2010 Demographic and Health Survey was scaled according to the MC prevalence for each district and then halved, to adjust for over-reporting of circumcision. In-country stakeholders advised a VMMC unit cost of $100, based on implementation experience. We derived a cost of $451 per patient-year for antiretroviral therapy from costs collected as part of a strategic planning exercise previously conducted in- country by UNAIDS.Over a fifteen-year period, circumcising males ages 10-29 would avert 75% of HIV infections, and circumcising males ages 10-34 would avert 88% of infections, compared to the current strategy of circumcising males ages 15-49. The Ministry of Health's South West and South East health zones had the lowest cost per HIV infection averted. Moreover, VMMC met WHO's definition of cost-effectiveness (that is, the cost per disability-adjusted life-year [DALY] saved was less than three times the per capita gross domestic product in all health zones except Central East. Comparing urban versus rural areas in the country, we found that circumcising men in urban areas would be both cost
Chasela, Charles S.; Kourtis, Athena P.; Wall, Patrick; Drobeniuc, Jan; King, Caroline C.; Thai, Hong; Teshale, Eyasu H.; Hosseinipour, Mina; Ellington, Sascha; Codd, Mary B.; Jamieson, Denise J.; Knight, Rod; Fitzpatrick, Patricia; Kamili, Saleem; Hoffman, Irving; Kayira, Dumbani; Mumba, Noel; Kamwendo, Deborah D.; Martinson, Francis; Powderly, William; Teo, Chong-Gee; van der Horst, Charles
Background & Aims The extent of HBV infection to infants of HBV/HIV-coinfected pregnant women in sub-Saharan Africa is unknown. The aim of this study was to assess prevalence of HBV infection among antiretroviral-naïve, HIV-infected pregnant women in Malawi and examine HBV transmission to their infants. Methods Plasma from 2048 HIV-infected, Malawian women and their infants were tested for markers of HBV infection. Study participants were provided standard-of-care health services, which included administration of pentavalent vaccine to infants at 6, 10, and 14 weeks of age. Results One-hundred and three women (5%) were HBsAg-positive; 70 of these HBsAg-positive women were also HBV-DNA-positive. Sixteen women (0.8%) were HBV-DNA-positive but HBsAg-negative. Five of 51 infants (9.8%) born to HBsAg-positive and/or HBV-DNA-positive women were HBV-DNA-positive by 48 weeks of age. HBV DNA concentrations of two infants of mothers who received extended lamivudine-containing anti-HIV prophylaxis were Elsevier B.V. on behalf of the European Association for the Study of the Liver. PMID:24211737
Full Text Available Introduction: Clinical reports of multicentric Castleman disease (MCD from sub-Saharan Africa (SSA are scarce despite high prevalence of HIV and Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV. Our objective is to describe characteristics and survival for HIV-associated MCD patients in Malawi. To our knowledge, this is the first HIV-associated MCD case series from the region. Methods: We describe HIV-positive patients with MCD in Lilongwe, and compare them to HIV-associated lymph node Kaposi sarcoma (KS and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL patients treated at our centre. All patients were enrolled into a prospective longitudinal cohort study at a national teaching hospital and cancer referral centre serving half of Malawi's 16 million people. We included adult patients≥18 years of age with HIV-associated MCD (n=6, lymph node KS (n=5 or NHL (n=31 enrolled between 1 June 2013 and 31 January 2015. Results and discussion: MCD patients had a median age of 42.4 years (range 37.2–51.8. All had diffuse lymphadenopathy and five had hepatosplenomegaly. Concurrent KS was present for one MCD patient, and four had performance status ≥3. MCD patients had lower median haemoglobin (6.4 g/dL, range 3.6–9.3 than KS (11.0 g/dL, range 9.1–12.0, p=0.011 or NHL (11.2 g/dL, range 4.5–15.1, p=0.0007. Median serum albumin was also lower for MCD (2.1 g/dL, range 1.7–3.2 than KS (3.7 g/dL, range 3.2–3.9, p=0.013 or NHL (3.4 g/dL, range 1.8–4.8, p=0.003. All six MCD patients were on antiretroviral therapy (ART with median CD4 count 208 cells/µL (range 108–1146, and all with HIV RNA <400 copies/mL. Most KS and NHL patients were also on ART, although ART duration was longer for MCD (56.4 months, range 18.2–105.3 than KS (14.2 months, range 6.8–21.9, p=0.039 or NHL (13.8 months, range 0.2–98.8, p=0.017. Survival was poorer for MCD patients than lymph node KS or NHL. Conclusions: HIV-associated MCD occurs in Malawi, is diagnosed late and is associated with high
The paper assesses the effects of maize yields just prior to birth (in utero), in the first and the second years of life on adult life productivity and efficiency of maize farmers born between 1984 and 1995 in rural Malawi. To ensure that early life maize yields are not confounded by omitted local chacteristics, they are transformed into relative maize yields by using a cumulative gamma distribution. I find that maize yield just prior to birth significantly increases maize output in a farmer'...
Gopal, Satish; Fedoriw, Yuri; Kaimila, Bongani; Montgomery, Nathan D.; Kasonkanji, Edwards; Moses, Agnes; Nyasosela, Richard; Mzumara, Suzgo; Varela, Carlos; Chikasema, Maria; Makwakwa, Victor; Itimu, Salama; Tomoka, Tamiwe; Kamiza, Steve; Dhungel, Bal M.; Chimzimu, Fred; Kampani, Coxcilly; Krysiak, Robert; Richards, Kristy L.; Shea, Thomas C.; Liomba, N. George
There are no prospective studies of aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) treated with CHOP in sub-Saharan Africa. We enrolled adults with aggressive NHL in Malawi between June 2013 and May 2015. Chemotherapy and supportive care were standardized, and HIV+ patients received antiretroviral therapy (ART). Thirty-seven of 58 patients (64%) were HIV+. Median age was 47 years (IQR 39–56), and 35 (60%) were male. Thirty-five patients (60%) had stage III/IV, 43 (74%) B symptoms, and 28 (48%) performance status ≥2. B-cell NHL predominated among HIV+ patients, and all T-cell NHL occurred among HIV- individuals. Thirty-one HIV+ patients (84%) were on ART for a median 9.9 months (IQR 1.1–31.7) before NHL diagnosis, median CD4 was 121 cells/μL (IQR 61–244), and 43% had suppressed HIV RNA. HIV+ patients received a similar number of CHOP cycles compared to HIV- patients, but more frequently developed grade 3/4 neutropenia (84% vs 31%, p = 0.001), resulting in modestly lower cyclophosphamide and doxorubicin doses with longer intervals between cycles. Twelve-month overall survival (OS) was 45% (95% CI 31–57%). T-cell NHL (HR 3.90, p = 0.017), hemoglobin (HR 0.82 per g/dL, p = 0.017), albumin (HR 0.57 per g/dL, p = 0.019), and IPI (HR 2.02 per unit, p<0.001) were associated with mortality. HIV was not associated with mortality, and findings were similar among patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Twenty-three deaths were from NHL (12 HIV+, 11 HIV-), and 12 from CHOP (9 HIV+, 3 HIV-). CHOP can be safe, effective, and feasible for aggressive NHL in Malawi with and without HIV. PMID:26934054
Kaufman, Michelle R; Rimal, Rajiv N; Carrasco, Maria; Fajobi, OlaOluwa; Soko, Anthony; Limaye, Rupali; Mkandawire, Glory
While overall HIV prevalence in Malawi has decreased, it is still high in the southern region of the country. Behavioral prevention activities are crucial to continue the reduction in HIV prevalence. Behavior change is influenced by many factors. Previous work indicates knowledge about HIV transmission, self-efficacy to protect oneself from exposure, and accurate risk perception of one's susceptibility all impact sexual behavior. The current study looks at the effects of a behavior change communication program in Malawi called the BRIDGE II Project on psychosocial and behavioral variables. The program sought to address barriers to individual action and confront societal norms related to sexual risk behavior through a mix of community-based activities and mass media messages delivered through local radio stations. Using cohort data (n = 594), we examined the effect of BRIDGE exposure on three variables that affect HIV behaviors: knowledge, self-efficacy, and risk perception, as well as two behavioral outcomes: HIV testing and condom use at last sex. Data were collected at baseline and for a midterm evaluation. Regression analyses showed exposure to BRIDGE was significantly associated with knowledge level (β = 0.20, p behavioral outcome. However, program exposure was a significant predictor of both HIV testing in the past year (odds ratio [OR] = 1.40, p behaviors themselves, but also critical factors that affect HIV behaviors, including knowledge and self-efficacy. It is recommended that communication efforts around HIV risk reduction be increased.
Lowe, R.; Chadza, T.; Chirombo, J.; Fonda, C.; Muyepa, A.; Nkoloma, M.; Pietrosemoli, E.; Radicella, S. M.; Tompkins, A. M.; Zennaro, M.
It is commonly accepted that climate plays a role in the transmission of many infectious diseases, particularly those transmitted by mosquitoes such as malaria, which is one of the most important causes of mortality and morbidity in developing countries. Due to time lags involved in the climate-disease transmission system, lagged observed climate variables could provide some predictive lead for forecasting disease epidemics. This lead time could be extended by using forecasts of the climate in disease prediction models. This project aims to implement a platform for the dissemination of climate-driven disease risk forecasts, using a telemedicine approach. A pilot project has been established in Malawi, where a 162 km wireless link has been installed, spanning from Blantyre City to remote health facilities in the district of Mangochi in the Southern region, bordering Lake Malawi. This long Wi-Fi technology allows rural health facilities to upload real-time disease cases as they occur to an online health information system (DHIS2); a national medical database repository administered by the Ministry of Health. This technology provides a real-time data logging system for disease incidence monitoring and facilitates the flow of information between local and national levels. This platform allows statistical and dynamical disease prediction models to be rapidly updated with real-time climate and epidemiological information. This permits health authorities to target timely interventions ahead of an imminent increase in malaria incidence. By integrating meteorological and health information systems in a statistical-dynamical prediction model, we show that a long-distance Wi-Fi link is a practical and inexpensive means to enable the rapid analysis of real-time information in order to target disease prevention and control measures and mobilise resources at the local level.
Mazalale, Jacob; Kambala, Christabel; Brenner, Stephan; Chinkhumba, Jobiba; Lohmann, Julia; Mathanga, Don P; Robberstad, Bjarne; Muula, Adamson S; De Allegri, Manuela
To identify factors associated with delivery outside a health facility in rural Malawi. A cross-sectional survey was conducted in Balaka, Dedza, Mchinji and Ntcheu districts in Malawi in 2013 among women who had completed a pregnancy 12 months prior to the day of the survey. Multilevel logistic regression was used to assess factors associated with delivery outside a facility. Of the 1812 study respondents, 9% (n = 159) reported to have delivered outside a facility. Unmarried women were significantly more likely [OR = 1.88; 95% CI (1.086-3.173)] to deliver outside a facility, while women from households with higher socio-economic status [third-quartile OR = 0.51; 95% CI (0.28-0.95) and fourth-quartile OR = 0.48; 95% CI (0.29-0.79)] and in urban areas [OR = 0.39; 95%-CI (0.23-0.67)] were significantly less likely to deliver outside a facility. Women without formal education [OR 1.43; 95% CI (0.96-2.14)] and multigravidae [OR = 1.14; 95% CI (0.98-1.73)] were more likely to deliver outside a health facility at 10% level of significance. About 9% of women deliver outside a facility. Policies to encourage facility delivery should not only focus on health systems but also be multisectoral to address women's vulnerability and inequality. Facility-based delivery can contribute to curbing the high maternal illness burden if authorities provide incentives to those not delivering at the facility without losing existing users. © 2015 The Authors. Tropical Medicine & International Health Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
de Paoli Marina
Full Text Available Abstract Background When and how to wean breastfed infants exposed to HIV infection has provoked extensive debate, particularly in low-income countries where safe alternatives to breastfeeding are rarely available. Although there is global consensus on optimal infant-feeding practices in the form of guidelines, practices are sub-optimal in much of sub-Saharan Africa. Policy-makers and health workers face many challenges in adapting and implementing these guidelines. Methods This paper is based on in-depth interviews with five policy-makers and 11 providers of interventions to prevent mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT of HIV, participant observations during clinic sessions and site visits. Results The difficulties with adapting the global infant-feeding guidelines in Malawi have affected the provision of services. There was a lack of consensus on HIV and infant-feeding at all levels and general confusion about the 2006 guidelines, particularly those recommending continued breastfeeding after six months if replacement feeding is not acceptable, feasible, affordable, sustainable and safe. Health workers found it particularly difficult to advise women to continue breastfeeding after six months. They worried that they would lose the trust of the PMTCT clients and the population at large, and they feared that continued breastfeeding was unsafe. Optimal support for HIV-infected women was noted in programmes where health workers were multi-skilled; coordinated their efforts and had functional, multidisciplinary task forces and engaged communities. The recent 2009 recommendations are the first to support antiretroviral (ARV use by mothers or children during breastfeeding. Besides promoting maternal health and providing protection against HIV infection in children, the new Rapid Advice has the potential to resolve the difficulties and confusion experienced by health workers in Malawi. Conclusions The process of integrating new evidence into
Parkhurst, Justin O; Chilongozi, David; Hutchinson, Eleanor
Global policy recommendations to scale up of male circumcision (MC) for HIV prevention tend to frame the procedure as a simple and efficacious public health intervention. However, there has been variable uptake of MC in countries with significant HIV epidemics. Kenya, for example, has embraced MC and has been dubbed a 'leader' by the global health community, while Malawi has been branded a 'laggard' in its slow adoption of a national programme, with a strong political discourse of resistance forming around MC. Regardless of any epidemiological or technical evidence, the uptake of international recommendations will be shaped by how a policy, and the specific artefacts that constitute that policy, intersect with local concerns. MC holds particular significance within many ethnic and religious groups, serving as an important rite of passage, but also designating otherness or enabling the identification of the social and political self. Understanding how the artefact of MC intersects with local social, economic, and political contexts, is therefore essential to understand the acceptance or resistance of global policy recommendations. In this paper we present an in-depth analysis of Malawi's political resistance to MC, finding that ethnic and religious divisions dominating recent political movements aligned well with differing circumcision practices. Political resistance was further found to manifest through two key narratives: a 'narrative of defiance' around the need to resist donor manipulation, and a 'narrative of doubt' which seized on a piece of epidemiological evidence to refute global claims of efficacy. Further, we found that discussions over MC served as an additional arena through which ethnic identities and claims to power could themselves be negotiated, and therefore used to support claims of political legitimacy. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available This paper encapsulates the outputs of a Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation (SDC funded project that aimed to improve the levels of HIV governance at the district level in Malawi and Zambia by encouraging public participation in an effort to more effective use of local resources. The methodology for this project, developed by the Institute for Democracy in Africa (Idasa and SDC, included a barometer which assessed perceptions of district HIV governance among key stakeholders. Perceptions were gathered on governance principles of effectiveness, efficiency, rule of law, accountability, participation and equity. The stakeholders ranged from administrators, political representatives, community-based organisations and the private sector on the supply side and citizens on the demand or beneficiary side. The findings of the research indicate specific sector governance issues that may be generalised to governance. Communication and transparency appear to be major issues underpinning the bottlenecks and shortcomings in the HIV sector governance at the district level. Information gaps have given rise to accountability deficits and coordination deficiencies. Addressing these matters would make more effective use of resources and lessen dependence on external funding sources.
Underwood, Carol; Schwandt, Hilary M
Girls are vulnerable to HIV in part because the social systems in which they live have failed to support and protect them. The goal of this research was to develop a viable supportive community index and test its association with intermediate variables associated with HIV risk across 16 communities in Botswana, Malawi, and Mozambique. This cross-sectional survey with separate samples randomly drawn in each country (2010) yielded a total sample of 1,418 adolescent girls (aged 11-18). Multilevel, multivariate logistic regression, while controlling for vulnerability, age, religion, and residence, found that an increase in supportive community index is positively associated with the odds of indicating improved community support for girls and with the confidence to refuse unwanted sex with a boyfriend across the three countries, as well as with self-efficacy to insist on condom use in Botswana and Mozambique. Program implementers and decision makers alike can use the supportive community index to identify and measure structural factors associated with girls' vulnerability to HIV/AIDS; this will potentially contribute to judicious decision making regarding resource allocation to enhance community-level, protective factors for adolescent girls.
Kalipeni, Ezekiel; Ghosh, Jayati
The HIV prevalence rate in Malawi, currently estimated to be 15%, is among the highest in the world. There is a growing realization that in order to understand the underlying causes and devise more effective prevention strategies focus should be placed on economic, political, social, and cultural forces as well as perceptions of individual risk to HIV/AIDS. During 2003 we conducted field work in Lilongwe, the capital city of Malawi, to examine perceptions of individuals as to their risk to HIV infection using the structured interviews and the focus group discussions with men from five areas of Lilongwe. The discussion in this paper focuses on the perception of risk to HIV infection among men in low socioeconomic income areas that we interviewed. Our findings indicate that while knowledge about HIV/AIDS and the best ways in which one can protect oneself from getting HIV is very high, people continue to engage in at-risk behaviors without using the necessary protection. Many of the men in our sample indicated that they were indeed at risk of getting infected with HIV. In spite of this, some of the respondents in both the structured interviews and the focus group discussions pointed out that some people had began taking measures to protect themselves, such as using condoms with nonregular partners, women leaving their husbands where cheating was obvious, and, for men, reducing the number of extra-marital sexual relations.
Kotzé, Sebastian Ranzi; Zinyama-Gutsire, Rutendo; Kallestrup, Per
BACKGROUND: Vitamin A has widespread effects on immune function and is therefore interesting in HIV-infection. Retinol-binding protein (RBP or RBP4) is a negative acute-phase protein and a marker of vitamin A status. Our aim was to investigate the association of RBP with HIV progression, infection...... with schistosomiasis, inflammatory cytokines, and mortality. METHODS: The study included 192 HIV-infected and 177 HIV-uninfected individuals from Mupfure in rural Zimbabwe. Of these, 208 were infected with Schistosoma haematobium, 27 with S. mansoni and 48 with both. Plasma RBP, HIV-RNA, CD4 cell count, haemoglobin......, cytokines, clinical staging (CDC category), self-reported level of function (Karnoffsky Performance Score, KPS) and schistosomiasis status were assessed at baseline. Participants were followed up for survival 3-4 years post-enrolment. RESULTS: RBP levels were lower in HIV-infected individuals(p
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Mortality and morbidity among HIV-exposed children are thought to be high in Malawi. We sought to determine mortality and health outcomes of HIV-exposed and unexposed infants within a PMTCT program. METHOD: Data were collected as part of a retrospective cohort study in Zomba District, Malawi. HIV-infected mothers were identified via antenatal, delivery and postpartum records with a delivery date 18-20 months prior; the next registered HIV-uninfected mother was identified as a control. By interview and health record review, data on socio-demographic characteristics, service uptake, and health outcomes were collected. HIV-testing was offered to all exposed children. RESULTS: 173 HIV-infected and 214 uninfected mothers were included. 4 stillbirths (1.0% occurred; among the 383 livebirths, 41 (10.7% children died by 20 months (32 (18.7% HIV-exposed and 9 unexposed children (4.3%; p<0.0001. Risk factors for child death included: HIV-exposure [adjOR2.9(95%CI 1.1-7.2], low birthweight [adjOR2.5(1.0-6.3], previous child death (adjOR25.1(6.5-97.5] and maternal death [adjOR5.3(11.4-20.5]. At 20 months, HIV-infected children had significantly poorer health outcomes than HIV-unexposed children and HIV-exposed but uninfected children (HIV-EU, including: hospital admissions, delayed development, undernutrition and restrictions in function (Lansky scale; no significant differences were seen between HIV-EU and HIV-unexposed children. Overall, no difference was seen at 20 months among HIV-infected, HIV-EU and HIV-unexposed groups in Z-scores (%<-2.0 for weight, height and BMI. Risk factors for poor functional health status at 20 months included: HIV-infection [adjOR8.9(2.4-32.6], maternal illness [adjOR2.8(1.5-5.0] and low birthweight [adjOR2.0(1.0-4.1]. CONCLUSION: Child mortality remains high within this context and could be reduced through more effective PMTCT including prioritizing the treatment of maternal HIV infection to address the effect of
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Stroke contributes significantly to disability and mortality in developing countries yet little is known about the determinants of stroke outcomes in such countries. 12% of Malawian adults have HIV/AIDS. It is not known whether having HIV-infection alters the outcome of stroke. The aim of this study was to document the functional outcome and mortality at 1 year of first-ever acute stroke in Malawi. Also to find out if the baseline variables, including HIV-infection, affect the outcome of stroke. METHODS AND FINDINGS: 147 adult patients with first-ever acute stroke were prospectively followed up for 12 months. Conventional risk factors and HIV-infection were assessed at baseline. Stroke severity was evaluated with modified National Institute of Health Stroke Scale (mNIHSS and functional outcome with modified Rankin scale (mRS. Fifty (34% of patients were HIV-seropositive. 53.4% of patients had a poor outcome (severe disability or death, mRS 4-6 at 1 year. Poor outcome was related to stroke severity and female gender but not to presence of HIV-infection. HIV-seropositive patients were younger and had less often common risk factors for stroke. They suffer more often ischemic stroke than HIV-seronegative patients. CONCLUSIONS: Mild stroke and male gender were associated with favourable outcome. HIV-infection is common in stroke patients in Malawi but does not worsen the outcome of stroke. However, it may be a risk factor for ischemic stroke for young people, who do not have the common stroke risk factors. Our results are significant, because stroke outcome in HIV-seropositive patients has not been studied before in a setting such as ours, with very limited resources and a high prevalence of HIV.
Bonnie R Pedersen
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: CCR5 and CCR2 gene polymorphisms (SNPs have been associated with protection against HIV transmission in adults and with delayed progression to AIDS. The CCR5 Delta32 deletion and SNP -2459G are associated with reduced expression of the CCR5 protein. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We investigated the association between infant CCR2/CCR5 diplotype and HIV mother to child transmission (MTCT in Malawi. Blood samples from infants (n = 552 of HIV positive women who received nevirapine were genotyped using a post-PCR multiplex ligase detection reaction and haplotypes were identified based on 8 CCR2/CCR5 SNPs and the open reading frame 32 base pair deletion. Following verification of Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, log linear regression was performed to examine the association between mutations and MTCT. Overall, protection against MTCT was weakly associated with two CCR5 SNPs, -2459G (Risk ratio [RR], 0.78; confidence interval [CI], 0.54-1.12, and the linked CCR5 -2135T (RR, 0.78; CI, 0.54-1.13. No child carried the CCR5 Delta32 SNP. Maternal Viral Load (MVL was found to be an effect measure modifier. Among mothers with low MVL, statistically significant protection against MTCT was observed for -2459G (RR, 0.50; CI, 0.27-0.91, and -2135T (RR, 0.51; CI, 0.28-0.92. Statistically significant protection was not found at high MVL. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Results from this study suggest that CCR5 SNPs -2459G and -2135T associated with reduced receptor expression protect against MTCT of HIV at low MVLs, whereas high MVLs may over-ride differences in coreceptor availability.
Full Text Available We explore the spatial distribution of orphans in two areas of Malawi. We first review pertinent themes in qualitative data collected in our research sites. Then, using spatial analysis, we show how positive and negative clusters of orphans-which we term orphanhood "hotspots" and "coldspots"-can be found at the village and sub-village levels. In the third and longest section of the paper, and using multilevel analyses with both simple and complex variance structures, we evaluate the relationship between the presence of orphans and a range of individual, household and village-level characteristics, including households' spatial relationship to each other and to other local sites of significance. This series of analyses shows that the most important covariates of orphan presence are the density of settlement, household size, and religious characteristics, with the latter measured simultaneously at both household and village-level. Other characteristics like education, reported mortality levels and HIV infection, are wholly unrelated to orphan prevalence at all analytic levels. Wealth and various spatial characteristics are only marginally associated with orphan prevalence. We conclude by reviewing some difficulties in explaining causal mechanisms underlying these observed relationships, and discussing conceptual, theoretical and programmatic implications.
Kalanda, Boniface; Verhoeff, Francine; le Cessie, Saskia; Brabin, John
Low birth weight (LBW) and fetal anaemia (FA) are common in malaria endemic areas. To investigate the incidence of infectious morbidity in infants in rural Malawi in relation to birth weight and fetal anaemia, a cohort of babies was followed for a year on the basis of LBW (<2500) and FA (cord haemoglobin < 12.5 g/dl). A matched group of normal birth weight (NBW), non-anaemic (NFA) new-borns were enrolled as controls. Morbidity episodes were recorded at 4-weekly intervals and at each extra visit made to a health centre with any illness. Infants in the NBW NFA group experienced an average of 1.15 (95% C.I. 0.99, 1.31), 1.04 (0.89, 1.19), 0.92 (0.73, 1.11) episodes per year of malaria, respiratory infection and diarrhoea respectively. Corresponding values for the LBW FA group were 0.83 (0.5, 1.16), 0.82 (0.5, 1.16) and 0.76 (0.33, 1.19). FA was not associated with a higher incidence of morbidity, but was significantly associated with a shorter time to first illness episode (p = 0.014). LBW was not a significant risk factor for higher morbidity incidence. LBW and FA were not significant risk factors for incidence of illness episodes in infants.
Grant, Monica J; Yeatman, Sara
Despite the frequency of divorce and remarriage across much of sub-Saharan Africa, little is known about what these events mean for the living arrangements of children. We use longitudinal data from rural Malawi to examine the effects of family transitions on the prevalence and incidence of child fostering, or children residing apart from their living parents. We find that between 7 % and 15 % of children aged 3-14 are out-fostered over the two-year intersurvey period. Although divorce appears to be a significant driver of child fostering in the cross-sectional analysis, it is not significantly associated with the incidence of out-fostering. In contrast, maternal remarriage has both a lagged and an immediate effect on the incidence of out-fostering. Furthermore, the likelihood of out-fostering is even higher among children whose mother remarried and had a new child during the intersurvey period. Using longitudinal data collected from living mothers rather than from children's current foster homes offers new insights into the reasons children are sent to live with others besides their parents.
Kalanda, Boniface; Mamimine, Patrick; Taela, Katia; Chingandu, Louis; Musuka, Godfrey
The governments across the world have endorsed numerous international Conventions and Declarations (C&Ds) that enhance interventions to reduce the impact of HIV and AIDS. The objective of this study was to assess the extent to which the governments of Lesotho, Malawi and Mozambique have implemented HIV and AIDS international and regional…
Kalanda, Boniface; Mamimine, Patrick; Taela, Katia; Chingandu, Louis; Musuka, Godfrey
The governments across the world have endorsed numerous international Conventions and Declarations (C&Ds) that enhance interventions to reduce the impact of HIV and AIDS. The objective of this study was to assess the extent to which the governments of Lesotho, Malawi and Mozambique have implemented HIV and AIDS international and regional…
Ahmed, Saeed; Schwarz, Monica; Flick, Robert J; Rees, Chris A; Harawa, Mwelura; Simon, Katie; Robison, Jeff A; Kazembe, Peter N; Kim, Maria H
To assess implementation of provider-initiated testing and counselling (PITC) for HIV in Malawi. A review of PITC practices within 118 departments in 12 Ministry of Health (MoH) facilities across Malawi was conducted. Information on PITC practices was collected via a health facility survey. Data describing patient visits and HIV tests were abstracted from routinely collected programme data. Reported PITC practices were highly variable. Most providers practiced symptom-based PITC. Antenatal clinics and maternity wards reported widespread use of routine opt-out PITC. In 2014, there was approximately 1 HIV test for every 15 clinic visits. HIV status was ascertained in 94.3% (5293/5615) of patients at tuberculosis clinics, 92.6% (30,675/33,142) of patients at antenatal clinics and 49.4% (6871/13,914) of patients at sexually transmitted infection clinics. Reported challenges to delivering PITC included test kit shortages (71/71 providers), insufficient physical space (58/71) and inadequate number of HIV counsellors (32/71) while providers from inpatient units cited the inability to test on weekends. Various models of PITC currently exist at MoH facilities in Malawi. Only antenatal and maternity clinics demonstrated high rates of routine opt-out PITC. The low ratio of facility visits to HIV tests suggests missed opportunities for HIV testing. However, the high proportion of patients at TB and antenatal clinics with known HIV status suggests that routine PITC is feasible. These results underscore the need to develop clear, standardised PITC policy and protocols, and to address obstacles of limited health commodities, infrastructure and human resources. © 2016 The Authors. Tropical Medicine & International Health Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Nyantakyi-Frimpong, Hanson; Mambulu, Faith Nankasa; Bezner Kerr, Rachel; Luginaah, Isaac; Lupafya, Esther
This article shares results from a long-term participatory agroecological research project in northern Malawi. Drawing upon a political ecology of health conceptual framework, the paper explores whether and how participatory agroecological farming can improve food security and nutrition among HIV-affected households. In-depth interviews were conducted with 27 farmers in HIV-affected households in the area near Ekwendeni Trading Centre in northern Malawi. The results show that participatory agroecological farming has a strong potential to meet the food, dietary, labour and income needs of HIV-affected households, whilst helping them to manage natural resources sustainably. As well, the findings reveal that place-based politics, especially gendered power imbalances, are imperative for understanding the human impacts of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Overall, the study adds valuable insights into the literature on the human-environment dimensions of health. It demonstrates that the onset of disease can radically transform the social relations governing access to and control over resources (e.g., land, labour, and capital), and that these altered social relations in turn affect sustainable disease management. The conclusion highlights how the promotion of sustainable agroecology could help to partly address the socio-ecological challenges associated with HIV/AIDS.
Mkwate, Raphael C.; Chidya, Russel C. G.; Wanda, Elijah M. M.
Access to drinking water from unsafe sources is widespread amongst communities in rural areas such as Balaka District in Malawi. This situation puts many individuals and communities at risk of waterborne diseases despite some households adopting household water treatment to improve the quality of the water. However, there still remains data gaps regarding the quality of drinking water from such sources and the household water treatment methods used to improve public health. This study was, therefore, conducted to help bridge the knowledge gap by evaluating drinking water quality and adoption rate of household water treatment and storage (HWTS) practices in Nkaya, Balaka District. Water samples were collected from eleven systematically selected sites and analyzed for physico-chemical and microbiological parameters: pH, TDS, electrical conductivity (EC), turbidity, F-, Cl-, NO3-, Na, K, Fe, Faecal Coliform (FC) and Faecal Streptococcus (FS) bacteria using standard methods. The mean results were compared to the World Health Organization (WHO) and Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) (MS 733:2005) to ascertain the water quality for drinking purposes. A total of 204 randomly selected households were interviewed to determine their access to drinking water, water quality perception and HWTS among others. The majority of households (72%, n = 83) in Njerenje accessed water from shallow wells and rivers whilst in Phimbi boreholes were commonly used. Several households (>95%, n = 204) were observed to be practicing HWST techniques by boiling or chlorination and water storage in closed containers. The levels of pH (7.10-7.64), F- (0.89-1.46 mg/L), Cl- (5.45-89.84 mg/L), NO3- (0-0.16 mg/L), Na (20-490 mg/L), K (2.40-14 mg/L) and Fe (0.10-0.40 mg/L) for most sites were within the standard limits. The EC (358-2220 μS/cm), turbidity (0.54-14.60 NTU), FC (0-56 cfu/100 mL) and FS (0-120 cfu/100 mL) - mainly in shallow wells, were found to be above the WHO and MBS water quality
Full Text Available Abstract Background The impact of infection with HIV on the risk of cancer in children is uncertain, particularly for those living in sub-Saharan Africa. In an ongoing study in a paediatric oncology centre in Malawi, children (aged ≤ 15 years with known or suspected cancers are being recruited and tested for HIV and their mothers or carers interviewed. This study reports findings for children recruited between 2005 and 2008. Methods Only children with a cancer diagnosis were included. Odds ratios (OR for being HIV positive were estimated for each cancer type (with adjustment for age ( Results Of the 586 children recruited, 541 (92% met the inclusion criteria and 525 (97% were tested for HIV. Overall HIV seroprevalence was 10%. Infection with HIV was associated with Kaposi sarcoma (29 cases; OR = 93.5, 95% CI 26.9 to 324.4 and with non-Burkitt, non-Hodgkin lymphoma (33 cases; OR = 4.4, 95% CI 1.1 to 17.9 but not with Burkitt lymphoma (269 cases; OR = 2.2, 95% CI 0.8 to 6.4. Conclusions In this study, only Kaposi sarcoma and non-Burkitt, non-Hodgkin lymphoma were associated with HIV infection. The endemic form of Burkitt lymphoma, which is relatively frequent in Malawi, was not significantly associated with HIV. While the relatively small numbers of children with other cancers, together with possible limitations of diagnostic testing may limit our conclusions, the findings may suggest differences in the pathogenesis of HIV-related malignancies in different parts of the world.
Gopal, Satish; Fedoriw, Yuri; Kaimila, Bongani; Montgomery, Nathan D; Kasonkanji, Edwards; Moses, Agnes; Nyasosela, Richard; Mzumara, Suzgo; Varela, Carlos; Chikasema, Maria; Makwakwa, Victor; Itimu, Salama; Tomoka, Tamiwe; Kamiza, Steve; Dhungel, Bal M; Chimzimu, Fred; Kampani, Coxcilly; Krysiak, Robert; Richards, Kristy L; Shea, Thomas C; Liomba, N George
There are no prospective studies of aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) treated with CHOP in sub-Saharan Africa. We enrolled adults with aggressive NHL in Malawi between June 2013 and May 2015. Chemotherapy and supportive care were standardized, and HIV+ patients received antiretroviral therapy (ART). Thirty-seven of 58 patients (64%) were HIV+. Median age was 47 years (IQR 39-56), and 35 (60%) were male. Thirty-five patients (60%) had stage III/IV, 43 (74%) B symptoms, and 28 (48%) performance status ≥ 2. B-cell NHL predominated among HIV+ patients, and all T-cell NHL occurred among HIV- individuals. Thirty-one HIV+ patients (84%) were on ART for a median 9.9 months (IQR 1.1-31.7) before NHL diagnosis, median CD4 was 121 cells/μL (IQR 61-244), and 43% had suppressed HIV RNA. HIV+ patients received a similar number of CHOP cycles compared to HIV- patients, but more frequently developed grade 3/4 neutropenia (84% vs 31%, p = 0.001), resulting in modestly lower cyclophosphamide and doxorubicin doses with longer intervals between cycles. Twelve-month overall survival (OS) was 45% (95% CI 31-57%). T-cell NHL (HR 3.90, p = 0.017), hemoglobin (HR 0.82 per g/dL, p = 0.017), albumin (HR 0.57 per g/dL, p = 0.019), and IPI (HR 2.02 per unit, pMalawi with and without HIV.
Limaye, Rupali J; Babalola, Stella; Kennedy, Caitlin E; Kerrigan, Deanna L
Concurrent sexual partnerships are hypothesized to be a contributing factor to Malawi's HIV epidemic. As social norms influence health behavior and have been found to influence sexual behavior, the purpose of this study was to explore two types of norms, descriptive and injunctive norms, toward concurrent sexual partnerships in Malawi. Data from 40 focus group discussions and 20 in-depth interviews conducted in five districts in Malawi, which included 318 participants aged 18-55 years, were analyzed. Participants perceived that concurrent sexual partnerships were extremely common, and believed that very few individuals in their communities were not in concurrent sexual partnerships. However, participants perceived that others in their communities heavily disapproved of concurrent sexual partnerships outside of polygamy, as polygamy was viewed as an acceptable type of partnership because it was conducted in the open. Participants asserted that there were no traditional practices that promoted concurrent sexual partnerships, and perceived that those that engaged in the behavior were for the most part stigmatized by community members. Further research is needed to obtain a thorough understanding of the way in which the perceived actions and beliefs of peers influence the beliefs, feelings and actions of individuals to strengthen HIV programming efforts in the region.
Full Text Available HIV clinical mentoring has been utilized for capacity building in Africa, but few formal program evaluations have explored mentee perspectives on these programs. EQUIP is a PEPFAR-USAID funded program in Malawi that has been providing HIV mentoring on clinical and health systems since 2010. We sought to understand the successes and challenges of EQUIP's mentorship program. From June-September 2014 we performed semi-structured, in-depth interviews with EQUIP mentees who had received mentoring for ≥ 1 year. Interview questions focused on program successes and challenges and were performed in English, audio recorded, coded, and analyzed using inductive content analysis with ATLAS.ti v7. Fifty-two mentees from 32 health centers were interviewed. The majority of mentees were 18-40 years old (79%, N = 41, 69% (N = 36 were male, 50% (N = 26 were nurses, 29% (N = 15 medical assistants, and 21% (N = 11 clinical officers. All mentees felt that EQUIP mentorship was successful (100%, N = 52. The most common benefit reported was an increase in clinical knowledge allowing for initiation of antiretroviral therapy (33%, N = 17. One-third of mentees (N = 17 reported increased clinic efficiency and improved systems for patient care due to EQUIP's systems mentoring including documentation, supply chain and support for minor construction at clinics. The most common challenge (52%, N = 27 was understaffing at facilities, with mentees having multiple responsibilities during mentorship visits resulting in impaired ability to focus on learning. Mentees also reported that medication stock-outs (42%, N = 22 created challenges for the mentoring process. EQUIP's systems-based mentorship and infrastructure improvements allowed for an optimized environment for clinical training. Shortages of health workers at sites pose a challenge for mentoring programs because mentees are pulled from learning experiences to perform non-HIV-related clinic duties. Evaluations of existing
Chien, Emily; Phiri, Khumbo; Schooley, Alan; Chivwala, Mackenzie; Hamilton, John; Hoffman, Risa M
HIV clinical mentoring has been utilized for capacity building in Africa, but few formal program evaluations have explored mentee perspectives on these programs. EQUIP is a PEPFAR-USAID funded program in Malawi that has been providing HIV mentoring on clinical and health systems since 2010. We sought to understand the successes and challenges of EQUIP's mentorship program. From June-September 2014 we performed semi-structured, in-depth interviews with EQUIP mentees who had received mentoring for ≥ 1 year. Interview questions focused on program successes and challenges and were performed in English, audio recorded, coded, and analyzed using inductive content analysis with ATLAS.ti v7. Fifty-two mentees from 32 health centers were interviewed. The majority of mentees were 18-40 years old (79%, N = 41), 69% (N = 36) were male, 50% (N = 26) were nurses, 29% (N = 15) medical assistants, and 21% (N = 11) clinical officers. All mentees felt that EQUIP mentorship was successful (100%, N = 52). The most common benefit reported was an increase in clinical knowledge allowing for initiation of antiretroviral therapy (33%, N = 17). One-third of mentees (N = 17) reported increased clinic efficiency and improved systems for patient care due to EQUIP's systems mentoring including documentation, supply chain and support for minor construction at clinics. The most common challenge (52%, N = 27) was understaffing at facilities, with mentees having multiple responsibilities during mentorship visits resulting in impaired ability to focus on learning. Mentees also reported that medication stock-outs (42%, N = 22) created challenges for the mentoring process. EQUIP's systems-based mentorship and infrastructure improvements allowed for an optimized environment for clinical training. Shortages of health workers at sites pose a challenge for mentoring programs because mentees are pulled from learning experiences to perform non-HIV-related clinic duties. Evaluations of existing mentoring
Kripke, Katharine; Chimbwandira, Frank; Mwandi, Zebedee; Matchere, Faustin; Schnure, Melissa; Reed, Jason; Castor, Delivette; Sgaier, Sema
Background In 2007, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended scaling up voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) in priority countries with high HIV prevalence and low male circumcision (MC) prevalence. According to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), an estimated 5.8 million males had undergone VMMC by the end of 2013. Implementation experience has raised questions about the need to refocus VMMC programs on specific subpopulations for the greatest epidemiological impact and programmatic effectiveness. As Malawi prepared its national operational plan for VMMC, it sought to examine the impacts of focusing on specific subpopulations by age and region. Methods We used the Decision Makers’ Program Planning Toolkit, Version 2.0, to study the impact of scaling up VMMC to different target populations of Malawi. National MC prevalence by age group from the 2010 Demographic and Health Survey was scaled according to the MC prevalence for each district and then halved, to adjust for over-reporting of circumcision. In-country stakeholders advised a VMMC unit cost of $100, based on implementation experience. We derived a cost of $451 per patient-year for antiretroviral therapy from costs collected as part of a strategic planning exercise previously conducted in- country by UNAIDS. Results Over a fifteen-year period, circumcising males ages 10–29 would avert 75% of HIV infections, and circumcising males ages 10–34 would avert 88% of infections, compared to the current strategy of circumcising males ages 15–49. The Ministry of Health’s South West and South East health zones had the lowest cost per HIV infection averted. Moreover, VMMC met WHO’s definition of cost-effectiveness (that is, the cost per disability-adjusted life-year [DALY] saved was less than three times the per capita gross domestic product) in all health zones except Central East. Comparing urban versus rural areas in the country, we found that circumcising men in urban
Kaplan, Julika Ayla; Kandodo, Jonathan; Sclafani, Joseph; Raine, Susan; Blumenthal-Barby, Jennifer; Norris, Alison; Norris-Turner, Abigail; Chemey, Elly; Beckham, John Michael; Khan, Zara; Chunda, Reginald
Obstetric fistula is a childbirth injury caused by prolonged obstructed labor that results in destruction of the tissue wall between the vagina and bladder. Although obstetric fistula is directly caused by prolonged obstructed labor, many other factors indirectly increase fistula risk. Some research suggests that many women in rural Malawi have limited autonomy and decision-making power in their households. We hypothesize that women's limited autonomy may play a role in reinforcing childbirth practices that increase the risk of obstetric fistula in this setting by hindering access to emergency care and further prolonging obstructed labor. A medical student at Baylor College of Medicine partnered with a Malawian research assistant in July 2015 to conduct in-depth qualitative interviews in Chichewa with 25 women living within the McGuire Wellness Centre's catchment area (rural Central Lilongwe District) who had received obstetric fistula repair surgery. This study assessed whether women's limited autonomy in rural Malawi reinforces childbearing practices that increase risk of obstetric fistula. We considered four dimensions of autonomy: sexual and reproductive decision-making, decision-making related to healthcare utilization, freedom of movement, and discretion over earned income. We found that participants had limited autonomy in these domains. For example, many women felt pressured by their husbands, families, and communities to become pregnant within three months of marriage; women often needed to seek permission from their husbands before leaving their homes to visit the clinic; and women were frequently prevented from delivering at the hospital by older women in the community. Many of the obstetric fistula patients in our sample had limited autonomy in several or all of the aforementioned domains, and their limited autonomy often led both directly and indirectly to an increased risk of prolonged labor and fistula. Reducing the prevalence of fistula in Malawi
Clark Tamara D
Full Text Available Abstract Background Wasting and micronutrient malnutrition have not been well characterized in adults with pulmonary tuberculosis. We hypothesized that micronutrient malnutrition is associated with wasting and higher plasma human immunodeficiency virus (HIV load in adults with pulmonary tuberculosis. Methods In a cross-sectional study involving 579 HIV-positive and 222 HIV-negative adults with pulmonary tuberculosis in Zomba, Malawi, anthropometry, plasma HIV load and plasma micronutrient concentrations (retinol, α-tocopherol, carotenoids, zinc, and selenium were measured. The risk of micronutrient deficiencies was examined at different severity levels of wasting. Results Body mass index (BMI, plasma retinol, carotenoid and selenium concentrations significantly decreased by increasing tertile of plasma HIV load. There were no significant differences in plasma micronutrient concentrations between HIV-negative individuals and HIV-positive individuals who were in the lowest tertile of plasma HIV load. Plasma vitamin A concentrations Conclusions These data demonstrate that wasting and higher HIV load in pulmonary tuberculosis are associated with micronutrient malnutrition.
King, Carina; Hall, Jenny; Banda, Masford; Beard, James; Bird, Jon; Kazembe, Peter; Fottrell, Ed
Background As hardware for electronic data capture (EDC), such as smartphones or tablets, becomes cheaper and more widely available, the potential for using such hardware as data capture tools in routine healthcare and research is increasing. Objective We aim to highlight the advantages and disadvantages of four EDC systems being used simultaneously in rural Malawi: two for Android devices (CommCare and ODK Collect), one for PALM and Windows OS (Pendragon), and a custom-built application for Android (Mobile InterVA - MIVA). Design We report on the personal field and development experience of fieldworkers, project managers, and EDC system developers. Results Fieldworkers preferred using EDC to paper-based systems, although some struggled with the technology at first. Highlighted features include in-built skip patterns for all systems, and specifically the 'case' function that CommCare offers. MIVA as a standalone app required considerably more time and expertise than the other systems to create and could not be customised for our specific research needs; however, it facilitates standardised routine data collection. CommCare and ODK Collect both have user-friendly web-interfaces for form development and good technical support. CommCare requires Internet to build an application and download it to a device, whereas all steps can be done offline with ODK Collect, a desirable feature in low connectivity settings. Pendragon required more complex programming of logic, using a Microsoft Access application, and generally had less technical support. Start-up costs varied between systems, and all were considered more expensive than setting up a paper-based system; however running costs were generally low and therefore thought to be cost-effective over the course of our projects. Conclusions EDC offers many opportunities for efficient data collection, but brings some issues requiring consideration when designing a study; the decision of which hardware and software to use should
Abiiro, Gilbert Abotisem; Torbica, Aleksandra; Kwalamasa, Kassim; De Allegri, Manuela
There is a limited understanding of preferences for micro health insurance (MHI) as a strategy for moving towards universal health coverage. Using a discrete choice experiment (DCE), we explored community preferences for the attributes and attribute-levels of a prospective MHI scheme, aimed at filling health coverage gaps in Malawi. Through a qualitative study informed by a literature review, we identified six MHI attributes (and attribute-levels): unit of enrollment, management structure, health service benefit package, copayment levels, transportation coverage, and monthly premium per person. Qualitative data was collected from 12 focus group discussions and 8 interviews in August-September, 2012. We constructed a D-efficient design of eighteen choice-sets, each comprising two MHI choice alternatives and an opt-out. Using pictorial images, trained interviewers administered the DCE in March-May, 2013, to 814 household heads and/or their spouse(s) in two rural districts. We estimated preferences for attribute-levels and relative importance of attributes using conditional and nested logit models. The results showed that all attribute-levels except management by external NGO significantly influenced respondents' choice behavior (Pfinance institution; comprehensive health service package (OR=1.4621), medium service package (OR=1.2761), compared to basic service package; no copayment (OR=1.1347), 25% copayment (OR=1.1090), compared to 50% copayment; coverage of all transport (OR=1.5841), referral and emergency transport (OR=1.2610), compared to no transport; and premium (OR=0.9994). The relative importance of attributes is ordered as: transport, health services benefits, enrollment unit, premium, copayment, and management. To maximize consumer utility and encourage community acceptance of MHI, potential MHI schemes should cover transport costs, offer a comprehensive benefit package, define the core family as the unit of enrollment, avoid high copayments, and be managed
Full Text Available Background: In Southern Malawi, the fishing industry is highly gendered, with men carrying out the fishing and women processing, drying and selling the fish. Research has shown that individuals living in fishing communities in low-income countries are particularly vulnerable to HIV infection. One of the key drivers of HIV in fishing communities is transactional sex. In the fishing industry this takes the form of “fish-for-sex” networks where female fish traders exchange sex with fishermen for access to or more favourable prices of fish. By controlling the means of production, the power dynamics in these exchanges favour men and can make it more difficult for women to negotiate safe sex. Methods: Qualitative methods were used to collect data on gendered drivers of transactional sex in the fishing community and how different groups perceive HIV risk in these transactions. Observation, focus group discussions and semi-structured interviews were undertaken with members of the fishing communities, including men and women directly and indirectly involved in fishing. Results: In fishing communities transactional sex was prevalent across a spectrum ranging from gift giving within relationships, to sex for fish exchanges, to sex worker encounters. Power differences between couples in transactional sexual encounters shape individual's abilities to negotiate condom use (with women being at a particularly disadvantaged negotiating position. The context and motivations for transactional sex varied and was mediated by economic need and social position both of men and women. Female fish traders new to the industry and boat crew members who travelled for work and experienced difficult living conditions often engaged in transactional sex. Conclusions: Transactional sex is common in Malawian fishing communities, with women particularly vulnerable in negotiations because of existing gendered power structures. Although knowledge and understanding of the HIV
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The Ministry of Health in Malawi is implementing a pragmatic and innovative approach for the management of all HIV-infected pregnant women, termed Option B+, which consists of providing life-long antiretroviral treatment, regardless of their CD4 count or clinical stage. Our objective was to determine if Option B+ represents a cost-effective option. METHODS: A decision model simulates the disease progression of a cohort of HIV-infected pregnant women receiving prophylaxis and antiretroviral therapy, and estimates the number of paediatric infections averted and maternal life years gained over a ten-year time horizon. We assess the cost-effectiveness from the Ministry of Health perspective while taking into account the practical realities of implementing ART services in Malawi. RESULTS: If implemented as recommended by the World Health Organization, options A, B and B+ are equivalent in preventing new infant infections, yielding cost effectiveness ratios between US$ 37 and US$ 69 per disability adjusted life year averted in children. However, when the three options are compared to the current practice, the provision of antiretroviral therapy to all mothers (Option B+ not only prevents infant infections, but also improves the ten-year survival in mothers more than four-fold. This translates into saving more than 250,000 maternal life years, as compared to mothers receiving only Option A or B, with savings of 153,000 and 172,000 life years respectively. Option B+ also yields favourable incremental cost effectiveness ratios (ICER of US$ 455 per life year gained over the current practice. CONCLUSION: In Malawi, Option B+ represents a favorable policy option from a cost-effectiveness perspective to prevent future infant infections, save mothers' lives and reduce orphanhood. Although Option B+ would require more financial resources initially, it would save societal resources in the long-term and represents a strategic option to simplify and
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: As paediatric antiretroviral therapy (ART is rapidly scaled up in Southern Africa, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV infection is becoming a chronic illness. Children growing up with HIV may begin to encounter disabilities. The relationship between HIV, disability and the need for rehabilitation has added an additional element that needs to be addressed by paediatric HIV treatment programmes. STUDY OBJECTIVES: 1 Estimate the prevalence of disabilities in HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected children in Lilongwe, Malawi. 2 Examine types of disability and associated clinical and socio-demographic factors. 3 Identify needs, opportunities and barriers for rehabilitation in Malawi. METHODS: A case-controlled study of 296 HIV-infected children aged 2-9 years attending an ART centre in Lilongwe (cases and their uninfected siblings (controls was conducted. Disability was assessed using the WHO Ten Question Screen (TQS. Socio-demographic and clinical data were collected using a parent-proxy questionnaire and medical records. RESULTS: Of 296 case and control pairs recruited, 33% (98 versus 7% (20 screened positive for a disability (OR 8.4, 4.4-15.7 respectively. Of these 98 HIV-infected cases, 6%, 36%, 33%, 53%, 46% and 6% had a vision, hearing; physical, learning/comprehension, speech or seizure-related disability respectively and 51% had multiple coexisting disabilities. HIV-infected cases with a disability were more likely to be WHO stage III or IV at enrolment (71% vs. 52%, OR 2.7, 1.5-4.2, to have had TB (58% vs. 39%, OR 2.3, 1.4-3.8 and to have below-average school grades (18% vs. 2%, OR 11.1, 2.2-54.6 than those without. Sixty-seven percent of cases with a disability had never attended any rehabilitative service. Twenty-nine percent of caregivers reported facing stigma and discrimination because of the child's disability. CONCLUSION: This study reveals the magnitude of disability among HIV-infected children and the large unmet need for
Many young men and women in Malawi are infected with HIV and dying from AIDS. The head of the Malawi AIDS Control Program estimates that as many as 10% of all adults in the country may be infected with HIV, with the rate being higher in urban areas. While more than 90% of the population is now aware of the existence of AIDS and its dangers, changes in behavior have not taken place and HIV continues to spread. Early campaigns attempted to generate condom use through peer educators among bar girls, truck drivers, and STD patients. Many men state, however, that they prefer to have sex without condoms because it is more exciting. Others cite alcohol consumption, ignorance of the dangers of HIV infection, and/or a fear of suggesting mistrust in a partner as reasons for not using condoms. Many women also find it difficult to negotiate condom use among reluctant men. Making condoms readily accessible and giving them a positive image may help increase their rate of use; the opposition of some religious groups must be thwarted and the distribution system needs to be improved to realize these ends. Condoms are provided to Malawi free of charge by the US Agency of International Development. Supplies are then either distributed free through health centers and bars or sold in shops. The failure of free condoms to be readily available in rural areas where 90% of the population resides, however, poses concern. Finally, training programs, counseling, anonymous HIV testing centers, and peer educators are among some of the interventions being made against AIDS in Malawi.
