11 research outputs found

    Female sex work and international sport events - no major changes in demand or supply of paid sex during the 2010 Soccer World Cup: a cross-sectional study

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    Background: Important unanswered questions remain on the impact of international sporting events on the sex industry. Speculation about increased demand and supply of sex work often generates significant attention, but also additional funding for HIV programmes. This study assessed whether changes occurred in the demand and supply of paid sex during the 2010 Soccer World Cup in South Africa. Methods: Trained sex worker interviewers conducted face-to-face semi-structured interviews among consenting female sex workers during May-September 2010. Using bivariate analyses we compared supply, demand, sexual risk-taking, and police and health services contact pre-World Cup, to levels during the World Cup and after the event. Results: No increases were detected in indicators of sex work supply, including the proportion of sex workers newly arrived in the city (\u3c 2.5% in each phase) or those recently entering the trade (≤ 1.5%). Similarly, demand for sex work, indicated by median number of clients (around 12 per week) and amount charged per transaction ($13) remained similar in the three study periods. Only a third of participants reported observing any change in the sex industry ascribed to the World Cup. Self-reported condom-use with clients remained high across all samples (\u3e 92.4% in all phases). Health-care utilisation decreased non-significantly from the pre- to during World Cup period (62.4% to 57.0%; P = 0.075). Across all periods, about thirty percent of participants had interacted with police in the preceding month, two thirds of whom had negative interactions. Conclusions: Contrary to public opinion, no major increases were detected in the demand or supply of paid sex during the World Cup. Although the study design employed was unable to select population-based samples, these findings do not support the public concern and media speculation prior to the event, but rather signal a missed opportunity for public health action. Given the media attention on sex work, future sporting events offer strategic opportunities to implement services for sex workers and their clients, especially as health service utilisation might decrease in this period

    Intravaginal Practices, Vaginal Infections and HIV Acquisition: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

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    BACKGROUND: Intravaginal practices are commonly used by women to manage their vaginal health and sexual life. These practices could, however, affect intravaginal mucosal integrity. The objectives of this study were to examine evidence for associations between: intravaginal practices and acquisition of HIV infection; intravaginal practices and vaginal infections; and vaginal infections and HIV acquisition. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We conducted a systematic review of prospective longitudinal studies, searching 15 electronic databases of journals and abstracts from two international conferences to 31(st) January 2008. Relevant articles were selected and data extracted in duplicate. Results were examined visually in forest plots and combined using random effects meta-analysis where appropriate. Of 2120 unique references we included 22 publications from 15 different studies in sub-Saharan Africa and the USA. Seven publications from five studies examined a range of intravaginal practices and HIV infection. No specific vaginal practices showed a protective effect against HIV or vaginal infections. Insertion of products for sex was associated with HIV in unadjusted analyses; only one study gave an adjusted estimate, which showed no association (hazard ratio 1.09, 95% confidence interval, CI 0.71, 1.67). HIV incidence was higher in women reporting intravaginal cleansing but confidence intervals were wide and heterogeneity high (adjusted hazard ratio 1.88, 95%CI 0.53, 6.69, I(2) 83.2%). HIV incidence was higher in women with bacterial vaginosis (adjusted effect 1.57, 95%CI 1.26, 1.94, I(2) 19.0%) and Trichomonas vaginalis (adjusted effect 1.64, 95%CI 1.28, 2.09, I(2) 0.0%). CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: A pathway linking intravaginal cleaning practices with vaginal infections that increase susceptibility to HIV infection is plausible but conclusive evidence is lacking. Intravaginal practices do not appear to protect women from vaginal infections or HIV and some might be harmful

    Associations between high temperatures in pregnancy and risk of preterm birth, low birth weight, and stillbirths: systematic review and meta-analysis.

