221 research outputs found

    The longitudinal association between homelessness, injection drug use, and injection-related risk behavior among persons with a history of injection drug use in Baltimore, MD

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    AbstractBackgroundFew studies have assessed the temporal association between homelessness and injection drug use, and injection-related risk behavior.MethodsAmong a cohort of 1405 current and former injection drug users in follow-up from 2005 to 2009, we used random intercept models to assess the temporal association between homelessness and subsequent injection drug use, and to determine whether the association between homelessness and sustained injection drug use among active injectors differed from the association between homelessness and relapse among those who stopped injecting. We also assessed the association between homelessness and subsequent injection-related risk behavior among participants who injected drugs consecutively across two visits. Homelessness was categorized by duration: none, <1 month, and ≥1 month.ResultsHomelessness was reported on at least one occasion by 532 (38%) participants. The relationship between homelessness and subsequent injection drug use was different for active injectors and those who stopped injecting. Among those who stopped injecting, homelessness was associated with relapse [<1 month: AOR=1.67, 95% CI (1.01, 2.74); ≥1 month: AOR=1.34 95% CI (0.77, 2.33)]. Among active injectors, homelessness was not associated with sustained injection drug use [<1 month: AOR=1.03, 95% CI (0.71, 1.49); ≥1 month: AOR=0.81 95% CI (0.56, 1.17)]. Among those injecting drugs across two consecutive visits, homelessness ≥1 month was associated with subsequent injection-related risk behavior [AOR=1.61, 95% CI (1.06, 2.45)].ConclusionHomelessness appears to be associated with relapse and injection-related risk behavior. Strengthening policies and interventions that prevent homelessness may reduce injection drug use and injection-related risk behaviors

    Is HIV Screening in the Labor and Delivery Unit Feasible and Acceptable in Low-Income Settings

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    David Celentano discusses a new study evaluating the uptake of 24-hour rapid HIV testing of women in a labor and delivery center in a rural teaching hospital in India

    Delineating Interpersonal Communication Networks: A Study of the Diffusion of an Intervention Among Female Entertainment Workers in Shanghai, China

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    Diffusion of innovation (DOI) is widely cited in the HIV behavior change literature; however there is a dearth of research on the application of DOI in interventions for sex workers. Following a randomized-controlled trial of HIV risk reduction among female entertainment workers (FEWs) in Shanghai, China, we used qualitative approaches to delineate potential interpersonal communication networks and contributing factors that promote diffusion of information in entertainment venues. Results showed that top-down communication networks from the venue owners to the FEWs were efficient for diffusion of information. Mammies/madams, who act as intermediaries between FEWs and clients form an essential part of FEWs\u27 social networks but do not function as information disseminators due to a conflict of interest between safer sex and maximizing profits. Diffusion of information in large venues tended to rely more on aspects of the physical environment to create intimacy and on pressure from managers to stimulate communication. In small venues, communication and conversations occurred more spontaneously among FEWs. Information about safer sex appeared to be more easily disseminated when the message and the approach used to convey information could be tailored to people working at different levels in the venues. Results suggest that safer sex messages should be provided consistently following an intervention to further promote intervention diffusion, and health-related employer liability systems in entertainment venues should be established, in which employers are responsible for the health of their employees. Our study suggests that existing personal networks can be used to disseminate information in entertainment venues and one should be mindful about the context-specific interactions between FEWs and others in their social networks to better achieve diffusion of interventions

    A Role for Health Communication in the Continuum of HIV Care, Treatment, and Prevention

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    Health communication has played a pivotal role in HIV prevention efforts since the beginning of the epidemic. The recent paradigm of combination prevention, which integrates behavioral, biomedical, and structural interventions, offers new opportunities for employing health communication approaches across the entire continuum of care. We describe key areas where health communication can significantly enhance HIV treatment, care, and prevention, presenting evidence from interventions that include health communication components. These interventions rely primarily on interpersonal communication, especially individual and group counseling, both within and beyond clinical settings to enhance the uptake of and continued engagement in care. Many successful interventions mobilize a network of trained community supporters or accompagnateurs, who provide education, counseling, psychosocial support, treatment supervision, and other pragmatic assistance across the care continuum. Community treatment supporters reduce the burden on overworked medical providers, engage a wider segment of the community, and offer a more sustainable model for supporting people living with HIV. Additionally, mobile technologies are increasingly seen as promising avenues for ongoing cost-effective communication throughout the treatment cascade. A broader range of communication approaches, traditionally employed in HIV prevention efforts, that address community and sociopolitical levels through mass media, school- or workplace-based education, and entertainment modalities may be useful to interventions seeking to address the full care continuum. Future interventions would benefit from development of a framework that maps appropriate communication theories and approaches onto each step of the care continuum to evaluate the efficacy of communication components on treatment outcomes

    Risk factors associated with injection initiation among drug users in Northern Thailand