Scott, Vera; Hoffman, Risa; Mwagomba, Beatrice
Background Many patients on antiretroviral therapy (ART) in Malawi have or will develop non-communicable diseases (NCDs). The current capacity of ART sites to provide care for NCDs is not known. Aim This study aimed to assess the capacity of ART sites to provide care for hypertension and diabetes in rural Malawi. Setting Twenty-five health centres and five hospitals in two rural districts in northern Malawi. Methods A cross-sectional survey was performed between March and May 2014 at all facilities. Qualitative interviews were held with three NCD coordinators. Results Treatment of hypertension and diabetes was predominantly hospital-based. Sixty percent of hospitals had at least one clinician and one nurse trained in NCD care, whereas 5% of health centres had a clinician and 8% had a nurse trained in NCD care. Hundred percent of hospitals and 92% of health centres had uninterrupted supply of hydrochlorothiazide in the previous 6 months, but only 40% of hospitals and no health centres had uninterrupted supply of metformin. Hundred percent of hospitals and 80% of health centres had at least one blood pressure machine, and 80% of hospitals and 32% of health centres had one glucometer. Screening for hypertension amongst ART patients was only conducted at one hospital and no health centres. At health centres, integrated NCD and ART care was more common, with 48% (12/25) providing ART and NCD treatment in the same consultation. Conclusions The results reflect the status of the initial stages of the Malawi NCD programme at sites currently providing ART care. PMID:28235324
Full Text Available Background: As hardware for electronic data capture (EDC, such as smartphones or tablets, becomes cheaper and more widely available, the potential for using such hardware as data capture tools in routine healthcare and research is increasing. Objective: We aim to highlight the advantages and disadvantages of four EDC systems being used simultaneously in rural Malawi: two for Android devices (CommCare and ODK Collect, one for PALM and Windows OS (Pendragon, and a custom-built application for Android (Mobile InterVA – MIVA. Design: We report on the personal field and development experience of fieldworkers, project managers, and EDC system developers. Results: Fieldworkers preferred using EDC to paper-based systems, although some struggled with the technology at first. Highlighted features include in-built skip patterns for all systems, and specifically the ‘case’ function that CommCare offers. MIVA as a standalone app required considerably more time and expertise than the other systems to create and could not be customised for our specific research needs; however, it facilitates standardised routine data collection. CommCare and ODK Collect both have user-friendly web-interfaces for form development and good technical support. CommCare requires Internet to build an application and download it to a device, whereas all steps can be done offline with ODK Collect, a desirable feature in low connectivity settings. Pendragon required more complex programming of logic, using a Microsoft Access application, and generally had less technical support. Start-up costs varied between systems, and all were considered more expensive than setting up a paper-based system; however running costs were generally low and therefore thought to be cost-effective over the course of our projects. Conclusions: EDC offers many opportunities for efficient data collection, but brings some issues requiring consideration when designing a study; the decision of which hardware
Abiiro, Gilbert Abotisem; Torbica, Aleksandra; Kwalamasa, Kassim; De Allegri, Manuela
Investigating the factors that drive differences in preferences for health insurance products among rural populations is a relevant policy issue that has so far received little attention. This study used a discrete choice experiment to explore heterogeneity of preferences for a prospective micro-health insurance (MHI) product in Malawi. Through an extensive qualitative study, six attributes, each associated with three levels, were derived and used to construct a D-efficient design. The attributes included unit of enrollment, management structure, health service benefit package, copayment levels, transportation coverage and monthly premium. The experiment was interviewer administered to a stratified random sample of household heads and their spouse(s). Using mixed logit and generalized multinomial logit models, respondent characteristics were interacted with MHI attributes to explore heterogeneity of preferences. The results showed that those in the higher age group (≥55 years) and those from households with higher household expenditure had significantly higher preferences for comprehensive and medium benefit packages than for a basic package. Those from households that incurred any healthcare expenditure within the past 4 weeks had lower preferences for the core family as a unit of enrollment than the individual, and higher preferences for coverage of transport costs. Women and non-micro-finance members had higher preferences for 25% copayment than for 50% copayment. There was evidence of scale heterogeneity signifying that the observed preference variations could have resulted from scale and variance differences, rather than real variations in the taste of respondents. To attract the relatively older and wealthier, prospective MHI should offer comprehensive health services benefit packages. Premium exemptions or subsidies should also be offered to the poor. Lower copayments can provide an incentive for women and non-micro-finance members, whilst coverage of
Lisa B Haddad
Full Text Available Programs for integration of family planning into HIV care must recognize current practices and desires among clients to appropriately target and tailor interventions. We sought to evaluate fertility intentions, unintended pregnancy, contraceptive and condom use among a cohort of HIV-infected women seeking family planning services within an antiretroviral therapy (ART clinic.200 women completed an interviewer-administered questionnaire during enrollment into a prospective contraceptive study at the Lighthouse Clinic, an HIV/ART clinic in Lilongwe, Malawi, between August and December 2010.Most women (95% did not desire future pregnancy. Prior reported unintended pregnancy rates were high (69% unplanned and 61% unhappy with timing of last pregnancy. Condom use was inconsistent, even among couples with discordant HIV status, with lack of use often attributed to partner's refusal. Higher education, older age, lower parity and having an HIV negative partner were factors associated with consistent condom usage.High rates of unintended pregnancy among these women underscore the need for integ rating family planning, sexually transmitted infection (STI prevention, and HIV services. Contraceptive access and use, including condoms, must be improved with specific efforts to enlist partner support. Messages regarding the importance of condom usage in conjunction with more effective modern contraceptive methods for both infection and pregnancy prevention must continue to be reinforced over the course of ongoing ART treatment.
Lancaster, Kathryn E; Lungu, Thandie; Mmodzi, Pearson; Hosseinipour, Mina C; Chadwick, Katy; Powers, Kimberly A; Pence, Brian W; Go, Vivian F; Hoffman, Irving F; Miller, William C
Female sex workers (FSW) have a high prevalence of substance use and HIV, but the impact of substance use on HIV treatment engagement is not well established. We evaluated the association between alcohol and marijuana use and sub-optimal HIV treatment engagement outcomes among HIV-infected FSW in Lilongwe, Malawi. We enroled FSW using venue-based recruitment into a cross-sectional evaluation assessing substance use and HIV treatment engagement. Seropositive FSW, identified through HIV rapid testing, received rapid CD4 count and viral load testing. We used Poisson regression with robust variance estimates to ascertain associations of alcohol and marijuana use with sub-optimal HIV treatment outcomes: (1) lack of ART use among previously diagnosed, ART-eligible FSW and (2) viral nonsuppression among FSW on ART. Of previously diagnosed, ART-eligible FSW (n = 96), 29% were not using ART. Patterns of hazardous drinking were identified in 30%, harmful drinking in 10%, and alcohol dependence in 12%. ART-eligible FSW with harmful drinking or alcohol dependency were 1.9 (95% CI: 1.0, 3.8) times as likely to not use ART compared to FSW without harmful or dependent drinking. Among those on ART, 14% were virally nonsuppressed. The prevalence ratio for viral nonsuppression was 2.0 (95% CI: 0.6, 6.5) for harmful drinkers and alcohol-dependent FSW. Over 30% of ART-eligible FSW reported using marijuana. Marijuana-using FSW were 1.9 (95% CI: 0.8, 4.6) times as likely to not use ART compared to FSW who were not using marijuana. Given the high prevalence of alcohol use and its association with lack of ART use, ART uptake and alcohol reduction strategies should be tailored for alcohol-using FSW in Malawi.
Phiri, K S
Rapid urbanisation and poor town planning in Malawi has been associated with poor environmental hygiene and sanitation. The aim of the present study was to investigate the prevalence, intensity and some potential risk factors of intestinal helminth infections among children aged 3 - 14 years in an urban and rural community in Southern Malawi. A randomised cross-sectional survey was conducted in July, 1998. Data were collected through questionnaire interview regarding socio-demographic and environmental conditions from households in both areas. Stool samples were collected from 273 children in the urban community and 280 in the rural. There was a significant difference (purban and rural communities, 16.5% and 3.6% respectively. Most of the infections were light (93.2% for Ascaris lumbricodes, 85.7% for hookworm). Large variance to mean ratios of egg intensity within age groups and the total study population suggested a high degree of aggregation of the parasites in the communities. Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that certain groups of children in the urban community were much more likely to develop helminth infection. They included children who had pools of water/sewage around houses (OR = 3.0, 95% CI = 1.4 ñ 6.5), did not wear shoes (OR a 7.1, 95% CI = 2.7 - 19.2), did not attend school (OR = 2.8, 95% CI = 1.2 ñ 6.5), had mothers who had 4 to 8 years of education (OR = 5.2, 95% CI = 2.0 - 14.0), had mothers below 35 years of age (OR = 4.09, 95% CI = 1.39 - 16.28) and living in an urban community (OR = 5.3, 95% CI = 2.6 - 12.1). Efforts to reduce helminth infections should focus on reducing exposures.
Reddy, Deepa; Njala, Joseph; Stocker, Penny; Schooley, Alan; Flores, Martiniano; Tseng, Chi-Hong; Pfaff, Colin; Jansen, Perry; Mitsuyasu, Ronald T; Hoffman, Risa M
Rates of abnormal visual inspection with acetic acid and prevalence of high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) subtypes have not been well characterized in HIV-infected women in Malawi. We performed a prospective cohort study of visual inspection with acetic acid (N = 440) in HIV-infected women aged 25--59 years, with a nested study of HPV subtypes in first 300 women enrolled. Of 440 women screened, 9.5% (N = 42) had abnormal visual inspection with acetic acid with 69.0% (N = 29) having advanced disease not amenable to cryotherapy. Of 294 women with HPV results, 39% (N = 114) of women were positive for high-risk HPV infection. Only lower CD4 count (287 cells/mm(3) versus 339 cells/mm(3), p = 0.03) and high-risk HPV (66.7% versus 35.6%, p < 0.01) were associated with abnormal visual inspection with acetic acid. The most common high-risk HPV subtypes in women with abnormal visual inspection with acetic acid were 35 (33.3%), 16 (26.7%), and 58 (23.3%). Low CD4 cell count was associated with abnormal visual inspection with acetic acid and raises the importance of early antiretroviral therapy and expanded availability of visual inspection with acetic acid. HPV vaccines targeting additional non-16/18 high-risk HPV subtypes may have greater protective advantages in countries such as Malawi.
Beltman, Jogchum Jan; van den Akker, Thomas; Bwirire, Dieudonne; Korevaar, Anneke; Chidakwani, Richard; van Lonkhuijzen, Luc; van Roosmalen, Jos
Background: To identify factors contributing to the high incidence of facility-based obstetric hemorrhage in Thyolo District, Malawi, according to local health workers. Methods: Three focus group discussions among 29 health workers, including nurse-midwives and non-physician clinicians ('medical ass
Iyengar, Radhika; Karim, Alia; Chagwira, Florie
Reading fluency is a skill foundational to academic performance, and acquiring this skill in early grades is crucial. Throughout sub-Saharan Africa, reading levels of students are far below grade level, and Malawi is no exception. Research suggests that students, particularly in consistently spelled languages, acquire automaticity most easily by…
Full Text Available Abstract Background In Malawi, the dramatic shortage of human resources for health is negatively impacted by HIV-related morbidity and mortality among health workers and their relatives. Many staff find it difficult to access HIV care through regular channels due to fear of stigma and discrimination. In 2006, two workplace initiatives were implemented in Thyolo District: a clinic at the district hospital dedicated to all district health staff and their first-degree relatives, providing medical services, including HIV care; and a support group for HIV-positive staff. Methods Using routine programme data, we evaluated the following outcomes up to the end of 2009: uptake and outcome of HIV testing and counselling among health staff and their dependents; uptake and outcomes of antiretroviral therapy (ART among health staff; and membership and activities of the support group. In addition, we included information from staff interviews and a job satisfaction survey to describe health workers' opinions of the initiatives. Results Almost two-thirds (91 of 144, 63% of health workers and their dependents undergoing HIV testing and counselling at the staff clinic tested HIV positive. Sixty-four health workers had accessed ART through the staff clinic, approximately the number of health workers estimated to be in need of ART. Of these, 60 had joined the support group. Cumulative ART outcomes were satisfactory, with more than 90% alive on treatment as of June 2009 (the end of the study observation period. The availability, confidentiality and quality of care in the staff clinic were considered adequate by beneficiaries. Conclusions Staff clinic and support group services successfully provided care and support to HIV-positive health workers. Similar initiatives should be considered in other settings with a high HIV prevalence.
Adeloye, A. J.; Mwale, F. D.; Dulanya, Z.
In response to the increasing frequency and economic damages of natural disasters globally, disaster risk management has evolved to incorporate risk assessments that are multi-dimensional, integrated and metric-based. This is to support knowledge-based decision making and hence sustainable risk reduction. In Malawi and most of Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), however, flood risk studies remain focussed on understanding causation, impacts, perceptions and coping and adaptation measures. Using the IPCC Framework, this study has quantified and profiled risk to flooding of rural, subsistent communities in the Lower Shire Valley, Malawi. Flood risk was obtained by integrating hazard and vulnerability. Flood hazard was characterised in terms of flood depth and inundation area obtained through hydraulic modelling in the valley with Lisflood-FP, while the vulnerability was indexed through analysis of exposure, susceptibility and capacity that were linked to social, economic, environmental and physical perspectives. Data on these were collected through structured interviews of the communities. The implementation of the entire analysis within GIS enabled the visualisation of spatial variability in flood risk in the valley. The results show predominantly medium levels in hazardousness, vulnerability and risk. The vulnerability is dominated by a high to very high susceptibility. Economic and physical capacities tend to be predominantly low but social capacity is significantly high, resulting in overall medium levels of capacity-induced vulnerability. Exposure manifests as medium. The vulnerability and risk showed marginal spatial variability. The paper concludes with recommendations on how these outcomes could inform policy interventions in the Valley.
Chidya, Russel C. G.; Matamula, Swithern; Nakoma, Oliver; Chawinga, Charles B. J.
Many people in in the Sub-Saharan region rely on groundwater for drinking and other household uses. Despite this significance, information on the chemical composition of the water in the boreholes and emperical data on groundwater quality is limited in some rural areas of Malawi. This study was conducted to evaluate the physico-chemical quality of water from boreholes (n = 20) in Zombwe Extension Planning Area (EPA), Mzimba in Northern Malawi to ascertain their safety. Desktop studies and participatory approaches were employed to assess the socio-economic activities and water supply regime in the study areas. The water samples were analysed for pH, conductivity (EC), turbidity, water temperature, nitrate (NO3-), magnesium (Mg), calcium (Ca), zinc (Zn), fluoride (F-), and sulphate (SO42-). In-situ and laboratory analyses were carried out using portable meters and standard procedures. The results were compared with national (Malawi Bureau of Standards - MBS) and international standards (World Health Organization - WHO) for drinking water. The following ranges were obtained: pH (6.00-7.80), EC (437-3128 μS/cm), turbidity (0.10-5.80 NTU), water temperature (27.0-30.60 °C), NO3- (0.30-30.00 mg/L), F- (0.10-8.10 mg/L), Mg (31.00-91.00 mg/L), Ca (20.00-197.10 mg/L), SO42- (10.20-190 mg/L), Fe (0.10-3.60 mg/L) and Zn (0.00-5.10 mg/L). Generally, some parameters tested at several sites (>80%, n = 20) complied with both MBS and WHO limits. No significant differences (p > 0.05) was observed for most parameters (>65%, n = 11). Groundwater contamination was not significant in the area despite some parameters like F-, Ca and SO42- showing higher levels at other sites. Some sites registered very hard water (244.60-757.80 mg/L CaCO3) probably due to mineralization influenced by underground rock material. Further studies are needed to ascertain the groundwater quality of other parameters (like F-, and SO42-) which registered higher levels at some sites. Routine monitoring of the
Haddad, Lisa B; Feldacker, Caryl; Jamieson, Denise J; Tweya, Hannock; Cwiak, Carrie; Bryant, Amy G; Hosseinipour, Mina C; Chaweza, Thomas; Mlundira, Linly; Kachale, Fanny; Stuart, Gretchen S; Hoffman, Irving; Phiri, Sam
To determine medical eligibility for contraceptive use, contraceptive preference, and acceptance of a copper intrauterine device (IUD) among a cohort of HIV-infected women receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART). All HIV-infected women who received ART and sought contraceptive services at the Lighthouse clinic, an integrated HIV/ART clinic in Lilongwe, Malawi, between August and December 2010 were invited to participate in a structured interview. Eligibility and preference for the following contraceptive methods were assessed: combined hormonal contraceptives, progestogen-only pills, copper IUD, injectable depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA), and contraceptive implants. The final sample included 281 women; five were pregnant. The remaining 276 women were eligible for at least three contraceptive methods, with 242 (87.7%) eligible for all five methods evaluated. After counseling, 163 (58.0%) selected DMPA and 98 (34.9%) selected an IUD as their preferred contraceptive method. Regardless of their method of choice, 222 (79.0%) women agreed to have an IUD placed on the same day. Most methods of contraception are safe for use by HIV-infected women. Approximately 80% of the women were willing to receive an IUD. Efforts must be made to increase education about, and access to, long-acting reversible methods that may be acceptable and appropriate contraceptive options for HIV-infected women. Copyright © 2014 International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics. All rights reserved.
Edun, Babatunde; Iyer, Medha; Albrecht, Helmut; Weissman, Sharon
The HIV continuum of care model is widely used by various agencies to describe the HIV epidemic in stages from diagnosis through to virologic suppression. It identifies the various points at which persons living with HIV (PLWHIV) within a population fail to reach their next step in HIV care. The rural population in the Southern United States is disproportionally affected by the HIV epidemic. The purpose of this study was to examine these rural-urban disparities using the HIV care continuum model and determine at what stages these differences become apparent. PLWHIV aged 13 years and older in South Carolina (SC) were identified using data from the enhanced HIV/AIDS Reporting System. The percentages of PLWHIV linked to care, retained in care, and virologically suppressed were determined. Rural versus urban residence was determined using the Office of Management and Budget classification. There were 14,523 PLWHIV in SC at the end of 2012; 11,193 (77%) of whom were categorized as urban and 3305 (22%) as rural. There was no difference between urban and rural for those who had received any care: 64% versus 64% (p = .61); retention in care 53% versus 53% (p = .71); and virologic suppression 49% versus 48% (p = .35), respectively. The SC rural-urban HIV cascade represents the first published cascade of care model using rural versus urban residence. Although significant health care disparities exist between rural and urban residents, there were no major differences between rural and urban residents at the various stages of engagement in HIV care using the HIV continuum of care model.
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: In the generalized epidemics of HIV in southern Sub-Saharan Africa, men who have sex with men have been largely excluded from HIV surveillance and research. Epidemiologic data for MSM in southern Africa are among the sparsest globally, and HIV risk among these men has yet to be characterized in the majority of countries. METHODOLOGY: A cross-sectional anonymous probe of 537 men recruited with non-probability sampling among men who reported ever having had sex with another man in Malawi, Namibia, and Botswana using a structured survey instrument and HIV screening with the OraQuick(c rapid test kit. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The HIV prevalence among those between the ages of 18 and 23 was 8.3% (20/241; 20.0% (42/210 among those 24-29; and 35.7% (30/84 among those older than 30 for an overall prevalence of 17.4% (95% CI 14.4-20.8. In multivariate logistic regressions, being older than 25 (aOR 4.0, 95% CI 2.0-8.0, and not always wearing condoms during sex (aOR 2.6, 95% CI 1.3-4.9 were significantly associated with being HIV-positive. Sexual concurrency was common with 16.6% having ongoing concurrent stable relationships with a man and a woman and 53.7% had both male and female sexual partners in proceeding 6 months. Unprotected anal intercourse was common and the use of petroleum-based lubricants was also common when using condoms. Human rights abuses, including blackmail and denial of housing and health care was prevalent with 42.1% (222/527 reporting at least one abuse. CONCLUSIONS: MSM are a high-risk group for HIV infection and human rights abuses in Malawi, Namibia, and Botswana. Concurrency of sexual partnerships with partners of both genders may play important roles in HIV spread in these populations. Further epidemiologic and evaluative research is needed to assess the contribution of MSM to southern Africa's HIV epidemics and how best to mitigate this. These countries should initiate and adequately fund evidence-based and targeted HIV
Full Text Available OBJECTIVES: Mortality in patients starting antiretroviral therapy (ART is higher in Malawi and Zambia than in South Africa. We examined whether different monitoring of ART (viral load [VL] in South Africa and CD4 count in Malawi and Zambia could explain this mortality difference. DESIGN: Mathematical modelling study based on data from ART programmes. METHODS: We used a stochastic simulation model to study the effect of VL monitoring on mortality over 5 years. In baseline scenario A all parameters were identical between strategies except for more timely and complete detection of treatment failure with VL monitoring. Additional scenarios introduced delays in switching to second-line ART (scenario B or higher virologic failure rates (due to worse adherence when monitoring was based on CD4 counts only (scenario C. Results are presented as relative risks (RR with 95% prediction intervals and percent of observed mortality difference explained. RESULTS: RRs comparing VL with CD4 cell count monitoring were 0.94 (0.74-1.03 in scenario A, 0.94 (0.77-1.02 with delayed switching (scenario B and 0.80 (0.44-1.07 when assuming a 3-times higher rate of failure (scenario C. The observed mortality at 3 years was 10.9% in Malawi and Zambia and 8.6% in South Africa (absolute difference 2.3%. The percentage of the mortality difference explained by VL monitoring ranged from 4% (scenario A to 32% (scenarios B and C combined, assuming a 3-times higher failure rate. Eleven percent was explained by non-HIV related mortality. CONCLUSIONS: VL monitoring reduces mortality moderately when assuming improved adherence and decreased failure rates.
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Smear-positive pulmonary TB is the most infectious form of TB. Previous studies on the effect of HIV and antiretroviral therapy on TB treatment outcomes among these highly infectious patients demonstrated conflicting results, reducing understanding of important issues. METHODS: All adult smear-positive pulmonary TB patients diagnosed between 2008 and 2010 in Malawi's largest public, integrated TB/HIV clinic were included in the study to assess treatment outcomes by HIV and antiretroviral therapy status using logistic regression. RESULTS: Of 2,361 new smear-positive pulmonary TB patients, 86% had successful treatment outcome (were cured or completed treatment, 5% died, 6% were lost to follow-up, 1% failed treatment, and 2% transferred-out. Overall HIV prevalence was 56%. After adjusting for gender, age and TB registration year, treatment success was higher among HIV-negative than HIV-positive patients (adjusted odds ratio 1.49; 95% CI: 1.14-1.94. Of 1,275 HIV-infected pulmonary TB patients, 492 (38% received antiretroviral therapy during the study. Pulmonary TB patients on antiretroviral therapy were more likely to have successful treatment outcomes than those not on ART (adjusted odds ratio : 1.83; 95% CI: 1.29-2.60. CONCLUSION: HIV co-infection was associated with poor TB treatment outcomes. Despite high HIV prevalence and the integrated TB/HIV setting, only a minority of patients started antiretroviral therapy. Intensified patient education and provider training on the benefits of antiretroviral therapy could increase antiretroviral therapy uptake and improve TB treatment success among these most infectious patients.
Nurses are the majority of health-care professionals who frequently come in contact with people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). However, most health workers such as nurses lack competence and confidence in dealing with the mental health problems (MHPs) of their clients in Malawi. The study aimed at exploring nurses' levels of knowledge and skills in providing mental health care to PLWHA. The study used a descriptive quantitative survey design. Ethical approval and permission were granted by relevant authorities to conduct the study. A convenient sample of 109 nurses was used. They gave written consent and completed self-administered questionnaires. Descriptive statistics namely: means, frequencies and percentages were used to analyse data. The findings suggest that nurses who care for PLWHA lack knowledge and skills to deal with MHPs of these people. Many participants (53.2%, n = 58) lacked knowledge and skills to care for PLWHA who have MHPs. Nurses are potentially essential human resource for dealing with MHPs of PLWHA in Malawi. Unfortunately, some nurses lack the necessary knowledge and skills to deal with MHPs. Nurses must be equipped with adequate knowledge and skills so that they are able to deal with MHPs of PLWHA.
Neuman, Michelle J.; McConnell, Christin; Kholowa, Foster
Over the past 20 years, more than 6,000 community-based childcare centers (CBCCs) have been created in mostly rural areas of Malawi. Although the original purpose of these CBCCs was to meet the care needs of orphans and vulnerable children affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic, the services have since expanded their mandate to provide early…
Crampin, AC; Kayuni, N.; Amberbir, A; Musicha, C; Koole, O.; Tafatatha, T; Branson, K.; Saul, J.; Mwaiyeghele, E.; Nkhwazi, L; Phiri, A; Price, AJ; Mwagomba, B.; Mwansambo, C; Jaffar, S.
Background The emerging burden of cardiovascular disease and diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa threatens the gains made in health by the major international effort to combat infectious diseases. There are few data on distribution of risk factors and outcomes in the region to inform an effective public health response. A comprehensive research programme is being developed aimed at accurately documenting the burden and drivers of NCDs in urban and rural Malawi; to design and test intervention stra...
Full Text Available Objective: The highest prevalence of HIV infection occurs in Sub-Saharan Africa and hepatitis B virus (HBV, and hepatitis C virus (HCV prevalence are the second highest in Sub-Saharan Africa including Malawi. Health-care workers (HCWs play an important role in the prevention of, response to, and management of these infectious diseases. There is, however, no published research about the level of knowledge and attitudes toward HIV, HBV, and HCV infection among Malawian HCWs. The purpose of this study was to explore and determine the knowledge of and attitudes toward HIV, HBV, and HCV among a targeted population of Malawian HCWs. Methods: A cross-sectional community-based participatory research with 194 HCWs was completed employing health survey method. The project was a collaborative effort between nursing faculties in the USA and Malawian. A one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA with the Bonferroni adjustment for multiple comparisons was used to assess the differences in knowledge and attitude among three subgroups of HCWs. Results: Of 194 of Malawian HCWs surveyed, 41% were support staff, 37% were nursing students, and 22% were health-care professionals. Both health-care professionals and support staff had high knowledge scores related to HIV/AIDS, and their attitudes were mainly positive. However, a series of one-way ANOVAs revealed significant differences in knowledge and attitude toward HIV/AIDs, HBV, and HCV among HCWs (P < 0.01. The majority had less knowledge about HBV and HCV and more negative attitudes toward hepatitis. Conclusions: This study highlights the ongoing need for reducing negative attitudes toward HIV, HBV, and HCV; and providing health education among HCWs, especially focusing on HBV and HCV prevention. The findings of the research project can be used to develop interventions addressing low HBV- and HCV-related knowledge and attitudes.
MacIntyre, Linda M; Waters, Catherine M; Rankin, Sally H; Schell, Ellen; Laviwa, Jones; Luhanga, Melton Richard
Trust is valuable social capital that is essential for effective partnerships to improve a community's health. Yet, how to establish trust in culturally diverse communities is elusive for many researchers, practitioners, and agencies. The purpose of this qualitative study was to obtain perspectives of individuals working for a nongovernmental organization (NGO) about gaining community trust in Malawi in order to mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS. Twenty-six interviews were conducted over 12 months. Content analysis revealed the relationship between NGO staff and the community is crucial to gaining community trust. Gender, social context, and religious factors influence the establishment of trust within the relationship, but NGO assumptions about the community can erode community trust. Nurses and other health professionals working with the NGOs can help create conditions to build trust in an ethically and culturally sensitive manner whereby communities can develop processes to address their own health concerns.
Hosegood, Victoria; Floyd, Sian; Marston, Milly; Hill, Caterina; McGrath, Nuala; Isingo, Raphael; Crampin, Amelia; Zaba, Basia
Using longitudinal data from three demographic surveillance systems (DSS) and a retrospective cohort study, we estimate levels and trends in the prevalence and incidence of orphanhood in South Africa, Tanzania, and Malawi in the period 1988-2004. The prevalence of maternal, paternal, and double orphans rose in all three populations. In South Africa - where the HIV epidemic started later, has been very severe, and has not yet stabilized - the incidence of orphanhood among children is double that of the other populations. The living arrangements of children vary considerably between the populations, particularly in relation to fathers. Patterns of marriage, migration, and adult mortality influence the living and care arrangements of orphans and non-orphans. DSS data provide new insights into the impact of adult mortality on children, challenging several widely held assumptions. For example, we find no evidence that the prevalence of child-headed households is significant or has increased in the three study areas.
This article describes the community-based nutrition intervention in rural southern Malawi. The program aims to reverse micronutrient deficiencies in vitamin A, iron, and zinc in a society where staple diets are plant-based and contain high levels of anti-nutrients. Anti-nutrients, such as polyphenols, dietary fiber, and phytates, inhibit absorption of iron and zinc. This population's diet was also low in dairy and meat products. The Tulimbe Nutrition Project aimed to modify and diversify diets rather than to supplement or fortify diets. This approach was more culturally acceptable and economically feasible. The approach required changing food selection patterns and methods of preparing and processing indigenous foods. The new diets aimed to enhance the availability, access, and use of micronutrient-rich foods throughout the year. The project was initiated in 1995 in two communities among 300 families with children ranging in age from 3 to 7 years. A baseline assessment with interviews and focus groups was conducted. The assessment for children included a 24-hour dietary recall, anthropometric measurement, and other clinical measurement. Anthropometric and dietary assessments were repeated at 6 and 12 months. New cultivars and technologies were introduced, such as soybeans, short-duration pigeon peas, groundnuts, sunflower seeds, and papaya seedlings. The Malawi Industrial Research and Technology Development Center built and installed solar dryers, seed oil presses, and ovens in each community. People were encouraged to include soaked and fermented maize flour and germinated cereal flours in infant and child porridges. Parents were educated about micronutrient-rich foods, meal frequencies, portion sizes, and food combinations. Information was provided through demonstrations, home visits, plays, songs, and booklets. The program evaluation is in progress.
Gasana, M.; Vandebriel, G.; Kabanda, G.; Tsiouris, S. J.; Justman, J.; Sahabo, R.; Kamugundu, D.; El-Sadr, W. M.
SETTING Rwanda has generalised human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and tuberculosis (TB) epidemics. The Rwandan Ministry of Health approved a policy on TB-HIV collaborative activities in 2005. The present study is a report on the results of the integrated TB and HIV activities at a rural health care site between July 2005 and June 2006. METHODS Activities included provider-initiated HIV testing and counselling (PITC) of TB patients and the implementation of a standardised TB screening questionnaire for in-patients on medical wards and HIV-infected out-patients. RESULTS Of a total 259 TB patients registered, 87% with unknown HIV status or who were HIV-negative accepted PITC. Overall, 48% (125/259) of TB patients were HIV-infected. The proportion of TB patients ever tested for HIV increased from 82% (138/169) in 2004–2005 to 93% (240/259) in 2005–2006 (P < 0.001). Of the 770 in-patients screened for TB, 162 (21%) tested positive, of whom 53 (33%) were diagnosed with TB; 39 (76%) of these were HIV co-infected. Three hundred out-patients with HIV were screened for TB; 80 (27%) tested positive, of whom 11 (14%) were diagnosed with TB. DISCUSSION Activities integrating TB and HIV were feasible in a rural health care setting. PITC was successful in TB patients and unrecognised TB was common, particularly among HIV-infected in-patients. PMID:18302821
Mapoma, Harold Wilson Tumwitike; Xie, Xianjun; Nyirenda, Mathews Tananga; Zhang, Liping; Kaonga, Chikumbusko Chiziwa; Mbewe, Rex
In this study, twenty one (21) trace elements in the basement complex groundwater of Blantyre district, Malawi were analyzed. The majority of the analyzed trace elements in the water were within the standards set by World Health Organization (WHO) and Malawi Standards Board (MSB). But, iron (Fe) (BH16 and 21), manganese (Mn) (BH01) and selenium (Se) (BH02, 13, 18, 19 and 20) were higher than the WHO and MSB standards. Factor analysis (FA) revealed up to five significant factors which accounted for 87.4% of the variance. Factor 1, 2 and 3 suggest evaporite dissolution and silicate weathering processes while the fourth factor may explain carbonate dissolution and pH influence on trace element geochemistry of the studied groundwater samples. According to PHREEQC computed saturation indices, dissolution, precipitation and rock-water-interaction control the levels of trace elements in this aquifer. Elevated concentrations of Fe, Mn and Se in certain boreholes are due to the geology of the aquifer and probable redox status of groundwater. From PHREEQC speciation results, variations in trace element species were observed. Based on this study, boreholes need constant monitoring and assessment for human consumption to avoid health related issues.
Tavory, Iddo; Poulin, Michelle
This article focuses on Malawian sex workers’ understandings of exchange and intimacy, showing how multiple historically emergent categories and specific work pragmatics produce specific patterns of relational meanings. As we show, sex workers make sense of their relationships with clients through two categories. The first is sex work; the second is the chibwenzi, an intimate premarital relational category that emerged from pre-colonial transformations in courtship practices. These categories, in turn, are also shaped differently in different work settings. We use narratives from in-depth interviews with 45 sex workers and bar managers in southern Malawi to describe how the everyday pragmatics of two forms of sex work—performed by “bargirls” and “freelancers”—foster distinct understandings of relationships between them and men they have sex with. Bargirls, who work and live in bars, blurred the boundaries between “regulars” and chibwenzi; freelancers, who are not tethered to a specific work environment, often subverted the meanings of the chibwenzi, presenting these relationships as both intimate and emotionally distant. Through this comparison, we thus refine an approach to the study of the intimacy-exchange nexus, and use it to capture the complexities of gender relations in post-colonial Malawi. PMID:28936026
Tavory, Iddo; Poulin, Michelle
This article focuses on Malawian sex workers' understandings of exchange and intimacy, showing how multiple historically emergent categories and specific work pragmatics produce specific patterns of relational meanings. As we show, sex workers make sense of their relationships with clients through two categories. The first is sex work; the second is the chibwenzi, an intimate premarital relational category that emerged from pre-colonial transformations in courtship practices. These categories, in turn, are also shaped differently in different work settings. We use narratives from in-depth interviews with 45 sex workers and bar managers in southern Malawi to describe how the everyday pragmatics of two forms of sex work-performed by "bargirls" and "freelancers"-foster distinct understandings of relationships between them and men they have sex with. Bargirls, who work and live in bars, blurred the boundaries between "regulars" and chibwenzi; freelancers, who are not tethered to a specific work environment, often subverted the meanings of the chibwenzi, presenting these relationships as both intimate and emotionally distant. Through this comparison, we thus refine an approach to the study of the intimacy-exchange nexus, and use it to capture the complexities of gender relations in post-colonial Malawi.
Rupali J. Limaye
Full Text Available The generalised AIDS epidemic in Malawi presents many challenges. As communication and advice from parents, peers, and partners are important factors in influencing sexual behaviour, understanding communication may provide insights into behaviour change programming. This mixed-method study used a household survey (n=1812 and 15 focus group discussions from the southern districts of Malawi to explore communication about sex and sexuality. Quantitative study findings point to the idea that self-efficacy, perceived benefits, and injunctive norms about talking about condom use are important factors influencing intentions to discuss condom use with partners. Qualitative study findings found that communication regarding sex between parents and children, partners, and peers was not common, and when there was communication, messages about sex focused on negative consequences of sexual activity. In Malawi, there is a need to increase efficacy in talking about sex and protective sexual behaviours, including condom use. Interventions should include components to increase communication skills, shift norms about sexual communication, and provide alternative mechanisms for individuals to gather pertinent information regarding their sexual behaviour.
Geoffroy, E; Harries, A D; Bissell, K; Schell, E; Bvumbwe, A; Tayler-Smith, K; Kizito, W
Cadre : Le Mialawi soufre d'un manque chronique de personnel de santé, d'un lourd fardeau d'infection au virus de l'mmuodéficience humaine (VIH) et de paludisme avec une population surtout rurale. Des unités de santé mobiles (MHCs) pourraient fournir des soins de santé primaires aux adultes et aux enfants dans les zones d'accès difficile.Objectifs : Déterminer la faisabilité, le volume et les types de services fournis par trois MHCs de 2011 à 2013 dans le district de Mulanje, Malawi.Schéma : Etude rétrospective transversale.Résultats : Les MHCs ont effectué 309 492 consultations de soins de santé primaires et en 2013, les services ont fonctionné pendant 99% des jours prévus. En dépit d'une amélioration dans la fourniture des services, le total des consultations de patients a décliné au cours de la période d'étude. Le paludisme et les problèmes respiratoires et gastro-intestinaux constituaient 60% des consultations. Les femmes étaient significativement plus nombreuses (n = 11 543) que les hommes (n = 2481) à avoir un test VIH, mais les hommes étaient plus souvent VIH positifs (27%) que les femmes (14%). Le paludisme représentait 26 421 (35%) consultations pour les enfants de moins de 5 ans avec une augmentation significative en saison des pluies. La mise en œuvre des tests de diagnostic rapide a été associée à un déclin du nombre de patients traités pour paludisme. Les ruptures de stock d'antibiotiques dans les centres de santé du gouvernement étaient associés à une augmentation des consultations des MHC.Conclusion : Les MHC peuvent offrir en routine des soins de santé primaires aux adultes et aux enfants vivant dans les zones rurales du Malawi et compléter les structures fixes. Mais passer d'un rôle de complément à l'intégration au sein du système de santé du gouvernement reste un défi.
Kululanga Lucy I
Full Text Available Abstract Background Understanding the strategies that health care providers employ in order to invite men to participate in maternal health care is very vital especially in today's dynamic cultural environment. Effective utilization of such strategies is dependent on uncovering the salient issues that facilitate male participation in maternal health care. This paper examines and describes the strategies that were used by different health care facilities to invite husbands to participate in maternal health care in rural and urban settings of southern Malawi. Methods The data was collected through in-depth interviews from sixteen of the twenty health care providers from five different health facilities in rural and urban settings of Malawi. The health facilities comprised two health centres, one district hospital, one mission hospital, one private hospital and one central hospital. A semi-structured interview guide was used to collect data from health care providers with the aim of understanding strategies they used to invite men to participate in maternal health care. Results Four main strategies were used to invite men to participate in maternal health care. The strategies were; health care provider initiative, partner notification, couple initiative and community mobilization. The health care provider initiative and partner notification were at health facility level, while the couple initiative was at family level and community mobilization was at village (community level. The community mobilization had three sub-themes namely; male peer initiative, use of incentives and community sensitization. The sustainability of each strategy to significantly influence behaviour change for male participation in maternal health care is discussed. Conclusion Strategies to invite men to participate in maternal health care were at health facility, family and community levels. The couple strategy was most appropriate but was mostly used by educated and city
developed that do not overload a health system that is already heavily ... The NCD screening models were integrated into existing platforms, utilising ... Data were collected on specifically designed .... HIV care was fully decentralised in all health facilities and ... Figure 1: Map of Neno District, Malawi, showing locations of.
Beltman Jogchum Jan
Full Text Available Abstract Background To identify factors contributing to the high incidence of facility-based obstetric hemorrhage in Thyolo District, Malawi, according to local health workers. Methods Three focus group discussions among 29 health workers, including nurse-midwives and non-physician clinicians (‘medical assistants’ and ‘clinical officers’. Results Factors contributing to facility-based obstetric hemorrhage mentioned by participants were categorized into four major areas: (1 limited availability of basic supplies, (2 lack of human resources, (3 inadequate clinical skills of available health workers and (4 substandard referrals by traditional birth attendants and lack of timely self-referrals of patients. Conclusion Health workers in this district mentioned important community, system and provider related factors that need to be addressed in order to reduce the impact of obstetric hemorrhage.
Maria H Kim
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The Tingathe program utilizes community health workers to improve prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT service delivery. We evaluated the impact of antiretroviral (ARV regimen and maternal CD4+ count on HIV transmission within the Tingathe program in Lilongwe, Malawi. METHODS: We reviewed clinical records of 1088 mother-infant pairs enrolled from March 2009 to March 2011 who completed follow-up to first DNA PCR. Eligibility for antiretroviral treatment (ART was determined by CD4+ cell count (CD4+ for women not yet on ART. ART-eligible women initiated stavudine-lamivudine-nevirapine. Early ART was defined as ART for ≥14 weeks prior to delivery. For women ineligible for ART, optimal ARV prophylaxis was maternal AZT ≥6 weeks+sdNVP, and infant sdNVP+AZT for 1 week. HIV transmission rates were determined for ARV regimens, and factors associated with vertical transmission were identified using bivariate logistic regression. RESULTS: Transmission rate at first PCR was 4.1%. Pairs receiving suboptimal ARV prophylaxis were more likely to transmit HIV (10.3%, 95% CI, 5.5-18.1%. ART was associated with reduced transmission (1.4%, 95% CI, 0.6-3.0%, with early ART associated with decreased transmission (no transmission, compared to all other treatment groups (p = 0.001. No association was detected between transmission and CD4+ categories (p = 0.337, trimester of pregnancy at enrollment (p = 0.100, or maternal age (p = 0.164. CONCLUSION: Low rates of MTCT of HIV are possible in resource-constrained settings under routine programmatic conditions. No transmissions were observed among women on ART for more than 14 weeks prior to delivery.
Mapoma, Harold Wilson Tumwitike; Xie, Xianjun; Zhang, Liping; Nyirenda, Mathews Tananga; Maliro, Albert; Chimutu, Darlington
The purpose of this research was to characterize the quality of groundwater for drinking and irrigation in Blantyre, Malawi as well as identify some geochemical processes governing mineralization of major and some minor elements. The aquifer studied is part of the extensive crystalline basement complex. The suitability and classification involved confirmatory analysis of the results with World Health Organization and Malawi Standards Board groundwater guideline values. The water samples were analyzed for major descriptors (pH, Temperature, turbidity, major ions, total dissolved solids and electrical conductivity (EC), using standard methods. Besides, arsenic, iron and fluoride were analyzed as well. Multivariate statistics (especially Hierarchical Cluster Analysis and Factor Analysis), hydrographical methods (i.e. Piper diagram) and geochemical modeling programs (AquaChem and PHREEQC) were used to characterize the quality and explain the sources and evolution of groundwater. Suitability of groundwater for irrigation was assessed using Wilcox method which identified BH01, BH16 and BH21 as high salinity areas. Incidentally, the three boreholes had relatively higher sulfate and nitrate concentrations than the rest. Nevertheless, the groundwater was found to be within acceptable limits for drinking quality except elevated concentrations of nitrate, fluoride and iron in some boreholes compared with WHO standards, despite meeting the national standards. Borehole BH01, BH02, BH07, BH13 and BH18 exhibited nitrate concentrations greater than national standards (45 mg/L) an indication of groundwater contamination. Furthermore, the groundwater is slightly acidic to slightly above neutral with total dissolved solids less than 500 mg/l. Generally, groundwater was undersaturated with respect to both calcite and dolomite while oversaturated with respect to halite, goethite and hematite. Silicate and carbonate weathering were identified as main mineral sources for major ions in
Yajima, Midori; van Huis, Arnold; Jiggins, Janice
The "New Variant Famine" hypothesis proposed that AIDS offers a major challenge to food security in this part of Africa by impairing the functioning of traditional support systems, leading to the collapse of "social immunity". This study explores the changing perceptions of HIV and AIDS and peoples' responses to its impact by eliciting life history narratives of 30 respondents in Northern Malawi. We classified respondents by means of gender, livelihood systems and AIDS impact levels. Respondents reported a range of critical events, recorded in the life histories, that threatened their "social immunity", including deaths, sicknesses, migration, marriages and divorces, and dropping out of school; i.e., a greater range of risks than AIDS alone, that need to be recognised in HIV and AIDS programming. For the respondents who were classified as "AIDS-affected", learning about their seropositive status was found to be an important, and in some cases a positive, turning point in their lives in terms of behavioural changes, such as joining support groups and opening up to discussion of the implications of their status. The emerging social organisations could re-create social capacity and check the downward spiral proposed by the "New Variant Famine" hypothesis. To promote this shift and to confer a higher level of "social immunity", investments in expanding access to voluntary counselling and testing and antiretroviral therapy services, and assistance to community-based organisations would be essential.
Wang, Qun; Brenner, Stephan; Leppert, Gerald; Banda, Thomas Hastings; Kalmus, Olivier; De Allegri, Manuela
Malawi is facing a rising chronic non-communicable disease (CNCD) epidemic. This study explored health seeking behaviour and related expenditure on CNCDs in rural Malawi, with specific focus on detecting potential differences across population groups. We used data from the first round of a panel household health survey conducted in rural Malawi between August and October 2012 on a sample of 1199 households. Multinomial logistic regression was used to analyse factors associated with health seeking choices for CNCDs, distinguishing between no care, informal care and formal care. Descriptive statistics (mean, standard deviation and median) were used to describe related household out-of-pocket expenditure. There were 475 individuals (equivalent to 8.4% of all respondents) reporting at least one CNCD. Among them, 37.3% did not seek any care, 42.5% sought formal care (facility-based care), and 20.2% opted for informal care (traditional or home treatment). Regression analysis showed that illness severity and duration, socio-economic status, being a household head, and the proportion of household members living with a CNCD were significantly associated with health care utilization. Among those seeking care, 65.8% incurred out-of-pocket expenditure with an average of USD 1.49 spent on medical treatment and an additional USD 0.50 spent on transport. Further qualitative inquiry is needed to understand the reasons for low service utilization and to explore the potential role of supply-side factors. To increase access to care for people suffering from CNCDs, the provision of a free Essential Health Package in Malawi ought to be strengthened through the integration of system-wide screening, risk factor modification and continuity of care options for people suffering from CNCDs. This would ensure affordable services to modulate health seeking behaviour of patients at risk of major chronic illnesses.
Emissions from traditional cooking practices in low- and middle-income countries have detrimental health and climate effects; cleaner-burning cookstoves may provide “co-benefits”. Here we assess this potential via in-home measurements of fuel-use and emissions and real-time optical properties of pollutants from traditional and alternative cookstoves in rural Malawi. Alternative cookstove models were distributed by existing initiatives and include a low-cost ceramic model, two forced-draft cookstoves (FDCS; Philips HD4012LS and ACE-1), and three institutional cookstoves. Among household cookstoves, emission factors (EF; g (kg wood)−1) were lowest for the Philips, with statistically significant reductions relative to baseline of 45% and 47% for fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and carbon monoxide (CO), respectively. The Philips was the only cookstove tested that showed significant reductions in elemental carbon (EC) emission rate. Estimated health and climate cobenefits of alternative cookstoves were smaller than predicted from laboratory tests due to the effects of real-world conditions including fuel variability and nonideal operation. For example, estimated daily PM intake and field-measurement-based global warming commitment (GWC) for the Philips FDCS were a factor of 8.6 and 2.8 times higher, respectively, than those based on lab measurements. In-field measurements provide an assessment of alternative cookstoves under real-world conditions and as such likely provide more realistic estimates of their potential health and climate benefits than laboratory tests. PMID:28060518
This paper argues that, far from being invisible, issues of sexuality are omnipresent in the African public sphere. However, this presence is not usually found in the medical nor overtly gender/sexual arenas but in general social contexts. Western derived research models have sought and continue to seek to situate gender and sexual discourse in overt forms, especially when emphasising public health aspects. Using qualitative and quantitative evidence from my PhD research of popular discourse in Malawi, and using some evidence from Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa, I argue that the perceived secrecy is allied to cultural, male/female and intra-female power relations. I found that significant issues of sexual and medical concerns were 'hidden' in the easy to decode public social sphere. Using a historical model of the colonial and postcolonial construction of this dominant social public sphere in Malawi I was able to demonstrate that key messages relating to sexuality and sexual behaviour can be easily found in social discourse, from where they can be exploited for health promotion purposes.
Full Text Available Abstract Background Many people live and die in pain in Africa. We set out to describe patient, family and local community perspectives on the impact of three community based palliative care interventions in sub-Saharan Africa. Methods Three palliative care programmes in Uganda, Kenya and Malawi were studied using rapid evaluation field techniques in each country, triangulating data from three sources: interviews with key informants, observations of clinical encounters and the local health and social care context, and routine data from local reports and statistics. Results We interviewed 33 patients with advanced illness, 27 family carers, 36 staff, 25 volunteers, and 29 community leaders and observed clinical care of 12 patients. In each site, oral morphine was being used effectively. Patients valued being treated with dignity and respect. Being supported at home reduced physical, emotional and financial burden of travel to, and care at health facilities. Practical support and instruction in feeding and bathing patients facilitated good deaths at home. In each country mobile phones enabled rapid access to clinical and social support networks. Staff and volunteers generally reported that caring for the dying in the face of poverty was stressful, but also rewarding, with resilience fostered by having effective analgesia, and community support networks. Conclusions Programmes were reported to be successful because they integrated symptom control with practical and emotional care, education, and spiritual care. Holistic palliative care can be delivered effectively in the face of poverty, but a public health approach is needed to ensure equitable provision.
Conroy, Amy A
Gender-based power imbalances are perhaps the most compelling underlying explanation for intimate partner violence (IPV) among women in sub-Saharan Africa. However, an overemphasis on female victimization results in an incomplete understanding of men's experiences as victims and the broader dyadic context in which violence occurs. This study examines the role of three domains of relationship power (power resources, processes, and outcomes) on sexual and physical IPV victimization in a unique sample of 466 young couples from Malawi. Two power resources were studied, namely, income and education level. Power processes were captured with a measure of couple communication and collaboration called unity. Power outcomes included a measure of relationship dominance (male dominated or female-dominated/egalitarian). Multilevel logistic regression using the Actor Partner Interpersonal Model framework was used to test whether respondent and partner data were predictive of IPV. The findings show that unity and male dominance were salient power factors that influenced young people's risk for sexual IPV. Unity had a stronger protective effect on sexual IPV for women than for men. Involvement in a male-dominated relationship increased the risk of sexual IPV for women, but decreased the risk for men. The findings also showed that education level and unity were protective against physical IPV for both men and women. Contrary to what was expected, partner data did not play a role in the respondent's experience of IPV. The consistency of these findings with the literature, theory, and study limitations are discussed.
Nicholas A Feasey
Full Text Available Nontyphoidal Salmonellae (NTS are responsible for a huge burden of bloodstream infection in Sub-Saharan African children. Recent reports of a decline in invasive NTS (iNTS disease from Kenya and The Gambia have emphasised an association with malaria control. Following a similar decline in iNTS disease in Malawi, we have used 9 years of continuous longitudinal data to model the interrelationships between iNTS disease, malaria, HIV and malnutrition.Trends in monthly numbers of childhood iNTS disease presenting at Queen's Hospital, Blantyre, Malawi from 2002 to 2010 were reviewed in the context of longitudinal monthly data describing malaria slide-positivity among paediatric febrile admissions, paediatric HIV prevalence, nutritional rehabilitation unit admissions and monthly rainfall over the same 9 years, using structural equation models (SEM.Analysis of 3,105 iNTS episodes identified from 49,093 blood cultures, showed an 11.8% annual decline in iNTS (p < 0.001. SEM analysis produced a stable model with good fit, revealing direct and statistically significant seasonal effects of malaria and malnutrition on the prevalence of iNTS disease. When these data were smoothed to eliminate seasonal cyclic changes, these associations remained strong and there were additional significant effects of HIV prevalence.These data suggest that the overall decline in iNTS disease observed in Malawi is attributable to multiple public health interventions leading to reductions in malaria, HIV and acute malnutrition. Understanding the impacts of public health programmes on iNTS disease is essential to plan and evaluate interventions.
