Poor Sleep Quality and Associated Factors among People Living with HIV/AIDS Attending ART Clinic at Tirunesh Beijing Hospital, Addis Ababa, EthiopiaRead the full article
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HIV Late Presenters in Asia: Management and Public Health Challenges
Many individuals are diagnosed with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection at an advanced stage of illness and are considered late presenters. We define late presentation as a CD4 cell count below 350 cells/mm3 at the time of HIV diagnosis, or presenting with an AIDS-defining illness regardless of CD4 count. Across Asia, an estimated 34–72% of people diagnosed with HIV are late presenters. HIV late presenters generally have a higher disease burden and higher comorbidity such as opportunistic infections than those who are diagnosed earlier. They also have a higher mortality rate and generally exhibit poorer immune recovery following combined antiretroviral therapy (cART). As such, late HIV presentation leads to increased resource burden and costs to healthcare systems. HIV late presentation also poses an increased risk of community transmission since the transmission rate from people unaware of their HIV status is approximately 3.5 times higher than that of early presenters. There are several factors which contribute to HIV late presentation. Fear of stigmatisation and discrimination are significant barriers to both testing and accessing treatment. A lack of perceived risk and a lack of knowledge by individuals also contribute to late presentation. Lack of referral for testing by healthcare providers is another identified barrier in China and may extend to other regions across Asia. Effective strategies are still needed to reduce the incidence of late presentation across Asia. Key areas of focus should be increasing community awareness of the risk of HIV, reducing stigma and discrimination in testing, and educating healthcare professionals on the need for early testing and on the most effective ways to engage with people living with HIV. Recent initiatives such as intensified patient adherence support programs and HIV self-testing also have the potential to improve access to testing and reduce late diagnosis.
Healthcare Provider Perspectives on HIV Cure Research in Ghana
Introduction. Antiretroviral therapy (ART) has reduced mortality and improved life expectancy among HIV patients but does not provide a cure. Patients must remain on lifelong medications and deal with drug resistance and side effects. This underscores the need for HIV cure research. However, participation in HIV cure research has risks without guaranteed benefits. We determined what HIV healthcare providers know about HIV cure research trials, the risks involved, and what kind of cure interventions they are likely to recommend for their patients. Methods. We conducted in-depth qualitative interviews with 39 HIV care providers consisting of 12 physicians, 8 counsellors, 14 nurses, 2 pharmacists, 2 laboratory scientists, and 1 community advocate from three hospitals. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and coded, and thematic analysis was performed independently by two investigators. Results. Participants were happy about the success of current treatments and hopeful that an HIV cure will be found in the near future, just as ART was discovered through research. They described cure as total eradication of the virus from the body and inability to test positive for HIV or transmit the virus. In terms of risk tolerance, respondents would recommend to their patients’ studies with mild to moderate risks like what patients on antiretroviral therapy experience. Participants were reluctant to recommend treatment interruption to patients as part of a cure study and wished trials could be performed without stopping treatment. Healthcare providers categorically rejected death or permanent disability as an acceptable risk. The possibility of finding a cure that will benefit the individual or future generations was strong motivations for providers to recommend cure trials to their patients, as was transparency and adequate information on proposed trials. Overall, the participants were not actively seeking knowledge on cure research and lacked information on the various cure modalities under investigation. Conclusion. While hopeful for an HIV cure, healthcare providers in Ghana expect a cure to be definitive and pose minimal risk to their patients.
HIV Care Preferences among Young People Living with HIV in Lesotho: A Secondary Data Analysis of the PEBRA Cluster Randomized Trial
Introduction. Sub-Saharan Africa is home to 89% of all young people living with HIV, a key population with specific challenges and needs. In-depth knowledge of service demands is needed to tailor and differentiate service delivery for this group. We evaluated HIV care preferences among young people living with HIV who were part of the PEBRA (Peer Educator Based Refill of ART) cluster-randomized trial. Methods. The PEBRA trial evaluated a novel model of care at 20 health facilities in Lesotho, Southern Africa. In the PEBRA model, a peer educator regularly assessed participant preferences regarding antiretroviral therapy (ART) refill location, SMS notifications (for adherence, drug refill, viral load), and general care support options and delivered services accordingly over a 12-month period. We present these preferences and their changes over time. Results. At enrolment, 41 of 123 (33.3%) chose ART refill outside the health facility, compared to 8 of 123 (6.5%) after 12 months. Among those selecting clinic-based ART refill, many preferred collecting ART during the peer educator led Saturday clinic club, 45 of 123 (36.5%) at the beginning and 55 of 123 (44.7%) at the end. SMS reminders for treatment adherence and ART refill visits were chosen by 51 of 123 (41.5%) at enrolment and 54 of 123 (44.7%) at the last assessment. Support by the peer educator was popular at the beginning (110 of 123 (89.4%)) and lower but still high at the end (85 of 123 (69.1%)). Thirteen of 123 (10.6%) participants chose support by the nurse, without the involvement of any peer educator, at the first and 21 of 123 (17.1%) at the last assessment. Conclusion. Our longitudinal preference assessment among young people living with HIV in Lesotho showed a sustained interest in SMS notifications for adherence and refill visits as well as in additional support by a peer educator. ART refill outside the health facility was not as popular as expected; instead, medication pick-up at the facility, especially during Saturday clinic clubs, was favoured. The PEBRA trial was registered with clinicaltrials.gov (NCT03969030. Registered on 31 May 2019)
Metabolic Syndrome and Combination Antiretroviral Therapy in HIV Patients in Periurban Hospital in Ghana: A Case-Control Study
Background. There is an increasing prevalence of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) and risk factors in HIV patients as the levels of AIDS-related mortality and morbidity decrease. Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is the accumulation of various CVD risk factors that predict the occurrence of CVDs. We investigated the prevalence of MetS and associated risk factors in HIV patients treated with combination antiretroviral therapy (cART), cART-naïve HIV patients, and non-HIV controls. Methods. In a case-control design, 158 cART-treated HIV patients, 150 cART-naïve HIV patients, and 156 non-HIV controls were recruited from a periurban hospital in Ghana. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data on demography, lifestyle, and medication. Anthropometric indices and blood pressure were measured. Fasting blood samples were collected to measure the plasma levels of glucose, lipid profile, and CD4+ cells. The presence of MetS was defined using the joint scientific statement criteria. Results. The prevalence of MetS was higher in cART-treated HIV patients compared with cART-naïve HIV patients and non-HIV controls (57.3% vs. 23.6% vs. 19.2% and , respectively). MetS was associated with cART-treated HIV patients (odds ratio (95% CI) = 7.24 (3.41–15.39) and ), cART-naïve HIV patients (2.04 (1.01–4.15), ), and female gender (2.42 (1.39–4.23) and ). In cART-treated HIV patients, those on zidovudine (AZT)-based regimens were associated with increased likelihood (3.95 (1.49–10.43) and ), while those on tenofovir (TDF)-based had decreased likelihood (0.32 (0.13–0.8) and ) of having MetS. Conclusion. In our study population, there was a high prevalence of MetS in cART-treated HIV patients compared to cART-naïve HIV patients and non-HIV controls. HIV patients on AZT-based regimens had an increased likelihood of having MetS, while those on TDF-based regimens had a reduced likelihood of having MetS.