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    OBJECTIVE: To assess whether exposure to high temperatures in pregnancy is associated with increased risk for preterm birth, low birth weight, and stillbirth. DESIGN: Systematic review and random effects meta-analysis. DATA SOURCES: Medline and Web of Science searched up to September 2018, updated in August 2019. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR SELECTING STUDIES: Clinical studies on associations between high environmental temperatures, and preterm birth, birth weight, and stillbirths. RESULTS: 14 880 records and 175 full text articles were screened. 70 studies were included, set in 27 countries, seven of which were countries with low or middle income. In 40 of 47 studies, preterm births were more common at higher than lower temperatures. Exposures were classified as heatwaves, 1°C increments, and temperature threshold cutoff points. In random effects meta-analysis, odds of a preterm birth rose 1.05-fold (95% confidence interval 1.03 to 1.07) per 1°C increase in temperature and 1.16-fold (1.10 to 1.23) during heatwaves. Higher temperature was associated with reduced birth weight in 18 of 28 studies, with considerable statistical heterogeneity. Eight studies on stillbirths all showed associations between temperature and stillbirth, with stillbirths increasing 1.05-fold (1.01 to 1.08) per 1°C rise in temperature. Associations between temperature and outcomes were largest among women in lower socioeconomic groups and at age extremes. The multiple temperature metrics and lag analyses limited comparison between studies and settings. CONCLUSIONS: Although summary effect sizes are relatively small, heat exposures are common and the outcomes are important determinants of population health. Linkages between socioeconomic status and study outcomes suggest that risks might be largest in low and middle income countries. Temperature rises with global warming could have major implications for child health. SYSTEMATIC REVIEW REGISTRATION: PROSPERO CRD 42019140136 and CRD 42018118113

    Protocol of an individual participant data meta-analysis to quantify the impact of high ambient temperatures on maternal and child health in Africa (HE 2 AT IPD)

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    Introduction: Globally, recognition is growing of the harmful impacts of high ambient temperatures (heat) on health in pregnant women and children. There remain, however, major evidence gaps on the extent to which heat increases the risks for adverse health outcomes, and how this varies between settings. Evidence gaps are especially large in Africa. We will conduct an individual participant data (IPD) meta-analysis to quantify the impacts of heat on maternal and child health in sub-Saharan Africa. A detailed understanding and quantification of linkages between heat, and maternal and child health is essential for developing solutions to this critical research and policy area. Methods and analysis: We will use IPD from existing, large, longitudinal trial and cohort studies, on pregnant women and children from sub-Saharan Africa. We will systematically identify eligible studies through a mapping review, searching data repositories, and suggestions from experts. IPD will be acquired from data repositories, or through collaboration with data providers. Existing satellite imagery, climate reanalysis data, and station-based weather observations will be used to quantify weather and environmental exposures. IPD will be recoded and harmonised before being linked with climate, environmental, and socioeconomic data by location and time. Adopting a one-stage and two-stage meta-analysis method, analytical models such as time-to-event analysis, generalised additive models, and machine learning approaches will be employed to quantify associations between exposure to heat and adverse maternal and child health outcomes. Ethics and dissemination: The study has been approved by ethics committees. There is minimal risk to study participants. Participant privacy is protected through the anonymisation of data for analysis, secure data transfer and restricted access. Findings will be disseminated through conferences, journal publications, related policy and research fora, and data may be shared in accordance with data sharing policies of the National Institutes of Health. PROSPERO registration number: CRD42022346068

    The Effect of High and Low Ambient Temperature on Infant Health: A Systematic Review.

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    Children, and particularly infants, have physiological, anatomic, and social factors that increase vulnerability to temperature extremes. We performed a systematic review to explore the association between acute adverse infant outcomes (children 0-1 years) and exposure to high and low ambient temperatures. MEDLINE (Pubmed), Embase, CINAHL Plus, and Global Health were searched alongside the reference lists of key papers. We included published journal papers in English that assessed adverse infant outcomes related to short-term weather-related temperature exposure. Twenty-six studies met our inclusion criteria. Outcomes assessed included: infant mortality (n = 9), sudden infant death syndrome (n = 5), hospital visits or admissions (n = 5), infectious disease outcomes (n = 5), and neonatal conditions such as jaundice (n = 2). Higher temperatures were associated with increased risk of acute infant mortality, hospital admissions, and hand, foot, and mouth disease. Several studies identified low temperature impacts on infant mortality and episodes of respiratory disease. Findings on temperature risks for sudden infant death syndrome were inconsistent. Only five studies were conducted in low- or middle-income countries, and evidence on subpopulations and temperature-sensitive infectious diseases was limited. Public health measures are required to reduce the impacts of heat and cold on infant health

    Periodic presumptive treatment of curable sexually transmitted infections among sex workers: a systematic review