Monique van Lettow
Full Text Available Introduction: Malawi introduced a new strategy to improve the effectiveness of prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT, the Option B+ strategy. We aimed to (i describe how Option B+ is provided in health facilities in the South East Zone in Malawi, identifying the diverse approaches to service organization (the “model of care” and (ii explore associations between the “model of care” and health facility–level uptake and retention rates for pregnant women identified as HIV-positive at antenatal (ANC clinics. Methods: A health facility survey was conducted in all facilities providing PMTCT/antiretroviral therapy (ART services in six of Malawi's 28 districts to describe and compare Option B+ service delivery models. Associations of identified models with program performance were explored using facility cohort reports. Results: Among 141 health facilities, four “models of care” were identified: A facilities where newly identified HIV-positive women are initiated and followed on ART at the ANC clinic until delivery; B facilities where newly identified HIV-positive women receive only the first dose of ART at the ANC clinic, and are referred to the ART clinic for follow-up; C facilities where newly identified HIV-positive women are referred from ANC to the ART clinic for initiation and follow-up of ART; and D facilities serving as ART referral sites (not providing ANC. The proportion of women tested for HIV during ANC was highest in facilities applying Model A and lowest in facilities applying Model B. The highest retention rates were reported in Model C and D facilities and lowest in Model B facilities. In multivariable analyses, health facility factors independently associated with uptake of HIV testing and counselling (HTC in ANC were number of women per HTC counsellor, HIV test kit availability, and the “model of care” applied; factors independently associated with ART retention were district location, patient volume
Simmons, D; Barbour, G; Congleton, J; Levy, J; Meacher, P; Saul, H; Sowerby, T
A significant difference between the blood pressures of rural and urban Malawians was found in both sexes, was present at the age of 15 years, and was associated with obesity but not with smoking, alcohol consumption, occupation or housing. Pulse rate was significantly lower in the urban group. These differences were accompanied by low potassium and sodium intake although the sodium intake in the urban group was double that in the rural group. No direct relation between blood pressure and urinary electrolytes was found.
Grut, Lisbet; Sanudi, Lifah; Braathen, Stine Hellum; Jürgens, Thomas; Eide, Arne H
Tuberculosis occurs in all populations, but with higher prevalence in poor contexts. Vulnerable groups, including individuals with disability, run a particular risk due to poorer access to information and health services. Studying access to tuberculosis services for vulnerable groups in poor contexts may provide useful insight into the quality of such services in low-income contexts. This article aims to present a contextual understanding of access to tuberculosis services for people with disabilities in one district in southern Malawi. A qualitative method with semi-structured interviews and site observations was applied. In all, 89 participants were interviewed: 47 persons with disability, 11 parents/guardians of youths with disability, and the remaining 31 comprising eight health workers, four community rehabilitation assistants and volunteers, and 19 leaders in the community.Our main findings are that lack of information and knowledge, and considerable confusion related to tuberculosis, its cause and how to protect oneself, are major barrier to accessing services. Disease awareness and personal risk perception are key factors in this regard. Further findings concerns the pathways to tuberculosis related health services, in particular having a test and completing the treatment. The combination of lack of knowledge and barriers in accessing tests implies substantial availability and access problems.It is of importance to understand the combined impact of individual, social, contextual, and systems barriers to fully address the complexity of accessing tuberculosis services for vulnerable groups in poor populations. Lack of disability specific strategies in the local health services may be part of the reason why individuals with disability to not access such services.
Full Text Available Tuberculosis occurs in all populations, but with higher prevalence in poor contexts. Vulnerable groups, including individuals with disability, run a particular risk due to poorer access to information and health services. Studying access to tuberculosis services for vulnerable groups in poor contexts may provide useful insight into the quality of such services in low-income contexts. This article aims to present a contextual understanding of access to tuberculosis services for people with disabilities in one district in southern Malawi. A qualitative method with semi-structured interviews and site observations was applied. In all, 89 participants were interviewed: 47 persons with disability, 11 parents/guardians of youths with disability, and the remaining 31 comprising eight health workers, four community rehabilitation assistants and volunteers, and 19 leaders in the community.Our main findings are that lack of information and knowledge, and considerable confusion related to tuberculosis, its cause and how to protect oneself, are major barrier to accessing services. Disease awareness and personal risk perception are key factors in this regard. Further findings concerns the pathways to tuberculosis related health services, in particular having a test and completing the treatment. The combination of lack of knowledge and barriers in accessing tests implies substantial availability and access problems.It is of importance to understand the combined impact of individual, social, contextual, and systems barriers to fully address the complexity of accessing tuberculosis services for vulnerable groups in poor populations. Lack of disability specific strategies in the local health services may be part of the reason why individuals with disability to not access such services.
Grut, Lisbet; Sanudi, Lifah; Braathen, Stine Hellum; Jürgens, Thomas; Eide, Arne H.
Tuberculosis occurs in all populations, but with higher prevalence in poor contexts. Vulnerable groups, including individuals with disability, run a particular risk due to poorer access to information and health services. Studying access to tuberculosis services for vulnerable groups in poor contexts may provide useful insight into the quality of such services in low-income contexts. This article aims to present a contextual understanding of access to tuberculosis services for people with disabilities in one district in southern Malawi. A qualitative method with semi-structured interviews and site observations was applied. In all, 89 participants were interviewed: 47 persons with disability, 11 parents/guardians of youths with disability, and the remaining 31 comprising eight health workers, four community rehabilitation assistants and volunteers, and 19 leaders in the community.Our main findings are that lack of information and knowledge, and considerable confusion related to tuberculosis, its cause and how to protect oneself, are major barrier to accessing services. Disease awareness and personal risk perception are key factors in this regard. Further findings concerns the pathways to tuberculosis related health services, in particular having a test and completing the treatment. The combination of lack of knowledge and barriers in accessing tests implies substantial availability and access problems.It is of importance to understand the combined impact of individual, social, contextual, and systems barriers to fully address the complexity of accessing tuberculosis services for vulnerable groups in poor populations. Lack of disability specific strategies in the local health services may be part of the reason why individuals with disability to not access such services. PMID:25830950
Jaganath, D.; Mulenga, C.; Hoffman, R. M.; Hamilton, J.; Boneh, G.
University students represent a subset of young men and women at risk for HIV in high prevalence settings. Innovative programs are needed to raise awareness on the unique issues around HIV and AIDS in the university campus, while training student leaders for peer-based education. The Process and Collaboration for Empowerment and Discussion (PACED)…
Jaganath, D.; Mulenga, C.; Hoffman, R. M.; Hamilton, J.; Boneh, G.
University students represent a subset of young men and women at risk for HIV in high prevalence settings. Innovative programs are needed to raise awareness on the unique issues around HIV and AIDS in the university campus, while training student leaders for peer-based education. The Process and Collaboration for Empowerment and Discussion (PACED)…
Skeen, S; Macedo, A; Tomlinson, M; Hensels, I S; Sherr, L
Many of the risk factors for violence against children are particularly prevalent in families and communities affected by HIV/AIDS. Yet, in sub-Saharan Africa, where HIV rates are high, efforts to prevent or address violence against children and its long-lasting effects are hampered by a lack of evidence. We assessed the relationship between violence exposure and mental health among HIV-affected children attending community-based organisations in South Africa (n = 834) and Malawi (n = 155, total sample n = 989) at baseline and 12-15-month follow-up. Exposure to violence in the home and in the community was high. HIV-negative children who lived with an HIV-positive person experienced most violence overall, followed by HIV-positive children. Children unaffected by HIV experienced least violence (all p violence in the home predicted child depression (β = 0.17, p violence predicted trauma symptoms (β = 0.16, p children (β = 0.24, p violence predicted risk behaviour (OR: 2.39, 95% CI: 1.57-3.62). Over time, there was a decrease in depressed mood and problem behaviours, and an increase in self-esteem for children experiencing different types of violence at baseline. This may have been due to ongoing participation in the community-based programme. These data highlight the burden of violence in these communities and possibilities for programmes to include violence prevention to improve psychosocial well-being in HIV-affected children.
Kafulafula, Ursula K; Hutchinson, Mary K; Gennaro, Susan; Guttmacher, Sally
HIV-positive mothers are likely to exclusively breastfeed if they perceive exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) beneficial to them and their infants. Nevertheless, very little is known in Malawi about HIV-positive mothers' perceptions regarding EBF. In order to effectively promote EBF among these mothers, it is important to first understand their perceptions on benefits of exclusive breastfeeding. This study therefore, explored maternal and health care workers' perceptions of the effects of exclusive breastfeeding on HIV-positive mothers' health and that of their infants. This was a qualitative study within a larger project. Face-to-face in-depth interviews and focus group discussions using a semi- structured interview and focus group guide were conducted. Sixteen HIV-positive breastfeeding mothers, between 18 and 35 years old, were interviewed and data saturation was achieved. Two focus group discussions (FGDs) comprising of five and six adult women of unknown HIV status who were personal assistants to maternity patients, and one FGD with five nurse-midwives working in the maternity wards of Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi, were also conducted. Thematic content data analysis was utilized. The study revealed more positive than negative perceived effects of exclusive breastfeeding. However, the fear of transmitting HIV to infants through breast milk featured strongly in the study participants' reports including those of the nurse-midwives. Only one nurse-midwife and a few HIV-positive mothers believed that EBF prevents mother-to-child transmission of HIV. Furthermore, participants, especially the HIV-positive mothers felt that exclusive breastfeeding leads to maternal ill- health and would accelerate their progression to full blown AIDS. While most participants considered exclusive breastfeeding as an important component of the wellbeing of their infants' health, they did not share the worldwide acknowledged benefits of exclusive breastfeeding in the
Mhone, C S
Hastings Banda ruled Malawi for three decades until 1993. During that period, it was considered taboo to publicly discuss sexual matters. Efforts to prevent and control the spread of HIV/AIDS therefore got fully underway only after the end of Banda's autocratic regime. There are now an estimated 225,000 cases of AIDS in Malawi. The Ministry of Health estimates that 33% of urban adults and 17% of rural adults are HIV positive, approximately 10% of the total population. In some urban areas, 33% of women attending antenatal clinics and 70-98% of prostitutes are HIV positive. The high prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases and the practice of dry sex are thought to be major cofactors in bringing about such high rates of HIV infection. Several surveys do, however, indicate that the rate of growth of the HIV epidemic may be slowing. Even if the projected decrease in the incidence of new infections actually occurs, the cumulative HIV prevalence will continue to increase. Malawi, one of the world's poorest nations, with a per capita income of $140 and a literacy rate of 47%, cannot afford the overwhelming burden of providing comprehensive care to the segment of its population which suffers with AIDS. The author stresses the need for AIDS education in primary schools, especially since many students drop out prior to secondary school.
alcohol being more likely to be HIV positive as compared to cannabis abusers. Prevalence of sexually ... some students believe that it can make ... association between harmful consumption of alcohol ... performance and pleasure and that the.
Kimani-Murage, Elizabeth W; Norris, Shane A; Pettifor, John M; Tollman, Stephen M; Klipstein-Grobusch, Kerstin; Gómez-Olivé, Xavier F; Dunger, David B; Kahn, Kathleen
Achieving the Millennium Development Goals that aim to reduce malnutrition and child mortality depends in part on the ability of governments/policymakers to address nutritional status of children in general and those infected or affected by HIV/AIDS in particular. This study describes HIV prevalence in children, patterns of malnutrition by HIV status and determinants of nutritional status. The study involved 671 children aged 12-59 months living in the Agincourt sub-district, rural South Africa in 2007. Anthropometric measurements were taken and HIV testing with disclosure was done using two rapid tests. Z-scores were generated using WHO 2006 standards as indicators of nutritional status. Linear and logistic regression analyses were conducted to establish the determinants of child nutritional status. Prevalence of malnutrition, particularly stunting (18%), was high in the overall sample of children. HIV prevalence in this age group was 4.4% (95% CI: 2.79 to 5.97). HIV positive children had significantly poorer nutritional outcomes than their HIV negative counterparts. Besides HIV status, other significant determinants of nutritional outcomes included age of the child, birth weight, maternal age, age of household head, and area of residence. This study documents poor nutritional status among children aged 12-59 months in rural South Africa. HIV is an independent modifiable risk factor for poor nutritional outcomes and makes a significant contribution to nutritional outcomes at the individual level. Early paediatric HIV testing of exposed or at risk children, followed by appropriate health care for infected children, may improve their nutritional status and survival.
Sears, Clinton; Andersson, Zach; Cann, Meredith
Supporting the diverse needs of people living with HIV (PLHIV) can help reduce the individual and structural barriers they face in adhering to antiretroviral treatment (ART). The Livelihoods and Food Security Technical Assistance II (LIFT) project sought to improve adherence in Malawi by establishing 2 referral systems linking community-based economic strengthening and livelihoods services to clinical health facilities. One referral system in Balaka district, started in October 2013, connected clients to more than 20 types of services while the other simplified approach in Kasungu and Lilongwe districts, started in July 2014, connected PLHIV attending HIV and nutrition support facilities directly to community savings groups. From June to July 2015, LIFT visited referral sites in Balaka, Kasungu, and Lilongwe districts to collect qualitative data on referral utility, the perceived association of referrals with client and household health and vulnerability, and the added value of the referral system as perceived by network member providers. We interviewed a random sample of 152 adult clients (60 from Balaka, 57 from Kasungu, and 35 from Lilongwe) who had completed their referral. We also conducted 2 focus group discussions per district with network providers. Clients in all 3 districts indicated their ability to save money had improved after receiving a referral, although the percentage was higher among clients in the simplified Kasungu and Lilongwe model than the more complex Balaka model (85.6% vs. 56.0%, respectively). Nearly 70% of all clients interviewed had HIV infection; 72.7% of PLHIV in Balaka and 95.7% of PLHIV in Kasungu and Lilongwe credited referrals for helping them stay on their ART. After the referral, 76.0% of clients in Balaka and 92.3% of clients in Kasungu and Lilongwe indicated they would be willing to spend their savings on health costs. The more diverse referral network and use of an mHealth app to manage data in Balaka hindered provider uptake
Maria H Kim
Full Text Available Introduction: There is a remarkable dearth of evidence on mental illness in adolescents living with HIV/AIDS, particularly in the African setting. Furthermore, there are few studies in sub-Saharan Africa validating the psychometric properties of diagnostic and screening tools for depression amongst adolescents. The primary aim of this cross-sectional study was to estimate the prevalence of depression amongst a sample of HIV-positive adolescents in Malawi. The secondary aim was to develop culturally adapted Chichewa versions of the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II and Children's Depression Inventory-II-Short (CDI-II-S and conduct a psychometric evaluation of these measures by evaluating their performance against a structured depression assessment using the Children's Rating Scale, Revised (CDRS-R. Study design: Cross-sectional study. Methods: We enrolled 562 adolescents, 12–18 years of age from two large public HIV clinics in central and southern Malawi. Participants completed two self-reports, the BDI-II and CDI-II-S, followed by administration of the CDRS-R by trained clinicians. Sensitivity, specificity and positive and negative predictive values for various BDI-II and CDI-II-S cut-off scores were calculated with receiver operating characteristics analysis. The area under the curve (AUC was also calculated. Internal consistency was measured by standardized Cronbach's alpha coefficient, and correlation between self-reports and CDRS-R by Spearman's correlation. Results: Prevalence of depression as measured by the CDRS-R was 18.9%. Suicidal ideation was expressed by 7.1% (40 using the BDI-II. The AUC for the BDI-II was 0.82 (95% CI 0.78–0.89 and for the CDI-II-S was 0.75 (95% CI 0.70–0.80. A score of ≥13 in BDI-II achieved sensitivity of >80%, and a score of ≥17 had a specificity of >80%. The Cronbach's alpha was 0.80 (BDI-II and 0.66 (CDI-II-S. The correlation between the BDI-II and CDRS-R was 0.42 (p<0.001 and between the CDI
Albert L N Dube
Full Text Available Knowledge of HIV status may influence fertility desires of married men and women. There is little knowledge about the importance of this influence among monogamously married couples and how knowledge of HIV status influences use of contraception among these couples.We carried out a cross-sectional analysis of interview data collected between October 2008 and September 2009 on men aged 15-59 years and women aged 15-49 years who formed 1766 monogamously married couples within the Karonga Prevention Study demographic surveillance study in northern Malawi.5% of men and 4% of women knew that they were HIV positive at the time of interview and 81% of men and 89% of women knew that they were HIV negative. 73% of men and 83% of women who knew that they were HIV positive stated that they did not want more children, compared to 35% of men and 38% of women who knew they were HIV negative. Concordant HIV positive couples were more likely than concordant negative couples to desire to stop child bearing (odds ratio 11.5, 95%CI 4.3-30.7, after adjusting for other factors but only slightly more likely to use contraceptives (adjusted odds ratio 1.5 (95%CI 0.8-3.3.Knowledge of HIV positive status is associated with an increase in the reported desire to cease childbearing but there was limited evidence that this desire led to higher use of contraception. More efforts directed towards assisting HIV positive couples to access and use reproductive health services and limit HIV transmission among couples are recommended.
Bansode, Vijay B
Abstract Background Drug resistance testing before initiation of, or during, antiretroviral therapy (ART) is not routinely performed in resource-limited settings. High levels of viral resistance circulating within the population will have impact on treatment programs by increasing the chances of transmission of resistant strains and treatment failure. Here, we investigate Drug Resistance Mutations (DRMs) from blood samples obtained at regular intervals from patients on ART (Baseline-22 months) in Karonga District, Malawi. One hundred and forty nine reverse transcriptase (RT) consensus sequences were obtained via nested PCR and automated sequencing from blood samples collected at three-month intervals from 75 HIV-1 subtype C infected individuals in the ART programme. Results Fifteen individuals showed DRMs, and in ten individuals DRMs were seen from baseline samples (reported to be ART naïve). Three individuals in whom no DRMs were observed at baseline showed the emergence of DRMs during ART exposure. Four individuals who did show DRMs at baseline showed additional DRMs at subsequent time points, while two individuals showed evidence of DRMs at baseline and either no DRMs, or different DRMs, at later timepoints. Three individuals had immune failure but none appeared to be failing clinically. Conclusion Despite the presence of DRMs to drugs included in the current regimen in some individuals, and immune failure in three, no signs of clinical failure were seen during this study. This cohort will continue to be monitored as part of the Karonga Prevention Study so that the long-term impact of these mutations can be assessed. Documenting proviral population is also important in monitoring the emergence of drug resistance as selective pressure provided by ART compromises the current plasma population, archived viruses can re-emerge
In my research for this paper,2 I asked three questions to a sample of traditional ... How do you understand the HIV/AIDS? ... are described as: swelling of the cheeks, legs and the abdomen; pain in the chest ... lineage and each member within it. ... practices and meanings derived from historical experiences of a given group.
Banda, Felix; Kunkeyani, Thokozani E
A number of studies have shown that HIV awareness is very high among Malawians and yet infection rates are rising. Local cultural practices have been identified as contributing to this contradictory situation. Using data from 12 focus-group discussions collected in Balaka, Zomba, Machinga and Mangochi, the paper explores the reformulation of nine cultural practices as a preventive measure against HIV. The study reveals that cultural practices that involve sexual acts for completion are mediated through condoms and HIV tests. The study also shows that traditional herbs known for healing ailments are repurposed to symbolise sexual acts. We conclude that the idea of repurposing offers an avenue in which initiation and cleansing rites that involve sexual acts are replaced by other semiotics such as a traditional medicine called mtela. We also conclude that the modifications to cultural practices do not indicate complete abandonment of associated traditions, rather, they constitute the renegotiation of cultural practices and meanings associated with particular rites of passage. Lastly, we propose that a comprehensive prevention programme needs to be part of a wider national HIV-prevention effort combining a women and child rights and empowerment agenda and, critically, lifestyle lessons in a process of cultural renegotiation.
Rodas Moya, Carlos; Kodish, Stephen; Manary, Mark; Grede, Nils; Pee, de Saskia
Objective: To elucidate the factors influencing food intake and preferences for potential nutritional supplements to treat mild and moderate malnutrition among adult people living with HIV (PLHIV). Design: Qualitative research using in-depth interviews with a triangulation of participants and an
Rodas Moya, Carlos; Kodish, Stephen; Manary, Mark; Grede, Nils; Pee, de Saskia
Objective: To elucidate the factors influencing food intake and preferences for potential nutritional supplements to treat mild and moderate malnutrition among adult people living with HIV (PLHIV). Design: Qualitative research using in-depth interviews with a triangulation of participants and an
Rodas Moya, Carlos; Kodish, Stephen; Manary, Mark; Grede, Nils; Pee, de Saskia
Objective: To elucidate the factors influencing food intake and preferences for potential nutritional supplements to treat mild and moderate malnutrition among adult people living with HIV (PLHIV). Design: Qualitative research using in-depth interviews with a triangulation of participants and an
Brinkman, Dine; Westendorp, Annemarie M. B.; Wals, Arjen E. J.; Mulder, Martin
The impact of HIV/AIDS on food security and rural livelihoods is still insufficiently understood. It is evident, however, that rural development professionals need to respond to the changes that have taken place in rural areas due to the pandemic. This article explores competencies that they need in order to deal with the complex HIV/AIDS issues…
Harjunmaa, Ulla; Järnstedt, Jorma; Dewey, Kathryn G; Ashorn, Ulla; Maleta, Kenneth; Vosti, Stephen A; Ashorn, Per
Nutritional supplementation during pregnancy is increasingly recommended especially in low-resource settings, but its oral health impacts have not been studied. Our aim was to examine whether supplementation with multiple micronutrients (MMN) or small-quantity lipid-based nutrient supplements affects dental caries development or periodontal health in a rural Malawian population. The study was embedded in a controlled iLiNS-DYAD trial that enrolled 1391 pregnant women groups were similar at baseline in average socio-economic, nutritional and health status. At the end of the intervention, the prevalence of caries was 56.7%, 69.1% and 63.3% (P = 0.004), and periodontitis 34.9%, 29.8% and 31.2% (P = 0.338) in the IFA, MMN and LNS groups, respectively. Compared with the IFA group, women in the MMN group had 0.60 (0.18-1.02) and in the LNS group 0.59 (0.17-1.01) higher mean number of caries lesions. In the absence of baseline oral health data, firm conclusions on causality cannot be drawn. However, although not confirmatory, the findings are consistent with a possibility that provision of MMN or LNS may have increased the caries incidence in this target population. Because of the potential public health impacts, further research on the association between gestational nutrient interventions and oral health in low-income settings is needed.
Ferguson, Yvonne Owens; Eng, Eugenia; Bentley, Margaret; Sandelowski, Margarete; Steckler, Allan; Randall-David, Elizabeth; Piwoz, Ellen G; Zulu, Cynthia; Chasela, Charles; Soko, Alice; Tembo, Martin; Martinson, Francis; Tohill, Beth Carlton; Ahmed, Yusuf; Kazembe, Peter; Jamieson, Denise J; van der Horst, Charles; Adair, Linda; Ahmed, Yusuf; Ait-Khaled, Mounir; Albrecht, Sandra; Bangdiwala, Shrikant; Bayer, Ronald; Bentley, Margaret; Bramson, Brian; Bobrow, Emily; Boyle, Nicola; Butera, Sal; Chasela, Charles; Chavula, Charity; Chimerang'ambe, Joseph; Chigwenembe, Maggie; Chikasema, Maria; Chikhungu, Norah; Chilongozi, David; Chiudzu, Grace; Chome, Lenesi; Cole, Anne; Corbett, Amanda; Corneli, Amy; Duerr, Ann; Eliya, Henry; Ellington, Sascha; Eron, Joseph; Farr, Sherry; Ferguson, Yvonne Owens; Fiscus, Susan; Galvin, Shannon; Guay, Laura; Heilig, Chad; Hoffman, Irving; Hooten, Elizabeth; Hosseinipour, Mina; Hudgens, Michael; Hurst, Stacy; Hyde, Lisa; Jamieson, Denise; Joaki, George; Jones, David; Kacheche, Zebrone; Kamanga, Esmie; Kamanga, Gift; Kampani, Coxcilly; Kamthunzi, Portia; Kamwendo, Deborah; Kanyama, Cecilia; Kashuba, Angela; Kathyola, Damson; Kayira, Dumbani; Kazembe, Peter; Knight, Rodney; Kourtis, Athena; Krysiak, Robert; Kumwenda, Jacob; Loeliger, Edde; Luhanga, Misheck; Madhlopa, Victor; Majawa, Maganizo; Maida, Alice; Marcus, Cheryl; Martinson, Francis; Thoofer, Navdeep; Matika, Chrissie; Mayers, Douglas; Mayuni, Isabel; McDonough, Marita; Meme, Joyce; Merry, Ceppie; Mita, Khama; Mkomawanthu, Chimwemwe; Mndala, Gertrude; Mndala, Ibrahim; Moses, Agnes; Msika, Albans; Msungama, Wezi; Mtimuni, Beatrice; Muita, Jane; Mumba, Noel; Musis, Bonface; Mwansambo, Charles; Mwapasa, Gerald; Nkhoma, Jacqueline; Pendame, Richard; Piwoz, Ellen; Raines, Byron; Ramdas, Zane; Rublein, John; Ryan, Mairin; Sanne, Ian; Sellers, Christopher; Shugars, Diane; Sichali, Dorothy; Snowden, Wendy; Soko, Alice; Spensley, Allison; Steens, Jean-Marc; Tegha, Gerald; Tembo, Martin; Thomas, Roshan; Tien, Hsiao-Chuan; Tohill, Beth; van der Horst, Charles; Waalberg, Esther; Wiener, Jeffrey; Wilfert, Cathy; Wiyo, Patricia; Zgambo, Onnocent; Zimba, Chifundo
A process evaluation of nurses' implementation of an infant-feeding counseling protocol was conducted for the Breastfeeding, Antiretroviral and Nutrition (BAN) Study, a prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV clinical trial in Lilongwe, Malawi. Six trained nurses counseled HIV-infected mothers to exclusively breastfeed for 24 weeks postpartum and to stop breastfeeding within an additional four weeks. Implementation data were collected via direct observations of 123 infant feeding counseling sessions (30 antenatal and 93 postnatal) and interviews with each nurse. Analysis included calculating a percent adherence to checklists and conducting a content analysis for the observation and interview data. Nurses were implementing the protocol at an average adherence level of 90% or above. Although not detailed in the protocol, nurses appropriately counseled mothers on their actual or intended formula milk usage after weaning. Results indicate that nurses implemented the protocol as designed. Results will help to interpret the BAN Study's outcomes.
Gundersen Svein G
Full Text Available Abstract Background HIV-associated anemia is common and associated with poor prognosis. However, its response to antiretroviral treatment (ART in rural Africa is poorly understood. Methods HIV-infected adults (≥15 years who enrolled in HIV care at Haydom Lutheran Hospital in northern Tanzania were included in the study. The effect of ART (zidovudine/stavudine + lamivudine + efavirenz/nevirapine on HIV-associated anemia was studied in a subset of patients who were anemic at the time they started ART and had a follow-up hemoglobin measurement 12 months later. Pregnant women were excluded from the study, as were women who had given birth within the past 6 weeks. Anemia was defined as hemoglobin Results At enrollment, mean hemoglobin was 10.3 g/dL, and 649 of 838 patients (77.4% were anemic. Of the anemic patients, 254 (39.1% had microcytosis and hypochromia. Among 102 patients who were anemic at ART initiation and had a follow-up hemoglobin measurement after 12 months, the mean hemoglobin increased by 2.5 g/dL (P Conclusions Most patients had anemia at enrollment, of whom nearly 40% had microcytosis and hypochromia suggestive of iron deficiency. The mean hemoglobin increased significantly in patients who received ART, but one third were still anemic 12 months after ART initiation indicating that additional interventions to treat HIV-associated anemia in rural Africa might be warranted, particularly in patients with microcytosis and those treated with zidovudine.
Furnee, C.A.; West, C.E.; Haar, van der F.; Hautvast, J.G.A.J.
The effect of anthropometric status on the efficacy of an oral supplement of iodised oil (1 ml Lipiodol Ultrafluide, 490 mg I; Laboratoire Guerbet, Aulnay-sous-Bois, France) was examined in 8–10-year-old schoolchildren (n 197) of Ntcheu, a severely I-deficient district of Malawi. The study was a con
Psaki, Stephanie R.; Mensch, Barbara S.; Soler-Hampejsek, Erica
Growing evidence of the prevalence of school-related gender-based violence (SRGBV) has raised concerns about negative effects on education. Previous quantitative research on this topic has been limited by descriptive and cross-sectional data. Using longitudinal data from the Malawi Schooling and Adolescent Study, we investigate associations…
Sutton, Madeline; Anthony, Monique-Nicole; Vila, Christie; McLellan-Lemal, Eleanor; Weidle, Paul J.
Context: Forty percent of AIDS cases are reported in the southern United States, the region with the largest proportion of HIV/AIDS cases from rural areas. Data are limited regarding provider perspectives of the accessibility and availability of HIV testing and treatment services in southern rural counties. Purpose: We surveyed providers in the…
Sutton, Madeline; Anthony, Monique-Nicole; Vila, Christie; McLellan-Lemal, Eleanor; Weidle, Paul J.
Context: Forty percent of AIDS cases are reported in the southern United States, the region with the largest proportion of HIV/AIDS cases from rural areas. Data are limited regarding provider perspectives of the accessibility and availability of HIV testing and treatment services in southern rural counties. Purpose: We surveyed providers in the…
Keating, Maria A; Hamela, Gloria; Miller, William C; Moses, Agnes; Hoffman, Irving F; Hosseinipour, Mina C
HIV incidence is higher among pregnant women than their non-pregnant counterparts in some sub-Saharan African settings. Our aims were (1) to estimate HIV incidence during pregnancy and (2) to compare sexual activity between pregnant, postpartum, and non-pregnant women. We examined a retrospective cohort of 1087 women to identify seroconverters using antenatal and labor ward HIV test results. We also conducted a cross-sectional survey, including a quantitative questionnaire (n = 200) and in-depth interviews (n = 20) among women in early pregnancy, late pregnancy, postpartum, and non-pregnancy. Outcomes included measures of sexual activity, reported spouse's risky behavior, and beliefs about abstinence. 11 of 1087 women seroconverted during pregnancy yielding a 1% seroconversion risk and an incidence rate of 4.0/100 person years (95% CI 2.2-7.2). The reported sexual activity of the early pregnancy and non-pregnancy groups was similar, but significantly higher than the late pregnancy and postpartum groups (psexual activity decreases during pregnancy and postpartum. Pregnant women need to be informed of their increased risk for HIV and the importance of using condoms throughout pregnancy and the postpartum period.
Full Text Available Abstract Background Shortages of health workers are obstacles to utilising global health initiative (GHI funds effectively in Africa. This paper reports and analyses two countries' health workforce responses during a period of large increases in GHI funds. Methods Health facility record reviews were conducted in 52 facilities in Malawi and 39 facilities in Zambia in 2006/07 and 2008; quarterly totals from the last quarter of 2005 to the first quarter of 2008 inclusive in Malawi; and annual totals for 2004 to 2007 inclusive in Zambia. Topic-guided interviews were conducted with facility and district managers in both countries, and with health workers in Malawi. Results Facility data confirm significant scale-up in HIV/AIDS service delivery in both countries. In Malawi, this was supported by a large increase in lower trained cadres and only a modest increase in clinical staff numbers. Routine outpatient workload fell in urban facilities, in rural health centres and in facilities not providing antiretroviral treatment (ART, while it increased at district hospitals and in facilities providing ART. In Zambia, total staff and clinical staff numbers stagnated between 2004 and 2007. In rural areas, outpatient workload, which was higher than at urban facilities, increased further. Key informants described the effects of increased workloads in both countries and attributed staff migration from public health facilities to non-government facilities in Zambia to PEPFAR. Conclusions Malawi, which received large levels of GHI funding from only the Global Fund, managed to increase facility staff across all levels of the health system: urban, district and rural health facilities, supported by task-shifting to lower trained staff. The more complex GHI arena in Zambia, where both Global Fund and PEPFAR provided large levels of support, may have undermined a coordinated national workforce response to addressing health worker shortages, leading to a less effective
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: HIV/AIDS related stigma is a major barrier to uptake of HIV testing and counselling (HTC. We assessed the extent of stigmatising attitudes expressed by participants offered community-based HTC, and their anticipated stigma from others to assess relationship with HIV test uptake. From these data, we constructed a brief stigma scale for use around the time of HIV testing. METHODS AND FINDINGS: Adult members of 60 households in urban Blantyre, Malawi, were selected using population-weighted random cluster sampling and offered HTC with the option to self-test before confirmatory HTC. Prior to HTC a 15-item HIV stigma questionnaire was administered. We used association testing and principal components analysis (PCA to construct a scale measure of stigma. Of 226 adults invited to participate, 216 (95.6% completed questionnaires and 198/216 (91.7% opted to undergo HTC (all self-tested. Stigmatising attitudes were uncommon, but anticipated stigma was common, especially fearing verbal abuse (22% or being abandoned by their partner (11%. Three questions showed little association or consistency with the remaining 12 stigma questions and were not included in the final scale. For the 12-question final scale, Cronbach's alpha was 0.75. Level of stigma was not associated with previously having tested for HIV (p = 0.318 or agreeing to HTC (p = 0.379, but was associated with expressed worry about being or becoming HIV infected (p = 0.003. CONCLUSIONS: Anticipated stigma prior to HTC was common among both men and women. However, the high uptake of HTC suggests that this did not translate into reluctance to accept community-based testing. We constructed a brief scale to measure stigma at the time of HIV testing that could rapidly identify individuals requiring additional support following diagnosis and monitor the impact of increasing availability of community-based HTC on prevalence of stigma.
Martínez Pérez, Guillermo; Steele, Sarah J; Govender, Indira; Arellano, Gemma; Mkwamba, Alec; Hadebe, Menzi; Cutsem, Gilles
.... One of the alternatives is oral mucosal transudates-based HIV self-testing (OralST). This study describes implementation of counsellor-introduced supervised OralST in a high HIV prevalent rural area...
Naidoo, Joanne R; Uys, Leana R; Greeff, Minrie; Holzemer, William L; Makoae, Lucy; Dlamini, Priscilla; Phetlhu, René D; Chirwa, Maureen; Kohi, Thecla
.... Decreasing stigma is therefore an important goal in HIV/AIDS programmes. This paper explores whether urban and rural differences existed in reported incidents of HIV stigma from five African countries...
Akrofi, S.; Brouwer, I.D.; Price, L.L.; Struik, P.C.
The study assessed the biodiversity in home gardens and evaluated its contribution to dietary diversity among HIV-positive and HIV-negative rural households in Eastern Region, Ghana. A cross-sectional survey of 32 HIV-positive and 48 HIV-negative households was conducted. Plant species cultivated in
Akrofi, S.; Brouwer, I.D.; Price, L.L.; Struik, P.C.
The study assessed the biodiversity in home gardens and evaluated its contribution to dietary diversity among HIV-positive and HIV-negative rural households in Eastern Region, Ghana. A cross-sectional survey of 32 HIV-positive and 48 HIV-negative households was conducted. Plant species cultivated in
Full Text Available In Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA the disease burden of chronic non-communicable diseases (CNCDs is rising considerably. Given weaknesses in existing financial arrangements across SSA, expenditure on CNCDs is often borne directly by patients through out-of-pocket (OOP payments. This study explored patterns and determinants of OOP expenditure on CNCDs in Malawi. We used data from the first round of a longitudinal household health survey conducted in 2012 on a sample of 1199 households in three rural districts in Malawi. We used a two-part model to analyze determinants of OOP expenditure on CNCDs. 475 respondents reported at least one CNCD. More than 60% of the 298 individuals who reported seeking care incurred OOP expenditure. The amount of OOP expenditure on CNCDs comprised 22% of their monthly per capita household expenditure. The poorer the household, the higher proportion of their monthly per capita household expenditure was spent on CNCDs. Higher severity of disease was significantly associated with an increased likelihood of incurring OOP expenditure. Use of formal care was negatively associated with the possibility of incurring OOP expenditure. The following factors were positively associated with the amount of OOP expenditure: being female, Alomwe and household head, longer duration of disease, CNCDs targeted through active screening programs, higher socio-economic status, household head being literate, using formal care, and fewer household members living with a CNCD within a household. Our study showed that, in spite of a context where care for CNCDs should in principle be available free of charge at point of use, OOP payments impose a considerable financial burden on rural households, especially among the poorest. This suggests the existence of important gaps in financial protection in the current coverage policy.
Purushottam A Giri
Full Text Available Background: Many antenatal clinics (ANC-based HIV surveillance systems in India have limited coverage of remote rural sites, a weakness that compromises adequate estimation, monitoring, and development of effective preventive and care programs. To address this void in rural area of western Maharashtra, we conducted antenatal clinic-based sentinel surveillance to know the prevalence of HIV infection among rural pregnant women. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out at ANC clinic, Dept. of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of Pravara Rural Hospital, Loni, Maharashtra. A total of 12,171 pregnant women from rural area accepted HIV testing after counseling who attending ANC clinic in Pravara Rural Hospital, Loni, during January 2008 to December 2011 were included in the study. Data were entered in Microsoft excel and percentage and proportion was calculated. Results: In the present study, out of 12171 pregnant women from the rural area accepted HIV testing after counseling who attending ANC clinic, only 50 (0.41% were HIV positive and remaining 12, 221 (99.59% were HIV negative. The study showed that the prevalence of HIV among pregnant women was 0.41%. Out of the 50 HIV positive pregnant women studied majority, 32 (64.0%, were primigravidas and 18 (36.0% were multigravidas. Conclusion: In our study all 12171 pregnant women from the rural area accepted HIV testing after counseling and prevalence of HIV was found to be 0.41%. The need of the hour is to provide universal access to these services by involving the NGO′s and the private sector.
Full Text Available Thirty-five years has gone by since the first diagnosis of HIV in Zimbabwe. Causes and reasons for the disease and its spread vary from place to place and from society to society. In some cases, the usage of needles and other medical apparatus is blamed for causing the disease. In some other instances, some religious beliefs are held responsible for the pandemic. However, it is a different case with the Tonga females of the Pashu community in Zimbabwe. The belief is that HIV among the Tonga females is perpetuated by some cultural practices and beliefs. The practices and beliefs pose a danger to the lives of the Tonga females from the age of infancy to that of elderly women. The culture of silence, loyalty and submissiveness has even aggravated the suffering of these people. The culture has denied them an opportunity to seek medical aid and pastoral therapy. Hope for life and a future for these people are inevitably lost. The study is, therefore, an effort to validate the assumed claim that the Tonga females are exposed to HIV by some of the cultural practices. It is also the purpose of this study to create a pastoral care methodology which will be used to view the problem from a pastoral perspective. A review of the alleged cultural practices is also the business of this study.
Jennifer H. Tang
Full Text Available Background. Understanding the factors associated with the use of hormonal and intrauterine contraception among HIV-infected men and women may lead to interventions that can help reduce high unintended pregnancy rates. Materials and Methods. This study is a subanalysis of a cross-sectional survey of 289 women and 241 men who were sexually active and HIV-infected and were attending HIV care visits in Lilongwe, Malawi. We estimated adjusted prevalence ratios (PRs to evaluate factors associated with hormonal and intrauterine contraceptive use for men and women in separate models. Results and Discussion. 39.8% of women and 33.2% of men (p=0.117 reported that they were using hormonal or intrauterine contraception at last intercourse. Having greater than 3 children was the only factor associated with hormonal and intrauterine contraceptive use among men. Among women, younger age, not wanting a pregnancy in 2 years, being with their partner for more than 4 years, and being able to make family planning decisions by themselves were associated with hormonal and intrauterine contraceptive use. Conclusions. The men and women in our study population differed in the factors associated with hormonal and intrauterine contraceptive use. Understanding these differences may help decrease unmet FP needs among HIV-infected men and women.
Hamela, Gloria; Kabondo, Charity; Tembo, Tapiwa; Zimba, Chifundo; Kamanga, Esmie; Mofolo, Innocent; Bulla, Bertha; Sellers, Christopher; Nakanga, R C; Lee, Clara; Martinson, Francis; Hoffman, Irving; van der Horst, Charles; Hosseinipour, Mina C
The objective of our intervention was to examine the benefits of incorporating traditional birth attendants (TBA) in HIV Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) service delivery. We developed a training curriculum for TBAs related to PMTCT and current TBA roles in Malawi. Fourteen TBAs and seven TBA assistants serving 4 urban health centre catchment areas were assessed, trained and supervised. Focus group discussions with the TBAs were conducted after implementation of the program. From March 2008 to August 2009, a total of 4017 pregnant women visited TBAs, out of which 2133 (53.1%) were directly referred to health facilities and 1,884 (46.9%) women delivered at TBAs and subsequently referred. 168 HIV positive women were identified by TBAs. Of these, 86/168 (51.2%) women received nevirapine and 46/168 (27.4%) HIV exposed infants received nevirapine. The challenges in providing PMTCT services included lack of transportation for referrals and absence of a reporting system to confirm the woman's arrival at the health center. Non-disclosure of HIV status by patients to the TBAs resulted in inability to assist nevirapine uptake. TBAs, when trained and well-supervised, can supplement efforts to provide PMTCT services in communities.
Maria H Kim
Full Text Available Causes for loss-to-follow-up, including early refusals of and stopping antiretroviral therapy (ART, in Malawi's Option B+ program are poorly understood. This study examines the main barriers and facilitators to uptake and adherence to ART under Option B+. In depth interviews were conducted with HIV-infected women who were pregnant or postpartum in Lilongwe, Malawi (N = 65. Study participants included women who refused ART initiation (N = 10, initiated ART and then stopped (N = 26, and those who initiated ART and remained on treatment (N = 29. The barriers to ART initiation were varied and included concerns about partner support, feeling healthy, and needing time to think. The main reasons for stopping ART included side effects and lack of partner support. A substantial number of women started ART after initially refusing or stopping ART. There were several facilitators for re-starting ART, including encouragement from community health workers, side effects subsiding, decline in health, change in partner, and fear of future sickness. Amongst those who remained on ART, desire to prevent transmission and improve health were the most influential facilitators. Reasons for refusing and stopping ART were varied. ART-related side effects and feeling healthy were common barriers to ART initiation and adherence. Providing consistent pre-ART counseling, early support for patients experiencing side effects, and targeted efforts to bring women who stop treatment back into care may improve long term health outcomes.
Kim, Maria H; Zhou, Amy; Mazenga, Alick; Ahmed, Saeed; Markham, Christine; Zomba, Gerald; Simon, Katie; Kazembe, Peter N; Abrams, Elaine J
Causes for loss-to-follow-up, including early refusals of and stopping antiretroviral therapy (ART), in Malawi's Option B+ program are poorly understood. This study examines the main barriers and facilitators to uptake and adherence to ART under Option B+. In depth interviews were conducted with HIV-infected women who were pregnant or postpartum in Lilongwe, Malawi (N = 65). Study participants included women who refused ART initiation (N = 10), initiated ART and then stopped (N = 26), and those who initiated ART and remained on treatment (N = 29). The barriers to ART initiation were varied and included concerns about partner support, feeling healthy, and needing time to think. The main reasons for stopping ART included side effects and lack of partner support. A substantial number of women started ART after initially refusing or stopping ART. There were several facilitators for re-starting ART, including encouragement from community health workers, side effects subsiding, decline in health, change in partner, and fear of future sickness. Amongst those who remained on ART, desire to prevent transmission and improve health were the most influential facilitators. Reasons for refusing and stopping ART were varied. ART-related side effects and feeling healthy were common barriers to ART initiation and adherence. Providing consistent pre-ART counseling, early support for patients experiencing side effects, and targeted efforts to bring women who stop treatment back into care may improve long term health outcomes.
mented by qualitative interviews of 18 respondents from the matrilineal .... tors that may have led to changes in Chewa kinship practices. ..... economic status of the helper. ...... Strategies and Norms in a Changing Material Society: Descent,.
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Today's uncertain HIV funding landscape threatens to slow progress towards treatment goals. Understanding the costs of antiretroviral therapy (ART will be essential for governments to make informed policy decisions about the pace of scale-up under the 2013 WHO HIV Treatment Guidelines, which increase the number of people eligible for treatment from 17.6 million to 28.6 million. The study presented here is one of the largest of its kind and the first to describe the facility-level cost of ART in a random sample of facilities in Ethiopia, Malawi, Rwanda, South Africa and Zambia. METHODS & FINDINGS: In 2010-2011, comprehensive data on one year of facility-level ART costs and patient outcomes were collected from 161 facilities, selected using stratified random sampling. Overall, facility-level ART costs were significantly lower than expected in four of the five countries, with a simple average of $208 per patient-year (ppy across Ethiopia, Malawi, Rwanda and Zambia. Costs were higher in South Africa, at $682 ppy. This included medications, laboratory services, direct and indirect personnel, patient support, equipment and administrative services. Facilities demonstrated the ability to retain patients alive and on treatment at these costs, although outcomes for established patients (2-8% annual loss to follow-up or death were better than outcomes for new patients in their first year of ART (77-95% alive and on treatment. CONCLUSIONS: This study illustrated that the facility-level costs of ART are lower than previously understood in these five countries. While limitations must be considered, and costs will vary across countries, this suggests that expanded treatment coverage may be affordable. Further research is needed to understand investment costs of treatment scale-up, non-facility costs and opportunities for more efficient resource allocation.
Houben, Rein M G J; Van Boeckel, Thomas P; Mwinuka, Venance; Mzumara, Peter; Branson, Keith; Linard, Catherine; Chimbwandira, Frank; French, Neil; Glynn, Judith R; Crampin, Amelia C
Decentralised health services form a key part of chronic care strategies in resource-limited settings by reducing the distance between patient and clinic and thereby the time and costs involved in travelling. However, few tools exist to evaluate the impact of decentralisation on patient travel time or what proportion of patients attend their nearest clinic. Here we develop methods to monitor changes in travel time, using data from the antiretroviral therapy (ART) roll-out in a rural district in North Malawi. Clinic position was combined with GPS information on the home village of patients accessing ART services in Karonga District (North Malawi) between July 2005 and July 2009. Potential travel time was estimated as the travel time for an individual attending their nearest clinic, and estimated actual travel time as the time to the clinic attended. This allowed us to calculate changes in potential and actual travel time as new clinics opened and track the proportion and origin of patients not accessing their nearest clinic. The model showed how the opening of further ART clinics in Karonga District reduced median potential travel time from 83 to 43 minutes, and median actual travel time fell from 83 to 47 minutes. The proportion of patients not attending their nearest clinic increased from 6% when two clinics were open, to 12% with four open. Integrating GPS information with patient data shows the impact of decentralisation on travel time and clinic choice to inform policy and research questions. In our case study, travel time decreased, accompanied by an increased uptake of services. However, the model also identified an increasing proportion of ART patients did not attend their nearest clinic.
Full Text Available Malawi introduced pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13 and monovalent rotavirus vaccine (RV1 in 2011 and 2012 respectively, and is planning the introduction of a second-dose measles vaccine (MV. We assessed predictors of availability, uptake and timeliness of these vaccines in a rural Malawian setting.Commencing on the first date of PCV13 eligibility we conducted a prospective population-based birth cohort study of 2,616 children under demographic surveillance in Karonga District, northern Malawi who were eligible for PCV13, or from the date of RV1 introduction both PCV13 and RV1. Potential predictors of vaccine uptake and timeliness for PCV13, RV1 and MV were analysed respectively using robust Poisson and Cox regression.Vaccine coverage was high for all vaccines, ranging from 86.9% for RV1 dose 2 to 95.4% for PCV13 dose 1. Median time delay for PCV13 dose 1 was 17 days (IQR 7-36, 19 days (IQR 8-36 for RV1 dose 1 and 20 days (IQR 3-46 for MV. Infants born to lower educated or farming mothers and those living further away from the road or clinic were at greater risk of being not fully vaccinated and being vaccinated late. Delays in vaccination were also associated with non-facility birth. Vaccine stock-outs resulted in both a delay in vaccine timeliness and in a decrease in completion of schedule.Despite high vaccination coverage in this setting, delays in vaccination were common. We identified programmatic and socio-demographic risk factors for uptake and timeliness of vaccination. Understanding who remains most vulnerable to be unvaccinated allows for focussed delivery thereby increasing population coverage and maximising the equitable benefits of universal vaccination programmes.
Rimal, Rajiv N; Creel, Alisha H
Relatively little is known about the extent to which health campaigns can play a constructive role in reducing HIV/AIDS-related stigma. The Malawi Radio Diaries is a program in which HIV-positive men and women openly discuss day-to-day events in their lives with the goal of reducing stigma in the population. Adopting a social marketing perspective, we analyze the various components of the Radio Diaries program in terms of three of the "Four P's": product (stigma reduction), place (radio), and promotion (the program itself). We first investigated the important dimensions of stigma and then developed a model to test the demographic and psychosocial correlates of these dimensions. A midterm household survey was then used to determine the relationship between exposure to the Radio Diaries program and stigma. In multivariate analyses, lower education and knowledge were associated with stronger beliefs that persons living with HIV should be isolated from others. Exposure to the Radio Diaries program did not have a main-effect on stigma, but there was a significant interaction between exposure and efficacy to reduce number of partners such that there was little difference in stigma by exposure level for those with low efficacy, but a significant difference by exposure level for those with high efficacy. Findings are discussed in terms of social marketing principles.
Jensen Paul T
Full Text Available Abstract Background The importance of depression as a complication of HIV infection is increasingly understood, and people living in rural areas are at increased risk for depression. However, it is not known whether living in rural areas amplifies the risk of depression in patients with HIV. Methods We compared the prevalence of depression between rural and metropolitan HIV patients seen at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock HIV Program in a retrospective cohort study. Using the validated Rural-Urban Commuting Area Score, we categorized patients as living in small town/rural areas, micropolitan or metropolitan towns. Then, using a multivariate logistic regression model to adjust for demographic factors that differed between rural and metropolitan patients, we estimated the impact of living in rural areas on the odds of depression. Results Among 646 patients with HIV (185 small town/rural, 145 micropolitan, 316 metropolitan, rural patients were older, white, male, and men who have sex with men (ANOVA, F-statistic Conclusion HIV-infected patients living in rural areas, particularly those on antiretroviral therapy, are highly vulnerable to depression.
Devendra, A; Makawa, A; Kazembe, PN; Calles, NR; Kuper, H. (Harm)
BACKGROUND: As paediatric antiretroviral therapy (ART) is rapidly scaled up in Southern Africa, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection is becoming a chronic illness. Children growing up with HIV may begin to encounter disabilities. The relationship between HIV, disability and the need for rehabilitation has added an additional element that needs to be addressed by paediatric HIV treatment programmes. STUDY OBJECTIVES: 1) Estimate the prevalence of disabilities in HIV-infected and HIV-un...
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Optimized preventive strategies are needed to reach the objective of eliminating pediatric AIDS. This study aimed to define the determinants of residual HIV transmission in the context of maternal antiretroviral therapy (ART administration to pregnant women, to assess infant safety of this strategy, and to evaluate its impact on maternal disease. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: A total of 311 HIV-infected pregnant women were enrolled in Malawi in an observational study and received a nevirapine-based regimen from week 25 of gestation until 6 months after delivery (end of breastfeeding period if their CD4+ count was > 350/mm(3 at baseline (n = 147, or indefinitely if they met the criteria for treatment (n. 164. Mother/child pairs were followed until 2 years after delivery. The Kaplan-Meier method was used to estimate HIV transmission, maternal disease progression, and survival at 24 months. The rate of HIV infant infection was 3.2% [95% confidence intervals (CI 1.0-5.4]. Six of the 8 transmissions occurred among mothers with baseline CD4+ count > 350/mm(3. HIV-free survival of children was 85.8% (95% CI 81.4-90.1. Children born to mothers with baseline CD4+ count < 350/mm(3 were at increased risk of death (hazard ratio 2.6, 95% CI 1.1-6.1. Among women who had stopped treatment the risk of progression to CD4+ count < 350/mm(3 was 20.6% (95% CI 9.2-31.9 by 18 months of drug discontinuation. CONCLUSIONS: HIV transmission in this cohort was rare however, it occurred in a significative proportion among women with high CD4+ counts. Strategies to improve treatment adherence should be implemented to further reduce HIV transmission. Mortality in the uninfected exposed children was the major determinant of HIV-free survival and was associated to maternal disease stage. Given the considerable proportion of women reaching the criteria for treatment within 18 months of drug discontinuation, life-long ART administration to HIV-infected women should
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Burkitt lymphoma, a childhood cancer common in parts of sub-Saharan Africa, has been associated with Epstein Barr Virus (EBV and malaria, but its association with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV is not clear. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We conducted a case-control study of Burkitt lymphoma among children (aged < or = 15 years admitted to the pediatric oncology unit in Blantyre, Malawi between July 2005 and July 2006. Cases were 148 children diagnosed with Burkitt lymphoma and controls were 104 children admitted with non-malignant conditions or cancers other than hematological malignancies and Kaposi sarcoma. Interviews were conducted and serological samples tested for antibodies against HIV, EBV and malaria. Odds ratios for Burkitt lymphoma were estimated using unconditional logistic regression adjusting for sex, age, and residential district. Cases had a mean age of 7.1 years and 60% were male. Cases were more likely than controls to be HIV positive (Odds ratio (OR = 12.4, 95% Confidence Interval (CI 1.3 to 116.2, p = 0.03. ORs for Burkitt lymphoma increased with increasing antibody titers against EBV (p = 0.001 and malaria (p = 0.01. Among HIV negative participants, cases were thirteen times more likely than controls to have raised levels of both EBV and malaria antibodies (OR = 13.2; 95% CI 3.8 to 46.6; p = 0.001. Reported use of mosquito nets was associated with a lower risk of Burkitt lymphoma (OR = 0.2, 95% CI, 0.03 to 0.9, p = 0.04. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings support prior evidence that EBV and malaria act jointly in the pathogenesis of Burkitt lymphoma, suggesting that malaria prevention may decrease the risk of Burkitt lymphoma. HIV may also play a role in the etiology of this childhood tumor.