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    BACKGROUND: Circumstances surrounding injection initiation have not been well addressed in many developing country contexts. This study aimed to identify demographic factors, sexual behaviors and drug use characteristics related to injection initiation among drug users in northern Thailand. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey was conducted among 2,231 drug users admitted to the Northern Drug Treatment Center in Mae Rim, Chiang Mai, Thailand, between February 1, 1999 and December 31, 2000. A multiple logistic regression was employed to identify the independent effects from potential risk factors of transition into injection. RESULTS: After controlling for other covariates, being 20 years of age or older, single, ever receiving education, urban residence, and having a history of smoking or incarceration were significantly associated with higher likelihood of injection initiation. Multiple sex partners and an experience of sex abuse were associated with an increased risk of injection initiation. Comparing to those whose first drug was opium, individuals using heroin as their initiation drug had greater risk of injection initiation; conversely, those taking amphetamine as their first drug had less risk of injection initiation. Age of drug initiation was negatively associated with the risk of injection initiation: the older the age of drug initiation, the less the risk of injection initiation. CONCLUSION: Injection initiation was related to several demographic factors, sexual behaviors and drug use characteristics. Understanding these factors will benefit the design of approaches to successfully prevent or delay transition into injection

    Increased Survival Among HIV-Infected PWID Receiving a Multi-Level HIV Risk and Stigma Reduction Intervention: Results From a Randomized Controlled Trial

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    In Vietnam, where 58% of prevalent HIV cases are attributed to PWID, we evaluated whether a multi-level intervention could improve care outcomes and increase survival

    An Approach to Addressing Ethical Issues in a Community-based Risk Assessment for HIV

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    Community-based assessment of HIV prevalence and behavioural risk factors is the basis for deciding priorities of prevention and care programmes. Here, upholding the human rights of participants in assessment is of utmost importance. The objective of the paper was to describe the process of implementation of an epidemiological survey to assess HIV-related behavioural and biological factors in Chennai city in South India and to suggest an ethical framework for conducting similar assessment activities in developing-country settings. A survey was conducted with participation from residents (n=1,659) of low-income urban communities (slums) as part of a community-based HIV/STD-prevention trial. Administration of the survey was preceded by extensive community contact and household visits to inform community members about the trial and assessment activities. Formative research further strengthened rapport with community, highlighted community concerns, and identified HIV-related risk behaviours that informed questionnaire design. The process of obtaining informed consent began before assessment activities and provided an opportunity for individuals to discuss participation with their families and friends. Privacy during assessment, comprehensive follow-up care for those who tested positive for HIV/STDs, such as nutritional and prevention counselling, referral services for opportunistic infections, and antenatal-care options for pregnant women increased trust and credibility of the project. The sustained availability of trial staff to facilitate access to resources to address non-HIV/STD-related felt-needs further strengthened participation of the community members. These resources included liaison services with local government to obtain public services, such as water and electricity and resources, to address concerns, such as alcohol abuse and domestic violence. Based on this experience, an ethical framework is suggested for conducting HIV epidemiological risk assessment in developing countries. This framework discusses the role of community participation, transparent and comprehensive informed consent, timely dissemination of results, and access to follow-up care for those living with HIV/STDs

    The Effect of a Multi-Level Intervention on the Initiation of Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) among HIV-Infected Men Who Inject Drugs and Were Diagnosed Late in Thai Nguyen, Vietnam

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    In Vietnam, an estimated 256,000 people are living with HIV, and 58% of HIV-infections reported are among people who inject drugs (PWID). While antiretroviral therapy (ART) is widely available in Vietnam, marginalized hard-to-reach male PWID, demonstrate significantly reduced and delayed access to ART

    Exploring the dynamics of the quality of HIV care experienced by female sex workers living in the Dominican Republic

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    Despite increased attention and efforts to improve HIV care among female sex workers (FSWs), they continue to have suboptimal HIV outcomes. Exploring the socio-structural dynamics related to the quality of HIV care received by FSWs is critical to further strengthen interventions to improve their HIV care continuum outcomes. In this study, we conducted two rounds of qualitative in-depth interviews with 20 FSWs living with HIV in the Dominican Republic to explore how healthcare experiences contributed to their quality of HIV care. Data was analyzed using a thematic analytic approach exploring diverse structural and relational aspects of the quality of HIV care affecting FSWs as they navigate the clinic environment. Results indicated that quality of HIV care was influenced by both structural and relational factors within clinics. At the structural level, insufficient stock of antiretroviral therapy and the financial burden created by HIV care related costs hindered FSWs’ satisfaction with their current HIV care and presented a barrier in FSWs’ ability to access HIV care services. Quality of care was also closely linked to relational aspects of the HIV care environment, including FSWs’ relationship and communication with their clinical providers, as FSWs often expressed their satisfaction with HIV care experiences based on these interpersonal factors. Lastly, personal agency emerged as an important factor contributing to the quality of HIV care, specifically as FSWs’ treatment literacy resulted in greater advocacy and demands for quality care. Programmatic efforts should be directed to improving the quality of HIV care experiences of FSWs in the clinic environment. These include addressing resource shortages, promoting positive and effective patient-provider relationships, and facilitating HIV treatment education opportunities for FSWs
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