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    Background: Unprotected sex work remains a major driver of HIV/sexually transmitted infection (STI) epidemics in many countries. STI treatment can lower disease burden, complications and prevalence of HIV cofactors. Periodic presumptive treatment (PPT) has been used with sex workers to reduce their high burden of largely asymptomatic STIs. The objective of this review is to assess benefits and harms of PPT among female sex workers. Methods: We searched MEDLINE for studies related to sex work and STIs during 1990-2010, extracted data from eligible studies in duplicate and conducted meta-analysis by study design using random effects models. Results: Two thousand, three hundred and fifteen articles were screened, 18 studies met inclusion criteria and 14 were included in meta-analyses. One published randomized controlled trial (RCT) reported significant reductions of gonorrhoea (Neisseria gonorrhoeae) [rate ratio (RR) 0.46, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.31-0.68] and chlamydia (Chlamydia trachomatis) (RR 0.38, 95% CI 0.26-0.57), but no effect on serologic syphilis (RR 1.02, 95% CI 0.54-1.95). Similar results were seen for N. gonorrho Conclusion: PPT can reduce prevalence of gonorrhoea, chlamydia and ulcerative STIs among sex workers in whom prevalence is high. Sustained STI reductions can be achieved when PPT is implemented together with peer interventions and condom promotion. Additional benefits may include impact on STI and HIV transmission at population level. (C) 2012 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins AIDS 2012, 26: 437-44

    Public Health Measures to Address the Impact of Climate Change on Population Health—Proceedings from a Stakeholder Workshop

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    Background: The World Health Organization identified climate change as the 21st century’s biggest health threat. This study aimed to identify the current knowledge base, evidence gaps, and implications for climate action and health policymaking to address the health impact of climate change, including in the most underserved groups. Methods: The Horizon-funded project ENBEL (‘Enhancing Belmont Research Action to support EU policy making on climate change and health’) organised a workshop at the 2021-European Public Health conference. Following presentations of mitigation and adaptation strategies, seven international researchers and public health experts participated in a panel discussion linking climate change and health. Two researchers transcribed and thematically analysed the panel discussion recording. Results: Four themes were identified: (1) ‘Evidence is key’ in leading the climate debate, (2) the need for ‘messaging about health for policymaking and behaviour change’ including health co-benefits of climate action, (3) existing ‘inequalities between and within countries’, and (4) ‘insufficient resources and funding’ to implement national health adaptation plans and facilitate evidence generation and climate action, particularly in vulnerable populations. Conclusion: More capacity is needed to monitor health effects and inequities, evaluate adaptation and mitigation interventions, address current under-representations of low- or middle-income countries, and translate research into effective policymaking

    Association between intravaginal practices and HIV acquisition in women: individual patient data meta-analysis of cohort studies in sub-Saharan Africa

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    Background: It is still not clear whether practices such as internal (intravaginal) cleansing and practices used around sexual intercourse, increase women's risk of acquiring HIV infection. Individual studies lack statistical power and direct comparison between studies is hampered by variation in exposure definitions and statistical methods. Methods: A systematic review identified 14 cohort studies in sub-Saharan Africa that measured HIV as an outcome and collected data on vaginal practices; 11 provided individual patient data, and 9 have been analysed to date. We recoded data using standardised definitions of any vaginal practice, intravaginal cleansing, insertion of solid products, and use of products to dry or tighten the vagina. We used univariable Cox proportional hazards models, stratified by study, to examine the association between the use of practices as reported at study baseline and HIV acquisition. Results: A total of 14,766 women contributed 24,587 woman years, with 798 newly-acquired HIV infections. The prevalence of any vaginal practice across cohorts ranged from 18% to 95% (median 76%); intravaginal cleansing was reported by a median of 70% of women (range 7-94%). In univariable analysis, women reporting any vaginal practice had a 1.27 fold higher rate of HIV acquisition (95%CI 0.91-1.77) than never-users, with moderate between-study heterogeneity (I246%). Compared with never-users, hazard ratios for incident HIV in women with different practices were: water only, 1.07 (95%CI 0.83-1.38); other products for intravaginal cleansing, 1.44 (95%CI 1.16-1.79); and practices other than intravaginal cleansing, 1.88 (95%CI 1.25-2.82) Conclusions: Intravaginal practices are common in sub-Saharan Africa. These may increase women's risk of acquiring HIV, particularly practices other than cleansing with water. Additional analyses will clarify the role of confounding in these associations. Common practices that increase HIV risk may also reduce the effectiveness of vaginal microbicides. Interventions to alter potentially harmful intravaginal practices might contribute to combination HIV prevention
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