Nwanyanwu, O; Nyangulu, D; Salaniponi, F
In many sub-Saharan African countries, tuberculosis (TB) cases have been increasing steadily since 1985. In Malawi, they have increased by 38% from 1990 to 1993, and extrapulmonary TB increased by 79%. Among 385 patients with a history of persistent cough presumed to be TB, 360 (94%) initially consented to be tested for both HIV and TB. Of these, 301 completed testing and 95% returned for their test results. Among test completers (n = 301), 280 (93%) were found to be HIV-infected. Seropositivity rates were similar for males and females, and higher for urban dwellers than for rural dwellers (94% versus 79%). TB was found in only 48 (16%) patients. Among TB patients, 33 (77%) were HIV positive. This study suggests that TB may not be the main cause of persistent cough among persons using urban chest clinics in Malawi; HIV without sputum positive TB appears to be a major contributor. Clinicians in areas of high HIV prevalence should therefore suspect other HIV-related infections in a patient with persistent cough and in whom TB has been ruled out.
H.P. Versteegh (Hendt); A. Bakia (Affuenti); H.M. Koopman (Hendrik); V. Kraaij (Vivian); F.G. Versteegh (Florens)
textabstractIntroduction: HIV/AIDS, the most important health problem in Africa, is the leading cause of death on the continent. Ignorance on HIV/AIDS status will hamper treatment and prevention. To investigate the level of HIV/AIDS knowledge among men in a rural area, we performed a questionnaire s
H.P. Versteegh (Hendt); A. Bakia (Affuenti); H.M. Koopman (Hendrik); V. Kraaij (Vivian); F.G. Versteegh (Florens)
textabstractIntroduction: HIV/AIDS, the most important health problem in Africa, is the leading cause of death on the continent. Ignorance on HIV/AIDS status will hamper treatment and prevention. To investigate the level of HIV/AIDS knowledge among men in a rural area, we performed a questionnaire s
Full Text Available Although 80% of children with disabilities live in developing countries, there are few culturally appropriate developmental assessment tools available for these settings. Often tools from the West provide misleading findings in different cultural settings, where some items are unfamiliar and reference values are different from those of Western populations.Following preliminary and qualitative studies, we produced a draft developmental assessment tool with 162 items in four domains of development. After face and content validity testing and piloting, we expanded the draft tool to 185 items. We then assessed 1,426 normal rural children aged 0-6 y from rural Malawi and derived age-standardized norms for all items. We examined performance of items using logistic regression and reliability using kappa statistics. We then considered all items at a consensus meeting and removed those performing badly and those that were unnecessary or difficult to administer, leaving 136 items in the final Malawi Developmental Assessment Tool (MDAT. We validated the tool by comparing age-matched normal children with those with malnutrition (120 and neurodisabilities (80. Reliability was good for items remaining with 94%-100% of items scoring kappas >0.4 for interobserver immediate, delayed, and intra-observer testing. We demonstrated significant differences in overall mean scores (and individual domain scores for children with neurodisabilities (35 versus 99 [p<0.001] when compared to normal children. Using a pass/fail technique similar to the Denver II, 3% of children with neurodisabilities passed in comparison to 82% of normal children, demonstrating good sensitivity (97% and specificity (82%. Overall mean scores of children with malnutrition (weight for height <80% were also significantly different from scores of normal controls (62.5 versus 77.4 [p<0.001]; scores in the separate domains, excluding social development, also differed between malnourished children and
Alinane Linda Nyondo
Full Text Available Background: Despite the documented benefits of prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV services, the uptake remains low in sub-Saharan Africa. The lack of male involvement (MI may be one of the reasons for this. However, there are limited data on strategies for MI in PMTCT. Objective: The objective of this study was to identify strategies that may promote MI in PMTCT services in antenatal care (ANC services in Blantyre, Malawi. Study design: An exploratory qualitative study was conducted from December 2012 to January 2013 at South Lunzu Health Centre (SLHC in Blantyre, Malawi. It consisted of six face-to-face key informant interviews (KIIs with healthcare workers and four focus group discussions (FGDs with 18 men and 17 pregnant women attending ANC at SLHC. The FGDs were divided according to sex and age. All FGDs and KIIs were digitally recorded and simultaneously transcribed and translated verbatim into English. Data were analyzed using thematic content analysis. Results: Three major themes with several subcategories emerged. Theme 1 was a gatekeeping strategy with two subcategories: (1 healthcare workers refusing service provision to women accessing antenatal clinic without their partners and (2 women refusing ANC attention in the absence of a partner. Theme 2 comprised extending invitations and had six subcategories: (1 word of mouth, (2 card invites, (3 woman's health passport book invites, (4 telephonic invites, (5 use of influential people, and (6 home visits. Theme 3 was information education and communication, such as health education forums and advertisements. Of all the strategies, an invitation card addressed to the male partner was most preferred by study participants. Conclusions: There are several strategies by which men may be involved in PMTCT. Healthcare workers should offer a pregnant woman all strategies available for MI for her to select the appropriate one. Further research and
Campbell, Catherine; Andersen, Louise; Mutsikiwa, Alice
We present multi-method case studies of two Zimbabwean primary schools - one rural and one small-town. The rural school scored higher than the small-town school on measures of child well-being and school attendance by HIV-affected children. The small-town school had superior facilities, more...... teachers with higher morale, more specialist HIV/AIDS activities, and an explicit religious ethos. The relatively impoverished rural school was located in a more cohesive community with a more critically conscious, dynamic and networking headmaster. The current emphasis on HIV/AIDS-related teacher training...
Kondwani G. Munthali
Full Text Available The objective of this article was to develop a deeper understanding of the interdependences between smallholder farming and the state of environmental management in rural Malawi. We examined the agricultural local governance framework in Malingunde Extension Planning Area (EPA, its contribution to food security and how it conflicts with overall land and forest resources management. The charcoal production process was discussed in line with its implications for agricultural production and environmental sustainability. The smallholder households employ inappropriate land management practices, engage in agricultural production on unsuitable land and use fertile soils, timber and firewood for brick production and construction and secondly engage in charcoal production (deforestation as a coping mechanism against food deficiency. However, while detrimental in its own right, this environmental degradation in the area cannot be explicitly pinned to, for instance, the total charcoal supply being out of balance with wood stocks or insufficient land. It is, rather, usually due to failures to provide incentives to manage land and forest resources in a manner that allows regeneration of both the soils and wood stocks in the area. An improvement in the quality and quantity of the smallholder agriculture sector production would promote significantly the environmental management efforts.
Mojola, Sanyu A; Williams, Jill; Angotti, Nicole; Gómez-Olivé, F Xavier
South Africa has the highest number of people living with HIV in the world (over 6 million) as well as a rapidly aging population, with 15% of the population aged 50 and over. High HIV prevalence in rural former apartheid homeland areas suggests substantial aging with HIV and acquisition of HIV at older ages. We develop a life course approach to HIV vulnerability, highlighting the rise and fall of risk and protection as people age, as well as the role of contextual density in shaping HIV vulnerability. Using this approach, we draw on an innovative multi-method data set collected within the Agincourt Health and Demographic Surveillance System in South Africa, combining survey data with 60 nested life history interviews and 9 community focus group interviews. We examine HIV risk and protective factors among adults aged 40-80, as well as how and why these factors vary among people at older ages.
The purpose of this paper is to identify groups of children in Malawi who are less or ... urban) and mother's education are major determinants of .... decreasing. It is therefore important to examine the factors ..... with HIV or severe malnutrition.
infected older adults resident in a rural area in Eastern. Zambia with low ... motor tasks more especially with the improved treatment of HIV. ... skills, memory including learning and recall, simple ..... cause for biased cognitive development.
Walcott, Melonie M; Hatcher, Abigail M; Kwena, Zachary; Turan, Janet M
.... To lay the groundwork for developing an intervention, we conducted formative qualitative research to elicit feedback on three approaches for safe HIV disclosure for pregnant women and male partners in rural Kenya...
Wen, Yufeng; Wang, Huadong; Chen, Baifeng; Chen, Yujuan; Zhang, Tiejun; Xu, Tan; Sun, Wenjie
To investigate the association between the number of available information sources on HIV/AIDS and HIV/AIDS-related knowledge in a rural population in China. We performed a cross-sectional survey on the number and types of sources of HIV/AIDS information available to rural residents of China and assessed HIV/AIDS-related knowledge in this population. We collected information from 5,355 Chinese rural residents and then correlated the results of the scores on knowledge to the numbers of information sources, and adjusted for age, sex, education and occupation. The sources of HIV/AIDs information reported by subjects included television, radio, newspapers, periodicals, discussions with neighbors and friends. There were significant differences in sources of information based on gender, occupation, educational level and age. The average number of information sources was 3.01 ± 1.74. The average score on the AIDS related knowledge questionnaire was 8.21 ± 4.23. Subjects who reported 6 sources of HIV/AIDS information had an average score of 11.67 ± 3.0 on the HIV/AIDS knowledge questionnaire. Subjects who reported between 3-7 sources of HIV/AIDS information had significantly higher scores than those who had 1,2 or 8 sources of information. There is an association between HIV/AIDS knowledge and the number of available information sources. By increasing the sources, one could not always make more people curious or interested in HIV/AIDS knowledge.
Grace, C J; Soons, K R; Kutzko, D; Alston, W K; Ramundo, M
The incidence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection is increasing rapidly in rural areas of the United States. Barriers to health-care delivery for this patient population include the complexity of this rapidly changing field, inexperienced rural physicians, long travel distances to receive expert care, lack of psychosocial support systems, and concerns about confidentiality. Models of HIV care for rural areas have not been developed that remove these barriers. We present the philosophy, structure, implementation, and services of a model of care in Vermont that is designed to remove many of these barriers and bring HIV expertise into the rural areas of the state. Three HIV specialty clinics have been developed in regional hospitals throughout the state. The clinic team includes an HIV-trained nurse practitioner and social worker from the hospital, a client consultant from the regional AIDS service organization, and an infectious disease specialist who travels to each of the clinics monthly. Patient care will be centralized in these regionally located clinics. The dispersion of HIV care among numerous and inexperienced rural providers will be obviated. Confidentiality will be emphasized within the hospital environment. The model has the potential to provide a complete continuum of medical care and psychosocial case management, integrate patient care and regional provider education, and increase community awareness. Patients will be able to receive their care in their own community, avoiding long travel distances. This may encourage patients to seek care earlier in their illness. The model may be adaptable to other rural areas of the United States.
W.A.J. Norder (Wilma); R.P.H. Peters (Remco); M. Kok (Maarten); S.L. van Elsland (Sabine); H.E. Struthers (Helen); M.A. Tutu (Mpho); A.M. van Furth (Marceline)
markdownabstractReligion has substantial – positive and negative – influence on South Africa’s HIV context. This qualitative study explored possibilities for positive church engagement in paediatric HIV care in a rural district in Limpopo Province, South Africa. Opinions, attitudes and experiences
Veinot, Tiffany C.; Harris, Roma
Purpose: To explore information exchange about HIV/AIDS among people living in rural and urban communities and to assess the value of social capital theory, as well as demographic factors, in predicting community members' knowledge of HIV/AIDS and their likelihood of having talked about the disease. Method: A random-digit dial telephone survey was…
Makaula, Peter; Bloch, Paul; Banda, Hastings T.
is still a major challenge for a large proportion of the rural population. Community-directed treatment with ivermectin (CDTi) and community-directed interventions (CDI) are participatory approaches to strengthen health care at community level. Both approaches are based on values and principles associated...... with PHC. The CDI approach has successfully been used to improve the delivery of interventions in areas that have previously used CDTi. However, little is known about the added value of community participation in areas without prior experience with CDTi. This study aimed at assessing PHC in two rural...
Chipeta, Michael G.; McCann, Robert S.; Phiri, Kamija S.; van Vugt, Michèle; Takken, Willem; Diggle, Peter; Terlouw, Anja D.
Introduction In the context of malaria elimination, interventions will need to target high burden areas to further reduce transmission. Current tools to monitor and report disease burden lack the capacity to continuously detect fine-scale spatial and temporal variations of disease distribution exhibited by malaria. These tools use random sampling techniques that are inefficient for capturing underlying heterogeneity while health facility data in resource-limited settings are inaccurate. Continuous community surveys of malaria burden provide real-time results of local spatio-temporal variation. Adaptive geostatistical design (AGD) improves prediction of outcome of interest compared to current random sampling techniques. We present findings of continuous malaria prevalence surveys using an adaptive sampling design. Methods We conducted repeated cross sectional surveys guided by an adaptive sampling design to monitor the prevalence of malaria parasitaemia and anaemia in children below five years old in the communities living around Majete Wildlife Reserve in Chikwawa district, Southern Malawi. AGD sampling uses previously collected data to sample new locations of high prediction variance or, where prediction exceeds a set threshold. We fitted a geostatistical model to predict malaria prevalence in the area. Findings We conducted five rounds of sampling, and tested 876 children aged 6–59 months from 1377 households over a 12-month period. Malaria prevalence prediction maps showed spatial heterogeneity and presence of hotspots—where predicted malaria prevalence was above 30%; predictors of malaria included age, socio-economic status and ownership of insecticide-treated mosquito nets. Conclusions Continuous malaria prevalence surveys using adaptive sampling increased malaria prevalence prediction accuracy. Results from the surveys were readily available after data collection. The tool can assist local managers to target malaria control interventions in areas with the
Bogale, Gebeyehu W.; Bogale, G.W.; Boer, Hendrik; Seydel, E.R.
More than 85% of Ethiopia's population lives in rural areas and literacy levels in the country are relatively low. Despite this, little is known about levels of knowledge in regard to HIV/AIDS and condom use among illiterate and low-literate rural individuals. We conducted a cross-sectional study
Witteveen, Loes; Lie, Rico
Rural Development Professionals (RDPs) are key actors in processes of social change for people living with HIV/AIDS in rural areas. This article reports on the filming of a series of workshops and courses for RDPs in Ghana, India, Tanzania and Zambia. In this article the filming and the films are analyzed as tools for learning and social change…
McKinney, Ogbochi; Modeste, Naomi N; Lee, Jerry W; Gleason, Peter C; Maynard-Tucker, Gisele
Background. The purpose of this study was to explore healthcare providers' perspectives on antiretroviral (ART) adherence in two ART clinics in southern Malawi. Nonadherence to ART is a significant hindrance to the success of HIV/AIDS treatment. Methods. A one-on-one semistructured interview was conducted with eight healthcare providers in two ART clinics in rural and urban southern Malawi. The interviews were focused on factors facilitating or hindering ART adherence and strategies to improve adherence. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, and content-analyzed with the use of the constant comparison approach. Results. Of the eight participants, 63% were between the ages of 20 and 30 years and 37% were HIV counselors. Factors facilitating adherence include patients' belief and knowledge, HIV/AIDS education, and a supportive network. Barriers to adherence include discrimination, nondisclosure of HIV status, food insecurity, medication side effects, religion, misinformation, and staff and drug shortages. Strategies to improve adherence were identified by participants to include nutritional/food supplementation for malnourished or undernourished patients and patient counseling. Conclusions. There is a need for collaborative efforts between healthcare providers, patients, and faith-based organizations to identify and address hindrances and facilitators to patients' adherence. Further research is needed to develop strategies addressing religion, staff, and drug shortages.
Full Text Available Background. The purpose of this study was to explore healthcare providers’ perspectives on antiretroviral (ART adherence in two ART clinics in southern Malawi. Nonadherence to ART is a significant hindrance to the success of HIV/AIDS treatment. Methods. A one-on-one semistructured interview was conducted with eight healthcare providers in two ART clinics in rural and urban southern Malawi. The interviews were focused on factors facilitating or hindering ART adherence and strategies to improve adherence. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, and content-analyzed with the use of the constant comparison approach. Results. Of the eight participants, 63% were between the ages of 20 and 30 years and 37% were HIV counselors. Factors facilitating adherence include patients’ belief and knowledge, HIV/AIDS education, and a supportive network. Barriers to adherence include discrimination, nondisclosure of HIV status, food insecurity, medication side effects, religion, misinformation, and staff and drug shortages. Strategies to improve adherence were identified by participants to include nutritional/food supplementation for malnourished or undernourished patients and patient counseling. Conclusions. There is a need for collaborative efforts between healthcare providers, patients, and faith-based organizations to identify and address hindrances and facilitators to patients’ adherence. Further research is needed to develop strategies addressing religion, staff, and drug shortages.
Objectives To evaluate the feasibility (population reached, costs) and effectiveness (positivity rates, linkage to care) of two strategies of community-based HIV testing and counselling (HTC) in rural Swaziland. Methods Strategies used were mobile HTC (MHTC) and home-based HTC (HBHTC). Information on age, sex, previous testing and HIV results was obtained from routine HTC records. A consecutive series of individuals testing HIV-positive were followed up for 6 months from the test date to asse...
Full Text Available Knowledge is one of the major factors that promotes adherence to treatment regimens. With the current trends worldwide of home and community-based services for the management of HIV/AIDS patients, knowledge of care givers about the home care of these patients will determine the success of the programs. The purpose of this descriptive study was to explore the knowledge and practices of primary care givers of HIV/AIDS children in the provision of home care services. In this study an attempt was made to describe the factors which are associated with knowledge. Thirty-six primary care givers were randomly selected from three major home based care centres in Blantyre City, Malawi. A structured interview schedule was used to collect data. Data were analysed manually and by computer, using the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS. The findings revealed a gap in knowledge since in many instances taking a child to the hospital for the management of minor ailments was the action of choice, thus perpetuating the problem of overburdening hospital resources. Lack of prior preparation for home based care was found to be the major factor contributing to the lack of knowledge. Recommendations proposed include the need to put into place mechanisms that will ensure that all the primary care givers are adequately prepared in good time for home care service. Ensuring regular home visits was also thought to be helpful for efficient and effective supervision and reinforcement of information given to fill the gaps in knowledge wherever necessary.
Resistant starch (RS) decreases intestinal inflammation in some settings. We tested the hypothesis that gut inflammation will be reduced with dietary supplementation with RS in rural Malawian children. Eighteen stunted 3-5-year-old children were supplemented with 8.5 g/day of RS type 2 for 4 weeks. ...
Youth with disabilities in Malawi constitute a minority group that is particularly vulnerable to social exclusion and lack of education. The aim of this study is to carry out an in-depth exploration of barriers to education for youth with disabilities in Malawi. The objectives are: to identify relevant policies and actors at national, district and local level; to explore the situation in practice for youth with disabilities regarding education; and finally to explore possible differences betw...
Townes, Lindsay R; Mwandama, Dyson; Mathanga, Don P; Wilson, Mark L
Understanding the role of local environmental risk factors for malaria in holo-endemic, poverty-stricken settings will be critical to more effectively implement- interventions aimed at eventual elimination. Household-level environmental drivers of malaria risk during the dry season were investigated in rural southern Malawi among children Authority (TA) regions dominated by small-scale agriculture. Ten villages were randomly selected from TA Sitola (n = 6) and Nsamala (n = 4). Within each village, during June to August 2011, a census was conducted of all households with children under-five and recorded their locations with a geographic position system (GPS) device. At each participating house, a nurse administered a malaria rapid diagnostic test (RDT) to children under five years of age, and a questionnaire to parents. Environmental data were collected for each house, including land cover within 50-m radius. Variables found to be significantly associated with P. falciparum infection status in bivariate analysis were included in generalized linear models, including multivariate logistic regression (MLR) and multi-level multivariate logistic regression (MLLR). Spatial clustering of RDT status, environmental factors, and Pearson residuals from MLR and MLLR were analysed using the Getis-Ord Gi* statistic. Of 390 children enrolled from six villages in Sitola (n = 162) and four villages in Nsamala (n = 228), 45.6% tested positive (n = 178) for Plasmodium infection by RDT. The MLLR modelled the statistical relationship of Plasmodium positives and household proximity to agriculture ( 2.58, p < 0.01) predominantly within TA Sitola, while residuals from MLLR showed no such clustering. This study provides evidence for significant, dry-season heterogeneity of malaria prevalence strongly linked to peridomestic land use, and particularly of elevated risk associated with nearby crop production.
Lv, Ben-yan; Xiang, Yuan-xi; Zhao, Rui; Feng, Zhan-chun; Liang, Shu-ying; Wang, Yu-ming
Nowadays, there is a trend of HIV prevalence transmitting from high-risk group to average-risk group in China. Rural China is the weak link of HIV prevention, and rural areas of Henan province which is one of the most high-risk regions in China have more than 60% of the AIDS patients in the province. Thus, improving the HIV awareness and implementing health education become the top-priority of HIV/AIDS control and prevention. A multistage sampling was designed to draw 1129 people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHAs) and 1168 non-PLWHAs in 4 prevalence counties of Henan province. A health promoting and social-psychological support model was constructed to improve the health knowledge of participants. Chi-square tests and unconditional logistic regression were performed to determine the intervention effect and influencing factors. All groups had misunderstandings towards the basic medical knowledge and the AIDS transmission mode. Before the intervention, 59.3% of the HIV/AIDS patients and 74.6% of the healthy people had negative attitudes towards the disease. There was statistically significant difference in the improvement of knowledge, attitude and action with regards to HIV prevention before and after intervention (PHIV/AIDS health knowledge, whereas older PLWHAs (OR=0.961) were less likely to have better HIV/AIDS health knowledge. However, the intervention effect was associated with the expertise of doctors and supervisors, the content and methods of education, and participants' education level. It was concluded that health education of HIV/AIDS which positively influences the awareness and attitude of HIV prevention is popular in rural areas, therefore, a systematic and long-term program of HIV control and prevention is urgently needed in rural areas.
Campbell, Catherine; Andersen, Louise; Mutsikiwa, Alice
We present multi-method case studies of two Zimbabwean primary schools - one rural and one small-town. The rural school scored higher than the small-town school on measures of child well-being and school attendance by HIV-affected children. The small-town school had superior facilities, more...... teachers with higher morale, more specialist HIV/AIDS activities, and an explicit religious ethos. The relatively impoverished rural school was located in a more cohesive community with a more critically conscious, dynamic and networking headmaster. The current emphasis on HIV/AIDS-related teacher training...... and specialist school-based activities should be supplemented with greater attention to impacts of school leadership and the nature of the school-community interface on the HIV-competence of schools....
Augustine T Choko
Full Text Available Home-based HIV testing and counselling (HTC achieves high uptake, but is difficult and expensive to implement and sustain. We investigated a novel alternative based on HIV self-testing (HIVST. The aim was to evaluate the uptake of testing, accuracy, linkage into care, and health outcomes when highly convenient and flexible but supported access to HIVST kits was provided to a well-defined and closely monitored population.Following enumeration of 14 neighbourhoods in urban Blantyre, Malawi, trained resident volunteer-counsellors offered oral HIVST kits (OraQuick ADVANCE Rapid HIV-1/2 Antibody Test to adult (≥16 y old residents (n = 16,660 and reported community events, with all deaths investigated by verbal autopsy. Written and demonstrated instructions, pre- and post-test counselling, and facilitated HIV care assessment were provided, with a request to return kits and a self-completed questionnaire. Accuracy, residency, and a study-imposed requirement to limit HIVST to one test per year were monitored by home visits in a systematic quality assurance (QA sample. Overall, 14,004 (crude uptake 83.8%, revised to 76.5% to account for population turnover residents self-tested during months 1-12, with adolescents (16-19 y most likely to test. 10,614/14,004 (75.8% participants shared results with volunteer-counsellors. Of 1,257 (11.8% HIV-positive participants, 26.0% were already on antiretroviral therapy, and 524 (linkage 56.3% newly accessed care with a median CD4 count of 250 cells/μl (interquartile range 159-426. HIVST uptake in months 13-24 was more rapid (70.9% uptake by 6 mo, with fewer (7.3%, 95% CI 6.8%-7.8% positive participants. Being "forced to test", usually by a main partner, was reported by 2.9% (95% CI 2.6%-3.2% of 10,017 questionnaire respondents in months 1-12, but satisfaction with HIVST (94.4% remained high. No HIVST-related partner violence or suicides were reported. HIVST and repeat HTC results agreed in 1
The Malawi Urbanization Review aims to provide fresh perspectives on urbanization in Malawi, by analyzing the current and potential contribution of urbanization to long-term national development and the current institutional and financial capacity of local governments to manage the process. Analyses presented in this report are particularly timely as Malawi is planning for the coming half ...
Alvarez-Uria, Gerardo; Midde, Manoranjan; Naik, Praveen K
Despite the fact that two thirds of HIV infected people in India are rural residents, risk factors associated with HIV infection in rural areas are not well known. In this study we have collected socio-demographic data of 6406 patients who were tested for HIV infection in a rural hospital of India and we have investigated risk factors associated with HIV. In women the most important risk factor was being a widow and the risk was higher in younger than in older widows. Other variables found to be associated with HIV infection were age between 25 and 45 years in men, low education level (especially those who only completed primary education) and working in a field not related to agriculture in scheduled castes and men from scheduled tribes. The results of this study express the need for HIV screening of widows who live in rural areas of Indian States with high HIV prevalence.
Full Text Available Background: With the influx of rural migrants into urban areas, the spread of HIV has increased significantly in Shaanxi Province (China. Migrant workers are at high risk of HIV infection due to social conditions and hardships (isolation, separation, marginalization, barriers to services, etc.. Objective: We explored the efficacy of a HIV/AIDS prevention and control program for rural migrants in Shaanxi Province, administered at both rural and urban sites. Methods: Guidance concerning HIV/AIDS prevention was given to the experimental group (266 migrants for 1 year by the center of disease control, community health agencies and family planning department. The intervention was conducted according to the HIV/AIDS Prevention Management Manual for Rural Migrants. A control group of migrants only received general population intervention. The impact of the intervention was evaluated by administering HIV/AIDS knowledge, attitudes and sexual behavior (KAB questionnaires after 6 and 12 months. Results: In the experimental group; 6 months of intervention achieved improvements in HIV/AIDS related knowledge. After 12 months; HIV/AIDS-related knowledge reached near maximal scores. Attitude and most behaviors scores were significantly improved. Moreover; the experimental group showed significant differences in HIV-AIDS knowledge; attitude and most behavior compared with the control group. Conclusions: The systematic long-term cross-site HIV/AIDS prevention in both rural and urban areas is a highly effective method to improve HIV/AIDS KAB among rural migrants.
YI YANG; KONG-LAI ZHANG
In order to explore the features of discrimination against people with HIV/AIDS in rural areas, a community-based intervention was carried out in two pilot communities of X County of Shanxi Province from September 2002 to October 2003. Methods Data were collected using qualitative methods (in-depth interview and focus group discussion) and anonymously structured questionnaires. Results (1) Severe discrimination against people infected with HIV/AIDS was revealed in the target communities. However, the response to HIV/AIDS was different in each community. (2) People were reluctant to disclose their HIV status or get tested for HIV, which endangered their sexual partners to contract HIV through unprotected sexual intercourses. (3) Attitudes towards people infected with HIV/AIDS varied. (4) Public education promoted a better understanding of HIV/AIDS which in turn improved community attitudes and behaviors towards people with HIV/AIDS. Conclusion HIV/AIDS-related discrimination undermines both individuals' and communities' responses to HIV/AIDS and may be a serious obstacle towards effective HIV/AIDS prevention and control.
Magadi, Monica A
The relationship between HIV and poverty is complex and recent studies reveal an urban-rural divide that is not well understood. This paper examines the urban-rural disparity in the relationship between poverty and HIV infection in Kenya, with particular reference to possible explanations relating to social cohesion/capital and other moderating factors. Multilevel logistic regression models are applied to nationally-representative samples of 13 094 men and women of reproductive age from recent Kenya Demographic and Health Surveys. The results confirm a disproportionate higher risk of HIV infection among the urban poor, despite a general negative association between poverty and HIV infection among rural residents. Estimates of intra-community correlations suggest lower social cohesion in urban than rural communities. This, combined with marked socio-economic inequalities in urban areas is likely to result in the urban poor being particularly vulnerable. The results further reveal interesting cultural variations and trends. In particular, recent declines in HIV prevalence among urban residents in Kenya have been predominantly confined to those of higher socio-economic status. With current rapid urbanization patterns and increasing urban poverty, these trends have important implications for the future of the HIV epidemic in Kenya and similar settings across the sub-Saharan Africa region.
Aheto, Denis Worlanyo; Gbesemete, Kwame Prosper
The paper compares rural perspectives in Thailand and Ghana on the level of condom acceptance in sexual relations, willingness to test oneself for HIV before and in marriage and sources of information on HIV/AIDS. We also compared the policy approaches to combating HIV/AIDS in both countries. The results indicates that in the villages studied in Thailand, all single men and the majority of the single women were in favour of using condoms in sexual relations. This group also showed a positive attitude to HIV/AIDS test before and in marriage. However, married men in rural Thailand disapproved of the use of condoms with their wives but married women in the sample population were open to the possibility of using condoms. Both married men and women were strongly against HIV/AIDS test in marriage. In contrast to Thailand, most single men in the communities studied in Ghana showed a disapproval to the use of condoms in sexual relations. However, they condoned HIV test before marriage. Married men and women in rural Ghana were against the use of condoms in sexual relations as well as HIV/AIDS test in marriage. In order to mitigate mother-to-child transmission, the Thais applied anti-retroviral drug care for HIV positive pregnant women during pregnancy and after delivery. In Ghana on the other hand, pregnant women were subject to HIV test and counselling. The mode of information acquisition on HIV/AIDS in both countries were through the media, campaigns and village volunteers. Finally, we observed that fighting poverty is a sine qua non for the success of any HIV/AIDS eradication programme.
Palamuleni, M E
"This article examines the levels, and trends and differentials in mortality in Malawi.... The study has shown that (i) the level of mortality is very high in Malawi; (ii) mortality has declined during the period under review; (iii) there was reduction in the rate of mortality decline in the seventies; and (iv) [there are] interesting differences in mortality in terms of rural-urban localities, regions and age-sex differentials. The observed levels, trends and differentials in mortality are however consistent with the level of social and economic development in the country."
One of the biggest challenges for healthcare professionals working in developing countries is the lack of trained personnel to carry out much needed health care provision. Shirley Stronge worked as a nurse/midwife tutor in a rural area in the north of Malawi. Millennium Development Goals four and five have focused our attention on the care required by mothers and newborns. Shirley has chosen to reflect on the role of Traditional Birth Attendants in the north of Malawi and their positive impact on maternity services in this area.
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Local HIV epidemiology data are critical in determining the suitability of a population for HIV vaccine efficacy trials. The objective of this study was to estimate the prevalence and incidence of, and determine risk factors for HIV transmission in a rural community-based HIV vaccine preparedness cohort in Masaka, Uganda. METHODS: Between February and July 2004, we conducted a house-to-house HIV sero-prevalence survey among consenting individuals aged 18-60 years. Participants were interviewed, counseled and asked to provide blood for HIV testing. We then enrolled the HIV uninfected participants in a 2-year HIV sero-incidence study. Medical evaluations, HIV counseling and testing, and sample collection for laboratory analysis were done quarterly. Sexual risk behaviour data was collected every 6 months. RESULTS: The HIV point prevalence was 11.2%, and was higher among women than men (12.9% vs. 8.6%, P = 0.007. Risk factors associated with prevalent HIV infection for men were age <25 years (aOR = 0.05, 95% CI 0.01-0.35 and reported genital ulcer disease in the past year (aOR = 2.17, 95% CI 1.23-3.83. Among women, being unmarried (aOR = 2.59, 95% CI 1.75-3.83 and reported genital ulcer disease in the past year (aOR = 2.40, 95% CI 1.64-3.51 were associated with prevalent HIV infection. Twenty-one seroconversions were recorded over 2025.8 person-years, an annual HIV incidence of 1.04% (95% CI: 0.68-1.59. The only significant risk factor for incident HIV infection was being unmarried (aRR = 3.44, 95% CI 1.43-8.28. Cohort retention after 2 years was 87%. CONCLUSIONS: We found a high prevalence but low incidence of HIV in this cohort. HIV vaccine efficacy trials in this population may not be feasible due to the large sample sizes that would be required. HIV vaccine preparatory efforts in this setting should include identification of higher risk populations.
Ng'ambi, Wingston F; Ade, Serge; Harries, Anthony D; Midiani, Dalitso; Owiti, Philip; Takarinda, Kudakwashe C; Gugsa, Salem; Phiri, Sam
To assess follow-up and programmatic outcomes of HIV-exposed infants at Martin Preuss Centre, Lilongwe, from 2012 to 2014. Retrospective cohort study using routinely collected HIV-exposed infant data. Data were analysed using frequencies and percentages in Stata v.13. Of 1035 HIV-exposed infants registered 2012-2014, 79% were available to be tested for HIV and 76% were HIV-tested either with DNA-PCR or rapid HIV test serology by 24 months of age. Sixty-five infants were found to be HIV-positive and 43% were started on antiretroviral therapy (ART) at different ages from 6 weeks to 24 months. Overall, 48% of HIV-exposed infants were declared lost-to-follow-up in the database. Of these, 69% were listed for tracing; of these, 78% were confirmed as lost-to-follow-up through patient charts; of these, 51% were traced; and of these, 62% were truly not in care, the remainder being wrongly classified. Commonest reasons for being truly not in care were mother/guardian unavailability to bring infants to Martin Preuss Centre, forgetting clinic appointments and transport expenses. Of these 86 patients, 36% were successfully brought back to care and 64% remained lost-to-follow-up. Loss to follow-up remains a huge challenge in the care of HIV-exposed infants. Active tracing facilitates the return of some of these infants to care. However, programmatic data documentation must be urgently improved to better follow-up and link HIV-positive children to ART. © 2016 The Authors. Tropical Medicine & International Health Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Full Text Available Abstract Background Intestinal parasite infections (IPIs are among the most significant causes of illness and disease of socially and economically disadvantaged populations in developing countries, including rural areas of the People's Republic of China. With the spread of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV among rural Chinese populations, there is ample scope for co-infections and there have been increasing fears about their effects. However, hardly any relevant epidemiological studies have been carried out in the country. The aim of the present survey was to assess the IPI infection status among a representative sample of HIV-positive Chinese in rural Anhui province, and compare the findings with those from a cohort of non-infected individuals. Methods A case control study was carried out in a rural village of Fuyang, Anhui province, China. Stool samples of all participants were examined for the presence of intestinal parasites. Blood examination was performed for the HIV infection detection and anemia test. A questionnaire was administered to all study participants. Results A total of 302 HIV positive and 303 HIV negative individuals provided one stool sample for examination. The overall IPI prevalence of intestinal helminth infections among HIV positives was 4.3% (13/302 while it was 5.6% (17/303 among HIV negatives, a non-significant difference. The prevalence of protozoa infections among HIV positives was 23.2% while the rate was 25.8% among HIV negatives. The species-specific prevalences among HIV positives were as follows: 3.6% for hookworm, 0.7% for Trichuris trichiura, zero for Ascaris lumbricoides, 0.3% for Clonorchis sinensis, 1.3% for Giardia intestinalis, 16.2% for Blastocystis hominis, 1.7% for Entamoeba spp. and 8.3% for Cryptosporidium spp.. Cryptosporidium spp. infections were significantly more prevalent among HIV positives (8.3% compared to the HIV negative group (3.0%; P Cryptosporidium spp. was significantly more
van Hasselt, Piet; van Kregten, Eric
Chronic suppurative otitis media in young children is a major problem in Africa, with socio-economic consequences at a later age. Common treatment regimens with antibiotics are expensive and often not practically feasible. Therefore, a project was started to develop a low-cost and effective treatment in a rural area of Malawi by studying the clinical efficacy of an inexpensive application regimen of ofloxacin (0.075%) in hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (1.5%) ear drops. In earlier studies with this treatment regimen, it was possible to cure approximately 70% of ears. The aim of this study was to find out whether the bacteriological spectrum cultured from wet ears before and after treatment, and patterns of resistance to antibiotics, played a role in the percentage of cures. Patients with long-standing chronic suppurative otitis media were clinically assessed and treated with suction cleaning and instillation of ear drops on days 1, 3, 7 and 10. Bacterial swabs were taken for culture and sensitivity tests for ofloxacin were on days 1 and 10 from the ears that were still discharging. After 21 weeks, the ears were assessed again clinically. Clinical cure was considered to be complete cessation of otorrhea. Ninety of 104 tested patients (124 ears) completed the study. About 73% of the ears had become dry by day 10. This dropped to 42% after 21 weeks. Before treatment, most ears (91%) harbored fecal bacteria, Proteus mirabilis (74%) and enterococci (60%) being the most frequently isolated microbes. The second group of frequently cultured bacteria were water bacteria e.g. Pseudomonas species and other non-fermenters (69%), whereas the classical otitis media pathogens were detected only in 15% of ears. Before treatment, 9.7% of strains were resistant to ofloxacin, most (30/35) of which were cultured from ears that were eventually cured. After treatment, fecal and water bacteria were still the most frequently found, with 36% new strains and an overall sensitivity to
Full Text Available Abstract Background The HIV and AIDS epidemic in Malawi poses multiple challenges from an equity perspective. It is estimated that 12% of Malawians are living with HIV or AIDS among the 15-49 age group. This paper synthesises available information to bring an equity lens on Counselling and Testing (CT and Antiretroviral Therapy (ART policy, practice and provision in Malawi. Methods A synthesis of a wide range of published and unpublished reports and studies using a variety of methodological approaches was undertaken. The analysis and recommendations were developed, through consultation with key stakeholders in Malawi. Findings At the policy level Malawi is unique in having an equity in access to ART policy, and equity considerations are also included in key CT documents. The number of people accessing CT has increased considerably from 149,540 in 2002 to 482,364 in 2005. There is urban bias in provision of CT and more women than men access CT. ART has been provided free since June 2004 and scale up of ART provision is gathering pace. By end December 2006, there were 85,168 patients who had ever started on ART in both the public and private health sector, 39% of the patients were male while 61% were female. The majority of patients were adults, and 7% were children, aged 14 years or below. Despite free ART services, patients, especially poor rural patients face significant barriers in access and adherence to services. There are missed opportunities in strengthening integration between CT and ART and TB, Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI and maternal health services. Conclusion To promote equitable access for CT and ART in Malawi there is need to further invest in human resources for health, and seize opportunities to integrate CT and ART services with tuberculosis, sexually transmitted infections and maternal health services. This should not only promote access to services but also ensure that resources available for CT and ART strengthen
E A Etukumana
Full Text Available Background: Obstetrics risk and practices can lead to the spread of HIV/AIDS. Identification of such obstetrics risk of HIV infection is a useful step in the prevention of transmission of the virus. Objective: We sought to determine obstetrics risk of HIV infection in pregnant women attending antenatal clinic in a rural Northern Nigerian hospital. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional descriptive study of pregnant women attending antenatal clinic of a rural mission hospital in northern Nigeria between June and October 2005. Data were collected using structured questionnaire. HIV screening and confirmation was carried out on pregnant women after voluntary counseling. Results: 350 pregnant women were enrolled with a mean age (±SD of 26.8± 6.4years. The highest number of HIV infected women was observed in those who had their first coitus between 16 and 20 years. The age at first coitus was not significantly related to the HIV infection (P=0.41. Neither parity (P=0.13 nor past history of abortion (P=0.42 was associated with HIV infection. None of the 41 women who had their last delivery at home had HIV infection compared with 9.8% of the 194 women who delivered in the hospital or clinic (P=0.008. Forty percent of those who had their last delivery in primary health centre had HIV infection while 22.2% of those who delivered under the care of traditional birth had HIV infection. Conclusion: Obstetrics practices may encourage transmission of HIV infection. This calls for re-examination of the obstetrics practices especially in our primary health centers in order to prevent transmission of HIV infection.
Fagbamigbe Adeniyi F
Full Text Available Abstract Background Behaviour change which is highly influenced by risk perception is a major challenge that HIV prevention efforts need to confront. In this study, we examined the validity of self-reported likelihood of HIV infection among rural and urban reproductive age group Nigerians. Methods This is a cross-sectional study of a nationally representative sample of Nigerians. We investigated the concordance between self-reported likelihood of HIV and actual results of HIV test. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to assess whether selected respondents' characteristics affect the validity of self-reports. Results The HIV prevalence in the urban population was 3.8% (3.1% among males and 4.6% among females and 3.5% in the rural areas (3.4% among males and 3.7% among females. Almost all the respondents who claimed they have high chances of being infected with HIV actually tested negative (91.6% in urban and 97.9% in rural areas. In contrast, only 8.5% in urban areas and 2.1% in rural areas, of those who claimed high chances of been HIV infected were actually HIV positive. About 2.9% and 4.3% from urban and rural areas respectively tested positive although they claimed very low chances of HIV infection. Age, gender, education and residence are factors associated with validity of respondents' self-perceived risk of HIV infection. Conclusion Self-perceived HIV risk is poorly sensitive and moderately specific in the prediction of HIV status. There are differences in the validity of self-perceived risk of HIV across rural and urban populations.
Full Text Available Infant malnutrition in sub-Saharan Africa is a public health priority and a challenge in high HIV prevalence areas. The Drug Resources Enhancement Against AIDS and Malnutrition program, with multiple medical centers in Sub-Saharan Africa, developed an innovative intervention for the surveillance and control of malnutrition. In a pilot initiative, 36 HIV-exposed children were evaluated at baseline upon presentation for malnutrition and at six months post- treatment. Parameters included HIV-free survival, nutritional status and change in diet. Food diary data was entered and processed using the Nutrisurvey (WHO software. At 6 months post-intervention, a significant improvement in anthropometric parameters was noted. Slowing of linear growth was observed in patients with malaria with a mean gain in centimetres of 4.4 ± 1.7 as compared to 5.6 ± 1.7 in children with no malaria, p < 0.048 (CL 95%: −2.32, −0.01. Dietary diversity scores increased from 5.3 ± 1.9 to 6.5 ± 1.3, p < 0.01 at 6 months. A significant increase (+25%, p < 0.02 in the number of children eating fish meals was noted. Our pilot data describes positive outcomes from a rehabilitative nutritional approach based on use of local foods, peer education, anthropometric and clinical monitoring in areas of high food insecurity. The relationship between malaria and linear growth retardation requires further investigation.
Erikstrup, Christian; Kallestrup, Per; Zinyama, Rutendo;
CD4 cell count and plasma HIV RNA level are used to monitor HIV-infected patients in high-income countries, but the applicability in an African context with frequent concomitant infections has only been studied sparsely. Moreover, alternative inexpensive markers are needed in the attempts to roll...... out antiretroviral treatment in the region. We explored the prognostic strengths of classic and alternative progression markers in this study set in rural Zimbabwe....
Adamson Paul; Kumar Bhavana N; Madhivanan Purnima; Krupp Karl
Abstract Background There is little research on HIV awareness and practices of traditional birth attendants (TBA) in India. This study investigated knowledge and attitudes among rural TBA in Karnataka as part of a project examining how traditional birth attendants could be integrated into prevention-of-mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) programs in India. Methods A cross-sectional survey was conducted between March 2008 and January 2009 among TBA in 144 villages in Mysore Taluk, Karn...
Droppelmann, Klaus; Makuwira, Jonathan; Kumwenda, Ian
Recently, there has been a resurgence of interest in the study of structural transformation. However, Africa has received little attention despite the fact that its rural areas seem to be very poor and unproductive relative to urban areas. This case study provides a reflection on challenges faced and development strategies adopted by successive governments in Malawi. Malawi is a country with a complex history of rural-urban transformation. On one hand, Malawi has long been, and still is, a pr...
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Early initiation of antiretroviral therapy reduces risk of transmission to the uninfected partner in HIV discordant couples, but there are relatively little observational data on HIV transmission within couples from non-trial settings. The aims of this paper are to estimate HIV incidence among HIV discordant couples using longstanding observational data from a rural Ugandan population and to identify factors associated with HIV transmission within couples, including the role of HSV-2 infection. METHODS: Using existing data collected at population-wide annual serological and behavioural surveys in a rural district in southwest Uganda between 1989 and 2007, HIV discordant partners were identified. Stored serum samples were tested for HSV-2 serostatus using the Kalon ELISA test. HIV seroconversion rates and factors association with HIV seroconversion were analysed using Poisson regression. RESULTS: HIV status of both partners was known in 2465 couples and of these 259 (10.5% were HIV serodiscordant. At enrollment, HSV-2 prevalence was 87.3% in HIV positive partners and 71.5% in HIV negative partners. Of the 259 discordant couples, 62 converted to HIV (seroconversion rate 7.11/100 PYAR, 95%CI; 5.54, 9.11 with the rate decreasing from 10.89 in 1990-1994 to 4.32 in 2005-2007. Factors independently associated with HIV seroconversion were female sex, non-Muslim religion, greater age difference (man older than woman by more than 15 years, higher viral load in the positive partner and earlier calendar period. HSV-2 was not independently associated with HIV acquisition (HR 1.62, 95%CI; 0.57, 4.55 or transmission (HR 0.61, 95%CI; 0.24, 1.57. No transmissions occurred in the 29 couples where the index partner was on ART during follow up (872 person-years on ART. DISCUSSION: HIV negative partners in serodiscordant couples have a high incidence of HIV if the index partner is not on antiretroviral therapy and should be provided with interventions
Versteegh, Hendt Paul; Bakia, Affuenti; Koopman, Hendrik Maria; Kraaij, Vivian; Versteegh, Florens Gerard Adriaan
HIV/AIDS, the most important health problem in Africa, is the leading cause of death on the continent. Ignorance on HIV/AIDS status will hamper treatment and prevention. To investigate the level of HIV/AIDS knowledge among men in a rural area, we performed a questionnaire study on HIV/AIDS knowledge in men living in Banga Bakundu, a rural village in Cameroon. Forty-eight men, aged 17-66 years, were interviewed. They were divided in 2 groups: ≤ 29 years, being those young enough to be able to have knowledge about HIV/AIDS at the time of their first sexual contact, and those > 29 years who weren't. A semi-structured clinical interview was performed to obtain information about socio-demographic characteristics, sexual activity, knowledge about HIV/AIDS and its prevention. There is an overall good HIV/AIDS knowledge and what should be done about it. Men with a higher level of education and more HIV/AIDS knowledge seem to take less preventive measures. The differentiation per age group showed that age influenced the data on knowledge and behaviour. Our data are consistent with other studies. Remarkable is the difference in HIV/AIDS knowledge between the 2 age groups, and the relation between HIV/AIDS knowledge and sexual habits and prevention. Sufficient HIV/AIDS knowledge did not lead to significant changes in sexual behaviour. The questionnaire showed to provide sufficient information and was easy to use. Further research should be performed.
Sambakunsi, Rodrick; Kumwenda, Moses; Choko, Augustine; Corbett, Elizabeth L; Desmond, Nicola Ann
The category of community health worker applied within the context of health intervention trials has been promoted as a cost-effective approach to meeting study objectives across large populations, relying on the promotion of the concept of 'community belonging' to encourage altruistic volunteerism from community members to promote health. This community-based category of individuals is recruited to facilitate externally driven priorities defined by large research teams, outside of the target research environment. An externally defined intervention is then 'brought to' the community through locally recruited community volunteers who form a bridge between the researchers and participants. The specific role of these workers is context-driven and responsive to the needs of the intervention. This paper is based on the findings from an annual evaluation of community health worker performance employed as community counsellors to deliver semi-supervised HIV self-testing (HIVST) at community level of a large HIV/TB intervention trial conducted in urban Blantyre, Malawi. A performance evaluation was conducted to appraise individual service delivery and assess achievements in meeting pre-defined targets for uptake of HIVST with the aim of improving overall uptake of HIVST. Through an empirical 'evaluation of the evaluation' this paper critically reflects on the position of the community volunteer through the analytical lens of 'failure', exploring the tensions in communication and interpretation of intervention delivery between researchers and community volunteers and the differing perspectives on defining failure. It is concluded that community interventions should be developed in collaboration with the population and that information guiding success should be clearly defined.
Courtois, X; Baccard-Longere, M; Dibi, K
A HIV seroprevalence among 312 antenatal mothers at their first visit to the Idjwi isle's hospital, in Zaïre, near Rwanda, and among 61 other patients, was made with the HIV1 Immunocomb of PBS Orgenics during one year: 1989. The seroprevalence is 0.32%, in this rural area, as was confirmed by Western-Blot. A panel of this 51 "false and true positive" and 13 negative african sera was tested with one other ELISA and two new rapid tests used in France, HIV CHEK 1 + 2 and TEST PACK HIV1/HIV2 to evaluate efficacy under conditions in which transfusions are normally given. These were performed within 15 mn of receipt of blood from a donor in Zaïre.
The design of effective behavioral interventions to prevent HIV infection among African American women requires a more complete understanding of the context and circumstances that precipitate infection with the virus. A descriptive study was designed to explore African American women's experiences of infection with HIV in the rural southeastern United States. Ten women living with HIV participated in interviews. All were infected through sex with a man or men; three had engaged in high-risk activities associated with HIV infection including sex trading; seven described themselves as at low risk for infection related to serial monogamy, no injection drug use, and no history of addiction. Participants reported that desire for intimacy coupled with inaccurate risk appraisal of sex partners contributed to their infection. These results provide insight into the role of intimacy in sexual risk taking. Inquiry into how women can be assisted to protect themselves in the context of intimate relationships may improve interventions to prevent HIV.
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: To improve HIV prevention and care programs, it is important to understand the uptake of HIV testing and to identify population segments in need of increased HIV testing. This is particularly crucial in countries with concentrated HIV epidemics, where HIV prevalence continues to rise in the general population. This study analyzes determinants of HIV testing in a rural Vietnamese population in order to identify potential access barriers and areas for promoting HIV testing services. METHODS: A population-based cross-sectional survey of 1874 randomly sampled adults was linked to pregnancy, migration and economic cohort data from a demographic surveillance site (DSS. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to determine which factors were associated with having tested for HIV. RESULTS: The age-adjusted prevalence of ever-testing for HIV was 7.6%; however 79% of those who reported feeling at-risk of contracting HIV had never tested. In multivariate analysis, younger age (aOR 1.85, 95% CI 1.14-3.01, higher economic status (aOR 3.4, 95% CI 2.21-5.22, and semi-urban residence (aOR 2.37, 95% CI 1.53-3.66 were associated with having been tested for HIV. HIV testing rates did not differ between women of reproductive age who had recently been pregnant and those who had not. CONCLUSIONS: We found low testing uptake (6% among pregnant women despite an existing prevention of mother-to-child HIV testing policy, and lower-than-expected testing among persons who felt that they were at-risk of HIV. Poverty and residence in a more geographically remote location were associated with less HIV testing. In addition to current HIV testing strategies focusing on high-risk groups, we recommend targeting HIV testing in concentrated HIV epidemic settings to focus on a scaled-up provision of antenatal testing. Additional recommendations include removing financial and geographic access barriers to client-initiated testing, and encouraging provider
Cuca, Yvette P; Onono, Maricianah; Bukusi, Elizabeth; Turan, Janet M
Pregnant women who fear or experience HIV-related stigma may not get care for their own health or medications to reduce perinatal transmission of HIV. This study examined factors associated with anticipating and experiencing HIV-related stigma among 1777 pregnant women attending antenatal care clinics in rural Kenya. Women were interviewed at baseline, offered HIV testing and care, and a sub-set was re-interviewed at 4-8 weeks postpartum. Women who were older, had less education, whose husbands had other wives, and who perceived community discrimination against people with HIV had significantly greater adjusted odds of anticipating HIV stigma. Over half of the HIV-positive women interviewed postpartum reported having experienced stigma, much of which was self-stigma. Women experiencing minor depression, and those whose family knew of their HIV status had significantly greater adjusted odds of experiencing stigma. Lack of women's empowerment, as well as depression, may be important risk factors for HIV-related stigma and discrimination.