Spatial Clustering of Tuberculosis-HIV Coinfection in Ethiopia at Districts Level
Background. Tuberculosis (TB) is a preventable and treatable disease but it is the leading cause of death among people living with HIV (PLHIV). In addition, the emergence of the HIV pandemic has also had a major impact on TB incidence rates. There are studies in spatial patterns of TB and HIV separately in Ethiopia; there is, however, no information on spatial patterns of TB-HIV coinfection in the country at the districts level at least using yearly data. This paper, therefore, aimed at determining the spatial clustering of TB-HIV coinfection prevalence rates in the country at the districts level on an annual basis over a four-year period, 2015–2018. Methods. District-level aggregated data on the number of TB-HIV infections were obtained from the Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Health for 2015 to 2018. The univariate and bivariate global Moran’s index, Getis-Ord local statistic, a chi-square test, and a modified -test statistic for Spearman’s correlation coefficient were used to evaluate the spatial clustering and spatial heterogeneity of TB among PLHIV and HIV among TB patients prevalence rates. Results. The district-level prevalence rate of HIV among TB patients was positively and significantly spatially autocorrelated with global Moran’s values range between 0.021 and 0.134 ( value ); however, the prevalence of TB among PLHIV was significant only for 2015 and 2017 ( value ). Spearman’s correlation also shows there was a strong positive association between the two prevalence rates over the study period. The local indicators of spatial analysis using the Getis–Ord statistic revealed that hot-spots for TB among PLHIV and HIV among TB patients have appeared in districts of various regions and the two city administrations in the country over the study period; however, the geographical distribution of hotspots varies over the study period. Similar trends were also observed for the cold-spots except for 2017 and 2018 where there were no cold-spots for TB among PLHIV. Conclusions. The study presents detailed knowledge about the spatial clustering of TB-HIV coinfection in Ethiopia at the districts level, and the results could provide information for planning coordinated district-specific interventions to jointly control both diseases in Ethiopia.
Prevalence of HIV/AIDS Infection among Sexually Active Women in Ethiopia: Further Analysis of 2016 EDHS
Background. The issue of HIV/AIDS is prevalent around the world and in Ethiopia as well. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and risk factors of HIV/AIDS infection among sexually active women in Ethiopia. Methods. For this study, data were obtained from the Ethiopia Demographic and Health Survey conducted in 2016. This study contains 11,729 women who have had at least one episode of sexual intercourse in their lifetime. Interviewers for voluntary HIV testing collected finger-prick blood specimens from women who agreed to be tested for HIV. Based on factors at the individual and community levels, a multilevel logistic regression model was used. Results. The study found that 2% of 11,729 sexually active women tested positive for HIV from all regions who received voluntary counseling and testing. The intraclass correlation coefficient findings showed that 32.844% of HIV/AIDS transmission among sexually active women was the result of community-level factors. Variables at the individual level were women of age 16–24 (AOR = 0.18; 95% CI: 0.11–0.29), women of age 25–34 (AOR = 0.733; 95% CI: 0.55–0.98), women with primary education level (AOR = 1.8; 95% CI: 1.23–2.57), more than one sexual accomplice (AOR = 1.33; 95% CI: 0.613–2.87), and women’s age at first sexual intercourse between 25 and 34 (AOR = 0.57, 95% CI: 0.301, 1.06); these were the most significant determinants of HIV/AIDS infection. According to community-level factors, there was a lower HIV prevalence rate among rural women (AOR = 0.22; 95 percent CI: 0.13–0.36), and women in the Gambela region (AOR = 4.1; 95 percent CI: 1.99–8.34) also had higher HIV prevalence rates. Conclusions. The prevalence of HIV infection among sexually active women varies by region, with urban women more likely to contract the virus. Women who had more than one regular sexual partner and had their first sexual encounter at a younger age are at an increased risk of contracting HIV/AIDS. According to the study, the government should focus more support on high-risk clusters, mainly in urban areas, as well as on regions with high rates of HIV/AIDS infection.