Mangani, Charles; Maleta, Kenneth; Phuka, John; Cheung, Yin Bun; Thakwalakwa, Chrissie; Dewey, Kathryn; Manary, Mark; Puumalainen, Taneli; Ashorn, Per
Low nutritional value of complementary foods is associated with high incidence of childhood growth stunting in low-income countries. This study was done to test a hypothesis that dietary complementation with lipid-based nutrient supplements (LNS) promotes linear growth and reduces the incidence of severe stunting among at-risk infants. A total of 840 6-month-old healthy infants in rural Malawi were enrolled to a randomised assessor-blinded trial. The participants received 12-month supplementation with nothing, milk-LNS, soy-LNS, or corn-soy blend (CSB). Supplements provided micronutrients and approximately 280 kcal energy per day. Outcomes were incidence of severe and very severe stunting [length-for-age z-score, (LAZ) supplementation and the lower incidence of stunting. Exploratory analyses suggest that provision of milk-LNS, but not soy-LNS promotes linear growth among at-risk infants mainly between 9 and 12 months of age.
Sebastian Ranzi Kotzé; Rutendo Zinyama-Gutsire; Per Kallestrup; Christine Stabell Benn; Exnevia Gomo; Jan Gerstoft; Govert van Dam; Ole Hartvig Mortensen; Henrik Ullum; Christian Erikstrup
Background: Vitamin A has widespread effects on immune function and is therefore interesting in HIV-infection. Retinol-binding protein (RBP or RBP4) is a negative acute-phase protein and a marker of vitamin A status. Our aim was to investigate the association of RBP with HIV progression, infection with schistosomiasis, inflammatory cytokines, and mortality. Methods: The study included 192 HIV-infected and 177 HIV-uninfected individuals from Mupfure in rural Zimbabwe. Of these, 208 were inf...
Monique van Lettow
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: In sub-Saharan Africa, early mortality is high following initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART. We investigated 6-month outcomes and factors associated with mortality in HIV-infected adults being assessed for ART initiation and presenting with weight loss, chronic fever or diarrhea, and with negative TB sputum microscopy. METHODS: A prospective cohort study was conducted in Malawi, investigating mortality in relation to ART uptake, microbiological findings and treatment of opportunistic infection (OIs, 6 months after meeting ART eligibility criteria. RESULTS: Of 469 consecutive adults eligible for ART, 74(16% died within 6 months of enrolment, at a median of 41 days (IQR 20-81. 370(79% started ART at a median time of 18 days (IQR 7-40 after enrolment. Six-month case-fatality rates were higher in patients with OIs; 25/121(21% in confirmed/clinical TB and 10/50(20% with blood stream infection (BSI compared to 41/308(13% in patients with no infection identified. Median TB treatment start was 27 days (IQR 17-65 after enrolment and mortality [8 deaths (44%] was significantly higher among 18 culture-positive patients with delayed TB diagnosis compared to patients diagnosed clinically and treated promptly with subsequent culture confirmation [6/34 (18%;p = 0.04]. Adjusted multivariable analysis, excluding deaths in the first 21 days, showed weight loss >10%, low CD4 count, severe anemia, laboratory-only TB diagnosis, and not initiating ART to be independently associated with increased risk of death. CONCLUSIONS: Mortality remains high among chronically ill patients eligible for ART. Prompt initiation of ART is vital: more than half of deaths were among patients who never started ART. Diagnostic and treatment delay for TB was strongly associated with risk of death. More than half of deaths occurred without identification of a specific infection. ART programmes need access to rapid point-of-care-diagnostic tools for OIs. The role of early
C.G. Sutcliffe (Catherine); J.H. van Dijk (Janneke); F. Hamangaba (Francis); F. Mayani (Felix); W.J. Moss (William)
textabstractBackground: Early infant HIV diagnosis is challenging in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in rural areas where laboratory capacity is limited. Specimens must be transported to central laboratories for testing, leading to delays in diagnosis and initiation of antiretroviral therapy. This
Anderman, Eric M.; Cupp, Pamela K.; Lane, Derek R.; Zimmerman, Rick; Gray, DeLeon L.; O'Connell, Ann
Over 5,000 adolescents enrolled in required rural high school health courses reported their perceptions of mastery and extrinsic goal structures in their health classrooms. Data were collected from all students at three time points (prior to HIV and pregnancy instruction, 3 months after instruction, and 1 year after instruction). Results indicated…
Jaffar, Shabbar; Van der Loeff, Maarten Schim; Eugen-Olsen, Jesper;
We investigated the association between beta2-microglobulin, neopterin, serum levels of soluble urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR), CD4 count, and plasma viremia with survival in 133 HIV-2-infected villagers and 160 controls living in rural Guinea-Bissau. Subjects were recruite...
Roth, R L
An acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) prevention project was begun in Malawi in January 1993 by Peace Corps Malawi. 23 workers strive: 1) to offer health education and counseling with regard to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and AIDS in district hospitals, health centers, and health clinics; 2) to encourage the participation of community groups in AIDS prevention, education, and counseling support activities; and 3) to implement AIDS education in primary and secondary schools. Volunteer activities include health education, home-based care, school programs (drama groups, peer counseling), income-generating activities, condom distribution, and formation of district committees and sub-committees. Target groups include women and youth. Sexual health is promoted. Malawian counterparts are being trained by the volunteers to ensure sustainability; local volunteers are becoming important as resources become scarce. The program is becoming decentralized as it moves into the villages, and community groups are increasing in number. Obstacles include: 1) the lack of resources; 2) the fact that the District AIDS Coordinators are also clinical officers and medical assistants and so can serve only part time; 3) the cultural taboos that make discussion of certain topics difficult; 4) the political system; 5) illiteracy among women; 6) drug abuse among youth; and 7) the difficulty of remaining separated from one's work when one is surrounded by clients, including coworkers, who are HIV positive.
Kalanda, Boniface Francis
Malawi is one of the countries with a youthful population. Youths are susceptible to various social-economic pressures that put their well being into jeopardy. One of the issues that affect youth is early drop out of school, drug abuse and contracting sexually transmitted diseases including HIV. To address these issues, the Malawi Government…
Kalanda, Boniface Francis
Malawi is one of the countries with a youthful population. Youths are susceptible to various social-economic pressures that put their well being into jeopardy. One of the issues that affect youth is early drop out of school, drug abuse and contracting sexually transmitted diseases including HIV. To address these issues, the Malawi Government…
Full Text Available CD4 cell count measurement remains an important diagnostic tool for HIV care in developing countries. Insufficient laboratory capacity in rural Sub-Saharan Africa is frequently mentioned but data on the impact at an individual patient level are lacking. Urban-rural discrepancies in CD4 testing have not been quantified to date. Such evidence is crucial for public health planning and to justify new yet more expensive diagnostic procedures that could circumvent access constraints in rural areas.To compare CD4 testing among rural and urban HIV patients during the first year of treatment.Records from 2,145 HIV positive adult patients from a Médecins sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders HIV project in Beitbridge, Zimbabwe, during 2011 and 2012 were used for a retrospective cohort analysis. Covariate-adjusted risk ratios were calculated to estimate the effects of area of residence on CD4 testing at treatment initiation, six and 12 months among rural and urban patients.While the proportion of HIV patients returning for medical consultations at six and 12 months decreased at a similar rate in both patient groups, CD4 testing during consultations dropped to 21% and 8% for urban, and 2% and 1% for rural patients at six and 12 months, respectively. Risk ratios for missing CD4 testing were 0.8 (95% CI 0.7-0.9, 9.2 (95% CI 5.5-15.3, and 7.6 (95% 3.7-17.1 comparing rural versus urban patients at treatment initiation, six and 12 months, respectively.CD4 testing was low overall, and particularly poor in rural patients. Difficulties with specimen transportation were probably a major factor underlying this difference and requires new diagnostic approaches. Our findings point to severe health system constraints in providing CD4 testing overall that need to be addressed if effective monitoring of HIV patients is to be achieved, whether by alternative CD4 diagnostics or newly-recommended routine viral load testing.
Kallestrup, Per; Zinyama, Rutendo; Gomo, Exnevia
Stunted development and reduced fecundity of Schistosoma parasites in immunodeficient mice and the impaired ability of human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1)-infected humans to excrete schistosome eggs have been described. This study explores the effect that HIV-1-associated immunodeficiency has...... on the excretion of schistosome eggs in a large cohort of coinfected individuals....
Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the findings of aspiration cytology of lymph nodes in HIV infected subjects in a rural population. STUDY DESIGN: The study was conducted in rural population of field practice area of Kamineni institute of medical sciences ( KIMS, Narketpally, Nalgonda. Fine needle aspiration ( FNA was done from different lymph - node site from 50 HIV infected subjects, both air dried and wet smears were prepared. Routine cytology stains and when required special stain were done. Detailed cytomorphological study was conducted. RESULTS: Tuberculus lymphadenitis 28(56% was most common finding followed by reactive lymphadenitis 14(28%, G ranulomatous lymphadenitis 6(12% and suppurative lymphadenitis 2(4%. No other opportunistic infection or malignancy was seen in our study. CONCLUSION: Tuberculus lymphadenitis is the most common cause of lymphadenopathy in HIV infected individuals follow ed by reactive lympadenitis. Fine needle aspiration cytology ( FNAC is a very useful tool in early diagnosis of opportunistic infection and in providing appropriate treatment .
Full Text Available Introduction: Young adolescent women in sub-Saharan Africa are three to four times more likely to be HIV-positive than boys or men. One of the relationship dynamics that is likely to be associated with young women's increased vulnerability to HIV is transactional sex. There are a range of HIV-related risk behaviours that may drive this vulnerability. However, to date, limited epidemiological data exist on the role of transactional sex in increasing HIV acquisition, especially among young women in sub-Saharan Africa. Our paper presents data on the prevalence of self-reported engagement in transactional sex and explores whether transactional sex is associated with increased risk of HIV infection among a cohort of young, rural, sexually active South African women. We also explore whether this relationship is mediated through certain HIV-related risk behaviours. Methods: We analyzed baseline data from a phase III trial of conditional cash transfers for HIV prevention of 693 sexually active, school-going young women aged 13–20 years in rural South Africa. We examined the association between young women's engagement in transactional sex and HIV infection. Transactional sex is defined as a non-commercial, non-marital sexual relationship whereby sex is exchanged for money and/or gifts. We explored whether this relationship is mediated by certain HIV-related risk behaviours. We used logistic and multinomial regression and report unadjusted and adjusted odds ratios with 95% CI. Results: Overall, 14% (n=97 of sexually active young women reported engaging in transactional sex. Engagement in transactional sex was associated with an increased risk of being HIV-positive (aOR: 2.5, CI: 95% 1.19–5.25, p=0.01. The effect size of this association remained nearly unchanged when adjusted for certain other dimensions of HIV risk that might help explain the underlying pathways for this relationship. Conclusions: This study provides quantitative support
Prust, Margaret L; Banda, Clement K; Nyirenda, Rose; Chimbwandira, Frank; Kalua, Thokozani; Jahn, Andreas; Eliya, Michael; Callahan, Katie; Ehrenkranz, Peter; Prescott, Marta R; McCarthy, Elizabeth A; Tagar, Elya; Gunda, Andrews
In order to facilitate scale-up of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in Malawi, innovative and pragmatic models have been developed to optimize the efficiency of HIV service delivery. In particular, three models of differentiated care have emerged for stable patients: adjusted appointment spacing through multi-month scripting (MMS); fast-track drug refills (FTRs) on alternating visits; and community ART groups (CAGs) where group members rotate in collecting medications at the facility for all members. This study aimed to assess the extent to which ART patients in Malawi are differentiated based on clinical stability and describe the characteristics and costs associated with the models of differentiated care offered. A mixed methods process evaluation was conducted from 30 purposefully selected ART facilities. Cross-sectional data for this evaluation was collected between February and May 2016. The following forms of data collection are reported here: structured surveys with 136 health care workers; reviews of 75,364 patient clinical records; 714 observations of visit time and flow; and 30 questionnaires on facility characteristics. Among ART patients, 77.5% (95% confidence interval [CI] 74.1-80.6) were eligible for differentiated models of care based on criteria for clinical stability from national guidelines. Across all facilities, 69% of patients were receiving MMS. In facilities offering FTRs and CAGs, 67% and 6% of patients were enrolled in the models, respectively. However, eligibility criteria were used inconsistently: 72.9% (95% CI 66.3-78.6) of eligible patients and 42.3% (95% CI 33.1-52.0) ineligible patients received MMS. Results indicated that patient travel and time costs were reduced by 67%, and the unit costs of ART service delivery through the MMS, FTR and CAG models were similar, representing a reduction of approximately 10% in the annual unit cost of providing care to stable patients that receive no model. MMS is being implemented nationally and has
Cossa, H A; Gloyd, S; Vaz, R G; Folgosa, E; Simbine, E; Diniz, M; Kreiss, J K
A cross-sectional study was conducted among displaced pregnant women in Mozambique to determine the prevalence and correlates of HIV infection and syphilis. Between September 1992 and February 1993, 1728 consecutive antenatal attendees of 14 rural clinics in Zambézia were interviewed, examined, and tested for HIV and syphilis antibodies. The seroprevalence of syphilis and HIV were 12.2% and 2.9%, respectively. Reported sexual abuse was frequent (8.4%) but sex for money was uncommon. A positive MHA-TP result was significantly associated with unmarried status, history of past STD, HIV infection, and current genital ulcers, vaginal discharge, or genital warts. Significant correlates of HIV seropositivity included anal intercourse, history of past STD, and syphilis. In summary, displaced pregnant women had a high prevalence of syphilis but a relatively low HIV seroprevalence suggesting recent introduction of HIV infection in this area or slow spread of the epidemic. A syphilis screening and treatment programme is warranted to prevent perinatal transmission and to reduce the incidence of chancres as a cofactor for HIV transmission.
Tsai, Alexander C; Bangsberg, David R; Emenyonu, Nneka; Senkungu, Jude K; Martin, Jeffrey N; Weiser, Sheri D
HIV/AIDS and food insecurity are two of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in sub-Saharan Africa, with each heightening the vulnerability to, and worsening the severity of, the other. Less research has focused on the social determinants of food insecurity in resource-limited settings, including social support and HIV-related stigma. In this study, we analyzed data from a cohort of 456 persons from the Uganda AIDS Rural Treatment Outcomes study, an ongoing prospective cohort of persons living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) initiating HIV antiretroviral therapy in Mbarara, Uganda. Quarterly data were collected by structured interviews. The primary outcome, food insecurity, was measured with the Household Food Insecurity Access Scale. Key covariates of interest included social support, internalized HIV-related stigma, HIV-related enacted stigma, and disclosure of HIV serostatus. Severe food insecurity was highly prevalent overall (38%) and more prevalent among women than among men. Social support, HIV disclosure, and internalized HIV-related stigma were associated with food insecurity; these associations persisted after adjusting for household wealth, employment status, and other previously identified correlates of food insecurity. The adverse effects of internalized stigma persisted in a lagged specification, and the beneficial effect of social support further persisted after the inclusion of fixed effects. International organizations have increasingly advocated for addressing food insecurity as part of HIV/AIDS programming to improve morbidity and mortality. This study provides quantitative evidence on social determinants of food insecurity among PLWHA in resource-limited settings and suggests points of intervention. These findings also indicate that structural interventions to improve social support and/or decrease HIV-related stigma may also improve the food security of PLWHA.
AIDS control efforts in Malawi include efforts to control other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). STD control requires a thorough understanding of specific STD prevalence, the potential for managing the STDs without laboratory diagnosis, the efficacy of various antibiotic regimens, and appropriate health-seeking behavior on the part of STD sufferers. Data from several studies were used to modify the World Health Organization STD syndrome management guidelines for use in Malawi. In one ethnographic study, 154 men and women in 2 rural towns were interviewed about their knowledge, beliefs, and experiences with STDs. They described 21 illnesses as sexually transmitted, including several with commonly recognizable biomedical aliases. The people seemed able to differentiate various STDs by their symptoms, although they often described early and late symptoms of the same disease as 2 separate diseases. Information gleaned on health-seeking behavior led to recommendations that communication efforts be undertaken to encourage abstinence during symptoms and the early seeking of treatment from biomedical personnel as well as to provide positive reinforcements of the image of biomedical healers. Another study was undertaken to determine the relative contribution of chancroid and syphilis to genital ulcer disease (GUD), to evaluate the effectiveness of 5 antibiotic therapies for GUD, and to collect data on the characteristics of 778 men presenting with GUD at an urban clinic between September 1992 and March 1993. It was found that cancroid contributed as much to GUD as syphilis in this population, and the cancroid prevalence rate was between 32.8 and 44.6%. Therefore, the researchers recommended treating patients with GUD for both syphilis and chancroid. Erythromycin and ciprofloxacin were effective treatments, whereas trimethoprim sulfamethoxazole was not. A third study assessed relative frequency of gonococcal and nongonococcal urethritis in urban men. The data from this
Gómez-Olivé, Francesc X.; Rohr, Julia K.; Houle, Brian C.; Kabudula, Chodziwadziwa W.; Wagner, Ryan G.; Salomon, Joshua A.; Kahn, Kathleen; Berkman, Lisa F.; Tollman, Stephen M.; Bärnighausen, Till
Objective: To identify the unmet needs for HIV prevention among older adults in rural South Africa. Methods: We analyzed data from a population-based sample of 5059 men and women aged 40 years and older from the study Health and Aging in Africa: Longitudinal Studies of INDEPTH Communities (HAALSI), which was carried out in the Agincourt health and sociodemographic surveillance system in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa. We estimated the prevalence of HIV (laboratory-confirmed and self-reported) and key sexual behaviors by age and sex. We compared sexual behavior profiles across HIV status categories with and without age–sex standardization. Results: HIV prevalence was very high among HAALSI participants (23%, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 21 to 24), with no sex differences. Recent sexual activity was common (56%, 95% CI: 55 to 58) across all HIV status categories. Condom use was low among HIV-negative adults (15%, 95% CI: 14 to 17), higher among HIV-positive adults who were unaware of their HIV status (27%, 95% CI: 22 to 33), and dramatically higher among HIV-positive adults who were aware of their status (75%, 95% CI: 70 to 80). Casual sex and multiple partnerships were reported at moderate levels, with slightly higher estimates among HIV-positive compared to HIV-negative adults. Differences by HIV status remained after age–sex standardization. Conclusions: Older HIV-positive adults in an HIV hyperendemic community of rural South Africa report sexual behaviors consistent with high HIV transmission risk. Older HIV-negative adults report sexual behaviors consistent with high HIV acquisition risk. Prevention initiatives tailored to the particular prevention needs of older adults are urgently needed to reduce HIV risk in this and similar communities in sub-Saharan Africa. PMID:27926667
Ajuwon, G A; Komolafe-Opadeji, H O; Ikhizama, B
The objective of this study was to meet the HIV/AIDS information and service needs of citizens living in selected rural, underserved communities in Oyo State, Nigeria. This was a librarian-initiated intervention program (pre-post) study of heads of rural households in Oyo State. A questionnaire was used for pre- and post-intervention assessment. The education covered knowledge about HIV/AIDS, routes of transmission, prevention strategies, and attitude toward persons living with HIV. It increased participants' knowledge about AIDS and improved attitude toward those living with HIV. Provision and dissemination of information on HIV/AIDS through librarians to rural settlers is an important prevention strategy and librarians can make major contributions.
Sophie J S Pascoe
Full Text Available Despite a recent decline, Zimbabwe still has the fifth highest adult HIV prevalence in the world at 14.7%; 56% of the population are currently living in extreme poverty.Cross-sectional population-based survey of 18-22 year olds, conducted in 30 communities in south-eastern Zimbabwe in 2007.To examine whether the risk of HIV infection among young rural Zimbabwean women is associated with socio-economic position and whether different socio-economic domains, including food sufficiency, might be associated with HIV risk in different ways.Eligible participants completed a structured questionnaire and provided a finger-prick blood sample tested for antibodies to HIV and HSV-2. The relationship between poverty and HIV was explored for three socio-economic domains: ability to afford essential items; asset wealth; food sufficiency. Analyses were performed to examine whether these domains were associated with HIV infection or risk factors for infection among young women, and to explore which factors might mediate the relationship between poverty and HIV.2593 eligible females participated in the survey and were included in the analyses. Overall HIV prevalence among these young females was 7.7% (95% CI: 6.7-8.7; HSV-2 prevalence was 11.2% (95% CI: 9.9-12.4. Lower socio-economic position was associated with lower educational attainment, earlier marriage, increased risk of depression and anxiety disorders and increased reporting of higher risk sexual behaviours such as earlier sexual debut, more and older sexual partners and transactional sex. Young women reporting insufficient food were at increased risk of HIV infection and HSV-2.This study provides evidence from Zimbabwe that among young poor women, economic need and food insufficiency are associated with the adoption of unsafe behaviours. Targeted structural interventions that aim to tackle social and economic constraints including insufficient food should be developed and evaluated alongside behaviour
Campbell, Catherine; Nhamo, Mercy; Scott, Kerry; Madanhire, Claudius; Nyamukapa, Constance; Skovdal, Morten; Gregson, Simon
This paper examines the potential for community conversations to strengthen positive responses to HIV in resource-poor environments. Community conversations are an intervention method through which local people work with a facilitator to collectively identify local strengths and challenges and brainstorm potential strategies for solving local problems. We conducted 18 community conversations (with six groups at three points in time) with a total of 77 participants in rural Zimbabwe (20% HIV positive). Participants were invited to reflect on how they were responding to the challenges of HIV, both as individuals and in community groups, and to think of ways to better support openness about HIV, kindness towards people living with HIV and greater community uptake of HIV prevention and treatment. Community conversations contributed to local HIV competence through (1) enabling participants to brainstorm concrete action plans for responding to HIV, (2) providing a forum to develop a sense of common purpose in relation to implementing these, (3) encouraging and challenging participants to overcome fear, denial and passivity, (4) providing an opportunity for participants to move from seeing themselves as passive recipients of information to active problem solvers, and (5) reducing silence and stigma surrounding HIV. Our discussion cautions that community conversations, while holding great potential to help communities recognize their potential strengths and capacities for responding more effectively to HIV, are not a magic bullet. Poverty, poor harvests and political instability frustrated and limited many participants' efforts to put their plans into action. On the other hand, support from outside the community, in this case the increasing availability of antiretroviral treatment, played a vital role in enabling communities to challenge stigma and envision new, more positive, ways of responding to the epidemic.
Parker, Lucy Anne; Jobanputra, Kiran; Rusike, Lorraine; Mazibuko, Sikhathele; Okello, Velephi; Kerschberger, Bernhard; Jouquet, Guillaume; Cyr, Joanne; Teck, Roger
To evaluate the feasibility (population reached, costs) and effectiveness (positivity rates, linkage to care) of two strategies of community-based HIV testing and counselling (HTC) in rural Swaziland. Strategies used were mobile HTC (MHTC) and home-based HTC (HBHTC). Information on age, sex, previous testing and HIV results was obtained from routine HTC records. A consecutive series of individuals testing HIV-positive were followed up for 6 months from the test date to assess linkage to care. A total of 9 060 people were tested: 2 034 through MHTC and 7 026 through HBHTC. A higher proportion of children and adolescents (<20 years) were tested through HBHTC than MHTC (57% vs. 17%; P < 0.001). MHTC reached a higher proportion of adult men than HBHTC (42% vs. 39%; P = 0.015). Of 398 HIV-positive individuals, only 135 (34%) were enrolled in HIV care within 6 months. Of 42 individuals eligible for antiretroviral therapy, 22 (52%) started treatment within 6 months. Linkage to care was lowest among people who had tested previously and those aged 20-40 years. HBHTC was 50% cheaper (US$11 per person tested; $797 per individual enrolled in HIV care) than MHTC ($24 and $1698, respectively). In this high HIV prevalence setting, a community-based testing programme achieved high uptake of testing and appears to be an effective and affordable way to encourage large numbers of people to learn their HIV status (particularly underserved populations such as men and young people). However, for community HTC to impact mortality and incidence, strategies need to be implemented to ensure people testing HIV-positive in the community are linked to HIV care. © 2015 The Authors. Tropical Medicine & International Health Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Gaskins, Susan W; Payne Foster, Pamela; Sowell, Richard L; Lewis, Timothy L; Gardner, Antonio; Parton, Jason M
The purpose of this study was to identify and describe the process of HIV disclosure for rural African American men-a population disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS. Forty men were interviewed about their experience of making an HIV disclosure. Grounded theory methodology guided data collection and analysis. The core category or variable that emerged from the data was a process-Making Decisions: The Process of HIV Disclosure. Five categories accounted for variations in disclosures: (a) beliefs and knowledge about HIV/AIDS, (b) influencing factors, (c) disclosure decisions, (d) disclosure efficacy, and (e) outcomes of disclosure. Most of the men had disclosed to others; however, the disclosures were selective, and the decisions were iterative. The majority of the men did not disclose their diagnosis for several months to several years. The findings provide a framework of the many factors related to HIV disclosure that can guide health care providers in counseling persons living with HIV/AIDS in making disclosure decisions.
Ding, Yingying; Li, Li; Ji, Guoping
This study examined the main reasons and predictors of HIV disclosure and its relationship to access to care among people living with HIV (PLH) in a rural area of China. A sample of 88 PLH from three counties was interviewed in 2009. In our sample, the rates of disclosure were higher within and outside family. Trust (31%), needing help (28%), and close relationships (26%) were the three main reasons of selecting the person to disclose by a PLH. Using a multivariate analysis, level of HIV disclosure to partners and members within the community was only significantly associated with use of antiretroviral treatment (ART) (β = 2.76; 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 0.77, 4.74). After adjusting for demographics, time since HIV diagnosis and ART, we found HIV disclosure (β = 0.07; 95% CI: 0.01, 0.13) was a significant predictor for access to care. In order to improve PLHs' access to health services and care, future intervention programs should consider both the potential benefits and risks associated with HIV disclosure (intentional and unintentional), and assist PLHs to prepare for HIV disclosure and reduce potential negative impacts that come with it.
Freedberg Kenneth A
Full Text Available Abstract As HIV treatment is scaled-up in resource-poor settings, the timely identification of persons with HIV infection remains an important challenge. Most people with HIV are unaware of their status, and those who are often present late in the course of their illness. Free-standing voluntary counseling and testing sites often have poor uptake of testing. We aimed to evaluate a 'provider-initiated' HIV testing strategy in a primary care clinic in rural resource-poor Haiti by reviewing the number of visits made to clinic before an HIV test was performed in those who were ultimately found to have HIV infection. In collaboration with the Haitian Ministry of Health, a non-governmental organization (Partners In Health scaled up HIV care in central Haiti by reinforcing primary care clinics, instituting provider-initiated HIV testing and by providing HIV treatment in the context of primary medical care, free of charge to patients. Among a cohort of people with HIV infection, we assessed retrospectively for delays in or 'missed opportunities' for diagnosis of HIV by the providers in one clinic. Of the first 117 patients diagnosed with HIV in one clinic, 100 (85% were diagnosed at the first medical encounter. Median delay in diagnosis for the remaining 17 was only 62 days (IQR 19 – 122; range 1 – 272. There was no statistical difference in CD4 cell count between those with and without a delay. 3787 HIV tests were performed in the period reviewed. Provider-initiated testing was associated with high volume uptake of HIV testing and minimal delay between first medical encounter and diagnosis of HIV infection. In scale up of HIV care, provider-initiated HIV testing at primary care clinics can be a successful strategy to identify patients with HIV infection.
Keywords: Home garden, HIV and AIDS, dietary diversity, plant species diversity, coping strategy index, food security, Ghana. The aim of this thesis was to explore how rural households with HIV and AIDS in Ghana are employing home garden management strategies to enhance food and nutrition security
Akrofi, S.; Struik, P.C.; Price, L.L.
An empirical study was conducted to explore differences and similarities in biodiversity in subsistence and commercial home gardens of HIV-positive and HIV-negative rural households in the Eastern Region of Ghana and their significance in household food security. Data were obtained through a househo
Akrofi, S.; Struik, P.C.; Price, L.L.
An empirical study was conducted to explore differences and similarities in biodiversity in subsistence and commercial home gardens of HIV-positive and HIV-negative rural households in the Eastern Region of Ghana and their significance in household food security. Data were obtained through a househo
Kiene, Susan M; Sileo, Katelyn; Wanyenze, Rhoda K; Lule, Haruna; Bateganya, Moses H; Jasperse, Joseph; Nantaba, Harriet; Jayaratne, Kia
In Uganda, a nationwide scale-up of provider-initiated HIV testing and counselling presents an opportunity to deliver HIV-prevention services to large numbers of people. In a rural Ugandan hospital, focus group discussions and key informant interviews were conducted with outpatients receiving provider-initiated HIV testing and counselling and staff to explore the HIV-prevention information, motivation and behavioural skills strengths and weaknesses, and community-level and structural barriers to provider-initiated HIV testing and counselling acceptability and HIV prevention among this population. Strengths and weakness occurred at all levels, and results suggest brief client-centred interventions during provider-initiated HIV testing and counselling may be an effective approach to increase prevention behaviours in outpatient settings.
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS caused by Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV remains the most serious of infectious disease challenges to public health. Adolescents are exposed to the risk of being victims of HIV/AIDS, mostly because of a low level of awareness of HIV/AIDS and inadequate access to HIV prevention and treatment services. School education has been described as a ‘social vaccine’, and it can serve as a powerful preventive tool. Objective: To assess awareness of HIV/AIDS amongst adolescents of a rural area of Haryana. STUDY DESIGN: Cross-sectional. Setting: Senior Secondary Schools of a rural area of district Hisar, Haryana. Participants: 340 secondary school students. METHODOLOGY: A total of 340 students aged 11-19 years of 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th standard participated in the study. A structured pretested and predesigned questionnaire consisting of close ended questions was used to assess study subjects’ level of awareness regarding modes of transmission, preventive and curative measures of HIV/AIDS and the attitude towards People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA. Statistical Analysis: Percentages and Chi-square test. Results: In this study, for majority of the students (91.2%, the source of information about HIV/AIDS was the television. Regarding awareness about the modes of transmission of HIV/AIDS 82.4% students (58.2% boys and 24.1% girls said that it was through unprotected sex followed by sharing injections (78.5%, blood transfusion (67.6%, and from infected mother to baby (62.4%. Two hundred and eighty five (83.8% students (22.1% girls and 61.8% boys had knowledge about condoms as means of protection. The awareness regarding modes of transmission, methods of prevention and treatment was found to be significantly higher among boys as compared to girls (P <.001. CONCLUSION: There is need for developing programmes to spread awareness and to induce behavioral changes among the adolescents especially
Bogale, Gebeyehu W.; Boer, Henk; Seydel, Erwin R.
In Ethiopia the level of illiteracy in rural areas is very high. In this study, we investigated the effects of an audio HIV/AIDS prevention intervention targeted at rural illiterate females. In the intervention we used social-oriented presentation formats, such as discussion between similar females and role-play. In a pretest and posttest…
Bogale, Gebeyehu W.; Boer, Henk; Seydel, Erwin R.
In Ethiopia the level of illiteracy in rural areas is very high. In this study, we investigated the effects of an audio HIV/AIDS prevention intervention targeted at rural illiterate females. In the intervention we used social-oriented presentation formats, such as discussion between similar females and role-play. In a pretest and posttest…
Heemelaar, Steffie; Habets, Nicole; Makukula, Ziche; van Roosmalen, Jos; van den Akker, Thomas
To assess coverage of repeat HIV testing among women who delivered in a Zambian hospital. HIV testing of pregnant women and repeat testing every 3 months during pregnancy and breastfeeding is the recommended policy in areas of high HIV prevalence. A prospective implementation study in a second-level hospital in rural Zambia. Included were all pregnant women who delivered in hospital during May and June 2012. Data regarding antenatal visits and HIV testing were collected by two investigators using a standardised form. Of 401 women who delivered in hospital, sufficient antenatal data could be retrieved for 322 (80.3%) women. Of these 322 women, 301 (93.5%) had attended antenatal care (ANC) at least once. At the time of discharge after delivery in hospital, 171 (53.1%) had an unclear HIV status because their negative test result was more than 3 months ago or of an unknown date, or because they had not been tested at all during pregnancy or delivery. An updated HIV status was present for 151 (46.9%) women: 25 (7.8%) were HIV positive and 126 (39.1%) had tested negative within the last 3 months. In this last group, 79 (24.5%) had been tested twice or more during pregnancy. During the study period, none of the women was tested during admission for delivery. Despite high ANC coverage, opportunities for repeat HIV testing were missed in almost half of all women who delivered in this hospital in a high-prevalence HIV setting. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Chileshe, Muatale; Bond, Virginia Anne
The vulnerabilities that underlie barriers faced by the rural poor whilst trying to access and adhere to "free" antiretroviral treatment (ART) demand more attention. This paper highlights barriers that poor rural Zambians co-infected with tuberculosis (TB) and HIV and their households faced in accessing ART between September 2006 and July 2007, and accounts for patient outcomes by the end of TB treatment and (more sporadically) beyond October 2009. The analysis draws on findings from wider anthropological fieldwork on the converging impact of TB, HIV and food insecurity, focusing for the purpose of this paper on ethnographic case-studies of seven newly diagnosed TB patients co-infected with HIV and their six households (one household had two TB patients). Economic barriers included being pushed into deeper poverty by managing TB, rural location, absence of any external assistance, and mustering time and extended funds for transport and "special food" during and beyond the end of TB. In the case of death, funeral costs were astronomical. Social barriers included translocation, broken marriages, a sub-ordinate household position, gender relations, denial, TB/HIV stigma and the difficulty of disclosure. Health facility barriers involved understaffing, many steps, lengthy procedures and inefficiencies (lost blood samples, electricity cuts). By the end of TB treatment, outcomes were mixed; two co-infected patients had died, three had started ART and two had yet to start ART. The three on ART underwent a striking transformation in the short term. By October 2009, two more had died and three were doing well. The study advocates nutritional support and other material support (especially transport funds) for co-infected TB patients until ART is accessed and livelihood regained. More prompt diagnosis of TB and reducing steps and increasing the reach of the ART programme in rural areas are also recommended.
Anderman, Eric M.; CUPP, PAMELA K.; Lane, Derek R.; Zimmerman, Rick; Gray, DeLeon L.; O'Connell, Ann
Over 5,000 adolescents enrolled in required rural high school health courses reported their perceptions of mastery and extrinsic goal structures in their health classrooms. Data were collected from all students at three time points (prior to HIV/pregnancy instruction, three months after instruction, and one year after instruction). Results indicated that classroom goal structures were related to both proximal and distal knowledge, attitudes, intentions, and efficacy beliefs. Results in partic...
Full Text Available The high burden of undiagnosed HIV in sub-Saharan Africa limits treatment and prevention efforts. Community-based HIV testing campaigns can address this challenge and provide an untapped opportunity to identify non-communicable diseases (NCDs. We tested the feasibility and diagnostic yield of integrating NCD and communicable diseases into a rapid HIV testing and referral campaign for all residents of a rural Ugandan parish.A five-day, multi-disease campaign, offering diagnostic, preventive, treatment and referral services, was performed in May 2011. Services included point-of-care screening for HIV, malaria, TB, hypertension and diabetes. Finger-prick diagnostics eliminated the need for phlebotomy. HIV-infected adults met clinic staff and peer counselors on-site; those with CD4 ≤ 100/µL underwent intensive counseling and rapid referral for antiretroviral therapy (ART. Community participation, case-finding yield, and linkage to care three months post-campaign were analyzed.Of 6,300 residents, 2,323/3,150 (74% adults and 2,020/3,150 (69% children participated. An estimated 95% and 52% of adult female and male residents participated respectively. Adult HIV prevalence was 7.8%, with 46% of HIV-infected adults newly diagnosed. Thirty-nine percent of new HIV diagnoses linked to care. In a pilot subgroup with CD4 ≤ 100, 83% linked and started ART within 10 days. Malaria was identified in 10% of children, and hypertension and diabetes in 28% and 3.5% of adults screened, respectively. Sixty-five percent of hypertensives and 23% of diabetics were new diagnoses, of which 43% and 61% linked to care, respectively. Screening identified suspected TB in 87% of HIV-infected and 19% of HIV-uninfected adults; 52% percent of HIV-uninfected TB suspects linked to care.In an integrated campaign engaging 74% of adult residents, we identified a high burden of undiagnosed HIV, hypertension and diabetes. Improving male attendance and optimizing linkage to care
Through Poverty Reduction (United Nations and Malawi Government [UN and ...... inflation, job losses, removal of agricultural input subsidies among other factors. ... High population to Land Ration: With an average population growth rate of.
Mathur, Sanyukta; Higgins, Jenny A; Thummalachetty, Nityanjali; Rasmussen, Mariko; Kelley, Laura; Nakyanjo, Neema; Nalugoda, Fred; Santelli, John S
Compared to a large body of work on how gender may affect young women's vulnerability to HIV, we know little about how masculine ideals and practices relating to marriage and fertility desires shape young men's HIV risk. Using life-history interview data with 30 HIV-positive and HIV-negative young men aged 15-24 years, this analysis offers an in-depth perspective on young men's transition through adolescence, the desire for fatherhood and experience of sexual partnerships in rural Uganda. Young men consistently reported the desire for fatherhood as a cornerstone of masculinity and transition to adulthood. Ideally young men wanted children within socially sanctioned unions. Yet, most young men were unable to realise their marital intentions. Gendered expectations to be economic providers combined with structural constraints, such as limited access to educational and income-generating opportunities, led some young men to engage in a variety of HIV-risk behaviours. Multiple partnerships and limited condom use were at times an attempt by some young men to attain some part of their aspirations related to fatherhood and marriage. Our findings suggest that young men possess relationship and parenthood aspirations that - in an environment of economic scarcity - may influence HIV-related risk.
Yeganeh-Arani, Erfan; Chandratilake, Mudawa; Muula, Adamson S
The shortage of doctors in all specialties in Malawi is particularly severe in rural areas. Contributory factors are the low number of students graduating each year, migration of doctors, and the preference of new graduates for practising in urban areas. Attempts to increase the output from Malawi's only medical school are insufficient to meet the country's healthcare needs. We studied the factors influencing career choices of medical undergraduates of the College of Medicine in Blantyre, Malawi, who were surveyed by means of a self-administered questionnaire (N=205) and individual interviews (N=17). Most respondents (89.4%) indicated that they intend to specialise abroad, predominantly to study in 'better institutions' and to get the 'experience' of a different country; 87.0% indicated that they intend to live in Malawi long term. Although, in general, the rural lifestyle was unattractive to medical students, respondents from rural areas and small towns, and whose parents were 'non-professionals', were more likely to intend working in rural areas and small towns, and to settle in Malawi, than students from urban and professional families. The College of Medicine should consider increasing its intake of students with lower socio-economic backgrounds and from rural areas/small towns to increase the number of doctors working in rural areas and settling in Malawi. However, the Ministry of Health may need a multipronged approach to reduce the mismatch between doctors' career expectations and the country's healthcare needs.
Branch, Meredith; Harvey, S Marie; Zukoski, Ann P; Warren, Jocelyn
Latino women in the United States are disproportionately at risk for unintended pregnancy, HIV, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). We conducted nine focus groups with health care practitioners who provide reproductive health care to Latinos in rural areas of the Northwest. From the practitioner perspective, we explored barriers and facilitators to the acquisition and use of contraceptives and to the prevention of HIV/STIs among rural Latinos. Suggestions for improving reproductive health care included Spanish-language resources/materials and convenient contraceptive methods. Findings provide context to the complex issues related to unintended pregnancy and disease prevention among Latinos residing in rural communities.
Bärnighausen, Till; Hosegood, Victoria; Timaeus, Ian M; Newell, Marie-Louise
Knowledge of the effect of socioeconomic status on HIV infection in Africa stems largely from cross-sectional studies. Cross-sectional studies suffer from two important limitations: two-way causality between socioeconomic status and HIV serostatus and simultaneous effects of socioeconomic status on HIV incidence and HIV-positive survival time. Both problems are avoided in longitudinal cohort studies. We used data from a longitudinal HIV surveillance and a linked demographic surveillance in a poor rural community in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, to investigate the effect of three measures of socioeconomic status on HIV incidence: educational attainment, household wealth categories (based on a ranking of households on an assets index scale) and per capita household expenditure. Our sample comprised of 3325 individuals who tested HIV-negative at baseline and either HIV-negative or -positive on a second test (on average 1.3 years later). In multivariable survival analysis, one additional year of education reduced the hazard of acquiring HIV by 7% (P = 0.017) net of sex, age, wealth, household expenditure, rural vs. urban/periurban residence, migration status and partnership status. Holding other factors equal, members of households that fell into the middle 40% of relative wealth had a 72% higher hazard of HIV acquisition than members of the 40% poorest households (P = 0.012). Per capita household expenditure did not significantly affect HIV incidence (P = 0.669). Although poverty reduction is important for obvious reasons, it may not be as effective as anticipated in reducing the spread of HIV in rural South Africa. In contrast, our results suggest that increasing educational attainment in the general population may lower HIV incidence.
Hess, Rosanna F; McKinney, Dawn
To examine beliefs about HIV/AIDS of rural Malians and to measure their level of fatalism in context of HIV/AIDS and prevention behaviors. Descriptive, correlational. An AIDS Knowledge and Beliefs survey and the Powe Fatalism Inventory (PFI)-HIV/AIDS version were administered to a convenience sample of 84 people at three health center maternity clinics in southeastern Mali, West Africa. The sample's HIV/AIDS fatalism mean was 9.2 on a 15-point scale, with an internal consistency of .89. Health workers and more educated participants had significantly lower fatalism scores. Fatalism also varied by the combination of gender and ethnicity. People who believed that AIDS was not real, was a punishment from God, was fabricated by the West, was a curse, and that it was taboo to talk about AIDS had higher fatalism means. None of the prevention indicators were significantly related to fatalism scores. These rural Malians had a high overall fatalism mean and their beliefs about AIDS based on traditional culture may affect prevention behaviors. More research is needed to understand the influence of fatalism on prevention behaviors.
van der Maas, Frank; Otte, Willem M
In this study, we assessed whether peer education is an effective method of HIV/AIDS awareness, in terms of knowledge, misconception and behavior, among adolescents in the rural area of Nigeria. A comparative case series (n = 250), cross-sectional structured survey (n = 135) and focus group discussions (n = 80) were undertaken among adolescents. In both the case series and structured survey, a questionnaire was used which addresses the following issues: socio-demography, knowledge on transmission and prevention of HIV/AIDS, accessibility to different sources of HIV/AIDS information, stigmatization and sexual behavior. Binary logistic regression was applied to compare responses from the peer-educated and not peer-educated populations. The model was adjusted for confounders. We demonstrated increased knowledge and decreased misconception and sexual risk behavior in adolescents receiving peer education as compared to adolescents not receiving peer education. These differences are apparent both over time (2005-2007) and cross-sectional (2007). In conclusion, peer education in rural areas can be effective in HIV/AIDS prevention. Knowledge and behavior can be influenced positively.
Full Text Available The aim of this study was to evaluate HIV counselling and testing, self-disclosure, social support and sexual behavior change among HIV reactive patients among a rural sample of HIV reactive patients in South Africa. The sample consisted at the post-test counselling exit interview of 55 participants (41 women and 14 men who tested HIV-positive conveniently selected from a rural hospital and at five months follow-up at their homes 47. Results indicated that most patients had an HIV test because of medical reasons. At follow-up only 36% had disclosed their HIV status and half of the participants had had sex without condoms in the past three weeks. Major reason for not disclosing of their HIV status were being afraid of negative reactions, fear of discrimination, fear of violence, concerns about confidentiality and not yet ready. Social support was found to be significantly related to disclosure of HIV status, while counselling context and content and counselling satisfaction were not related with HIV disclosure.
Kennedy N. Otwombe
Full Text Available Background: Factors associated with mortality in HIV-infected people in sub-Saharan Africa are widely reported. However rural–urban disparities and their association with all-cause mortality remain unclear. Furthermore, commonly used classical Cox regression ignores unmeasured variables and frailty. Objective: To incorporate frailty in assessing factors associated with mortality in HIV-infected people in rural and urban South Africa. Design: Using data from a prospective cohort following 6,690 HIV-infected participants from Soweto (urban and Mpumalanga (rural enrolled from 2003 to 2010; covariates of mortality were assessed by the integrated nested Laplace approximation method. Results: We enrolled 2,221 (33% rural and 4,469 (67% urban participants of whom 1,555 (70% and 3,480 (78% were females respectively. Median age (IQR was 36.4 (31.0–44.1 in rural and 32.7 (28.2–38.1 in the urban participants. The mortality rate per 100 person-years was 11 (9.7–12.5 and 4 (3.6–4.5 in the rural and urban participants, respectively. Compared to those not on HAART, rural participants had a reduced risk of mortality if on HAART for 6–12 (HR: 0.20, 95% CI: 0.10–0.39 and >12 months (HR: 0.10, 95% CI: 0.05–0.18. Relative to those not on HAART, urban participants had a lower risk if on HAART >12 months (HR: 0.35, 95% CI: 0.27–0.46.The frailty variance was significant and >1 in rural participants indicating more heterogeneity. Similarly it was significant but <1 in the urban participants indicating less heterogeneity. Conclusion: The frailty model findings suggest an elevated risk of mortality in rural participants relative to the urban participants potentially due to unmeasured variables that could be biological, socio–economic, or healthcare related. Use of robust methods that optimise data and account for unmeasured variables could be helpful in assessing the effect of unknown risk factors thus improving patient management and care in South
Otwombe, Kennedy N.; Petzold, Max; Modisenyane, Tebogo; Martinson, Neil A.; Chirwa, Tobias
Background Factors associated with mortality in HIV-infected people in sub-Saharan Africa are widely reported. However rural–urban disparities and their association with all-cause mortality remain unclear. Furthermore, commonly used classical Cox regression ignores unmeasured variables and frailty. Objective To incorporate frailty in assessing factors associated with mortality in HIV-infected people in rural and urban South Africa. Design Using data from a prospective cohort following 6,690 HIV-infected participants from Soweto (urban) and Mpumalanga (rural) enrolled from 2003 to 2010; covariates of mortality were assessed by the integrated nested Laplace approximation method. Results We enrolled 2,221 (33%) rural and 4,469 (67%) urban participants of whom 1,555 (70%) and 3,480 (78%) were females respectively. Median age (IQR) was 36.4 (31.0–44.1) in rural and 32.7 (28.2–38.1) in the urban participants. The mortality rate per 100 person-years was 11 (9.7–12.5) and 4 (3.6–4.5) in the rural and urban participants, respectively. Compared to those not on HAART, rural participants had a reduced risk of mortality if on HAART for 6–12 (HR: 0.20, 95% CI: 0.10–0.39) and >12 months (HR: 0.10, 95% CI: 0.05–0.18). Relative to those not on HAART, urban participants had a lower risk if on HAART >12 months (HR: 0.35, 95% CI: 0.27–0.46). The frailty variance was significant and >1 in rural participants indicating more heterogeneity. Similarly it was significant but <1 in the urban participants indicating less heterogeneity. Conclusion The frailty model findings suggest an elevated risk of mortality in rural participants relative to the urban participants potentially due to unmeasured variables that could be biological, socio–economic, or healthcare related. Use of robust methods that optimise data and account for unmeasured variables could be helpful in assessing the effect of unknown risk factors thus improving patient management and care in South Africa and
Martínez Pérez, Guillermo; Steele, Sarah J; Govender, Indira; Arellano, Gemma; Mkwamba, Alec; Hadebe, Menzi; van Cutsem, Gilles
To achieve UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets, alternatives to conventional HIV testing models are necessary in South Africa to increase population awareness of their HIV status. One of the alternatives is oral mucosal transudates-based HIV self-testing (OralST). This study describes implementation of counsellor-introduced supervised OralST in a high HIV prevalent rural area. Cross-sectional study conducted in two government-run primary healthcare clinics and three Médecins Sans Frontières-run fixed-testing sites in uMlalazi municipality, KwaZulu-Natal. Lay counsellors sampled and recruited eligible participants, sought informed consent and demonstrated the use of the OraQuick(™) OralST. The participants used the OraQuick(™) in front of the counsellor and underwent a blood-based Determine(™) and a Unigold(™) rapid diagnostic test as gold standard for comparison. Primary outcomes were user error rates, inter-rater agreement, sensitivity, specificity and predictive values. A total of 2198 participants used the OraQuick(™) , of which 1005 were recruited at the primary healthcare clinics. Of the total, 1457 (66.3%) were women. Only two participants had to repeat their OraQuick(™) . Inter-rater agreement was 99.8% (Kappa 0.9925). Sensitivity for the OralST was 98.7% (95% CI 96.8-99.6), and specificity was 100% (95% CI 99.8-100). This study demonstrates high inter-rater agreement, and high accuracy of supervised OralST. OralST has the potential to increase uptake of HIV testing and could be offered at clinics and community testing sites in rural South Africa. Further research is necessary on the potential of unsupervised OralST to increase HIV status awareness and linkage to care. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Bowen, A M; Williams, M L; Daniel, C M; Clayton, S
Internet delivered primary prevention interventions for HIV risk reduction present significant challenges. Changing lifestyle behaviors, such as beginning to use condoms, is difficult and men seeking dates on line may want to avoid thinking about HIV risk which may lead to low initiation and high dropout rates. Many Internet delivered HIV risk reduction programs have mimicked face-to-face outreach programs, failing to take advantage of the Internet's capabilities or did not conduct evaluation. This study focuses on examining the feasibility, acceptability, and efficacy of an Internet delivered HIV risk reduction program for rural men who have sex with men (MSM). The program included online recruiting, three intervention modules, each with two sessions, online questionnaires. The intervention was developed based on iterative research and the Information-Motivation-Behavioral skills model. Participants (N = 475) were randomly assigned to one of six module orders and data were collected automatically at pre-test and after each module. Data supports the feasibility and acceptability of the program as demonstrated by good retention and rapid program completion. Knowledge, self-efficacy, outcome expectancies and motivation increase in a dose response fashion. Post-intervention behavior changes included reduced anal sex and significant increases in condom use. Limitations include a short follow-up period, a predominantly young white rural sample, and the lack of an attention control. Overall the results of the study provide support for the efficacy of Internet-based interventions to reduce risk of HIV infection. Results also support traditional research methods to evaluate HIV prevention programs delivered exclusively through the Internet.
Charles Bitamazire Businge
Full Text Available Background: The prevalence of HIV among antenatal clients in South Africa has remained at a very high rate of about 29% despite substantial decline in several sub-Saharan countries. There is a paucity of data on risk factors for incident HIV infection among antenatal mothers and women within the reproductive age bracket in local settings in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Objective: To establish the risk factors for incident HIV infection among antenatal clients aged 18–49 years attending public antenatal clinics in rural Eastern Cape, South Africa. Design: This was an unmatched case–control study carried out in public health antenatal clinics of King Sabata District Municipality between January and March 2014. The cases comprised 100 clients with recent HIV infection; the controls were 200 HIV-negative antenatal clients. Socio-demographic, sexual, and behavioral data were collected using interviewer-administered questionnaires adapted from the standard DHS5 women's questionnaire. Multivariate logistic regression models were used to identify the independent risk factors for HIV infection. A p<0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: The independent risk factors for incident HIV infection were economic dependence on the partner, having older male partners especially among women aged ≤20 years, and sex under the influence of alcohol. Conclusions: Therefore, effective prevention of HIV among antenatal mothers in KSDM must target the improvement of the economic status of women, thereby reducing economic dependence on their sexual partners; address the prevalent phenomenon of cross-generation sex among women aged <20 years; and regulate the brewing, marketing, and consumption of alcohol.
José S Medema-Wijnveen
Full Text Available HIV prevalence among pregnant women in Kenya is high. Furthermore, there is a high risk of maternal mortality, as many women do not give birth with a skilled healthcare provider. Previous research suggests that fears of HIV testing and unwanted disclosure of HIV status may be important barriers to utilizing maternity services. We explored relationships between women's perceptions of HIV-related stigma and their attitudes and intentions regarding facility-based childbirth.1,777 pregnant women were interviewed at their first antenatal care visit. We included socio-demographic characteristics, stigma scales, HIV knowledge measures, and an 11-item scale measuring health facility birth attitudes (HFBA. HFBA includes items on cost, transport, comfort, interpersonal relations, and services during delivery at a health facility versus at home. A higher mean HFBA score indicates a more positive attitude towards facility-based childbirth. The mean HFBA score was dichotomized at the median and analyses were conducted with this dichotomized HFBA score using mixed effects logit models.Women who anticipated HIV-related stigma from their male partner had lower adjusted odds of having positive attitudes about giving birth at the health facility (adjusted OR = .63, 95% CI 0.50-0.78 and less positive attitudes about health facility birth were strongly related to women's intention to give birth outside a health facility (adjusted OR = 5.56, 95% CI 2.69-11.51.In this sample of pregnant women in rural Kenya, those who anticipated HIV-related stigma were less likely to have positive attitudes towards facility-based childbirth. Furthermore, negative attitudes about facility-based childbirth were associated with the intention to deliver outside a health facility. Thus, HIV-related stigma reduction efforts might result in more positive attitudes towards facility-based childbirth, and thereby lead to an increased level of skilled birth attendance, and reductions
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: HIV-related stigmatisation and discrimination by young children towards their peers have important consequences at the individual level and for our response to the epidemic, yet research on this area is limited. METHODS: We used nationally representative data to examine discrimination of HIV-positive children by grade six students (n = 39,664 across nine countries in Southern Africa: Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Descriptive statistics are used to compare discrimination by country, gender, geographic location and socioeconomic status. Multivariate logistic regression is employed to assess potential determinants of discrimination. RESULTS: The levels and determinants of discrimination varied significantly between the nine countries. While one in ten students in Botswana, Malawi, South Africa and Swaziland would "avoid or shun" an HIV positive friend, the proportions in Lesotho, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe were twice as high (approximately 20%. A large proportion of students believed that HIV positive children should not be allowed to continue to attend school, particularly in Zambia (33%, Lesotho (37% and Zimbabwe (42%. The corresponding figures for Malawi and Swaziland were significantly lower at 13% and 12% respectively. Small differences were found by gender. Children from rural areas and poorer schools were much more likely to discriminate than those from urban areas and wealthier schools. Importantly, we identified factors consistently associated with discrimination across the region: students with greater exposure to HIV information, better general HIV knowledge and fewer misconceptions about transmission of HIV via casual contact were less likely to report discrimination. CONCLUSIONS: Our study points toward the need for early interventions (grade six or before to reduce stigma and discrimination among children, especially in schools situated in rural areas
Boerma, Ragna S; Wit, Ferdinand W N M; Orock, Sammy Oben; Schonenberg-Meinema, Dieneke; Hartdorff, Caroline M; Bakia, Affuenti; van Hensbroek, Michael Boele
HIV-exposed infants, including those who do not become infected, have higher morbidity and mortality rates than HIV unexposed infants. The underlying mechanisms of this difference are largely unknown. The objective of this study was to identify the risk factors for mortality among HIV-exposed (infected as well as uninfected) infants in a prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) programme in Cameroon. We analysed the data from 319 mother-infant pairs included in a PMTCT programme at a rural and an urban hospital between 2004 and 2012. The programme offered free formula feeding, monthly follow-up visits and antiretroviral therapy (ART) according to national PMTCT guidelines. Mother-infant pairs were divided in three study groups, based on year of recruitment and study site: (I) rural hospital, 2004-07; (II) rural hospital, 2008-12; (III) urban hospital, 2008-12. Two hundred and eighty-five medical records were included in the final analysis. Infant mortality rates were 23.9%, 20.0% and 5.3% in group I, II and III, respectively (P = 0.02). Hazard ratios of infant mortality were 6.4 (P < 0.001) for prematurity, 4.6 (P = 0.04) for no maternal use of ARTs, 5.6 (P = 0.025) for mixed feeding, 2.7 for home deliveries (P = 0.087) and 0.4 (P = 0.138) for urban study group. In this programme, prematurity, no ART use, and the practice of mixed feeding were independent predictors of infant mortality. Mixed feeding and not using ART increased the hazard of death, probably through its increased risk of HIV infection. Although mortality rates were significantly higher in the rural area, rural setting was not a risk factor for infant mortality. These findings may contribute to the development of tailor-made programmes to reduce infant mortality rates among HIV-exposed infants. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Pridmore, Pat; Jere, Catherine
This paper is concerned with the gap in educational provision for vulnerable learners in Malawi who are at risk of falling behind and dropping out of school due to irregular attendance. It draws on a study in high HIV-prevalence areas that explores the patterns of inequality and disadvantage that disrupt learning and uses this knowledge to design…
Pai, Nitika Pant; Joshi, Rajnish; Moodie, Erica E M; Taksande, Bharati; Kalantri, S P; Pai, Madhukar; Tulsky, Jacqueline P; Reingold, Arthur
Rural India has an undetected load of HIV-positive individuals. Few rural adults present for HIV testing and counseling due to stigma, discrimination, and fear of social ostracization. In this rural hospital clinic-based study, we document profiles of rural adults seeking voluntary testing and counseling, and analyze correlates of HIV seropositivity. This cross-sectional study was conducted in 450 participants presenting to the outpatient clinics of Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Sevagram, Central India. After informed consent, pre- and post-test counseling, HIV testing, and face-to-face interviews were conducted. Data were collected using a structured questionnaire. The median age of the 450 study participants was 34 years (range 18-88 years); the majority (74%) was married. The overall proportion of HIV seropositivity was 32% [95% CI 28%, 37%]. The proportions of HIV seropositivity in married women, married men, and single men were 41%, 37%, 18%, respectively. No single woman was found seropositive in the study. Very few married women were aware of their husbands' HIV status. In a multivariate analysis, correlates of HIV seropositivity in men were: age 30-39 years, being married, having sex with multiple partners, use of alcohol before sex, and testing positive for HIV in the past. In married women, the only predictor of seropositivity was being married. Although limited by the non-random nature of the sampling method, this pilot study is unique in that it is the first from this rural region of Central India. It provides baseline data on marginalized, largely unstudied populations that may aid in designing probabilistic community-based surveys in this neglected population.
Verhoeff, Francine H; Le Cessie, Saskia; Kalanda, Boniface F; Kazembe, Peter N; Broadhead, Robin L; Brabin, Bernard J
In a cohort study of mothers and their infants, information was collected from women attending the antenatal services of two hospitals in a rural area of Malawi and 561 of their babies were enrolled in a follow-up study. There were 128 with a low birthweight (LBW, <2500 g), 138 with fetal anaemia (FA, cord haemoglobin <12.5 g/dl), 42 with both and 228 with a normal birthweight and no FA. Infants were seen monthly for 1 year. Risk factors for post-neonatal infant mortality (PNIM) were calculated using Cox regression analysis adjusting for LBW and FA. PNIM was 9.3%. Respiratory infections and diarrhoeal disease were the principal attributable causes of death. PNIM increased with LBW (RR 3.08, 95% CI 1.51-6.23) but not significantly so with FA (RR 1.60, 95% CI 0.78-3.27). An additional effect on PNIM was observed with maternal HIV (RR 3.44, 95% CI 1.63-7.26) and malaria at the first antenatal visit (RR 2.26, 95% CI 1.09-4.73). Illiteracy was not associated with mortality. Placental malaria in HIV-seronegative mothers was significantly associated with increased PNIM. Improving birthweight through effective antimalarial control in pregnancy will lead to a reduction in PNIM. Reduction of HIV prevalence and prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV must be a main target for government health policy.
Yadav, Sudha B; Makwana, Naresh R; Vadera, Bhavin N; Dhaduk, Kishor M; Gandha, Kapil M
More than one third of reported cases of HIV/AIDS in India are among youth and 60 percent of these reside in rural areas. Assessment of the awareness of HIV/AIDS in the youth is important for determining the impact of previous and current awareness programs as well as the need for interventions. This study aimed to assess the knowledge of rural youth regarding HIV/AIDS and to explore the epidemiological determinants of awareness among them. A community-based cross-sectional study was conducted among youths aged 15-24 years in rural areas of the Saurashtra region of Gujarat, India. A cluster sampling design was used, surveying 50 subjects from each of 30 clusters. Data was collected through house-to-house visits using a semi-structured questionnaire. Proportions and logistic regression were used for analysis. Out of a total of 1,237 subjects who participated in survey, 60% knew something about HIV. Of those who had heard of HIV, more than 90% subjects knew the modes of transmission and more than 80% were aware of modes of prevention of HIV/AIDS. One fifth of the subjects had misconceptions in relation to HIV/AIDS. On applying multiple logistic regression, age, education, occupation, and mass media exposure were found to be the major determinants of their knowledge with regard to HIV/AIDS. Basic knowledge of HIV/AIDS is still lacking in two fifths of the rural youth. Literacy and media exposure are factors that determine awareness of HIV among them and can be helpful to raise their knowledge regarding this scourge.
Full Text Available The Cooking and Pneumonia Study (CAPS is a pragmatic cluster-level randomized controlled trial of the effect of an advanced cookstove intervention on pneumonia in children under the age of 5 years (under 5s in Malawi (www.capstudy.org. The primary outcome of the trial is the incidence of pneumonia during a two-year follow-up period, as diagnosed by healthcare providers who are using the World Health Organization (WHO integrated management of childhood illnesses (IMCI pneumonia assessment protocol and who are blinded to the trial arms. We evaluated the quality of pneumonia assessment in under 5s in this setting via a cross-sectional study of provider-patient encounters at nine outpatient clinics located within the catchment area of 150 village-level clusters enrolled in the trial across the two study locations of Chikhwawa and Karonga, Malawi, between May and June 2015 using the IMCI guidelines as a benchmark. Data were collected using a key equipment checklist, an IMCI pneumonia knowledge test, and a clinical evaluation checklist. The median number of key equipment items available was 6 (range 4 to 7 out of a possible 7. The median score on the IMCI pneumonia knowledge test among 23 clinicians was 75% (range 60% to 89%. Among a total of 176 consultations performed by 15 clinicians, a median of 9 (range 3 to 13 out of 13 clinical evaluation tasks were performed. Overall, the clinicians were adequately equipped for the assessment of sick children, had good knowledge of the IMCI guidelines, and conducted largely thorough clinical evaluations. We recommend the simple pragmatic approach to quality assurance described herein for similar studies conducted in challenging research settings.
Hardy, Victoria; Hsieh, Jenny; Chirambo, Baxter; Wu, Tsung-Shu Joseph; O'Donoghue, John; Muula, Adamson S; Thompson, Matthew
Patient follow-up is a routine component of clinical practice and valuable for evaluating the effectiveness of interventions, but because of the broad dispersion of health facilities and lack of standardised medical reporting in Malawi, collecting patient outcome data can be challenging. Increasing accessibility and affordability of mobile technology in resource-poor settings may facilitate patient follow-up in the community. The objective of this study was to evaluate the potential utility of mobile phones for collecting follow-up clinical data from parents or caregivers of acutely unwell under-5 children, for intervention evaluation purposes. Parents' or caregivers' mobile phone numbers were obtained by health surveillance assistants (HSAs) during study enrollment. Guardians who provided a telephone number were contacted by the study team to establish re-consultations or hospitalisations of their child(ren) within 14 days of recruitment. Health records at village clinics and higher-level health facilities were hand-searched to identify or confirm presentations and abstract clinical data. 87 out of 149 (58.4%) guardians provided a mobile telephone number, of whom the study team could contact 44 (29.5%). Seven guardians stated they took their child for further treatment: three of these returned to village clinics and four presented to secondary care facilities; attendance could only be confirmed from health records for one child. With continued expansion of cellular network coverage and mobile ownership in Malawi, mobile phones may facilitate collection of patient outcomes for intervention evaluation purposes. Future consideration should also be given to integrating mobile technologies into HSA clinical practice.
Mindry, Deborah L; Knight, Lucia; van Rooyen, Heidi
Various interventions have resulted in increased rates of HIV testing. However, encouraging men to acknowledge their risk for HIV, to test and link to treatment remains a challenge. In this study, we examine men's perspectives on navigating HIV risk in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Qualitative interviews were conducted at four intervals over a three-year time period with a baseline cohort of 126 men and women. We found that men navigated HIV risk in their sexual relationships mainly by monitoring their partner's behaviour. Men expressed concerns about female respectability, invoking discourses on hlonipha rooted in Zulu cultural ideals and Christian ideals about women staying close to home. In the post-apartheid era, these concerns were inflected by anxieties over changing gender norms and the high rates and risks of infection in the region. HIV prevention discourses on behaviour intersected with men's efforts to assert their masculinity through the monitoring and controlling of women's behaviour. The potential negative impacts of this should be addressed. Prevention efforts need to focus on men's vulnerability to infection in terms of their own behaviour as well as the contexts in which they live.
Kallestrup, Per; Zinyama, Rutendo; Gomo, Exnevia;
There is evidence from experimental models that the praziquantel-induced clearance of schistosomiasis is dependent on the host's immune response. Consequently, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-related immunodeficiency may impair the effect of praziquantel treatment.......There is evidence from experimental models that the praziquantel-induced clearance of schistosomiasis is dependent on the host's immune response. Consequently, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-related immunodeficiency may impair the effect of praziquantel treatment....
Lifson, Alan R; Workneh, Sale; Hailemichael, Abera; Demissie, Workneh; Slater, Lucy; Shenie, Tibebe
Social support significantly enhances physical and mental health for persons with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). We surveyed 142 rural Ethiopian HIV patients newly enrolled in care for perceived social support and factors associated with low support levels. Using the Social Provisions Scale (SPS), the mean summary score was 19.1 (possible scores = 0-48). On six SPS subscales, mean scores (possible scores = 0-8), were: Reliable Alliance (others can be counted on for tangible assistance) = 2.8, Attachment (emotional closeness providing sense of security) = 2.9, Reassurance of Worth (recognition of competence and value by others) = 3.2, Guidance (provision of advice or information by others) = 3.2, Social Integration (belonging to a group with similar interests and concerns) = 3.5, and Nurturance (belief that others rely on one for their well-being) = 3.6. In multivariate analysis, factors significantly associated with lower social support scores were: lower education level (did not complete primary school) (p = .019), lower total score on knowledge items about HIV care/treatment (p = .038), and greater number of external stigma experiences in past three months (p disease symptoms was of borderline significance (p = .098). Among rural Ethiopian patients newly entering HIV care, we found moderate and varying levels of perceived social support, with lowest scores for subscales reflecting emotional closeness and reliance on others for tangible assistance. Given that patients who have recently learned their diagnosis and entered care may be an especially vulnerable group, programs to help identify and address social support needs can provide multiple benefits in facilitating the best possible physical, emotional and functional quality of life for people living with HIV.
Yeatman, Sara E; Hoffman, Risa M; Chilungo, Abdallah; Lungu, Sydney R; Namadingo, Hazel C; Chimwaza, Angela F; Trinitapoli, Jenny A
HIV transmission is most likely to occur during the first few months after infection, yet few cases are identified during this period. Using a population-based cohort of young Malawian women, we identify the distinct symptomology and health-seeking behavior marking early HIV infection by comparing it with periods of seronegativity and chronic infection. During early HIV infection, women are more likely to report malaria-like symptoms and visit clinics for malaria care. In malaria-endemic contexts, where acute HIV symptoms are commonly mistaken for malaria, early diagnostic HIV testing and counseling should be integrated into health care settings where people commonly seek treatment for malaria.
Bunn, Janice Yanushka; Solomon, Sondra E.; Varni, Susan E.; Miller, Carol T.; Forehand, Rex L.; Ashikaga, Takamaru
Context: HIV/AIDS is occurring with increasing frequency in rural areas of the United States, and people living with HIV/AIDS in rural communities report higher levels of perceived stigma than their more urban counterparts. The extent to which stigmatized individuals perceive stigma could be influenced, in part, by prevailing community attitudes.…
Hirsch, Jennifer S.; Meneses, Sergio; Thompson, Brenda; Negroni, Mirka; Pelcastre, Blanca; del Rio, Carlos
Marriage presents the single greatest risk for HIV infection among women in rural Mexico. We drew on 6 months of participant observation, 20 marital case studies, 37 key informant interviews, and archival research to explore the factors that shape HIV risk among married women in one of the country’s rural communities. We found that culturally constructed notions of reputation in this community lead to sexual behavior designed to minimize men’s social risk (threats to one’s social status or relationships), rather than viral risk and that men’s desire for companionate intimacy may actually increase women’s risk for HIV infection. We also describe the intertwining of reputation-based sexual identities with structurally patterned sexual geographies (i.e. the social spaces that shape sexual behavior). We propose that, because of the structural nature of men’s extramarital sexual behavior, intervention development should concentrate on sexual geographies and risky spaces rather than risky behaviors or identities. PMID:17463368
Yu, Jun; Zhang, Yi; Jiang, Junjun; Lu, Qinglin; Liang, Bingyu; Liu, Deping; Fang, Keyong; Huang, Jiegang; He, Yang; Ning, Chuanyi; Liao, Yanyan; Lai, Jingzhen; Wei, Wudi; Qin, Fengxiang; Ye, Li; Geng, Wenkui; Liang, Hao
In China, rural areas are a weak link of HIV/AIDS prevention and control. From September 2011, an innovative "county-township-village" allied intervention was implemented in Longzhou County, Guangxi, which assigned the tasks of HIV/AIDS prevention and control to the county Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), township hospitals, and village clinics, respectively, instead of traditional intervention in which the county CDC undertook the entire work. A 6-year consecutive cross-sectional survey, including 3-year traditional intervention (2009-2011) and 3-year innovative intervention (2012-2014), was conducted to evaluate the effects of the new intervention. Compared to traditional intervention, the innovative intervention achieved positive effects in decreasing risky behaviors. Among female sex workers, condom use rate in the last month increased from 72.06% to 96.82% (p traditional one. Cost-effectiveness analysis indicates that innovative intervention restores each disability-adjusted life year costing an average of $124.26. Taken together, Longzhou's innovative intervention has achieved good effects on HIV/AIDS prevention and control and provides a good reference for rural China.
Noden, Bruce H; Gomes, Aurelio; Ferreira, Aldina
The interactions between religious affiliation, education, HIV knowledge, and HIV-related sexual behaviors among African church youth are poorly understood. In this socio-demographic study, 522 unmarried youth 12-28 years old in rural central Mozambique were surveyed with a structured questionnaire. Using binary logistic regression analysis, we used religious affiliation and education to measure influence on (1) HIV transmission and prevention knowledge and attitudes and (2) HIV-related sexual behaviors among youth. Religiously affiliated males were more likely than non-religious males to know when a condom should be used, respond correctly to HIV transmission questions and respond with less stigma to HIV-related scenarios. Increased levels of education among males corresponded significantly to increased knowledge of condom usage and HIV prevention strategies and less likelihood to respond with stigma. Only education levels influenced young female responses. Religious affiliation and education had minimal effects on sexual activity, condom usage, and multiple partnerships. African Independent Church/Zionist males were 1.6 times more likely to be sexually inexperienced than non-religious males but were also significantly less likely to use condoms (0.23, p=0.024). Non-religious youth were most likely to have visited sex workers and did not use condoms. These results suggest that religious affiliation, possibly as the result of educational opportunities afforded by religious-affiliated schools, is contributing to increased HIV transmission and prevention knowledge among youth in rural Central Mozambique but not influencing HIV-related sexual behavior. The need exists to strengthen the capacity of religious congregations to teach about HIV/AIDS and target non-religious youth with HIV transmission and prevention information.
Ahmed, Saeed; Sabelli, Rachael A; Simon, Katie; Rosenberg, Nora E; Kavuta, Elijah; Harawa, Mwelura; Dick, Spencer; Linzie, Frank; Kazembe, Peter N; Kim, Maria H
Evaluation of a novel index case finding and linkage-to-care programme to identify and link HIV-infected children (1-15 years) and young persons (>15-24 years) to care. HIV-infected patients enrolled in HIV services were screened and those who reported untested household members (index cases) were offered home- or facility-based HIV testing and counselling (HTC) of their household by a community health worker (CHW). HIV-infected household members identified were enrolled in a follow-up programme offering home and facility-based follow-up by CHWs. Of the 1567 patients enrolled in HIV services, 1030 (65.7%) were screened and 461 (44.8%) identified as index cases; 93.5% consented to HIV testing of their households and of those, 279 (64.7%) reported an untested child or young person. CHWs tested 711 children and young persons, newly diagnosed 28 HIV-infected persons (yield 4.0%; 95% CI: 2.7-5.6), and identified an additional two HIV-infected persons not enrolled in care. Of the 30 HIV-infected persons identified, 23 (76.6%) were linked to HIV services; 18 of the 20 eligible for ART (90.0%) were initiated. Median time (IQR) from identification to enrolment into HIV services was 4 days (1-8) and from identification to ART start was 6 days (1-8). Almost half of HIV-infected patients enrolled in treatment services had untested household members, many of whom were children and young persons. Index case finding, coupled with home-based testing and tracked follow-up, is acceptable, feasible and facilitates the identification and timely linkage to care of HIV-infected children and young persons. © 2017 The Authors. Tropical Medicine & International Health Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Fiona R Parrott
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Treatment seeking delays among people living with HIV have adverse consequences for outcome. Gender differences in treatment outcomes have been observed in sub-Saharan Africa. OBJECTIVE: To better understand antiretroviral treatment (ART seeking behaviour in HIV-infected adults in rural Malawi. METHODS: Qualitative interviews with male and female participants in an ART cohort study at a treatment site in rural northern Malawi triangulated with analysis of baseline clinical and demographic data for 365 individuals attending sequentially for ART screening between January 2008 and September 2009. RESULTS: 43% of the cohort presented with late stage HIV disease classified as WHO stage 3/4. Respondents reported that women's frequency of testing, health awareness and commitment to children led to earlier ART uptake and that men's commitment to wider social networks of influence, masculine ideals of strength, and success with sexual and marital partners led them to refuse treatment until they were sick. Quantitative analysis of the screening cohort provided supporting evidence for these expressed views. Overall, male gender (adjusted OR 2.3, 95% CI1.3-3.9 and never being married (adjusted OR 4.1, 95% CI1.5-11.5 were risk factors for late presentation, whereas having ≥3 dependent children was associated with earlier presentation (adjusted OR 0.31, 95% CI0.15-0.63, compared to those with no dependent children. CONCLUSION: Gender-specific barriers and facilitators operate throughout the whole process of seeking care. Further efforts to enrol men into care earlier should focus on the masculine characteristics that they value, and the risks to these of severe health decline. Our results emphasise the value of exploring as well as identifying behavioural correlates of late presentation.
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Preterm birth is considered to be associated with an estimated 27% of neonatal deaths, the majority in resource-poor countries where rates of prematurity are high. There is no information on medium term outcomes after accurately determined preterm birth in such settings. METHODS AND FINDINGS: This community-based stratified cohort study conducted between May-December 2006 in Southern Malawi followed up 840 post-neonatal infants born to mothers who had received antenatal antibiotic prophylaxis/placebo in an attempt to reduce rates of preterm birth (APPLe trial ISRCTN84023116. Gestational age at delivery was based on ultrasound measurement of fetal bi-parietal diameter in early-mid pregnancy. 247 infants born before 37 wk gestation and 593 term infants were assessed at 12, 18, or 24 months. We assessed survival (death, morbidity (reported by carer, admissions, out-patient attendance, growth (weight and height, and development (Ten Question Questionnaire [TQQ] and Malawi Developmental Assessment Tool [MDAT]. Preterm infants were at significantly greater risk of death (hazard ratio 1.79, 95% CI 1.09-2.95. Surviving preterm infants were more likely to be underweight (weight-for-age z score; p<0.001 or wasted (weight-for-length z score; p<0.01 with no effect of gestational age at delivery. Preterm infants more often screened positively for disability on the Ten Question Questionnaire (p = 0.002. They also had higher rates of developmental delay on the MDAT at 18 months (p = 0.009, with gestational age at delivery (p = 0.01 increasing this likelihood. Morbidity-visits to a health centre (93% and admissions to hospital (22%-was similar for both groups. CONCLUSIONS: During the first 2 years of life, infants who are born preterm in resource poor countries, continue to be at a disadvantage in terms of mortality, growth, and development. In addition to interventions in the immediate neonatal period, a refocus on early childhood is
Chirwa, Maureen L; Greeff, Minrie; Kohi, Thecla W; Naidoo, Joanne R; Makoae, Lucy N; Dlamini, Priscilla S; Kaszubski, Christopher; Cuca, Yvette P; Uys, Leana R; Holzemer, William L
This study explored the demographic and social factors, including perceived HIV stigma, that influence job satisfaction in nurses from 5 African countries. A cross-sectional survey was conducted of nurses (n = 1,384) caring for patients living with HIV infection in Lesotho, Malawi, South Africa, Swaziland, and Tanzania. Total job satisfaction in this sample was lower than 2 comparable studies in South Africa and the United Kingdom. The Personal Satisfaction subscale was the highest in this sample, as in the other 2. Job satisfaction scores differed significantly among the 5 countries, and these differences were consistent across all subscales. A hierarchical regression showed that mental and physical health, marital status, education level, urban/rural setting, and perceived HIV stigma had significant influence on job satisfaction. Perceived HIV stigma was the strongest predictor of job dissatisfaction. These results provide new areas for intervention strategies that might enhance the work environment for nurses in these countries.
Chirwa, Maureen L.; Greeff, Minrie; Kohi, Thecla W.; Naidoo, Joanne R.; Makoae, Lucy N.; Dlamini, Priscilla S.; Kaszubski, Christopher; Cuca, Yvette P.; Uys, Leana R.; Holzemer, William L.
This study explored the demographic and social factors, including perceived HIV stigma, that influence job satisfaction in nurses from 5 African countries. A cross-sectional survey was conducted of nurses (n = 1,384) caring for patients living with HIV infection in Lesotho, Malawi, South Africa, Swaziland, and Tanzania. Total job satisfaction in this sample was lower than 2 comparable studies in South Africa and the United Kingdom. The subscale, Personal Satisfaction, was the highest in this sample as in the other 2. Job Satisfaction scores differed significantly among the 5 countries and these differences were consistent across all subscales. A hierarchical regression demonstrated that mental and physical health, marital status, education level, urban/rural setting, and perceived HIV stigma had significant influences on job satisfaction. Perceived HIV stigma was the strongest predictor of job dissatisfaction. These findings provide new areas for intervention strategies that might enhance the work environment for nurses in these countries. PMID:19118767
Full Text Available Abstract Background There is little research on HIV awareness and practices of traditional birth attendants (TBA in India. This study investigated knowledge and attitudes among rural TBA in Karnataka as part of a project examining how traditional birth attendants could be integrated into prevention-of-mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT programs in India. Methods A cross-sectional survey was conducted between March 2008 and January 2009 among TBA in 144 villages in Mysore Taluk, Karnataka. Following informed consent, TBA underwent an interviewer-administered questionnaire in the local language of Kannada on practices and knowledge around birthing and HIV/PMTCT. Results Of the 417 TBA surveyed, the median age was 52 years and 96% were Hindus. A majority (324, 77.7% had no formal schooling, 88 (21.1% had up to 7 years and 5 (1% had more than 7 yrs of education. Only 51 of the 417 TBA (12% reported hearing about HIV/AIDS. Of those who had heard about HIV/AIDS, only 36 (72% correctly reported that the virus could be spread from mother to child; 37 (74% identified unprotected sex as a mode of transmission; and 26 (51% correctly said healthy looking people could spread HIV. Just 22 (44% knew that infected mothers could lower the risk of transmitting the virus to their infants. An overwhelming majority of TBA (401, 96.2% did not provide antenatal care to their clients. Over half (254, 61% said they would refer the woman to a hospital if she bled before delivery, and only 53 (13% felt referral was necessary if excessive bleeding occurred after birth. Conclusions Traditional birth attendants will continue to play an important role in maternal child health in India for the foreseeable future. This study demonstrates that a majority of TBA lack basic information about HIV/AIDS and safe delivery practices. Given the ongoing shortage of skilled birth attendance in rural areas, more studies are needed to examine whether TBA should be trained and
Madhivanan, Purnima; Kumar, Bhavana N; Adamson, Paul; Krupp, Karl
There is little research on HIV awareness and practices of traditional birth attendants (TBA) in India. This study investigated knowledge and attitudes among rural TBA in Karnataka as part of a project examining how traditional birth attendants could be integrated into prevention-of-mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) programs in India. A cross-sectional survey was conducted between March 2008 and January 2009 among TBA in 144 villages in Mysore Taluk, Karnataka. Following informed consent, TBA underwent an interviewer-administered questionnaire in the local language of Kannada on practices and knowledge around birthing and HIV/PMTCT. Of the 417 TBA surveyed, the median age was 52 years and 96% were Hindus. A majority (324, 77.7%) had no formal schooling, 88 (21.1%) had up to 7 years and 5 (1%) had more than 7 yrs of education. Only 51 of the 417 TBA (12%) reported hearing about HIV/AIDS. Of those who had heard about HIV/AIDS, only 36 (72%) correctly reported that the virus could be spread from mother to child; 37 (74%) identified unprotected sex as a mode of transmission; and 26 (51%) correctly said healthy looking people could spread HIV. Just 22 (44%) knew that infected mothers could lower the risk of transmitting the virus to their infants. An overwhelming majority of TBA (401, 96.2%) did not provide antenatal care to their clients. Over half (254, 61%) said they would refer the woman to a hospital if she bled before delivery, and only 53 (13%) felt referral was necessary if excessive bleeding occurred after birth. Traditional birth attendants will continue to play an important role in maternal child health in India for the foreseeable future. This study demonstrates that a majority of TBA lack basic information about HIV/AIDS and safe delivery practices. Given the ongoing shortage of skilled birth attendance in rural areas, more studies are needed to examine whether TBA should be trained and integrated into PMTCT and maternal child health programs in
Full Text Available Despite 67% of HIV infected people in India are rural residents, the epidemiology of HIV in rural areas is not well known. This is an observational cohort study of 11,040 HIV infected people living in a rural district of India. The prevalence of hepatitis B, hepatitis C and syphilis of HIV infected patients were compared to the seroprevalence in 16,641 blood donors from the same area. The age of diagnosis in adults was below 35 years in 70% of cases and 56% were illiterate. One third of women were widows and only 3.6% of adults had a permanent job. Women were diagnosed at earlier age, had lower level of education, had poorer employment conditions and depended more on their relatives than men. In a survey performed to a subgroup of patients, 81% of women referred to have acquired HIV from their spouse, whereas 51% of men acquired HIV from commercial sex. Patients with HIV had significantly higher prevalence of hepatitis B, hepatitis C and syphilis than blood donors. Seroprevalence of HIV-2, hepatitis C and toxoplasmosis were low compared to other sites. Six percent were children (<15 years and almost half of them had lost one or both of their parents. The study shows the poor socio-economical situation and the high level of illiteracy of people living with HIV in rural India, especially women. Future health programmes of HIV in India should take into account the particularities of the HIV epidemic in rural areas.
Tucker, Jalie A; Blum, Elizabeth R; Xie, Lili; Roth, David L; Simpson, Cathy A
Community-dwelling HIV/AIDS patients in rural Alabama self-monitored (SM) daily HIV risk behaviors using an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system, which may enhance reporting, reduce monitored behaviors, and extend the reach of care. Sexually active substance users (35 men, 19 women) engaged in IVR SM of sex, substance use, and surrounding contexts for 4-10 weeks. Baseline predictors of IVR utilization were assessed, and longitudinal IVR SM effects on risk behaviors were examined. Frequent (n = 22), infrequent (n = 22), and non-caller (n = 10) groups were analyzed. Non-callers had shorter durations of HIV medical care and lower safer sex self-efficacy and tended to be older heterosexuals. Among callers, frequent callers had lost less social support. Longitudinal logistic regression models indicated reductions in risky sex and drug use with IVR SM over time. IVR systems appear to have utility for risk assessment and reduction for rural populations living with HIV disease.
Hatcher, Abigail M; Tsai, Alexander C; Kumbakumba, Elias; Dworkin, Shari L; Hunt, Peter W; Martin, Jeffrey N; Clark, Gina; Bangsberg, David R; Weiser, Sheri D
Depression is associated with increased HIV transmission risk, increased morbidity, and higher risk of HIV-related death among HIV-infected women. Low sexual relationship power also contributes to HIV risk, but there is limited understanding of how it relates to mental health among HIV-infected women. Participants were 270 HIV-infected women from the Uganda AIDS Rural Treatment Outcomes study, a prospective cohort of individuals initiating antiretroviral therapy (ART) in Mbarara, Uganda. Our primary predictor was baseline sexual relationship power as measured by the Sexual Relationship Power Scale (SRPS). The primary outcome was depression severity, measured with the Hopkins Symptom Checklist (HSCL), and a secondary outcome was a functional scale for mental health status (MHS). Adjusted models controlled for socio-demographic factors, CD4 count, alcohol and tobacco use, baseline WHO stage 4 disease, social support, and duration of ART. The mean HSCL score was 1.34 and 23.7% of participants had HSCL scores consistent with probable depression (HSCL>1.75). Compared to participants with low SRPS scores, individuals with both moderate (coefficient b = -0.21; 95%CI, -0.36 to -0.07) and high power (b = -0.21; 95%CI, -0.36 to -0.06) reported decreased depressive symptomology. High SRPS scores halved the likelihood of women meeting criteria for probable depression (adjusted odds ratio = 0.44; 95%CI, 0.20 to 0.93). In lagged models, low SRPS predicted subsequent depression severity, but depression did not predict subsequent changes in SPRS. Results were similar for MHS, with lagged models showing SRPS predicts subsequent mental health, but not visa versa. Both Decision-Making Dominance and Relationship Control subscales of SRPS were associated with depression symptom severity. HIV-infected women with high sexual relationship power had lower depression and higher mental health status than women with low power. Interventions to improve equity in decision-making and control
Abigail M Hatcher
Full Text Available Depression is associated with increased HIV transmission risk, increased morbidity, and higher risk of HIV-related death among HIV-infected women. Low sexual relationship power also contributes to HIV risk, but there is limited understanding of how it relates to mental health among HIV-infected women.Participants were 270 HIV-infected women from the Uganda AIDS Rural Treatment Outcomes study, a prospective cohort of individuals initiating antiretroviral therapy (ART in Mbarara, Uganda. Our primary predictor was baseline sexual relationship power as measured by the Sexual Relationship Power Scale (SRPS. The primary outcome was depression severity, measured with the Hopkins Symptom Checklist (HSCL, and a secondary outcome was a functional scale for mental health status (MHS. Adjusted models controlled for socio-demographic factors, CD4 count, alcohol and tobacco use, baseline WHO stage 4 disease, social support, and duration of ART.The mean HSCL score was 1.34 and 23.7% of participants had HSCL scores consistent with probable depression (HSCL>1.75. Compared to participants with low SRPS scores, individuals with both moderate (coefficient b = -0.21; 95%CI, -0.36 to -0.07 and high power (b = -0.21; 95%CI, -0.36 to -0.06 reported decreased depressive symptomology. High SRPS scores halved the likelihood of women meeting criteria for probable depression (adjusted odds ratio = 0.44; 95%CI, 0.20 to 0.93. In lagged models, low SRPS predicted subsequent depression severity, but depression did not predict subsequent changes in SPRS. Results were similar for MHS, with lagged models showing SRPS predicts subsequent mental health, but not visa versa. Both Decision-Making Dominance and Relationship Control subscales of SRPS were associated with depression symptom severity.HIV-infected women with high sexual relationship power had lower depression and higher mental health status than women with low power. Interventions to improve equity in decision
Since the adoption of the Environmental Management Act of 1996, Malawi has ... This study assessed the extent of public participation in Malawi's EIA process. ... of the EIA process in Malawi which puts the human and ecosystem health at risk.
Full Text Available Abstract Background HIV prevalence among pregnant women in Malawi is 12.6%, and mother-to-child transmission is a major route of transmission. As PMTCT services have expanded in Malawi in recent years, we sought to determine uptake of services, HIV-relevant infant feeding practices and mother-child health outcomes. Methods A matched-cohort study of HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected mothers and their infants at 18-20 months post-partum in Zomba District, Malawi. 360 HIV-infected and 360 HIV-uninfected mothers were identified through registers. 387 mother-child pairs were included in the study. Results 10% of HIV-infected mothers were on HAART before delivery, 27% by 18-20 months post-partum. sd-NVP was taken by 75% of HIV-infected mothers not on HAART, and given to 66% of infants. 18% of HIV-infected mothers followed all current recommended PMTCT options. HIV-infected mothers breastfed fewer months than HIV-uninfected mothers (12 vs.18, respectively; p p Conclusion This study shows low PMTCT program efficiency and effectiveness under routine program conditions in Malawi. HIV-free infant survival may have been influenced by key factors, including underuse of HAART, underuse of sd-NVP, and suboptimal infant feeding practices. Maternal mortality among HIV-infected women demands attention; improved maternal survival is a means to improve infant survival.
Rosato, Mikey; Lewycka, Sonia; Mwansambo, Charles; Kazembe, Peter; Phiri, Tambosi; Chapota, Hilda; Vergnano, Stefania; Newell, Marie-Louise; Osrin, David; Costello, Anthony
The aim of this report is to describe a health education intervention involving volunteer infant feeding and care counselors being implemented in Mchinji district, Malawi. The intervention was established in January 2004 and involves 72 volunteer infant feeding and care counselors, supervised by 24 government Health Surveillance Assistants, covering 355 villages in Mchinji district. It aims to change the knowledge, attitudes and behaviour of women to promote exclusive breastfeeding and other infant care practices. The main target population are women of child bearing age who are visited at five key points during pregnancy and after birth. Where possible, their partners are also involved. The visits cover exclusive breastfeeding and other important neonatal and infant care practices. Volunteers are provided with an intervention manual and picture book. Resource inputs are low and include training allowances and equipment for counselors and supervisors, and a salary, equipment and materials for a coordinator. It is hypothesized that the counselors will encourage informational and attitudinal change to enhance motivation and risk reduction skills and self-efficacy to promote exclusive breastfeeding and other infant care practices and reduce infant mortality. The impact is being evaluated through a cluster randomised controlled trial and results will be reported in 2012.
Anderman, Eric M; Cupp, Pamela K; Lane, Derek R; Zimmerman, Rick; Gray, DeLeon L; O'Connell, Ann
Over 5,000 adolescents enrolled in required rural high school health courses reported their perceptions of mastery and extrinsic goal structures in their health classrooms. Data were collected from all students at three time points (prior to HIV/pregnancy instruction, three months after instruction, and one year after instruction). Results indicated that classroom goal structures were related to both proximal and distal knowledge, attitudes, intentions, and efficacy beliefs. Results in particular indicate that the perception of a mastery goal structure in health education classrooms fosters knowledge, improved attitudes, enhanced efficacy beliefs, and lower intentions to have sexual intercourse.
Beltman, J J; Fitzgerald, M; Buhendwa, L; Moens, M; Massaquoi, M; Kazima, J; Alide, N; van Roosmalen, J
Round the clock (24 hours×7 days) HIV testing is vital to maintain a high prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) coverage for women delivering in district health facilities. PMTCT coverage increases when most of the pregnant women will have their HIV status tested. Therefore routine offering of HIV testing should be integrated and seen as a part of comprehensive antenatal care. For women who miss antenatal care and deliver in a health facility without having had their HIV status tested, the labour and maternity ward could still serve as other entry points.
Full Text Available Background: Early identification and entry into care is critical to reducing morbidity and mortality in children with HIV. The objective of this report is to describe the impact of the Tingathe programme, which utilizes community health workers (CHWs to improve identification and enrolment into care of HIV-exposed and -infected infants and children. Methods: Three programme phases are described. During the first phase, Mentorship Only (MO (March 2007–February 2008 on-site clinical mentorship on paediatric HIV care was provided. In the second phase, Tingathe-Basic (March 2008–February 2009, CHWs provided HIV testing and counselling to improve case finding of HIV-exposed and -infected children. In the final phase, Tingathe-PMTCT (prevention of mother-to-child transmission (March 2009–February 2011, CHWs were also assigned to HIV-positive pregnant women to improve mother-infant retention in care. We reviewed routinely collected programme data from HIV testing registers, patient mastercards and clinic attendance registers from March 2005 to March 2011. Results: During MO, 42 children (38 HIV-infected and 4 HIV-exposed were active in care. During Tingathe-Basic, 238 HIV-infected children (HIC were newly enrolled, a six-fold increase in rate of enrolment from 3.2 to 19.8 per month. The number of HIV-exposed infants (HEI increased from 4 to 118. During Tingathe-PMTCT, 526 HIC were newly enrolled over 24 months, at a rate of 21.9 patients per month. There was also a seven-fold increase in the average number of exposed infants enrolled per month (9.5–70 patients per month, resulting in 1667 enrolled with a younger median age at enrolment (5.2 vs. 2.5 months; p<0.001.During the Tingathe-Basic and Tingathe-PMTCT periods, CHWs conducted 44,388 rapid HIV tests, 7658 (17.3% in children aged 18 months to 15 years; 351 (4.6% tested HIV-positive. Over this time, 1781 HEI were enrolled, with 102 (5.7% found HIV-infected by positive PCR. Additional HIC
Morenike Oluwatoyin Folayan
Full Text Available We aimed to determine differences in sexual practices, HIV sexual risk behaviors, and HIV risk profile of adolescents and young persons' in rural and urban Nigeria.We recruited 772 participants 15 to 24 years old from urban and rural townships in Nigeria through a household survey. Information on participants' socio-demographic profile (age sex, residential area, number of meals taken per day, sexual practices (vagina, oral and anal sex; heterosexual and homosexual sex; sex with spouse, casual acquaintances, boy/girlfriend and commercial sex workers, sexual behavior (age of sexual debut, use of condom, multiple sex partners, transactional sex and age of sexual partner, and other HIV risk factors (use of alcohol and psychoactive substances, reason for sexual debut, knowledge of HIV prevention and HIV transmission, report of STI symptoms were collected through an interviewer administered questionnaire. Differences in sexual behavior and sexual practices of adolescents and HIV risk profile of adolescents and young persons resident in urban and rural areas were determined.More than half (53.5% of the respondents were sexually active, with more residing in the rural than urban areas (64.9% vs 44.1%; p<0.001 and more resident in the rural area reporting having more than one sexual partner (29.5% vs 20.4%; p = 0.04. Also, 97.3% of sexually active respondents reported having vaginal sex, 8.7% reported oral sex and 1.9% reported anal sex. More male than female respondents in the urban area used condoms during the last vaginal sexual intercourse (69.1% vs 51.9%; p = 0.02, and reported sex with casual partners (7.0% vs 15.3%; p = 0.007. More female than male respondents residing in the rural area engaged in transactional sex (1.0% vs 6.7%; p = 0.005. More females than males in both rural (3.6% vs 10.2%; p = 0.04 and urban (4.7% vs 26.6%; p<0.001 areas self-reported a history of discharge. More females than males in both rural (1.4% vs 17.0%; p = 0.04 and
Coker-Appiah, Dionne Smith; Akers, Aletha Y; Banks, Bahby; Albritton, Tashuna; Leniek, Karyn; Wynn, Mysha; Youmans, Selena E; Parker, Donald; Ellison, Arlinda; Henderson, Stacey; Stith, Doris; Council, Barbara; Oxendine-Pitt, Patricia; Corbie-Smith, Giselle
The HIV epidemic is a major public health problem in the United States, particularly among rural African American adolescents and young adults. We sought to explore young, rural African American's perspectives about key programmatic components to consider when designing youth-targeted, community- based HIV prevention interventions. We report data from four focus groups with adolescents and young adults aged 16 to 24 (n = 38) conducted as part of a community-based participatory research (CBPR) project designed to develop multilevel HIV risk reduction interventions in two rural North Carolina communities with high HIV rates. Analysis was performed by academic and community partners using a modified grounded theory approach to content analysis. Interventions should target preadolescents and early adolescents rather than older adolescents and young adults in an effort to "catch them while they're young." Intervention developers should obtain input from local young people regarding critical programmatic components, such as whom to employ as study recruiters and intervention leaders; intervention format and delivery options, acceptable recruitment and intervention locations, and incentive structures. Participants believe selecting community collaborators representing varied community sectors is critical. Important barriers to address included limited transportation, discomfort communicating about sexual issues, lack of community interest in HIV prevention, and unwillingness to acknowledge and address sexual activity among adolescents. When designing HIV/AIDS prevention interventions, targeting young people, it is important to form academic-community partnerships that ensure young people's perspectives are integral to the intervention development process.
Full Text Available Abstract Background Despite ample evidence that HIV has entered the general population, most HIV awareness programs in India continue to neglect rural areas. Low HIV awareness and high stigma, fueled by low literacy, seasonal migration, gender inequity, spatial dispersion, and cultural taboos pose extra challenges to implement much-needed HIV education programs in rural areas. This paper describes a peer education model developed to educate and empower low-literacy communities in the rural district of Perambalur (Tamil Nadu, India. Methods From January to December 2005, six non-governmental organizations (NGO's with good community rapport collaborated to build and pilot-test an HIV peer education model for rural communities. The program used participatory methods to train 20 NGO field staff (Outreach Workers, 102 women's self-help group (SHG leaders, and 52 barbers to become peer educators. Cartoon-based educational materials were developed for low-literacy populations to convey simple, comprehensive messages on HIV transmission, prevention, support and care. In addition, street theatre cultural programs highlighted issues related to HIV and stigma in the community. Results The program is estimated to have reached over 30 000 villagers in the district through 2051 interactive HIV awareness programs and one-on-one communication. Outreach workers (OWs and peer educators distributed approximately 62 000 educational materials and 69 000 condoms, and also referred approximately 2844 people for services including voluntary counselling and testing (VCT, care and support for HIV, and diagnosis and treatment of sexually-transmitted infections (STI. At least 118 individuals were newly diagnosed as persons living with HIV (PLHIV; 129 PLHIV were referred to the Government Hospital for Thoracic Medicine (in Tambaram for extra medical support. Focus group discussions indicate that the program was well received in the communities, led to improved health
Full Text Available Hypertension and excess body weight are major risk factors of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in developing countries. In countries with a high HIV prevalence, it is unknown how increased antiretroviral treatment and care (ART coverage has affected the prevalence of overweight, obesity, and hypertension. We conducted a health survey in 2010 based on the WHO STEPwise approach in 14,198 adult resident participants of a demographic surveillance area in rural South Africa to investigate factors associated with hypertension and excess weight including HIV infection and ART status. Women had a significantly higher median body mass index (BMI than men (26.4 vs. 21.2 kg/m(2, p<0.001. The prevalence of obesity (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m(2 in women (31.3%, 95% confidence interval (CI 30.2-32.4 was 6.5 times higher than in men (4.9%, 95% CI 4.1-5.7, whereas prevalence of hypertension (systolic or diastolic blood pressure ≥ 140 or 90 mm Hg, respectively was 1.4 times higher in women than in men (28.5% vs 20.8%, p<0.001. In multivariable regression analysis, both hypertension and obesity were significantly associated with sex, age, HIV and ART status. The BMI of women and men on ART was on average 3.8 (95% CI 3.2-3.8 and 1.7 (95% CI 0.9-2.5 kg/m(2 lower than of HIV-negative women and men, respectively. The BMI of HIV-infected women and men not on ART was on average 1.2 (95% CI 0.8-1.6 and 0.4 (95% CI -0.1-0.9 kg/m(2 lower than of HIV-negative women and men, respectively. Obesity was a bigger risk factor for hypertension in men (adjusted odds ratio (aOR 2.99, 95% CI 2.00-4.48 than in women (aOR 1.64, 95% CI 1.39-1.92 and overweight (25 ≤ BMI<30 was a significant risk factor for men only (aOR 1.53 95% CI 1.14-2.06. Our study suggests that, cardiovascular risk factors of hypertension and obesity differ substantially between women and men in rural South Africa.
Maughan-Brown, Brendan; Godlonton, Susan; Thornton, Rebecca; Venkataramani, Atheendar S
Qualitative studies and polling data from sub-Saharan Africa indicate that many individuals may mistakenly believe that male circumcision directly protects women from contracting HIV. This study examines whether individuals who learn that male circumcision reduces female-to-male HIV transmission also erroneously infer a reduction in direct male-to-female transmission risk (i.e. from an HIV-positive man to an uninfected woman). We used data on Malawian men (n = 917) randomized to receive information about voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) and HIV risk in 2008 and a random sample of their wives (n = 418). We found that 72 % of men and 82 % of women who believed that male circumcision reduces HIV risk for men also believed that it reduces HIV risk for women. Regression analyses indicated that men randomly assigned to receive information about the protective benefits of circumcision were more likely to adopt the erroneous beliefs, and that the underlying mechanism was the formation of the belief that male circumcision reduces HIV risk for men. The results suggest the need for VMMC campaigns to make explicit that male circumcision does not directly protect women from HIV-infection.
Malawi; however there has been a lack of effective imple- mentation. ... the SWAp Programme of Work. 3”. Methods ... the current maternal mortality strategy may be implement- ... point of delivery. ... include the cost of a new chitenje (sarong) necessary for child- ..... nomic status and access to care for TB in urban Lilongwe.
Л midwife plays an essential role in the promotion of health and provision of care .... ical experience, it has become part of the norm to nurse a labour- ing woman on a bed .... challenges of preventing maternal deaths. Malawi Medical Journal.
Emmanuel, Nikolas G.
a political conditionality approach. Few countries have felt the weight of conditionality as much as Malawi did in the 1990s. Here, donors were able to use aid sanctions to successfully encourage democratization, while strengthening the demands of domestic opposition forces. This paper argues that three...
The Malawi Social Action Fund (MASAF) is implementing a 12 year programme to close service gaps in rural communities. These service gaps are primarily those in health, education, household food security, water and sanitation, transport and communications. The impact indicators of the Project are selected Millennium Development Goal indicators. MASAF conducted a baseline study of the MDG indicators for all districts in Malawi. This paper presents available health related MDG baseline indicators for all districts in Malawi. Other stakeholders implementing health interventions could use these baseline indicators for planning purposes.
Campbell, Christine; Kafwafwa, Savel; Brown, Hilary; Walker, Graeme; Madetsa, Belito; Deeny, Miriam; Kabota, Beatrice; Morton, David; Ter Haar, Reynier; Grant, Liz; Cubie, Heather A
The incidence of cervical cancer in Malawi is the highest in the world and projected to increase in the absence of interventions. Although government policy supports screening using visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA), screening provision is limited due to lack of infrastructure, trained personnel, and the cost and availability of gas for cryotherapy. Recently, thermo-coagulation has been acknowledged as a safe and acceptable procedure suitable for low-resource settings. We introduced thermo-coagulation for treatment of VIA-positive lesions as an alternative to cryotherapy within a cervical screening service based on VIA, coupled with appropriate, sustainable pathways of care for women with high-grade lesions and cancers. Detailed planning was undertaken for VIA clinics, and approvals were obtained from the Ministry of Health, Regional and Village Chiefs. Educational resources were developed. Thermo-coagulators were introduced into hospital and health centre settings, with theoretical and practical training in safe use and maintenance of equipment. A total of 7,088 previously unscreened women attended VIA clinics between October 2013 and March 2015. Screening clinics were held daily in the hospital and weekly in the health centres. Overall, VIA positivity was 6.1%. Almost 90% received same day treatment in the hospital setting, and 3- to 6-month cure rates of more than 90% are observed. Thermo-coagulation proved feasible and acceptable in this setting. Effective implementation requires comprehensive training and provider support, ongoing competency assessment, quality assurance and improvement audit. Thermo-coagulation offers an effective alternative to cryotherapy and encouraged VIA screening of many more women.
Full Text Available Abstract Background Despite Malawi government’s policy to support women to deliver in health facilities with the assistance of skilled attendants, some women do not access this care. Objective The study explores the reasons why women delivered at home without skilled attendance despite receiving antenatal care at a health centre and their perceptions of perinatal care. Methods A descriptive study design with qualitative data collection and analysis methods. Data were collected through face-to-face in-depth interviews using a semi- structured interview guide that collected information on women’s perception on perinatal care. A total of 12 in- depth interviews were conducted with women that had delivered at home in the period December 2010 to March 2011. The women were asked how they perceived the care they received from health workers before, during, and after delivery. Data were manually analyzed using thematic analysis. Results Onset of labor at night, rainy season, rapid labor, socio-cultural factors and health workers’ attitudes were related to the women delivering at home. The participants were assisted in the delivery by traditional birth attendants, relatives or neighbors. Two women delivered alone. Most women went to the health facility the same day after delivery. Conclusions This study reveals beliefs about labor and delivery that need to be addressed through provision of appropriate perinatal information to raise community awareness. Even though, it is not easy to change cultural beliefs to convince women to use health facilities for deliveries. There is a need for further exploration of barriers that prevent women from accessing health care for better understanding and subsequently identification of optimal solutions with involvement of the communities themselves.
Full Text Available Abstract Background Rural Indian tribes are anthropologically distinct with unique cultures, traditions and practices. Over the years, displacement and rapid acculturation of this population has led to dramatic changes in their socio-cultural and value systems. Due to a poor health infrastructure, high levels of poverty and ignorance, these communities are highly vulnerable to various health problems, especially, communicable diseases including HIV/AIDS. Our study sought to assess knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding sexuality, and the risk factors associated with the spread of HIV/AIDS and STDs among these communities. Methods A nested cross sectional study was undertaken as part of the on going Reproductive and Child Health Survey. A total of 5,690 participants age 18–44 were recruited for this study. Data were obtained through home interviews, and focused on socio-demographics, knowledge, attitudes and behaviors regarding sexuality, HIV/AIDS and other STDs. Results The study revealed that only 22% of adults had even heard of AIDS, and 18 % knew how it is transmitted. In addition, only 5% knew that STDs and AIDS were related to each other. AIDS awareness among women was lower compared to men (14% vs.30 %. Regarding sexual practices, 35% of the respondents reported having had extramarital sexual encounters, with more males than females reporting extramarital affairs. Conclusion Lack of awareness, permissiveness of tribal societies for premarital or extra-marital sexual relationships, and sexual mixing patterns predispose these communities to HIV/AIDS and STD infections. There is a dire need for targeted interventions in order to curtail the increasing threat of HIV and other STDs among these vulnerable populations.
Heckman, Timothy G; Miller, Jeffrey; Kochman, Arlene; Kalichman, Seth C; Carlson, Bruce; Silverthorn, Monica
This study characterized rates and predictors of suicidal thoughts among HIV-infected persons living in rural communities of eight U.S. states. Self-administered surveys were completed by 201 HIV-infected persons living in communities of 50,000 or fewer that were located at least 20 miles from a city of 100,000 or more. All participants were clients of rural AIDS service organizations and had recently enrolled into a randomized clinical trial of a telephone-delivered, coping improvement-group intervention designed specifically for HIV-infected rural persons. At baseline, participants reported on thoughts of suicide, psychological symptomatology, life-stressor burden, ways of coping, coping self-efficacy, social support, and barriers to health care and social services. Thirty-eight percent of HIV-infected rural persons had engaged in thoughts of suicide during the past week. A logistic regression analysis revealed that participants who endorsed thoughts of suicide also reported more depressive symptoms (odds ratio [OR] = 2.19; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.32-3.63, p < .002), less coping self-efficacy (OR = 0.70; 95% CI = 0.56-0.88, p < .002), more frequently worried about transmitting their HIV infection to others (OR = 1.66, 95% CI = 1.14-2.40, p < .008), and experienced more stress associated with AIDS-related stigma (OR = 1.58, 95% CI = 1.07-2.35, p < .03). As AIDS prevalence rates increase in rural areas, interventions that successfully identify and treat geographically isolated HIV-infected persons who experience more frequent or serious thoughts of suicide are urgently needed.
Malawi lies in Africa's Great Rift Valley. Its western border is defined by Lake Malawi, the third largest lake in Africa. Over 80% of Malawians live in rural areas and 90% of the labor force is associated with agriculture. More than half of the population lives below the poverty line. Area characteristics indicate a high likelihood of nitrate and total coliform in community drinking water. Infants exposed to high nitrate are at risk of developing methemoglobinemia. In addition, diarrheal diseases from unsafe drinking water are one of the top causes of mortality in children under five. Without sufficient and sustainable supplies of clean water, these challenges will continue to threaten Malawi's ability to overcome the devastating impact of diarrheal diseases on its population. Therefore, Malawi remains highly dependent on outside assistance and influence to reduce or eliminate the threat posed by unsafe drinking water. This research presents a literature review of nitrate and total coliform groundwater quality and a proposed risk communication plan for drinking water in northern Malawi.
This study builds a profile of the status of poverty and vulnerability in Malawi. Malawi is a small land-locked country, with one of the highest population densities in Sub-Saharan Africa, and one of the lowest per capita income levels in the world. Almost 90 percent of the population lives in rural areas, and is mostly engaged in smallholder, rain-fed agriculture. Most people are therefor...
The Malawi Social Action Fund (MASAF) is implementing a 12 year programme to close service gaps in rural communities. These service gaps are primarily those in health, education, household food security, water and sanitation, transport and communications. The impact indicators of the Project are selected Millennium Development Goal indicators. MASAF conducted a baseline study of the MDG indicators for all districts in Malawi. This paper presents available health related MDG baseline indicator...
Objective:To promote the use of preventive measures and raise awareness regardingHIV/AIDS in India.Methods:Data from the population-basedNFHS-3 survey2005-06 was used. In this study, information collected on87 961women aged15-49years and44 717 men aged15-54years was used in the final analysis. The data collected was stratified by gender and place of residence. Analyses of the variables related to the outcomes i.e. knowledge, attitude, belief and practices, was conducted usingChi-square test to calculate significant differences among proportions of categorical variables.Results: We found that knowledge of HIV transmission and prevention was low among women and rural residents. Most of the respondents had a non-discriminatory attitude towardsHIV positives and majority agreed that children should be educated onHIV/AIDS. The use of condoms and proportion of respondents who had undergoneHIV testing was found to be significantly low. We found a significant gap in the beliefs regarding ways to avoid HIV.Conclusions: There are significant gender and urban-rural differentials in India in terms of knowledge, attitude, beliefs and practices inHIV/AIDS. Information dissemination in India should be designed in a way that not only raises the level of awareness but also result in behavioral change.
Cuca, Yvette P.; Onono, Maricianah; Bukusi, Elizabeth; Turan, Janet M.
Pregnant women who fear or experience HIV-related stigma may not get care for their own health or medications to reduce perinatal transmission of HIV. This study examined factors associated with anticipating and experiencing HIV-related stigma among 1,777 pregnant women attending antenatal care clinics in rural Kenya. Women were interviewed at baseline, offered HIV testing and care, and a sub-set was re-interviewed at 4–8 weeks postpartum. Women who were older, had less education, whose husbands had other wives, and who perceived community discrimination against people with HIV had significantly greater adjusted odds of anticipating HIV stigma. Over half of the HIV-positive women interviewed postpartum reported having experienced stigma, much of which was self-stigma. Women experiencing minor depression, and those whose family knew of their HIV status had significantly greater adjusted odds of experiencing stigma. Lack of women’s empowerment, as well as depression, may be important risk factors for HIV-related stigma and discrimination. PMID:22799618
Full Text Available Antiretroviral therapy scale-up in Sub-Saharan Africa has created a growing, aging HIV-positive population at risk for non-communicable diseases such as hypertension. However, the prevalence and risk factors for hypertension in this population remain incompletely understood.We measured blood pressure and collected demographic data on over 65,000 adults attending multi-disease community health campaigns in 20 rural Ugandan communities (SEARCH Study: NCT01864603. Our objectives were to determine (i whether HIV is an independent risk factor for hypertension, and (ii awareness and control of hypertension in HIV-positive adults and the overall population.Hypertension prevalence was 14% overall, and 11% among HIV-positive individuals. 79% of patients were previously undiagnosed, 85% were not taking medication, and 50% of patients on medication had uncontrolled blood pressure. Multivariate predictors of hypertension included older age, male gender, higher BMI, lack of education, alcohol use, and residence in Eastern Uganda. HIV-negative status was independently associated with higher odds of hypertension (OR 1.2, 95% CI: 1.1-1.4. Viral suppression of HIV did not significantly predict hypertension among HIV-positives.The burden of hypertension is substantial and inadequately controlled, both in HIV-positive persons and overall. Universal HIV screening programs could provide counseling, testing, and treatment for hypertension in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Fischer, Thea K.; Deming, Michael; Ngwira, Bagrey; Bowie, Cameron; Cunliffe, Nigel; Bresee, Joseph; Quick, Robert E.
A national household survey was conducted in Malawi to determine awareness and use of a socially marketed water treatment product. In all, 64% of mothers were aware of the product, and 7% were using it. Both poor and rural mothers had lower awareness and use rates. Targeting promotion to rural populations could enhance program effectiveness. PMID:18214185
For many Malawians the concept of home is strongly associated with the rural areas and one's (supposedly rural) place of birth. This 'grand narrative about home', though often reiterated, doesn't necessarily depict lived reality. Malawi's history of movement and labor migration coupled with contempo
Kahn James G
Full Text Available Abstract Background Delivery of community-based prevention services for HIV, malaria, and diarrhea is a major priority and challenge in rural Africa. Integrated delivery campaigns may offer a mechanism to achieve high coverage and efficiency. Methods We quantified the resources and costs to implement a large-scale integrated prevention campaign in Lurambi Division, Western Province, Kenya that reached 47,133 individuals (and 83% of eligible adults in 7 days. The campaign provided HIV testing, condoms, and prevention education materials; a long-lasting insecticide-treated bed net; and a water filter. Data were obtained primarily from logistical and expenditure data maintained by implementing partners. We estimated the projected cost of a Scaled-Up Replication (SUR, assuming reliance on local managers, potential efficiencies of scale, and other adjustments. Results The cost per person served was $41.66 for the initial campaign and was projected at $31.98 for the SUR. The SUR cost included 67% for commodities (mainly water filters and bed nets and 20% for personnel. The SUR projected unit cost per person served, by disease, was $6.27 for malaria (nets and training, $15.80 for diarrhea (filters and training, and $9.91 for HIV (test kits, counseling, condoms, and CD4 testing at each site. Conclusions A large-scale, rapidly implemented, integrated health campaign provided services to 80% of a rural Kenyan population with relatively low cost. Scaling up this design may provide similar services to larger populations at lower cost per person.
Jewkes, Rachel K.; Dunkle, Kristin; Nduna, Mzikazi; Jama, P. Nwabisa; Puren, Adrian
Objectives: To describe prevalence of childhood experiences of adversity in rural South African youth and their associations with health outcomes. Methods: We analyzed questionnaires and blood specimens collected during a baseline survey for a cluster randomized controlled trial of a behavioral intervention, and also tested blood HIV and herpes…
W. Schaftenaar (Willem); R.P.H. Peters (Remco); G.S. Baarsma (Seerp); C. Meenken (Christina); N.S. Khosa; S. Getu (Sarah); J.A. McIntyre (James); A.D.M.E. Osterhaus (Albert); G.M.G.M. Verjans (George)
textabstractThe purpose of this investigation was to determine the clinical and corneal microbial profile of infectious keratitis in a high human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevalence setting in rural South Africa. Data in this cross-sectional study were collected from patients presenting with sym
Abuya, Benta A.; Onsomu, Elijah O.; Moore, DaKysha; Piper, Crystal N.
The objective of this study was to examine the association between education and domestic violence among women being offered an HIV test in urban and rural areas in Kenya. A sample selection of women who experienced physical (n = 4,308), sexual (n = 4,309), and emotional violence (n = 4,312) aged 15 to 49 allowed for the estimation of the…
Augustine Talumba Choko
Conclusions: Woman-delivered HIV self-testing through ANC was acceptable to pregnant women and their male partners. Feedback on additional linkage enablers will be used to alter pre-planned trial arms.
Folayan, Morenike Oluwatoyin; Adebajo, Sylvia; Adeyemi, Adedayo; Ogungbemi, Kayode Micheal
We aimed to determine differences in sexual practices, HIV sexual risk behaviors, and HIV risk profile of adolescents and young persons' in rural and urban Nigeria. We recruited 772 participants 15 to 24 years old from urban and rural townships in Nigeria through a household survey. Information on participants' socio-demographic profile (age sex, residential area, number of meals taken per day), sexual practices (vagina, oral and anal sex; heterosexual and homosexual sex; sex with spouse, casual acquaintances, boy/girlfriend and commercial sex workers), sexual behavior (age of sexual debut, use of condom, multiple sex partners, transactional sex and age of sexual partner), and other HIV risk factors (use of alcohol and psychoactive substances, reason for sexual debut, knowledge of HIV prevention and HIV transmission, report of STI symptoms) were collected through an interviewer administered questionnaire. Differences in sexual behavior and sexual practices of adolescents and HIV risk profile of adolescents and young persons resident in urban and rural areas were determined. More than half (53.5%) of the respondents were sexually active, with more residing in the rural than urban areas (64.9% vs 44.1%; psexual partner (29.5% vs 20.4%; p = 0.04). Also, 97.3% of sexually active respondents reported having vaginal sex, 8.7% reported oral sex and 1.9% reported anal sex. More male than female respondents in the urban area used condoms during the last vaginal sexual intercourse (69.1% vs 51.9%; p = 0.02), and reported sex with casual partners (7.0% vs 15.3%; p = 0.007). More female than male respondents residing in the rural area engaged in transactional sex (1.0% vs 6.7%; p = 0.005). More females than males in both rural (3.6% vs 10.2%; p = 0.04) and urban (4.7% vs 26.6%; psexual behavior and practices of adolescents and young persons' residing in the urban and rural area with implication for HIV prevention programming.
Enah, Comfort; Piper, Kendra; Moneyham, Linda
African Americans in the rural Southern United States continue to experience disproportionate increases in new HIV/AIDS infections. Electronic gaming interventions hold promise but the use of HIV prevention games is limited. The purpose of this study was to assess the acceptability and relevance of a web-based HIV prevention game for African American rural adolescents. Findings from focus groups conducted with 42 participants suggested that the game was educational and somewhat entertaining but lacking in real-life scenarios and player-control. Findings are congruent with self-efficacy literature and constructivist approaches to learning. Findings have implications for gaming intervention development and further research. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Yu, Nancy Xiaonan; Zhang, Jianxin; Chow, Amy Y M; Chan, Celia H Y; Chan, Cecilia L W
Fate control has been often misconceptualized as a superstitious belief and overlooked in health psychology. It is not known how this cultural belief might impact the well-being of Chinese people living with HIV. This study examined the protective role of fate control for well-being and the potential mediation effect of resilience. Participants in this study were rural patients who contracted HIV via commercial blood donation. In this cross-sectional survey, 250 participants completed measures of fate control, well-being, and resilience. The results showed that fate control and resilience were positively associated with well-being. Resilience mediated the association between fate control and well-being. Our findings provide insight into the adaptive function of fate control as a cognitive defensive mechanism and highlight the need to incorporate this cultural belief in developing culturally sensitive intervention programs for resilience enhancement tailored for this understudied population infected with HIV living in rural China.
Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: Thus far, the reasons for increasing HIV prevalence in northern and eastern Indian states are unknown. We investigated the role of male out-migration in the spread of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV infection through a case-control study in rural India. METHODS: Currently married men and women were recruited from HIV testing and treatment centers across seven selected districts with high rates of male out-migration in eastern and northern India in 2010 using a case-control study design. Case subjects (men: 595, women: 609 were people who tested HIV seropositive and control subjects (men: 611, women: 600 were those tested HIV seronegative. For each gender, we obtained adjusted odds ratios (AORs and population attributable risks (PARs for migration, and behavioral factors. RESULTS: For men, the prevalence of HIV was significantly higher among those with a migration history (AOR, 4.4; for women, the prevalence of HIV was higher among those with migrant husbands (AOR, 2·3. For both genders, the returned male migration (men: AOR, 3·7; women: AOR, 28 was significantly associated with higher prevalence of HIV infection. The PAR associated with male migration was higher for men (54.5%-68.6% than for women (32·7%-56·9% across the study areas. DISCUSSION: Male out-migration is the most important risk factor influencing the spread of HIV infection in rural areas with high out-migration rates, thereby emphasizing the need for interventions, particularly, for returned migrants and spouses of those migrants.
Full Text Available Abstract Background Monitoring dynamics in HIV-1 infection and risk behaviours is important in evaluating, adjusting and scaling up prevention programmes. The objective of this study was to estimate trends in the prevalence of HIV-1 infection and risk behaviours over 15 years in a rural village population in Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania using repeated population-based cross-sectional surveys. Methods Four rounds of HIV-1 sero-epidemiological and behavioural surveys were completed during 1991 to 2005 in the study village. House-to-house registrations of people aged 15–44 years with an address in the village were conducted before each survey. All consenting individuals were then interviewed for pertinent risk behaviours and tested for HIV-1 seropositivity. Results Participation proportions ranged from 73.0% to 79.1%. Overall, age and sex-adjusted HIV-1 prevalence increased from 3.2% in 1991 to 5.6 % in 2005 (relative increase 75.0%; ptrend trends trend trends trend Conclusion The HIV-1 prevalence seems to have increased among older participants but remained stable among younger participants. Encouraging trends toward safer sex practices were observed among young participants, while only modest behavioural changes were seen among the older participants. Prevention efforts in rural areas need to be intensified and to address people of all ages.
Kengeya-Kayondo, J F; Carpenter, L M; Kintu, P M; Nabaitu, J; Pool, R; Whitworth, J A
Few studies have described levels and determinants of perceived risk of HIV-1 among African adults for whom the sero-status is known. This study describes HIV risk perception obtained from a large rural population in south-west Uganda which also underwent serological testing for HIV. Cross-sectional survey. Information on risk perception and sexual behaviour was collected by interview. Sera were obtained from all consenting adults (13 years and above) in order to assess HIV-1 prevalence. Of 14,818 adults with a definitive sero-status, 9.7% were HIV-1 positive and 51% considered themselves to be at risk of infection. Risk perception showed similar patterns as age- and sex-specific sero-prevalence and there was correspondence between risk factors for perceived risk and known HIV risk factors. Partner's sexual behaviour was the commonest reason for risk perception in women whereas men cited their own sexual behaviour. Abstinence from sex was much more commonly mentioned as a protective practice than condom use in men and women. Half of the adults we have studied already see infection with HIV as a real possibility in their lives and are aware of HIV risk behaviours. More efforts should be made to implement sustainable control measures rather than simply raising awareness. In addition to recommending abstinence, these include mutual faithfulness, condom use and better treatment for STDs.
Wilson Chialepeh N
Full Text Available Having unprotected sex with multiple sexual partners (MSP is the greatest risk factor for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs among youths. Young people with MSPs are less likely to use a condom and the greater the risk for STIs. This study examines the associated risk factors of STIs and multiple sexual partnerships among youths aged 15-24 years.The Malawi Demographic Health Survey 2010 data was used. Out of a sample of 2,987 males and 9,559 females aged 15-24 years, 2,026 males and 6,470 females were considered in the study. Chi square test and logistic regression techniques were performed. Analysis was performed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS version 22.The results indicate that 1,399 (69.0% males and 2,290 (35.4% females reported multiple sexual partnerships (MSP. Within the rural area, females (n = 1779 were more likely to report MSP than males (n = 1082 and within the urban areas, a higher proportion of females (n = 511 still reported MSP, with males (n = 316. About 78% rural females aged 20-24 years, and about 79% rural males aged 15-19 years reported MSP. The likelihood of MSP was higher among females in the poorest households (OR = 1.31, being married (OR = 5.71 and Catholic males (OR = 1.63, who were married (OR = 1.59. Catholic males (OR = 1.82 in the rural areas, who were married (OR = 1.80 and rural females in the northern region (OR = 1.26 were more likely to have MSP. The odds ratios were higher among urban females in the poorest (OR = 3.45 households who were married (OR = 4.22.Having more than one sexual partner increases the risk of STIs and sexuality education programs should be introduced that emphasize the danger that surrounds MSP.
Manuela De Allegri
Full Text Available This study aimed to explore factors shaping the decision to undergo Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV testing among men in rural Burkina Faso.The study took place in 2009 in the Nouna Health District and adopted a triangulation mixed methods design. The quantitative component relied on data collected through a structured survey on a representative sample of 1130 households. The qualitative component relied on 38 in-depth interviews, with men purposely selected to represent variation in testing decision, age, and place of residence. A two-part model was conducted, with two distinct outcome variables, i.e. "being offered an HIV test" and "having done an HIV test". The qualitative data analysis relied on inductive coding conducted by three independent analysts.Of the 937 men, 357 had been offered an HIV test and 97 had taken the test. Younger age, household wealth, living in a village under demographic surveillance, and knowing that HIV testing is available at primary health facilities were all positively associated with the probability of being offered an HIV test. Household wealth and literacy were found to be positively associated, and distance was found to be negatively associated with the probability of having taken an HIV test. Qualitative findings indicated that the limited uptake of HIV testing was linked to poor knowledge on service availability and to low risk perceptions.With only 10% of the total sample ever having tested for HIV, our study confirmed that male HIV testing remains unacceptably low in Sub-Saharan Africa. This results from a combination of health system factors, indicating general barriers to access, and motivational factors, such as one's own knowledge of service availability and risk perceptions. Our findings suggested that using antenatal care and curative services as the exclusive entry points into HIV testing may not be sufficient to reach large portions of the male population. Thus, additional strategies are urgently
Foster, Vivien; Shkaratan, Maria
Infrastructure contributed 1.2 percentage points to Malawi's annual per capital GDP growth over the past decade. Raising the country's infrastructure endowment to that of the region s middle-income countries could increase that contribution by 3.5 percentage points. Malawi's successes in infrastructure development include reaching the Millennium Development Goals for water and making GSM t...
Record, Richard; Kandoole, Priscilla; Chilima, Efrem; Kalemba, Sunganani; von Carnap, Tillman
The Malawi Economic Monitor (MEM) provides ananalysis of economic and structural developmentissues in Malawi. This edition of the MEM waspublished in October 2016. It follows on from thethree previous editions of the MEM, and is part of an ongoing series, with future editions to follow twiceper year. The aim of the publication is to foster better-informed policy analysis and debate regardi...
Leyna Germana H
Full Text Available Abstract Background Variability in stages of the HIV-1 epidemic and hence HIV-1 prevalence exists in different areas in sub-Saharan Africa. The purpose of this study was to investigate the magnitude of HIV-1 infection and identify HIV-1 risk factors that may help to develop preventive strategies in rural Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. Methods A cross-sectional study was conducted between March and May of 2005 involving all individuals aged between 15–44 years having an address in Oria Village. All eligible individuals were registered and invited to participate. Participants were interviewed regarding their demographic characteristics, sexual behaviors, and medical history. Following a pre-test counseling, participants were offered an HIV test. Results Of the 2 093 eligible individuals, 1 528 (73.0% participated. The overall age and sex adjusted HIV-1 prevalence was 5.6%. Women had 2.5 times higher prevalence (8.0% vs. 3.2% as compared to men. The age group 25–44 years, marriage, separation and low education were associated with higher risk of HIV-1 infection for both sexes. HIV-1 infection was significantly associated with >2 sexual partners in the past 12 months (women: Adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 2.5 (95%CI: 1.3–4.7, and past 5 years, [(men: AOR, 2.2 (95%CI:1.2–5.6; women: AOR, 2.5 (95%CI: 1.4–4.0], unprotected casual sex (men: AOR,1.8 95%CI: 1.2–5.8, bottled alcohol (Men: AOR, 5.9 (95%CI:1.7–20.1 and local brew (men: AOR, 3.7 (95%CI: 1.5–9.2. Other factors included treatment for genital ulcers and genital discharge in the past 1 month. Health-related complaints were more common among HIV-1 seropositive as compared to seronegative participants and predicted the presence of HIV-1 infection. Conclusion HIV-1 infection was highly prevalent in this population. As compared to our previous findings, a shift of the epidemic from a younger to an older age group and from educated to uneducated individuals was observed. Women and married or
Hensels, I. S.; Sherr, L.; Skeen, S.; Macedo, A.; Roberts, K. J.; Tomlinson, M.
ABSTRACT Gender is an important factor in child development. Especially in sub-Saharan Africa, girls have often been shown to be less likely to access education compared to boys. The consequence of this has been that that programmes addressing child development are often aimed at girls in order to redress gender imbalances. This study examines the effect of gender on the development of children attending community-based organisations in high HIV-affected areas, and explores whether community-based organisation attendance was associated with any changes in gender differences over time. Baseline data from 989 children and 12–15 month follow from 854 (86% response rate) were used to examine gender differences in children from Malawi and South Africa. At baseline, where there were differences by gender, these tended to disadvantage boys. It was found that boys were significantly more often found to be subjected to violence. Boys showed worse performance at school and more behavioural problems than girls. These gender differences persisted from baseline to follow-up. At follow-up, boys self-reported significantly worse average quality of life than girls. Only harsh discipline differed by gender in progression over time: boys experienced a stronger reduction in harsh physical discipline than girls from baseline to follow-up. Since harsh discipline was associated with boys’ worse educational outcomes and behavioural problems, our data cautiously suggests that gender differences could be reduced over time. In conclusion, our data suggests that, perhaps due to the narrow equity approach focusing on provision for girls, boys may be overlooked. As a result, there are some specific experiences where boys are generally worse off. These differences have distinct ramifications for the educational and emotional development of boys. A broader equity approach to child development might be warranted to ensure that the needs of both girls and boys are considered, and that boys are
Lorenzo, Theresa; van Pletzen, Ermien; Booyens, Margaret
Persons with disabilities and their families still live with stigma and a high degree of social exclusion especially in rural areas, which are often poorly resourced and serviced. Community-based workers in health and social development are in an ideal position to assist in providing critical support for some of those most at risk of neglect in these areas. This article analyses the work of community disability workers (CDWs) in three southern African countries to demonstrate the competencies that these workers acquired to make a contribution to social justice for persons with disabilities and their families. It points to some gaps and then argues that these competencies should be consolidated and strengthened in curricula, training and policy. The article explores local experiences and practices of CDWs so as to understand and demonstrate their professional competencies and capacity to deliver disability-inclusive services in rural areas, ways that make all information, activities and programs offered accessible and available to persons with disabilities. A qualitative interpretive approach was adopted, informed by a life history approach. Purposive sampling was used to select 16 CDWs who had at least 5 years experience of disability-related work in a rural area. In-depth interviews with CDWs were conducted by postgraduate students in Disability Studies. An inductive and interpretative phenomenological approach was used to analyse data. Three main themes with sub-categories emerged demonstrating the competencies of CDWs. First, integrated management of health conditions and impairments within a family focus comprised 'focus on the functional abilities' and 'communication, information gathering and sharing'. Second, negotiating for disability-inclusive community development included four sub-categories, namely 'mobilising families and community leaders', 'finding local solutions with local resources', 'negotiating retention and transitions through the education
Kershaw, Trace S; Small, Maria; Joseph, Gabriel; Theodore, Melanie; Bateau, Reginald; Frederic, Rikerdy
Given that condom use is not directly under a woman's control, the sexual division of power may play an important role in sexual behavior among pregnant women. We assessed the influence of factors related to the theory of gender and power (e.g., relationship power, abuse history, and sexual communication) on sexual behavior (e.g., two or more partners in the year prior to pregnancy, condom use, condom-use intentions, and STI diagnosis) among 196 pregnant women recruited from five community dispensaries in rural Haiti. Results showed that gender and power factors significantly related to sexual behavior. Gender and power factors were most significant for condom use and intention to use condoms, accounting for 18 and 25% of the variance above and beyond HIV knowledge and demographic covariates, respectively. These results suggest the need to create prevention interventions that restore power imbalances, provide support for women suffering abuse, and strengthen communication skills.
Lewis, D.K.; Whitty, C.J.; Walsh, A.L.; Epino, H.; Broek, N.R.; Letsky, E.A.; Munthali, C.; Mukiibi, J.M.; Boeree, M.J.
Severe anaemia is a common presentation in non-pregnant adults admitted to hospital in southern Africa. Standard syndromic treatment based on data from the pre-HIV era is for iron deficiency, worms and malaria. We prospectively investigated 105 adults admitted consecutively to medical wards with hae
Margaret L. Prust
Conclusions: MMS is being implemented nationally and has already generated cost savings and efficiencies in Malawi for patients and the health system, but could be improved by more accurate patient differentiation. While expanding FTRs and CAGs may not offer significant further cost savings in Malawi, future studies should investigate if such alternative models lead to improvements in patient satisfaction or clinical outcomes that might justify their implementation.
Christopher R. Frei
Full Text Available The Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS pandemic has caused far-reaching effects in sub-Saharan Africa. The pandemic has effectively diminished the workforce, increased poverty rates, reduced agricultural productivity, and transformed the structure of many rural households. HIV/AIDS further strains the already fragile relationship between livelihood and the natural and social environments of these regions. Therefore, the objective of this review is to characterize the impact of HIV/AIDS on the environment and the social infrastructure of rural sub-Saharan Africa. There are many aspects of rural life that contribute to disease transmission of HIV/AIDS and that pose unique challenges to the population dynamics in sub-Saharan Africa. Widespread AIDS-related mortality has caused a decrease in population growth for many African countries. In turn, these alterations in population dynamics have resulted in a decrease in the percentage of prime-age working adults, as well as a gender disparity, whereby, females carry a growing burden of household responsibilities. There is a rising proportion of older adults, often females, who assume the role of provider and caretaker for other dependent family members. These changing dynamics have caused many to exploit their natural surroundings, adopting less sustainable land use practices and utilizing protected resources as a primary means of generating revenue.
Janneke H van Dijk
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Many HIV-infected children in sub-Saharan Africa reside in rural areas, yet most research on treatment outcomes has been conducted in urban centers. Rural clinics and residents may face unique barriers to care and treatment. METHODS: A prospective cohort study of HIV-infected children was conducted between September 2007 and September 2010 at the rural HIV clinic in Macha, Zambia. HIV-infected children younger than 16 years of age at study enrollment who received antiretroviral therapy (ART during the study were eligible. Treatment outcomes during the first two years of ART, including mortality, immunologic status, and virologic suppression, were assessed and risk factors for mortality and virologic suppression were evaluated. RESULTS: A total of 69 children entered the study receiving ART and 198 initiated ART after study enrollment. The cumulative probabilities of death among children starting ART after study enrollment were 9.0% and 14.4% at 6 and 24 months after ART initiation. Younger age, higher viral load, lower CD4+ T-cell percentage and lower weight-for-age z-scores at ART initiation were associated with higher risk of mortality. The mean CD4(+ T-cell percentage increased from 16.3% at treatment initiation to 29.3% and 35.0% at 6 and 24 months. The proportion of children with undetectable viral load increased to 88.5% and 77.8% at 6 and 24 months. Children with longer travel times (≥ 5 hours and those taking nevirapine at ART initiation, as well as children who were non-adherent, were less likely to achieve virologic suppression after 6 months of ART. CONCLUSIONS: HIV-infected children receiving treatment in a rural clinic experienced sustained immunologic and virologic improvements. Children with longer travel times were less likely to achieve virologic suppression, supporting the need for decentralized models of ART delivery.
Fitzsimons, Emla; Malde, Bansi; Mesnard, Alice; Vera-Hernandez, Marcos
© 2015 The Authors.Incorrect knowledge of the health production function may lead to inefficient household choices and thereby to the production of suboptimal levels of health. This paper studies the effects of a randomized intervention in rural Malawi that, over a six-month period, provided mothers of young infants with information on child nutrition without supplying any monetary or in-kind resources. A simple model first investigates theoretically how nutrition and other household choices ...
Siedner, Mark J; Tsai, Alexander C; Dworkin, Shari; Mukiibi, Nozmo F B; Emenyonu, Nneka I; Hunt, Peter W; Haberer, Jessica E; Martin, Jeffrey N; Bangsberg, David R; Weiser, Sheri D
Inequality within partner relationships is associated with HIV acquisition and gender violence, but little is known about more pervasive effects on women's health. We performed a cross-sectional analysis of associations between sexual relationship power and nutritional status among women in Uganda. Participants completed questionnaires and anthropometric measurements. We assessed sexual relationship power using the Sexual Relationship Power Scale (SRPS). We performed logistic regression to test for associations between sexual relationship power and poor nutritional status including body mass index, body fat percentage, and mid-upper arm circumference. Women with higher sexual relationship power scores had decreased odds of low body mass index (OR 0.29, p = 0.01), low body fat percentage (OR 0.54, p = 0.04), and low mid-upper arm circumference (OR 0.22, p = 0.01). These relationships persisted in multivariable models adjusted for potential confounders. Targeted interventions to improve intimate partner relationship equality should be explored to improve health status among women living with HIV in rural Africa.
Conroy, Amy A; Tsai, Alexander C; Clark, Gina M; Boum, Yap; Hatcher, Abigail M; Kawuma, Annet; Hunt, Peter W; Martin, Jeffrey N; Bangsberg, David R; Weiser, Sheri D
Gender-based power imbalances place women at significant risk for sexual violence, however, little research has examined this association among women living with HIV/AIDS. We performed a cross-sectional analysis of relationship power and sexual violence among HIV-positive women on anti-retroviral therapy in rural Uganda. Relationship power was measured using the Sexual Relationship Power Scale (SRPS), a validated measure consisting of two subscales: relationship control (RC) and decision-making dominance. We used multivariable logistic regression to test for associations between the SRPS and two dependent variables: recent forced sex and transactional sex. Higher relationship power (full SRPS) was associated with reduced odds of forced sex (AOR = 0.24; 95 % CI 0.07-0.80; p = 0.020). The association between higher relationship power and transactional sex was strong and in the expected direction, but not statistically significant (AOR = 0.47; 95 % CI 0.18-1.22; p = 0.119). Higher RC was associated with reduced odds of both forced sex (AOR = 0.18; 95 % CI 0.06-0.59; p women should consider approaches that increase women's power in their relationships.
Neumann, Charlotte G; Nyandiko, Winstone; Siika, Abraham; Drorbaugh, Natalie; Samari, Goleen; Ettyang, Grace; Ernst, Judith A
This paper describes morbidity in a group of HIV-positive drug-naïve rural women in western Kenya. A total of 226 drug-naïve HIV-positive women were evaluated for baseline morbidity, immune function, and anthropometry before a food-based nutrition intervention. Kenyan nurses visited women in their homes and conducted semi-structured interviews regarding symptoms and physical signs experienced at the time of the visit and during the previous week and physical inspection. Blood and urine samples were examined for determination of immune function (CD4, CD8, and total lymphocyte counts), anaemia, malaria, and pregnancy status. Intradermal skin testing with tuberculin (PPD), candida, and tetanus toxoid antigens was also performed to evaluate cell-mediated immunity. Anthropometry was measured, and body mass index (BMI) was calculated. Seventy-six per cent of the women reported being sick on the day of the interview or within the previous week. Illnesses considered serious were reported by 13.7% of women. The most frequent morbidity episodes reported were upper respiratory tract infections (13.3%), suspected malaria (5.85%), skeletal pain (4.87%), and stomach pain (4.42%). The most common morbidity signs on physical inspection were respiratory symptoms, most commonly rhinorrhea and coughing. Confirmed malaria and severe diarrhea were significantly associated with a higher BMI.
Mohanakrishnan, K; Kasthuri, A; Amsavathani, S K; Sumathi, G
This study is designed to find out the mutational variations of reverse transcriptase (RT) gene of HIV, after the traditional drug usage among anti-retroviral therapy naïve rural people living with HIV/AIDS. HIV Reactive patients, who were exposed for indigenous medicines such as Siddha, Ayurveda etc., for a minimum period of 6 months were taken for this study. Among 40 patients, two samples (5.55%) demonstrated high-level mutational resistance variations for nucleoside RT inhibitor (NRTI) and non-NRTI. The predominant polymorphisms detected were K122E (91.7%), V60I (91.7%), V35T (89%), Q207E (89%), D177E (89%), T200A (86.1%), S48T (83.33%), K173A (80.6%).
Full Text Available Background. We describe a one-year evaluation study comparing SCIL intervention of mobile provision of integrated ANC/ HIV testing with an enhanced (SCIL+ intervention of community mobilization strategy providing conditional cash transfers (CCT to women’s SHG for identifying and accompanying pregnant women to mobile clinics. Methods. Twenty pairs of villages matched on population, socioeconomic status, access to medical facilities, and distance from Mysore city were divided between SCIL and SCIL+ interventions. The primary study outcome was the proportion of total pregnancies in these villages who received ANC and HIV testing. Results. Between April 2011 and March 2012, 552 pregnant women participated in SCIL or SCIL+ interventions. Among women who were pregnant at the time of intervention delivery, 181 of 418 (43.3% women pregnant at the time of intervention delivery received ANC in the SCIL arm, while 371 of 512 (72.5% received ANC in the SCIL+ arm (P<0.001; 175 (97% in the SCIL and 366 (98.6% in the SCIL+ arm consented to HIV testing (P<0.001. HIV prevalence of 0.6% was detected among SCIL clinic, and 0.9% among attending SCIL+ clinic attendees. Conclusion. Provision of CCT to women’s microeconomic SHG appears to significantly increase uptake of ANC/HIV testing services in rural Mysore villages.
Fatch W Kalembo
Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: The main objective of this study was to examine the association between male partner involvement and the uptake of prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT interventions. METHODS: A retrospective cohort study was used to collect data on women, their male partners and their children who were enrolled in a PMTCT program from January 2004 to December 2006 at Mwanza District Hospital. HIV infected women and their children were followed-up over the 18 months postnatal period. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, chi-square test and logistic regression. RESULTS: A total of 476 HIV positive women were enrolled in a PMTCT program and were followed-up in the study. Of those followed-up in the study, 65 (13.7% had a male partner involvement while 411 (86.3% had no male partner involvement. Male partner involvement was significantly associated with condom use (Adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 5.6, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.3-13.5, P<0.001, hospital delivery (AOR = 25.9, 95%CI: 10.6-63.6, P<0.001, and completion of follow-up in the program (AOR = 16.8, 95% CI: 8.5-33.4, P<0.001. CONCLUSION: Male partner involvement increases the uptake of some PMTCT interventions by HIV positive women. Multi-strategic, culturally tailored public health care models are needed to increase the rate of male partner involvement in the program.
Turan, Janet M.; Bukusi, Elizabeth A.; Onono, Maricianah; Holzemer, William L.; Miller, Suellen; Cohen, Craig R.
HIV/AIDS stigma is a common thread in the narratives of pregnant women affected by HIV/AIDS globally and may be associated with refusal of HIV testing. We conducted a cross-sectional study of women attending antenatal clinics in Kenya (N = 1525). Women completed an interview with measures of HIV/AIDS stigma and subsequently information on their acceptance of HIV testing was obtained from medical records. Associations of stigma measures with HIV testing refusal were examined using multivariate...
Full Text Available Abstract Background An 'opt-out' policy of routine HIV counseling and testing (HCT is being implemented across sub-Saharan Africa to expand prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT. Although the underlying assumption is that pregnant women in rural Africa are able to voluntarily consent to HIV testing, little is known about the reality and whether 'opt-out' HCT leads to higher completion rates of PMTCT. Factors associated with consent to HIV testing under the 'opt-out' approach were investigated through a large cross-sectional study in Kenya. Methods Observations during HIV pre-test information sessions were followed by a cross-sectional survey of 900 pregnant women in three public district hospitals carrying out PMTCT in the Busia district. Women on their first antenatal care (ANC visit during the current pregnancy were interviewed after giving blood for HIV testing but before learning their test results. Descriptive statistics and multivariate regression analysis were performed. Results Of the 900 women participating, 97% tested for HIV. Lack of testing kits was the only reason for women not being tested, i.e. nobody declined HIV testing. Despite the fact that 96% had more than four earlier pregnancies and 37% had been tested for HIV at ANC previously, only 17% of the women surveyed knew that testing was optional. Only 20% of those surveyed felt they could make an informed decision to decline HIV testing. Making an informed decision to decline HIV testing was associated with knowing that testing was optional (OR = 5.44, 95%CI 3.44-8.59, not having a stable relationship with the child's father (OR = 1.76, 95%CI 1.02-3.03, and not having discussed HIV testing with a partner before the ANC visit (OR = 2.64 95%CI 1.79-3.86. Conclusion High coverage of HIV testing appears to be achieved at the cost of pregnant women not understanding that testing is optional. Good quality HIV pre-test information is central to ensure that pregnant women
Jain, Vivek; Liegler, Teri; Kabami, Jane; Chamie, Gabriel; Clark, Tamara D; Black, Douglas; Geng, Elvin H.; Kwarisiima, Dalsone; Wong, Joseph K.; Abdel-Mohsen, Mohamed; Sonawane, Nitin; Aweeka, Francesca T.; THIRUMURTHY, Harsha; Petersen, Maya L; Charlebois, Edwin D.
Population-based human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) RNA metrics can help estimate antiretroviral therapy effectiveness within a community. We developed a fingerprick-based viral load technique and measured population HIV RNA levels in a rural Ugandan community, providing the first report from a resource limited setting.
Full Text Available The high burden of undiagnosed HIV in sub-Saharan Africa is a major obstacle for HIV prevention and treatment. Multi-disease, community health campaigns (CHCs offering HIV testing are a successful approach to rapidly increase HIV testing rates and identify undiagnosed HIV. However, a greater understanding of population-level uptake is needed to maximize effectiveness of this approach.After community sensitization and a census, a five-day campaign was performed in May 2012 in a rural Ugandan community. The census enumerated all residents, capturing demographics, household location, and fingerprint biometrics. The CHC included point-of-care screening for HIV, malaria, TB, hypertension and diabetes. Residents who attended vs. did not attend the CHC were compared to determine predictors of participation.Over 12 days, 18 census workers enumerated 6,343 residents. 501 additional residents were identified at the campaign, for a total community population of 6,844. 4,323 (63% residents and 556 non-residents attended the campaign. HIV tests were performed in 4,795/4,879 (98.3% participants; 1,836 (38% reported no prior HIV testing. Of 2674 adults tested, 257 (10% were HIV-infected; 125/257 (49% reported newly diagnosed HIV. In unadjusted analyses, adult resident campaign non-participation was associated with male sex (62% male vs. 67% female participation, p = 0.003, younger median age (27 years in non-participants vs. 32 in participants; p<0.001, and marital status (48% single vs. 71% married/widowed/divorced participation; p<0.001. In multivariate analysis, single adults were significantly less likely to attend the campaign than non-single adults (relative risk [RR]: 0.63 [95% CI: 0.53-0.74]; p<0.001, and adults at home vs. not home during census activities were significantly more likely to attend the campaign (RR: 1.20 [95% CI: 1.13-1.28]; p<0.001.CHCs provide a rapid approach to testing a majority of residents for HIV in rural African settings
Zhang, Lei; Chow, Eric P F; Jahn, Heiko J; Kraemer, Alexander; Wilson, David P
Rural-to-urban migrants represent 17% of the total Chinese population and are considered a potential high-risk bridging population of HIV infection between urban and rural China. Based on a systematic review and meta-analysis, this study determined HIV prevalence among rural-to-urban migrants in different stages of migration. This review was conducted and reported according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. We identified 54 studies reporting 59 HIV prevalence levels among rural-to-urban migrants in China. Overall, 53.4% (95% confidence interval, 33.5%-72.4%) of urban patients with HIV have migratory background. The floating-out population showed a higher HIV prevalence (0.15% [0.06%-0.34%]) than did the Chinese population (0.057%; odds ratio, 2.63 [1.35-5.14]). The floating-in population showed a higher HIV prevalence (0.38% [0.29%-0.50%]), corresponding to 6.70 (6.05-7.41) times greater odds of HIV infection. Higher prevalence levels were observed among female migrants (0.69% [0.51%-0.93%]), reflecting a much higher odds of HIV infection (12.18 [11.11-13.35]). Infection risk among returning migrants (0.18% [0.12%-0.29%]) was 3.16 (2.06-4.84) times higher than the overall Chinese population. Chinese internal migrants contribute to a substantial amount of the overall HIV epidemic in China. Migrants are at greater risk for HIV infection than the general Chinese population and likely to facilitate the geographical spread of HIV in China. Targeted strategies for health promotion and HIV prevention for migrants in China should be developed.
Onokerhoraye, Andrew G; Maticka-Tyndale, Eleanor
Despite the significant contributions of the various North-South research partnerships during the past five decades to enhancing research capacity in the South, they have faced a number of challenges associated with the various partnerships. There have been limited attempts to critically examine the successes and challenges associated with these partnerships. Based on the experiences of implementing the 'HIV Prevention for Rural Youth' programme by a Canadian-Nigerian partnership during a four year period, this paper outlines the successes achieved and the challenges faced. The paper reviews the context of contemporary North-South research collaboration which provided the framework for the implementation of the HIV Prevention for Rural Youth. It then examines the benefits which the implementation of the programme have stimulated as well as the various challenges which confronted the partnership and how they were handled. The implications of the project's implementation experiences for future North-South collaborative research programmes are highlighted.
Heckman, Timothy G; Heckman, Bernadette D; Anderson, Timothy; Lovejoy, Travis I; Markowitz, John C; Shen, Ye; Sutton, Mark
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive rural individuals carry a 1.3-times greater risk of a depressive diagnosis than their urban counterparts. This randomized clinical trial tested whether telephone-administered interpersonal psychotherapy (tele-IPT) acutely relieved depressive symptoms in 132 HIV-infected rural persons from 28 states diagnosed with Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV major depressive disorder (MDD), partially remitted MDD, or dysthymic disorder. Patients were randomized to either 9 sessions of one-on-one tele-IPT (n = 70) or standard care (SC; n = 62). A series of intent-to-treat (ITT), therapy completer, and sensitivity analyses assessed changes in depressive symptoms, interpersonal problems, and social support from pre- to postintervention. Across all analyses, tele-IPT patients reported significantly lower depressive symptoms and interpersonal problems than SC controls; 22% of tele-IPT patients were categorized as a priori "responders" who reported 50% or higher reductions in depressive symptoms compared to only 4% of SC controls in ITT analyses. Brief tele-IPT acutely decreased depressive symptoms and interpersonal problems in depressed rural people living with HIV.
Abstract Background The negative effects of stigma on persons living with HIV (PLHIV) have been documented in many settings and it is thought that stigma against PLHIV leads to more difficulties for those who need to access HIV testing, treatment and care, as well as to limited community uptake of HIV prevention and testing messages. In order to understand and prevent stigma towards PLHIV, it is important to be able to measure stigma within communities and to understand which factors are associated with higher stigma. Methods To analyze patterns of community stigma and determinants to stigma toward PLHIV, we performed an exploratory population-based survey with 1874 randomly sampled adults within a demographic surveillance site (DSS) in rural Vietnam. Participants were interviewed regarding knowledge of HIV and attitudes towards persons living with HIV. Data were linked to socioeconomic and migration data from the DSS and latent class analysis and multinomial logistic regression were conducted to examine stigma group sub-types and factors associated with stigma group membership. Results We found unexpectedly high and complex patterns of stigma against PLHIV in this rural setting. Women had the greatest odds of belong to the highest stigma group (OR 1.84, 95% CI 1.42-2.37), while those with more education had lower odds of highest stigma group membership (OR 0.45, 95% CI 0.32-0.62 for secondary education; OR 0.19, 95% CI 0.10-0.35 for tertiary education). Long-term migration out of the district (OR 0.61, 95% CI 0.4-0.91), feeling at-risk for HIV (OR 0.42, 95% CI 0.27-0.66), having heard of HIV from more sources (OR 0.44, 95% CI 0.3-0.66), and knowing someone with HIV (OR 0.76, 95% CI 0.58-0.99) were all associated with lower odds of highest stigma group membership. Nearly 20% of the population was highly unsure of their attitudes towards PLHIV and persons in this group had significantly lower odds of feeling at-risk for HIV (OR 0.54, 95% CI 0.33-0.90) or of knowing
Full Text Available Background. Delay in pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB diagnosis is one of the major factors that affect outcome and threatens continued spread of tuberculosis. This study aimed at determining factors associated with delayed PTB diagnosis among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV infected individuals. Methods. A retrospective observational study was done using clinic records of HIV-infected PTB suspects attending an HIV/AIDS clinic at Tintswalo rural hospital in South Africa (SA between January 2006 and December 2007. Using routine clinic registers, 480 records were identified. Results. PTB diagnosis delay was found among 77/176 (43.8% of the patients diagnosed with PTB. The mean delay of PTB diagnosis was 170.6 days; diagnosis delay ranged 1–30 days in 27 (35.1% patients, 31–180 days in 24 (33.8% patients; 24 (31.2% patients remained undiagnosed for ≥180 days. Independent factors associated with delayed diagnosis were: older age >40 years (Odds Ratio (OR 3.43, 95% CI 1.45–8.08 and virological failure (OR 2.72, 95% CI 1.09–6.74. Conclusion. There is a considerable delayed PTB diagnosis among HIV-infected patients in rural SA. Older patients as well as patients with high viral load are at a higher risk of PTB diagnosis delay. Therefore efforts to reduce PTB diagnosis delay need to emphasised.
Cheng, Yan; Lou, Chao-Hua; Mueller, Lisa M; Zhao, Shuang-Ling; Yang, Jian-Hua; Tu, Xiao-Wen; Gao, Er-Sheng
To evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of a life-planning skills training program using participatory methods among rural senior high school students in Shangcai County, Henan Province, China. The study was a quasi-experimental study conducted in three Shangcai County senior high schools with comparable socioculture-economic and demographic characteristics (two interventions and one control). The intervention, a life-planning skills program that uses participatory training methods, combining information education with effective skills building, was provided to all first-grade students (14-18 years old; 87% of them are between 15 and 17 years old) in the intervention group from October 2003 to December 2003. In total, 717 students from the intervention group, and 457 from the control enrolled at baseline, and over 91% of these were followed up at posttest. Group x time interaction effects in ordinal logistic regression analysis were found on HIV/AIDS-related knowledge (p .05). Three months of short-term HIV/AIDS education through life-planning skills training was welcomed by students and positively influenced HIV/AIDS-related knowledge, attitudes, protection self-efficacy, and communication among senior high school students in a rural area with high HIV prevalence.
Schaftenaar, Erik; Meenken, Christina; Baarsma, G Seerp; Khosa, N Sellina; Luijendijk, Ad; McIntyre, James A; Osterhaus, Albert D M E; Verjans, Georges M G M; Peters, Remco P H
To determine the burden of disease in a unique sample of patients with uveitis from a rural South African setting. Data in this cross-sectional study were collected from patients presenting with uveitis (n=103) at the ophthalmology outpatient department of three hospitals in rural South Africa. Demographic and clinical data were collected, and laboratory analysis of aqueous humour, serological evaluation and routine diagnostics for tuberculosis (TB) were performed. Sixty-six (64%) participants were HIV infected. Uveitis was predominantly of infectious origin (72%) followed by idiopathic (16%) and autoimmune (12%). Infectious uveitis was attributed to herpes virus (51%), Mycobacterium tuberculosis (24%) and Treponema pallidum (7%) infection. HIV-infected individuals were more likely to have infectious aetiology of uveitis compared with HIV-uninfected individuals (83% vs 51%; p=0.001). Microbial aetiology of uveitis is common in areas where HIV and TB are endemic. In these settings, a high index of suspicion for infectious origin of uveitis is warranted. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/
Campbell, Catherine; Nair, Yugi
Whilst international rhetoric on HIV and AIDS frequently invokes discourses of human rights to inspire and guide action, translating universal rights talk into practice in specific settings remains a challenge. Community mobilisation is often strategy of choice. We present a case study of the Entabeni Project in South Africa--in which a foreign-funded NGO sought to work with female health volunteers in a deep rural community to increase their access to two HIV-relevant rights: women's rights (especially gender equality) and rights to health (especially access to HIV- and AIDS-related services). Whilst the project had short-term health-related successes, it was less successful in implementing a gender empowerment agenda. The concept of women's rights had no purchase with women who had little interest in directly challenging male power, foregrounding the fight against poverty as their main preoccupation. The area's traditional chief and gatekeeper insisted the project should remain 'apolitical'. Project funders prioritised 'numbers reached' over a gender empowerment orientation. In the absence of (1) a marginalised group who are willing to assert their rights; and (2) a context where powerful people are willing to support these claims, 'rights' may be a blunt tool for HIV-related work with women in deeply oppressive and remote rural communities beyond the reach of international treaties and urban-based activist movements.
Treves-Kagan, Sarah; Naidoo, Evasen; Gilvydis, Jennifer M; Raphela, Elsie; Barnhart, Scott; Lippman, Sheri A
Successful HIV prevention programming requires engaging communities in the planning process and responding to the social environmental factors that shape health and behaviour in a specific local context. We conducted two community-based situational analyses to inform a large, comprehensive HIV prevention programme in two rural districts of North West Province South Africa in 2012. The methodology includes: initial partnership building, goal setting and background research; 1 week of field work; in-field and subsequent data analysis; and community dissemination and programmatic incorporation of results. We describe the methodology and a case study of the approach in rural South Africa; assess if the methodology generated data with sufficient saturation, breadth and utility for programming purposes; and evaluate if this process successfully engaged the community. Between the two sites, 87 men and 105 women consented to in-depth interviews; 17 focus groups were conducted; and 13 health facilities and 7 NGOs were assessed. The methodology succeeded in quickly collecting high-quality data relevant to tailoring a comprehensive HIV programme and created a strong foundation for community engagement and integration with local health services. This methodology can be an accessible tool in guiding community engagement and tailoring future combination HIV prevention and care programmes.
Chiwaula, Levison Stanely; Chirwa, Gowokani Chijere; Caltado, Fabian; Kapito-Tembo, Atupele; Hosseinipour, Mina C; van Lettow, Monique; Tweya, Hannock; Kayoyo, Virginia; Khangamwa-Kaunda, Blessings; Kasende, Florence; Trapence, Clement; Gugsa, Salem; Rosenberg, Nora E; Eliya, Michael; Phiri, Sam
Informal care, the health care provided by the patient's social network is important in low income settings although its monetary value is rarely estimated. The lack of estimates of the value of informal care has led to its omission in economic evaluations but this can result in incorrect decisions about cost effectiveness of an intervention. We explore the use of contingent valuation methods of willingness to pay (WTP) and willingness to accept (WTA) to estimate the value of informal care provided to HIV infected women that are accessing antiretroviral therapy (ART) under the Option B+ approach to prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV in Malawi. We collected cross sectional data from 93 caregivers of women that received ART care from six health facilities in Malawi. Caregivers of women that reported for ART care on the survey day and consented to participate in the survey were included until the targeted sample size for the facility was reached. We estimated the value of informal care by using the willingness to accept (WTA) and willingness to pay (WTP) approaches. Medians were used to summarize the values and these were compared by the Wilcoxon signed-rank test. The median WTA to provide informal care in a month was US$30 and the median WTP for informal care was US$13 and the two were statistically different (p urban areas than in the rural areas (US$21 vs. US$13, p < 0.001) and for caregivers from households from higher wealth quintile than in the lower quintile (US$15 vs. US$13, p < 0.0462). Informal caregivers place substantial value on informal care giving. In low income settings where most caregivers are not formally employed, WTP and WTA approaches can be used to value informal care. NCT02005835.
ZHU Guang Rong; JI Cheng Ye; YANG Xing Hua
Objective To estimate the relationship between migration and HIV risky behavior when controlling for gender, age, and educational levels and to evaluate the gender differences in migration, HIV knowledge, and HIV risky behaviors among rural youth in China. Methods A cross-sectional, anonymous, investigative questionnaire for 1710 unmarried, out-of-school rural youth, aged between 15 and 24 years, was handed out in Gongzhuling county of Jilin province, China. Results 58.5%of participants had a history of migration, irrespective of gender. There were gender differences observed in other factors such as drug abuse (4.3%for males and 5.5%for females, P Conclusion Among rural youth, the HIV risky behavior such as drug abuse, selling sex, and lack of condom use, is significantly related to migration, while premarital sex and multiple sexual partners seem unrelated to migration.
Mtowa, Angelina; Gerritsen, Annette A M; Mtenga, Sally; Mwangome, Mary; Geubbels, Eveline
Most HIV research in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) ignores persons aged 50 years and above, though a few studies have reported a high HIV prevalence among older people. This study aimed to estimate socio-demographic inequalities in HIV testing behaviour and HIV prevalence among adults aged 50+ years, living in Ifakara town, Tanzania. This cross-sectional study used data from the baseline measurement of the Ifakara MZIMA cohort study in 2012/13. Consenting participants were interviewed and tested for HIV. Associations between HIV testing behaviour and HIV prevalence with socio-demographic indicators were explored with multivariable logistic regression. Among the 1643 adults 50+ years included in the study, HIV prevalence and the HIV testing rate (ever tested) were 6% and 11.4% respectively. The HIV testing rate was lower for older people (aOR = 0.19 (95% CI 0.09-0.41 for 75+ versus 50-54 years); higher for those separated/divorced/widowed than those married (aOR = 1.46; 1.02-2.10); higher for "other Christians" than Muslims (aOR = 1.95; 1.06-3.58); and higher for primary (aOR = 1.54; 1.01-2.33) and secondary (aOR = 3.47; 2.11-5.70) school graduates than those without education. HIV prevalence was lower for older people (aOR = 0.27; 0.11-0.66 for 75+ versus 50-54); and for Catholics compared to Muslims (aOR = 0.54; 0.34-0.85). The high HIV prevalence among older adults and the low HIV testing behaviour call for more efforts on HIV prevention, treatment and care.
Siu, Godfrey E; Seeley, Janet; Wight, Daniel
There is increasing evidence in SSA that once infected with HIV men are disadvantaged compared to women in terms of uptake of treatment. In Uganda fewer men are on treatment, they tend to initiate treatment later, are difficult to retain on treatment and have a higher mortality while on treatment. This article discusses how men's response to HIV infection relates to their masculinity. We conducted participant observation and in-depth interviews with 26 men from a rural setting in eastern Uganda, in 2009-2010. They comprised men receiving HIV treatment, who had dropped treatment or did not seek it despite testing HIV positive, who had not tested but suspected infection, and those with other symptoms unrelated to HIV. Thematic analysis identified recurrent themes and variations across the data. Men drew from a range of norms to fulfil the social and individual expectations of being sufficiently masculine. The study argues that there are essentially two forms of masculinity in Mam-Kiror, one based on reputation and the other on respectability, with some ideals shared by both. Respectability was endorsed by 'the wider society', while reputation was endorsed almost entirely by men. Men's treatment seeking behaviours corresponded with different masculine ideologies. Family and societal expectations to be a family provider and respectable role model encouraged treatment, to regain and maintain health. However, reputational concern with strength and the capacity for hard physical work, income generation and sexual achievement discouraged uptake of HIV testing and treatment since it meant acknowledging weakness and an 'HIV patient' identity. Men's 'dividuality' allowed them to express different masculinities in different social contexts. We conclude that characteristics associated with respectable masculinity tend to encourage men's uptake of HIV treatment while those associated with reputational masculinity tend to undermine it. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights
Murray, Ashley; Toledo, Lauren; Brown, Emma Ej; Sutton, Madeline Y
HIV testing for some African American men remains a challenge, and effective interventions are lacking. We explored facilitators and barriers associated with HIV testing among heterosexual African American men in rural Florida. We conducted focus group interviews with 67 African American men who were low-income, and HIV-uninfected based on prior testing or had unknown HIV status. Using computer-assisted thematic analyses, we examined transcribed focus group responses for main themes. Thematic analyses revealed three main themes regarding facilitators of HIV testing: 1) using preferred HIV testing community locations (park, library, gym); 2) receiving incentives (food or money); and 3) the importance of peer-led messaging for free, rapid HIV testing. Barriers included HIV testing at the local health department, and perceived social and emotional consequences to testing and the possibility of receiving a positive result. Effective HIV testing interventions for heterosexual African American men in rural Florida may need to incorporate suggested facilitators and reduce perceived barriers in order to improve HIV testing strategies.
Invitation cards during pregnancy enhance male partner involvement in prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV in Blantyre, Malawi: a randomized controlled open label trial.
Alinane Linda Nyondo
Full Text Available Male involvement (MI is vital for the uptake of Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV interventions. Partner notification (PN is among the strategies identified for MI in PMTCT services. The purpose of this randomized controlled trial was to evaluate the efficacy of an invitation card to the male partners as a strategy for MI in PMTCT services by comparing the proportion of pregnant women that were accompanied by their partners between the intervention and the non-intervention study groups.Pregnant women attending antenatal care without a male partner at South Lunzu and Mpemba health centres in Blantyre, Malawi, were enrolled in the study from June to December 2013. In an intention-to-treat analysis, we compared all participants that were randomized in the invitation card group with the standard of care (SoC group. Risk ratios (RR with 95% confidence intervals (CI were computed to assess the efficacy of the invitation card.Of the 462 randomized women, 65/230 (28.26% of the women in the invitation card group reported to the antenatal care clinic with their partners compared to 44/232 (18.97% women in the SoC group. In an unadjusted intention-to-treat analysis women in the invitation card group were 50% more likely to be accompanied by their male partners than those in the SoC group RR: 1.49 (95% CI: 1.06-2.09; p = 0.02. Our random effects analysis showed that there was no clustering by site of recruitment with an inter cluster correlation coefficient (ICC of 1.98 x 10(-3, (95% CI: 1.78 x10(-7 - 0.96 x 10(-1; p =0.403.An invitation card significantly increased the proportion of women who were accompanied by their male partners for the PMTCT services. An invitation card is a feasible strategy for MI in PMTCT.
Fabian C Franzeck
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Co-infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV is highly prevalent in people living with HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa. Screening for HBV surface antigen (HBsAg before initiation of combination antiretroviral therapy (cART is recommended. However, it is not part of diagnostic routines in HIV programs in many resource-limited countries although patients could benefit from optimized antiretroviral therapy covering both infections. Screening could be facilitated by rapid diagnostic tests for HBsAg. Operating experience with these point of care devices in HIV-positive patients in Sub-Saharan Africa is largely lacking. We determined the prevalence of HBV and Hepatitis C virus (HCV infection as well as the diagnostic accuracy of the rapid test device Determine HBsAg in an HIV cohort in rural Tanzania. METHODS: Prospectively collected blood samples from adult, HIV-1 positive and antiretroviral treatment-naïve patients in the Kilombero and Ulanga antiretroviral cohort (KIULARCO in rural Tanzania were analyzed at the point of care with Determine HBsAg, a reference HBsAg EIA and an anti-HCV EIA. RESULTS: Samples of 272 patients were included. Median age was 38 years (interquartile range [IQR] 32-47, 169/272 (63% subjects were females and median CD4+ count was 250 cells/µL (IQR 97-439. HBsAg was detected in 25/272 (9.2%, 95% confidence interval [CI] 6.2-13.0% subjects. Of these, 7/25 (28% were positive for HBeAg. Sensitivity of Determine HBsAg was rated at 96% (95% CI 82.8-99.6% and specificity at 100% (95% CI, 98.9-100%. Antibodies to HCV (anti-HCV were found in 10/272 (3.7%, 95% CI 2.0-6.4% of patients. CONCLUSION: This study reports a high prevalence of HBV in HIV-positive patients in a rural Tanzanian setting. The rapid diagnostic test Determine HBsAg is an accurate assay for screening for HBsAg in HIV-1 infected patients at the point of care and may further help to guide cART in Sub-Saharan Africa.
their essential role in the health care system, the Guardians were provided with little ... disease is high with HIV, TB and malaria at endemic levels ... Previous work in Malawi demonstrated that Guardian ... and challenges of the participant within the health care .... effective participation of Guardians in care-giving roles. With.
Beadsworth, M.B.; Oosterhout, J.J. van; Diver, M.J.; Faragher, E.B.; Shenkin, A.; Mwandumba, H.C.; Khoo, S.; O'Dempsey, T.; Squire, S.B.; Zijlstra, E.E.
SETTING: In the developing world, early mortality within 1 month of commencing tuberculosis (TB) treatment is high, particularly with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) co-infection. In Malawi, 40% of those who die do so in the first month of treatment. Reasons remain unclear and may include delayed
Full Text Available We conducted qualitative individual and combined interviews with couples to explore their experiences since the time of taking an HIV test and receiving the test result together, as part of a home-based HIV counselling and testing intervention.This study was conducted in October 2011 in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, about 2 years after couples tested and received results together. Fourteen couples were purposively sampled: discordant, concordant negative and concordant positive couples.Learning about each other's status together challenged relationships of the couples in different ways depending on HIV status and gender. The mutual information confirmed suspected infidelity that had not been discussed before. Negative women in discordant partnerships remained with their positive partner due to social pressure and struggled to maintain their HIV negative status. Most of the couple relationships were characterized by silence and mistrust. Knowledge of sero-status also led to loss of sexual intimacy in some couples especially the discordant. For most men in concordant negative couples, knowledge of status was an awakening of the importance of fidelity and an opportunity for behaviour change, while for concordant positive and discordant couples, it was seen as proof of infidelity. Although positive HIV status was perceived as confirmation of infidelity, couples continued their relationship and offered some support for each other, living and managing life together. Sexual life in these couples was characterized by conflict and sometimes violence. In the concordant negative couples, trust was enhanced and behaviour change was promised.Findings suggest that testing together as couples challenged relationships in both negative and positive ways. Further, knowledge of HIV status indicated potential to influence behaviour change especially among concordant negatives. In the discordant and concordant positive couples, traditional gender roles exposed
Manasa, Justen; Danaviah, Siva; Lessells, Richard; Elshareef, Muna; Tanser, Frank; Wilkinson, Eduan; Pillay, Sureshnee; Mthiyane, Hloniphile; Mwambi, Henry; Pillay, Deenan; de Oliveira, Tulio
As more human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients access combination antiretroviral therapy (cART), higher proportions of newly infected patients may be infected with drug-resistant viruses. Regular surveillance of transmitted drug resistance (TDR) is required in southern Africa where high rates of transmission persist despite rapid expansion of ART. Dried blood spot samples from cART-naive participants from two rounds of an annual population-based HIV surveillance program in rural KwaZulu-Natal were tested for HIV RNA, and samples with HIV RNA >10,000 copies/ml were genotyped for drug resistance. The 2009 surveillance of drug resistance mutation (SDRM) list was used for drug resistance interpretation. The data were added to previously published data from the same program, and the χ(2) test for trend was used to test for trend in estimated prevalence of any TDR. Seven hundred and one participants' data were analyzed: 67 (2010), 381 (2011), and 253 (2012). No TDR was detected in 2010. Years 2011 and 2012 had 18 participants with SDRMs 4.7% and 7.1%, respectively (p = .02, χ(2) test for trend). The nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor mutation, K103N, was the most common mutation, occurring in 27 (3.8%) of the participants, while nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI) SDRMs were detected in 10 (1.4%) of the participants, of whom eight had only a single NRTI SDRM. The increase in levels of drug resistance observed in this population could be a signal of increasing transmission of drug-resistant HIV. Thus, continued surveillance is critical to inform public health policies around HIV treatment and prevention.
Siu, Godfrey E; Wight, Daniel; Seeley, Janet A
Uptake of HIV testing by men remains low in high prevalence settings in many parts of Africa. By focusing on masculinity, this study explores the social context and relations that shape men's access to HIV testing in Mam-Kiror, Busia district, rural eastern Uganda. From 2009-2010 in-depth interviews were undertaken with 26 men: nine being treated for HIV, eight who had tested but dropped out of treatment, six not tested but who suspected HIV infection and three with other health problems unrelated to HIV. These data were complemented by participant observation. Thematic analysis was undertaken. There were two main categories of masculinity in Mam-Kiror, one based on 'reputation' and the other on 'respectability', although some of their ideals overlapped. The different forms of masculine esteem led to different motives for HIV testing. Men positioned HIV testing as a social process understood within the social context and relationships men engaged in rather than an entirely self-determined enterprise. Wives' inferior power meant that they had less influence on men's testing compared to friends and work colleagues who discussed frankly HIV risk and testing. Couple testing exposed men's extra-marital relationships, threatening masculine esteem. The fear to undermine opportunities for sex in the context of competition for partners was a barrier to testing by men. The construction of men as resilient meant that they delayed to admit to problems and seek testing. However, the respectable masculine ideal to fulfil responsibilities and obligations to family was a strong motivator to seeking an HIV test and treatment by men. The two main forms of masculine ideals prevailing in Mam-Kiror in Busia led men to have different motives for HIV testing. Reputational masculinity was largely inconsistent with the requirements of couple testing, community outreach testing and the organisation of testing services, discouraging men from testing. Conversely, concern to perform one
Background Uptake of HIV testing by men remains low in high prevalence settings in many parts of Africa. By focusing on masculinity, this study explores the social context and relations that shape men’s access to HIV testing in Mam-Kiror, Busia district, rural eastern Uganda. Methods From 2009–2010 in-depth interviews were undertaken with 26 men: nine being treated for HIV, eight who had tested but dropped out of treatment, six not tested but who suspected HIV infection and three with other health problems unrelated to HIV. These data were complemented by participant observation. Thematic analysis was undertaken. Results There were two main categories of masculinity in Mam-Kiror, one based on ‘reputation’ and the other on ‘respectability’, although some of their ideals overlapped. The different forms of masculine esteem led to different motives for HIV testing. Men positioned HIV testing as a social process understood within the social context and relationships men engaged in rather than an entirely self-determined enterprise. Wives’ inferior power meant that they had less influence on men’s testing compared to friends and work colleagues who discussed frankly HIV risk and testing. Couple testing exposed men’s extra-marital relationships, threatening masculine esteem. The fear to undermine opportunities for sex in the context of competition for partners was a barrier to testing by men. The construction of men as resilient meant that they delayed to admit to problems and seek testing. However, the respectable masculine ideal to fulfil responsibilities and obligations to family was a strong motivator to seeking an HIV test and treatment by men. Conclusion The two main forms of masculine ideals prevailing in Mam-Kiror in Busia led men to have different motives for HIV testing. Reputational masculinity was largely inconsistent with the requirements of couple testing, community outreach testing and the organisation of testing services, discouraging men
Abela Mpobela Agnarson
Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: To analyse antiretroviral treatment (ART knowledge and HIV- and ART-related stigma among the adult population in a rural Tanzanian community. DESIGN: Population-based cross-sectional survey of 694 adults (15-49 years of age. METHODS: Latent class analysis (LCA categorized respondents' levels of ART knowledge and of ART-related stigma. Multinomial logistic regression assessed the association between the levels of ART knowledge and HIV- and ART-related stigma, while controlling for the effects of age, gender, education, marital status and occupation. RESULTS: More than one-third of men and women in the study reported that they had never heard of ART. Among those who had heard of ART, 24% were east informed about ART, 8% moderately informed, and 68% highly informed. Regarding ART-related stigma, 28% were least stigmatizing, 41% moderately stigmatizing, and 31% highly stigmatizing toward persons taking ART. Respondents that had at least primary education were more likely to have high levels of knowledge about ART (OR 3.09, 95% CI 1.61-5.94. Participants highly informed about ART held less HIV- and ART-related stigma towards ART patients (OR 0.26, 95% CI 0.09-0.74. CONCLUSION: The lack of ART knowledge is broad, and there is a strong association between ART knowledge and individual education level. These are relevant findings for both HIV prevention and HIV treatment program interventions that address ART-related stigma across the entire spectrum of the community.
Li, Xiaoming; Lin, Danhua; Wang, Bo; Du, Hongfei; Tam, Cheuk Chi; Stanton, Bonita
Our objective was to evaluate the efficacy of a cultural adaptation of a social cognitive theory-based HIV behavioral prevention program among young rural-to-urban migrants in China. The intervention design and assessment were guided by the Protection Motivation Theory (PMT). The intervention was evaluated through a randomized controlled trial with 6-month and 12-month follow-ups. The primary behavioral outcome was the use of condoms. Other outcome measures include HIV knowledge, condom use knowledge, HIV-related perceptions (PMT constructs), and intention to use condom. The mixed-effects regression models for condom use with regular partners indicated that overall frequency of condom use, condom use in last three sexual acts and proper condom use increased over time for the participants but the increases were significantly greater among the intervention group than the control group at 6-month and 12-month follow-ups. The mixed-effects models for HIV-related perceptions indicated that extrinsic rewards, intrinsic rewards, and response costs decreased while vulnerability, severity, response efficacy, and self-efficacy increased over time for the intervention group. The increases in HIV knowledge, condom use knowledge, and intention to use condom were also significantly greater among the intervention group than the control group. The data in the current study suggested efficacy of a social cognitive theory-based behavioral intervention in increasing condom use among young migrants in China. The intervention also increased protective perceptions and decreased risk perception posited by the theory (i.e., PMT).
Cordero Coma, Julia
The twofold function of condom use - contraception and sexually transmitted disease protection - should be taken into account when understanding attitudes towards this practice. Emphasis on the interpretation of condom use as a protective practice conflicts with the norms of fidelity and trust, which regulate marriage. The alternative interpretation of condom use as a contraceptive method may be less problematic. This paper analyzes the extent to which the attitude of married men and women towards condom use with their spouses, and their actual use of condoms within marriage, are affected by their expectations about the dominant attitudes and behaviors in their peer group. I expect that a social consensus on understanding condom use as an HIV-preventive behavior will not make this practice more acceptable within marriage, while social acceptance of modern contraception and, more specifically, of the use of condoms for contraceptive purposes will. Two waves of a longitudinal survey from 1996 to 1999 in rural Kenya are analyzed using fixed-effects regression. Social support for each function of condom use is measured with indicators of the proportion of individuals in the peer group that use condoms for a particular purpose or have a positive attitude towards each of the uses, according to the respondent. The results support the hypothesis for men, but are inconclusive for women.
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The HIV epidemic among former plasma donors (FPDs in rural Central China in the early-mid 1990s is likely the largest known HIV-infected cohort in the world related to commercial plasma donation but has never been fully described. The objectives of this study are to estimate the timing and geographic spread of HIV infection in this cohort and to demonstrate the impact of antiretroviral therapy on survival outcomes. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: HIV-infected FPDs were identified using the national HIV epidemiology and treatment databases. Locations of subjects were mapped. Dates of infection and survival were estimated using the midpoint date between initial-final plasma donation dates from 1985-2008 among those with plasma donation windows ≤2 years. Among 37,084 FPDs in the two databases, 36,110 were included. 95% were located in focal areas of Henan Province and adjacent areas of surrounding provinces. Midpoint year between initial-final plasma donation dates was 1994 among FPDs with known donation dates. Median survival from infection to AIDS was 11.8 years and, among those not treated, 1.6 years from AIDS to death. Among those on treatment, 71% were still alive after five years. Using Cox proportional hazard modeling, untreated AIDS patients were 4.9 times (95% confidence interval 4.6-5.2 more likely to die than those on treatment. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The epidemic of HIV-infected FPD in China was not widespread throughout China but rather was centered in Henan Province and the adjacent areas of surrounding provinces. Even in these areas, infections were concentrated in focal locations. Overall, HIV infections in this cohort peaked in 1994, with median survival of 13.4 years from infection to death among those not treated. Among AIDS patients on treatment, 71% were still alive after five years.
Li, L; Morrow, M; Kermode, M
HIV prevalence is increasing in China. The proportion of infection attributable to heterosexual sex in China is also on the rise. The scale of internal migration for work is likely to be one of the factors contributing to these changing patterns, but little is known about HIV-related knowledge, perceptions and risk behaviours of China's migrant workers. This study aimed to investigate HIV-related knowledge, attitudes and risk behaviours of male rural-to-urban migrant workers in Chengdu and to identify factors associated with risk behaviours. In 2005, a cross-sectional questionnaire survey was completed by 163 male construction- and factory-based migrant workers aged 18-35 years. With a mean age of 26 years, just 30% had completed senior middle school and 47% were currently married. Respondents were highly mobile, worked long hours and were relatively poorly paid. As migrants, their access to urban services and benefits was restricted, making it difficult for family members to join them. Knowledge of HIV transmission was generally poor and discriminatory attitudes towards people with HIV were commonplace. Seventy-five percent were sexually experienced, among whom 88% had had sexual relations in the last 12 months. Of these, 30% had had two or more partners and 20% had paid for sex. Just 36% had used a condom during the most recent sexual encounter with a sex worker. Around 70% thought it was 'impossible' for them to become infected, yet a significant sub-group were engaging in sexual behaviours that place them at risk of infection with HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Logistic Regression found a significant association between having multiple sexual partners and both education level and marital status. Education was also found to be significantly associated with purchasing sex. Targeted HIV-prevention programs for male migrant workers in Chengdu, especially for those who are single and less educated, are urgently needed.
Full Text Available This work aimed to analyze the rate of disclosure to relatives and friends over time and to identify factors affecting disclosure among seropositive adults initiating antiretroviral therapy (ART in rural district hospitals in the context of decentralized, integrated HIV care and task-shifting to nurses in Cameroon. Stratall was a 24-month, randomized, open-label trial comparing the effectiveness of clinical monitoring alone with laboratory plus clinical monitoring on treatment outcomes. It enrolled 459 HIV-infected ART-naive adults in 9 rural district hospitals in Cameroon. Participants in both groups were sometimes visited by nurses instead of physicians. Patients with complete data both at enrolment (M0 and at least at one follow-up visit were included in the present analysis. A mixed Poisson regression was used to estimate predictors of the evolution of disclosure index over 24 months (M24.The study population included 385 patients, accounting for 1733 face-to-face interviews at follow-up visits from M0 to M24. The median [IQR] number of categories of relatives and friends to whom patients had disclosed was 2 - and 3 - at M0 and M24 (p-trend<0.001, respectively. After multiple adjustments, factors associated with disclosure to a higher number of categories of relatives and friends were as follows: having revealed one's status to one's main partner, time on ART, HIV diagnosis during hospitalization, knowledge on ART and positive ratio of follow-up nurse-led to physician-led visits measuring task-shifting. ART delivered in the context of decentralized, integrated HIV care including task-shifting was associated with increased HIV serological status disclosure.
Costelloe, Stephanie; Kemppainen, Jeanne; Brion, John; MacKain, Sally; Reid, Paula; Frampton, Art; Rigsbee, Elizabeth
This analysis examined the relationships between HIV-related stigma, depression, and anxiety in rural and urban sites. Participants were HIV-positive urban (n = 100) and rural (n = 100) adult residents of a US southern state, drawn from a sample for a larger international study of self-esteem and self-compassion. Measures included demographic and health information, the HIV Stigma Scale, the Center for Epidemiology Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), and the Symptom Checklist 90 Revised (SCL-R-90) anxiety scale. Independent sample t-tests showed no significant differences between urban/rural groups on measures of HIV-related stigma, anxiety, or depression, except that rural participants reported greater disclosure concerns (t = 2.11, df = 196, p = .036). Both groups indicated high levels of depression and anxiety relative to published norms and clinically relevant cut-off scores. Hierarchical regression analyses were conducted for the HIV Stigma Scale including its four subscales and total stigma scores. Block 1 (control) contained health and demographic variables known to predict HIV-related stigma. Block 2 included the CES-D and the SCL-R-90, and Block 3 was urban/rural location. Mental health symptom scores contributed a significant amount to explained variance in total stigma scores (5.5%, FΔ = 6.020, p stigma (4.8%, FΔ = 5.035, p disclosure concerns. Urban/rural location made significant additional contributions to the variance for total stigma (1.7%, FΔ = 3.899, p disclosure concerns (2.6%, FΔ = 5.446, p stigma or negative self-image. Depression scores consistently and significantly predicted perceived stigma total and subscale scores. Findings suggest that mental health symptoms and urban/rural location play important roles in perceived stigma, and treatment implications are presented.
Differential diagnosis of stroke in a setting of high HIV prevalence in Blantyre, Malawi. ... neurological deficit of acute onset (< 24 hours) had baseline investigations, ... In HIV negative patients (mean age 58.6 years) 55% had ischemic stroke ...
Rebick, Gabriel W; Franke, Molly F; Teng, Jessica E; Gregory Jerome, J; Ivers, Louise C
Food rations are increasingly offered as part of HIV programs in resource-poor settings, often targeted solely to those with under-nutrition by low body mass index (BMI). This practice does not consider food insecurity, another important risk factor for poor outcomes in people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWH). We analyzed factors associated with low BMI and severe food insecurity in 523 PLWH receiving antiretroviral therapy in rural Haiti using logistic regression. Food insecurity was present in 89 % of individuals. Among those with severe food insecurity, 86 % had a BMI ≥ 18.5 kg/m(2). Severe food insecurity was associated with illiteracy [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 1.79, p = 0.005], having no income (AOR 1.58, p = 0.04), and poverty (p food insecurity, individuals with severe food insecurity had a less diverse diet. We found that food insecurity was highly prevalent in PLWH receiving antiretroviral therapy in rural Haiti. Using BMI as a sole criterion for food supplementation in HIV programs can exclude highly vulnerable individuals who may benefit from such support.
Full Text Available Abstract Background HIV counselling and testing (HCT is a critical gateway for addressing HIV prevention and linking people to treatment, care, and support. Since national testing rates are often less than optimal, there is growing interest in expanding testing coverage through the implementation of innovative models such as home-based HIV counselling and testing (HBHCT. With the aim of informing scale up, this paper discusses client characteristics and acceptability of an HBHCT intervention implemented in rural South Africa. Methods Trained lay counsellors offered door-to-door rapid HIV testing in a rural sub-district of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Household and client data were captured on cellular phones and transmitted to a web-based data management system. Descriptive analysis was undertaken to examine client characteristics, testing history, HBHCT uptake, and reasons for refusal. Chi-square tests were performed to assess the association between client characteristics and uptake. Results Lay counsellors visited 3,328 households and tested 75% (5,086 of the 6,757 people met. The majority of testers (73.7% were female, and 57% had never previously tested. With regard to marital status, 1,916 (37.7%, 2,123 (41.7%, and 818 (16.1% were single, married, and widowed, respectively. Testers ranged in age from 14 to 98 years, with a median of 37 years. Two hundred and twenty-nine couples received couples counselling and testing; 87.8%, 4.8%, and 7.4% were concordant negative, concordant positive, and discordant, respectively. There were significant differences in characteristics between testers and non-testers as well as between male and female testers. The most common reasons for not testing were: not being ready/feeling scared/needing to think about it (34.1%; knowing his/her status (22.6%, being HIV-positive (18.5%, and not feeling at risk of having or acquiring HIV (10.1%. The distribution of reasons for refusal differed significantly by gender
Ciampa, Philip J; Skinner, Shannon L; Patricio, Sérgio R; Rothman, Russell L; Vermund, Sten H; Audet, Carolyn M
The relationship between HIV knowledge and HIV-related behaviors in settings like Mozambique has been limited by a lack of rigorously validated measures. A convenience sample of women seeking prenatal care at two clinics were administered an adapted, orally-administered, 27 item HIV-knowledge scale, the HK-27. Validation analyses were stratified by survey language (Portuguese and Echuabo). Kuder-Richardson (KR-20) coefficients estimated internal reliability. Construct validity was assessed with bivariate associations between HK-27 scores (% correct) and selected participant characteristics. The association between knowledge, self-reported HIV testing, and HIV infection were evaluated with multivariable logistic regression. Participants (N = 348) had a median age of 24; 188 spoke Portuguese, and 160 spoke Echuabo. Mean HK-27 scores were higher for Portuguese-speaking participants than Echuabo-speaking participants (68% correct vs. 42%, p0.8) for scales in both languages. Higher HK-27 scores were significantly (p≤0.05) correlated with more education, more media items in the home, a history of HIV testing, and participant work outside of the home for women of both languages. HK-27 scores were independently associated with completion of HIV testing in multivariable analysis (per 1% correct: aOR:1.02, 95%CI:0.01-0.03, p = 0.01), but not with HIV infection. HK-27 is a reliable and valid measure of HIV knowledge among Portuguese and Echuabo-speaking Mozambican women. The HK-27 demonstrated significant knowledge deficits among women in the study, and higher scores were associated with higher HIV testing probability. Future studies should evaluate the role of the HK-27 in longitudinal studies and in other populations.
Philip J Ciampa
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The relationship between HIV knowledge and HIV-related behaviors in settings like Mozambique has been limited by a lack of rigorously validated measures. METHODS: A convenience sample of women seeking prenatal care at two clinics were administered an adapted, orally-administered, 27 item HIV-knowledge scale, the HK-27. Validation analyses were stratified by survey language (Portuguese and Echuabo. Kuder-Richardson (KR-20 coefficients estimated internal reliability. Construct validity was assessed with bivariate associations between HK-27 scores (% correct and selected participant characteristics. The association between knowledge, self-reported HIV testing, and HIV infection were evaluated with multivariable logistic regression. RESULTS: Participants (N = 348 had a median age of 24; 188 spoke Portuguese, and 160 spoke Echuabo. Mean HK-27 scores were higher for Portuguese-speaking participants than Echuabo-speaking participants (68% correct vs. 42%, p0.8 for scales in both languages. Higher HK-27 scores were significantly (p≤0.05 correlated with more education, more media items in the home, a history of HIV testing, and participant work outside of the home for women of both languages. HK-27 scores were independently associated with completion of HIV testing in multivariable analysis (per 1% correct: aOR:1.02, 95%CI:0.01-0.03, p = 0.01, but not with HIV infection. CONCLUSIONS: HK-27 is a reliable and valid measure of HIV knowledge among Portuguese and Echuabo-speaking Mozambican women. The HK-27 demonstrated significant knowledge deficits among women in the study, and higher scores were associated with higher HIV testing probability. Future studies should evaluate the role of the HK-27 in longitudinal studies and in other populations.
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The BED IgG-Capture Enzyme Immunoassay (cBED assay, a test of recent HIV infection, has been used to estimate HIV incidence in cross-sectional HIV surveys. However, there has been concern that the assay overestimates HIV incidence to an unknown extent because it falsely classifies some individuals with non-recent HIV infections as recently infected. We used data from a longitudinal HIV surveillance in rural South Africa to measure the fraction of people with non-recent HIV infection who are falsely classified as recently HIV-infected by the cBED assay (the long-term false-positive ratio (FPR and compared cBED assay-based HIV incidence estimates to longitudinally measured HIV incidence. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We measured the long-term FPR in individuals with two positive HIV tests (in the HIV surveillance, 2003-2006 more than 306 days apart (sample size n = 1,065. We implemented four different formulae to calculate HIV incidence using cBED assay testing (n = 11,755 and obtained confidence intervals (CIs by directly calculating the central 95(th percentile of incidence values. We observed 4,869 individuals over 7,685 person-years for longitudinal HIV incidence estimation. The long-term FPR was 0.0169 (95% CI 0.0100-0.0266. Using this FPR, the cross-sectional cBED-based HIV incidence estimates (per 100 people per year varied between 3.03 (95% CI 2.44-3.63 and 3.19 (95% CI 2.57-3.82, depending on the incidence formula. Using a long-term FPR of 0.0560 based on previous studies, HIV incidence estimates varied between 0.65 (95% CI 0.00-1.32 and 0.71 (95% CI 0.00-1.43. The longitudinally measured HIV incidence was 3.09 per 100 people per year (95% CI 2.69-3.52, after adjustment to the sex-age distribution of the sample used in cBED assay-based estimation. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: In a rural community in South Africa with high HIV prevalence, the long-term FPR of the cBED assay is substantially lower than previous estimates. The c
Wilson David P
Full Text Available Abstract Background The South African Government has outlined detailed plans for antiretroviral (ART rollout in KwaZulu-Natal Province, but has not created a plan to address treatment accessibility in rural areas in KwaZulu-Natal. Here, we calculate the distance that People Living With HIV/AIDS (PLWHA in rural areas in KwaZulu-Natal would have to travel to receive ART. Specifically, we address the health policy question 'How far will we need to go to reach PLWHA in rural KwaZulu-Natal?'. Methods We developed a model to quantify treatment accessibility in rural areas; the model incorporates heterogeneity in spatial location of HCFs and patient population. We defined treatment accessibility in terms of the number of PLWHA that have access to an HCF. We modeled the treatment-accessibility region (i.e. catchment area around an HCF by using a two-dimensional function, and assumed that treatment accessibility decreases as distance from an HCF increases. Specifically, we used a distance-discounting measure of ART accessibility based upon a modified form of a two-dimensional gravity-type model. We calculated the effect on treatment accessibility of: (1 distance from an HCF, and (2 the number of HCFs. Results In rural areas in KwaZulu-Natal even substantially increasing the size of a small catchment area (e.g. from 1 km to 20 km around an HCF would have a negligible impact (~2% on increasing treatment accessibility. The percentage of PLWHA who can receive ART in rural areas in this province could be as low as ~16%. Even if individuals were willing (and able to travel 50 km to receive ART, only ~50% of those in need would be able to access treatment. Surprisingly, we show that increasing the number of available HCFs for ART distribution ~ threefold does not lead to a threefold increase in treatment accessibility in rural KwaZulu-Natal. Conclusion Our results show that many PLWHA in rural KwaZulu-Natal are unlikely to have access to ART, and that the
Kumwenda, M.; Munthali, A; Phiri, M.; Mwale, D; Gutteberg, T; MacPherson, E.; Theobald, S; Corbett, L; Desmond, N.
In sub-Saharan Africa, most new HIV infections occur in stable relationships, making couples testing an important intervention for HIV prevention. We explored factors shaping the decision-making of cohabiting couples who opted to self-test in Blantyre, Malawi. Thirty-four self-tested participants (17 couples) were interviewed. Motivators for HIV self-testing (HIVST) emerged at three main levels. Individual motivations included perceived benefits of access to treatment, and self-checking of se...
For many Malawians the concept of home is strongly associated with the rural areas and one's (supposedly rural) place of birth. This 'grand narrative about home', though often reiterated, doesn't necessarily depict lived reality. Malawi's history of movement and labor migration coupled with contemporary rapid urbanization makes that the amount of people whose lives do not fit this grand narrative, is increasing fast. In the current context of extreme poverty, destitution and devastation - the...
Full Text Available Abstract Background Evidence suggests that a substantial proportion of new HIV infections in African countries are associated with herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2. Thus, the magnitude of HSV-2 infection in an area may suggest the expected course of the HIV epidemic. We determined prevalence of genital herpes, syphilis and associated factors among pregnant women from a remote rural Tanzanian community that has a low but increasing HIV prevalence. Methods We analysed 1296 sera and responses to a standard structured questionnaire collected from pregnant women aged between 15–49 years, attending six different antenatal clinics within rural Manyara and Singida regions in Tanzania. Linked anonymous testing (with informed consent of the serum for specific antibodies against HSV-2 was done using a non-commercial peptide- 55 ELISA. Antibodies against syphilis were screened by using rapid plasma reagin (RPR and reactive samples confirmed by Treponema pallidum haemagglutination assay (TPHA. Results Previous analysis of the collected sera had shown the prevalence of HIV antibodies to be 2%. In the present study the prevalence of genital herpes and syphilis was 20.7% (95% CI: 18.53–23.00 and 1.6% (95% CI: 1.03–2.51, respectively. The presence of HSV-2 antibodies was associated with polygamy (OR 2.2, 95% CI: 1.62 – 3.01 and the use of contraceptives other than condoms (OR 1.7, 95% CI: 1.21 – 2.41. Syphilis was associated with reporting more than one lifetime sexual partner (OR 5.4, 95% CI: 1.88 – 15.76 and previous spontaneous abortion (OR 4.3, 95% CI: 1.52–12.02. Conclusion The low prevalence of HIV infection offers a unique opportunity for strengthening HIV prevention in a cost-effective manner. The identification and control of other prevalent curable STIs other than syphilis and specific intervention of HSV-2 in specific populations like pregnant women would be one among approaches towards preventing incident HIV infections.
Full Text Available Abstract Background To present and compare population-based and antenatal-care (ANC sentinel surveillance HIV prevalence estimates among women in a rural South African population where both provision of ANC services and family planning is prevalent and fertility is declining. With a need, in such settings, to understand how to appropriately adjust ANC sentinel surveillance estimates to represent HIV prevalence in general populations, and with evidence of possible biases inherent to both surveillance systems, we explore differences between the two systems. There is particular emphasis on unrepresentative selection of ANC clinics and unrepresentative testing in the population. Methods HIV sero-prevalence amongst blood samples collected from women consenting to test during the 2005 annual longitudinal population-based serological survey was compared to anonymous unlinked HIV sero-prevalence amongst women attending antenatal care (ANC first visits in six clinics (January to May 2005. Both surveillance systems were conducted as part of the Africa Centre Demographic Information System. Results Population-based HIV prevalence estimates for all women (25.2% and pregnant women (23.7% were significantly lower than that for ANC attendees (37.7%. A large proportion of women attending urban or peri-urban clinics would be predicted to be resident within rural areas. Although overall estimates remained significantly different, presenting and standardising estimates by age and location (clinic for ANC-based estimates and individual-residence for population-based estimates made some group-specific estimates from the two surveillance systems more predictive of one another. Conclusion It is likely that where ANC coverage and contraceptive use is widespread and fertility is low, population-based surveillance under-estimates HIV prevalence due to unrepresentative testing by age, residence and also probably by HIV status, and that ANC sentinel surveillance over
Catherine G Sutcliffe
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Many HIV-infected children in sub-Saharan Africa enter care at a late stage of disease. As preparation of the child and family for antiretroviral therapy (ART can take several clinic visits, some children die prior to ART initiation. This study was undertaken to determine mortality rates and clinical predictors of mortality during the period prior to ART initiation. METHODS: A prospective cohort study of HIV-infected treatment-naïve children was conducted between September 2007 and September 2010 at the HIV clinic at Macha Hospital in rural Southern Province, Zambia. HIV-infected children younger than 16 years of age who were treatment-naïve at study enrollment were eligible for analysis. Mortality rates prior to ART initiation were calculated and risk factors for mortality were evaluated. RESULTS: 351 children were included in the study, of whom 210 (59.8% were eligible for ART at study enrollment. Among children ineligible for ART at enrollment, 6 children died (mortality rate: 0.33; 95% CI:0.15, 0.74. Among children eligible at enrollment, 21 children died before initiation of ART and their mortality rate (2.73 per 100 person-years; 95% CI:1.78, 4.18 was significantly higher than among children ineligible for ART (incidence rate ratio: 8.20; 95% CI:3.20, 24.83. In both groups, mortality was highest in the first three months of follow-up. Factors associated with mortality included younger age, anemia and lower weight-for-age z-score at study enrollment. CONCLUSIONS: These results underscore the need to increase efforts to identify HIV-infected children at an earlier age and stage of disease progression so they can enroll in HIV care and treatment programs prior to becoming eligible for ART and these deaths can be prevented.
Stewart, Katharine E; Phillips, Martha M; Walker, Jada F; Harvey, Sarah A; Porter, Austin
HIV prevalence has increased faster in the southern USA than in other areas, and persons living with HIV (PLWHIV) in the south are often rural, impoverished, or otherwise under-resourced. Studies of urban PLWHIV and those receiving medical care suggest that use of social services can enhance quality of life and some medical outcomes, but little is known about patterns of social service utilization and need among rural southern PLWHIV. The AIDS Alabama needs assessment survey, conducted in 2007, sampled a diverse community cohort of 476 adult PLWHIV representative of the HIV-positive population in Alabama (66% male, 76% Black, and 26% less than high school education). We developed service utilization/need (SUN) scores for each of 14 social services, and used regression models to determine demographic predictors of those most likely to need each service. We then conducted an exploratory factor analysis to determine whether certain services clustered together for the sample. Case management, assistance obtaining medical care, and financial assistance were most commonly used or needed by respondents. Black respondents were more likely to have higher SUN scores for alcohol treatment and for assistance with employment, housing, food, financial, and pharmacy needs; respondents without spousal or partner relationships had higher SUN scores for substance use treatment. Female respondents were more likely to have higher SUN scores for childcare assistance. Black respondents and unemployed respondents were more likely to have SUN scores in the highest quartile of the overall score distribution. Factor analysis yielded three main factors: basic needs, substance use treatment, and legal/medical needs. These data provide important information about rural southern PLWHIV and their needs for ancillary services. They also suggest clusters of service needs that often occur among PLWHIV, which may help case managers and other service providers work proactively to identify important
Katz, Ingrid T; Ybarra, Michele L; Wyatt, Monique A; Kiwanuka, Julius P; Bangsberg, David R; Ware, Norma C
With more than half of new infections occurring among youth, HIV/AIDS remains a major contributor to morbidity and mortality in Uganda. Semi-structured interviews were performed with 48 adolescents and 15 adult key informants in a rural Ugandan community to identify influences on adolescent sexual decision-making. Inductive data analytic methods revealed five thematic influences: (1) social pressure, (2) decline of the Senga (a familial figure who traditionally taught female adolescents about how to run a household), (3) cultural barriers to condom use, (4) knowledge of HIV transmission and modes of prevention, and (5) a moral injunction against sex before marriage. Influences were classified as HIV/AIDS risk and protective factors and organized to form an explanatory framework of adolescent sexual risk-taking. Risk factors pull youth toward risky behavior, while protective factors push them away. Predominance of risk over protective influences explains persistent sexual risk-taking by Ugandan youth. HIV prevention programs designed for Ugandan adolescents should take competing factors and sociocultural and economic influences into account.
Rhodes, Scott D.; Hergenrather, Kenneth C.; Aronson, Robert E.; Bloom, Fred R.; Felizzola, Jesus; Wolfson, Mark; Vissman, Aaron T.; Alonzo, Jorge; Allen, Alex Boeving; Montaño, Jaime; McGuire, Jamie
A community-based participatory research partnership explored HIV risk and potentially effective intervention characteristics to reduce exposure and transmission among immigrant Latino men who have sex with men living in the rural south-eastern USA States. Twenty-one participants enrolled and completed a total of 62 ethnographic in-depth interviews. Mean age was 31 (range 18–48) years, and English-language proficiency was limited; 18 participants were from Mexico. Four participants reported having sex with men and women during the past three months; two participants self-identified as male-to-female transgender. Qualitative themes that emerged included a lack of accurate information about HIV and prevention; the influence of social-political contexts to sexual risk; and barriers to healthcare services. We also identified eight characteristics of potentially effective interventions for HIV prevention. Our findings suggest that socio-political contexts must be additional targets of change to reduce and eliminate HIV health disparities experienced by immigrant Latino men who have sex with men. PMID:20582764
Full Text Available Background: Tamil Nadu comes under group I high-prevalence state, with <1% prevalence of HIV infection in ante-natal women but above 5% prevalence in high-risk group. One of the ways to control HIV/AIDS in India is through prevention of parent to child transmission (PPTCT, the success of which lies in the utilization of services. Materials and Methods: A descriptive qualitative study was conducted to explore the status of utilization of PPTCT services by rural HIV-positive mothers, in the Gingee Block of Villupuram district, Tamil Nadu. All the mothers who tested positive between June 2006 and May 2010 were interviewed in-depth using an interview guide. Results: There were 21 HIV-positive mothers during this period, 19 of whom gave consent for the study. Thirteen out of 19 mothers (68% received Nevirapine prophylaxis, while 15 out of 20 infants born to these mothers (75% received Nevirapine syrup. During the study period, it was found that 61% of the mothers were not compliant to antiretroviral therapy (ART. Conclusion: Poor access to the ART centers was reflected in majority of the cases (79%. There is a pressing need to improve access to quality PPTCT services especially during the intranatal period.
Akrofi, S.; Price, L.L.; Struik, P.C.
In-depth research was conducted to evaluate the seasonal food insecurity of HIV-positive and HIV-negative farm households in the Eastern Region, Ghana. A Coping Strategy Index (CSI) was used to assess household food-related coping behaviors. HIV-positive farm households often relied on both less sev
Medema-Wijnveen, Jose S.; Onono, Maricianah; Bukusi, Elizabeth A.; Miller, Suellen; Cohen, Craig R.; Turan, Janet M.
Introduction: HIV prevalence among pregnant women in Kenya is high. Furthermore, there is a high risk of maternal mortality, as many women do not give birth with a skilled healthcare provider. Previous research suggests that fears of HIV testing and unwanted disclosure of HIV status may be important
Appleton Sasha C
Full Text Available Abstract Background Partners In Health (PIH works with the Ministry of Health to provide comprehensive health services in Haiti. Between 1994 and 2009, PIH recommended exclusive formula feeding in the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT of HIV program and provided support to implement this strategy. We conducted this study to assess HIV-free survival and prevalence of diarrhea and malnutrition among infants in our PMTCT program in rural Haiti where exclusive formula feeding was supported. Methods We reviewed medical charts of PMTCT mother-infant pairs at PIH between November 2004 and August 2006 through a retrospective longitudinal study and cross-sectional survey. We performed household surveys for each pair and at control households matched by infant's age and gender. Results 254 mother-infant pairs were included. 15.3% of infants were low birth weight; most births occurred at home (68.8%. 55.9% of households had no latrine; food insecurity was high (mean score of 18; scale 0-27, SD = 5.3. HIV-free survival at 18 months was 90.6%. Within the cohort, 9 children (3.5% were HIV-infected and 17 (6.7% died. Community controls were more likely to be breastfed (P = 0.003 and more likely to introduce food early (P = 0.003 than PMTCT-program households. There was no difference in moderate malnutrition (Z score ≤ 2 SD between PMTCT and community groups after controlling for guardian's education, marital status, and food insecurity (OR = 1.05; 95% CI: 0.67, 1.64; P = 0.84. Diarrhea was 2.9 times more prevalent among community children than PMTCT infants (30.3% vs. 12.2%; P Conclusions In a PIH-supported program in rural Haiti that addressed socioeconomic barriers to ill-health, breast milk substitution was safe, acceptable and feasible for PMTCT for HIV-infected women choosing this option.
Parker, Lucy Anne; Jobanputra, Kiran; Rusike, Lorraine; Mazibuko, Sikhathele; Okello, Velephi; Kerschberger, Bernhard; Jouquet, Guillaume; Cyr, Joanne; Teck, Roger
Objectives To evaluate the feasibility (population reached, costs) and effectiveness (positivity rates, linkage to care) of two strategies of community-based HIV testing and counselling (HTC) in rural Swaziland. Methods Strategies used were mobile HTC (MHTC) and home-based HTC (HBHTC). Information on age, sex, previous testing and HIV results was obtained from routine HTC records. A consecutive series of individuals testing HIV-positive were followed up for 6 months from the test date to assess linkage to care. Results A total of 9 060 people were tested: 2 034 through MHTC and 7 026 through HBHTC. A higher proportion of children and adolescents (instalaciones clínicas móviles (APVM) y el APV realizado en el hogar (APVBH). Se obtuvo información sobre la edad, el sexo, la realización de pruebas anteriores y resultados de VIH de los informes rutinarios de APV. A una serie consecutiva de individuos que habían dado positivo en la prueba de VIH se les siguió durante 6 meses a partir del día de la prueba, con el fin de evaluar la conexión posterior a los cuidados y tratamiento adecuados. Resultados Se evaluaron 9,060 personas: 2,034 mediante APVM y 7,026 mediante APVBH. A una mayor proporción de niños y adolescentes (<20 años) se les realizó la prueba mediante APVBH que mediante APVM (57% vs. 17%; p<0.001). El APVM llegó a una mayor proporción de hombres adultos que el APVBH (42% vs. 39%; p=0.015). De 398 individuos VIH positivos, solo 135 (34%) estaban recibiendo atención y cuidados para el VIH después de 6 meses. De 42 individuos elegibles para Terapia Antirretroviral, 22 (52%) comenzaron el tratamiento dentro de los 6 meses siguientes a la prueba. La vinculación a los cuidados y atención para VIH posterior a la prueba era menor entre aquellos que habían dado previamente positivo y aquellos con edades entre 20-40 años. El APVBH era un 50% más barato (US$11 por persona a la que se le realizó la prueba, $797 por individuo recibiendo cuidados
Epsley Elizabeth J
Full Text Available Abstract Background Village AIDS committees (VAC were formed by the Tanzanian government in 2003 to provide HIV education to their communities. However, their potential has not been realised due to their limited knowledge and misconceptions surrounding HIV, which could be addressed through training of VAC members. In an attempt to increase HIV knowledge levels and address common misconceptions amongst the VACs, an HIV curriculum was delivered to members in rural north western Tanzania. Methods An evaluation of HIV knowledge was conducted prior to and post-delivery of HIV training sessions, within members of three VACs in Kisesa ward. Quantitative surveys were used with several open-ended questions to identify local misconceptions and evaluate HIV knowledge levels. Short educational training sessions covering HIV transmission, prevention and treatment were conducted, with each VAC using quizzes, role-plays and participatory learning and action tools. Post-training surveys occurred up to seven days after the final training session. Results Before the training, "good" HIV knowledge was higher amongst men than women (p = 0.041, and among those with previous HIV education (p = 0.002. The trade-centre had a faster turn-over of VAC members, and proximity to the trade-centre was associated with a shorter time on the committee. Training improved HIV knowledge levels with more members achieving a "good" score in the post-training survey compared with the baseline survey (p = Conclusions In this setting, a series of HIV training sessions for VACs demonstrated encouraging results, with increased HIV knowledge levels following short educational sessions. Further work is required to assess the success of VAC members in disseminating this HIV education to their communities, as well as up-scaling this pilot study to other regions in Tanzania with different misconceptions.
Harries, Anthony D; Ford, Nathan; Jahn, Andreas; Schouten, Erik J; Libamba, Edwin; Chimbwandira, Frank; Maher, Dermot
The scale-up of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in Malawi was based on a public health approach adapted to its resource-poor setting, with principles and practices borrowed from the successful tuberculosis control framework. From 2004 to 2015, the number of new patients started on ART increased from about 3000 to over 820,000. Despite being a small country, Malawi has made a significant contribution to the 15 million people globally on ART and has also contributed policy and service delivery innovations that have supported internation