273 research outputs found

    Invited Perspective: Most Affected by Climate Change; Least Studied

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    Each country that is a signatory to the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) produces a nationally determined contribution (NDC), outlining national plans for mitigating and adapting to climate change. The NDCs of low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) have greater coverage of the health risks of and responses to climate change, in terms of risks, adaptation, mitigation, co-benefits, and trade-offs, whereas higher-income countries tend to focus on energy, the economy, and related sectors (Dasandi et al. 2021). This difference reflects the expectation that the largest health risks of climate change will occur in LMICs, where rising ambient temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, and rising sea levels are increasingly affecting air, water, and food systems. Such changes will affect the geographic and seasonal patterns of major causes of morbidity and mortality—particularly undernutrition, diarrheal diseases, malaria, dengue, and injuries—and will disproportionately affect the most vulnerable population groups, such as the lowest-income families, older individuals, pregnant women, and neonates (Smith et al. 2014; Watts et al. 2015). The timeliness and effectiveness of adaptation and mitigation efforts will determine the extent of increase in risks with additional climate change (Ebi and Hess 2020). There is a critical need for more evidence on effective locally led adaptation and mitigation interventions

    Psychometric Properties of the Berger HIV Stigma Scale: A Systematic Review

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    Addressing HIV-related stigma requires the use of psychometrically sound measures. However, despite the Berger HIV stigma scale (HSS) being among the most widely used measures for assessing HIV-related stigma, no study has systematically summarised its psychometric properties. This review investigated the psychometric properties of the HSS. A systematic review of articles published between 2001 and August 2021 was undertaken (CRD42020220305) following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Additionally, we searched the grey literature and screened the reference lists of the included studies. Of the total 1241 studies that were screened, 166 were included in the review, of which 24 were development and/or validation studies. The rest were observational or experimental studies. All the studies except two reported some aspect of the scale’s reliability. The reported internal consistency ranged from acceptable to excellent (Cronbach’s alpha ≥ 0.70) in 93.2% of the studies. Only eight studies reported test–retest reliability, and the reported reliability was adequate, except for one study. Only 36 studies assessed and established the HSS’s validity. The HSS appears to be a reliable and valid measure of HIV-related stigma. However, the validity evidence came from only 36 studies, most of which were conducted in North America and Europe. Consequently, more validation work is necessary for more precise insight

    A qualitative inquiry of experiences of HIV-related stigma and its effects among people living with HIV on treatment in rural Kilifi, Kenya

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    Background: The pervasiveness of HIV-related stigma and discrimination, and its consequences on HIV prevention and treatment, have been well documented. However, little is known about the lived experiences of HIV-related stigma and its effects among the general adult population living with HIV in rural African settings. This study set out to explore this knowledge gap. Methods: From April to June 2018, we conducted in-depth interviews with a convenience sample of 40 adults living with HIV aged 18–58 years in Kilifi, Kenya. A semi-structured interview guide was used to explore experiences of HIV-related stigma and its impact on these adults. A framework approach was used to analyze the data using NVIVO 11 software. Results: Participants reported experiences of HIV-related stigma in its various forms (anticipated, perceived, internalised, and enacted), as well as its effects on HIV treatment and social and personal spheres. The internalisation of stigma caused by enacted stigma impacted care-seeking behavior resulting in worse overall health. Anxiety and depression characterized by suicidal ideation were the results of internalised stigma. Anticipated stigma prompted HIV medication concealment, care-seeking in remote healthcare facilities, and care avoidance. Fewer social interactions and marital conflicts resulted from perceived stigma. Overall, HIV-related stigma resulted in partial and non-disclosure of HIV seropositivity and medication non-adherence. At a personal level, mental health issues and diminished sexual or marital prospects (for the unmarried) were reported. Conclusion: Despite high awareness of HIV and AIDS among the general population in Kenya, adults living with HIV in rural Kilifi still experience different forms of HIV-related stigma (including self-stigma) that result in a raft of social, personal, and HIV-treatment-related consequences. Our findings underscore the urgent need to reevaluate and adopt more effective strategies for implementing HIV-related anti-stigma programs at the community level. Addressing individual-level stigma will require the design of targeted interventions. To improve the lives of adults living with HIV in Kilifi, the effects of HIV-related stigma, particularly on HIV treatment, must be addressed

    HIV risk perception and risk behaviors among men who have sex with men in Nigeria

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    Background: Some studies have shown that greater perceived vulnerability to HIV is associated with less involvement in risk taking. We evaluated prevalence and correlates of HIV risk perception among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Nigeria. Methods: A cross sectional study using respondent driven sampling (RDS) was conducted in six Nigerian states in 2010. Weighted HIV risk perceptions were calculated using an RDS analytic tool. Logistic regression was used to determine correlates of HIV risk perception, stratified by state. Results: The total number of MSM ranged from 217 in Abuja to 314 in Cross River state. Median age ranged from 22 years in Cross River state to 26 years in Kano. HIV risk perception ranged from 10% in Cross River state to 58% in Kaduna state and was 38%, 44%, 19% and 20% in Kano, Lagos, Abuja and Oyo states respectively. Factors associated with HIV risk perception include purchasing sex (AOR: 3.11, 95% CI: 1.09-8.88) and never being tested for HIV (AOR = 0.34, 95% CI: 0.14 - 0.85] in Cross River; no comprehensive knowledge of HIV (AOR = 0.21, 95% CI: 0.05 - 0.90) and receptive anal partners (AOR = 10.07, 95% CI: 2.07 - 49.02) in Abuja; being older than 25 years (AOR = 0.16, 95% CI: 0.03 - 0.98) in Kano; no exposure to peer education in Kaduna (AOR = 0.08, 95% CI: 0.01 - 0.89); never being tested for HIV in Lagos (AOR = 0.11, 95% CI: 0.03 - 0.40) and Oyo state (AOR = 0.21, 95% CI: 0.06 - 0.80) and selling sex (AOR = 3.24, 95% CI: 1.00 - 10.61) in Oyo state. Conclusion: This study shows that HIV risk perception and comprehensive HIV knowledge are very low among MSM in Nigeria. Heterogeneity in associated factors suggests that targeted interventions are needed to increase HIV risk perception in the different states. The role of HIV counseling and testing in increasing risk perception needs further evaluation

    Characteristics, sexual behaviour and risk factors of female, male and transgender sex workers in South Africa

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    Background. In South Africa, information on sex workers’ characteristics, sexual behaviour and health needs is limited. Current social, legal and institutional factors impede a safe working environment for sex workers and their clients. Objectives. To describe characteristics and sexual behaviour of female, male and transgender sex workers, and assess their risk factors for unprotected sex. Methods: Repeat cross-sectional surveys among sex workers were conducted in Hillbrow, Sandton, Rustenburg and Cape Town in 2010. Sex workers were interviewed once; any re-interviews were excluded from analysis. Unprotected sex was defined as any unprotected penetrative vaginal or anal sex with last two clients. Results: Trained sex worker-research assistants interviewed 1 799 sex workers. Sex work was a full-time profession for most participants. About 8% (126/1 594) of women, 33% (22/75) of men, and 25% (12/50) of transgender people had unprotected sex. A quarter of anal sex was unprotected. Unprotected sex was 2.1 times (adjusted odds ratio (AOR), 95% CI 1.2 - 3.7; p=0.011) more likely in participants reporting daily or weekly binge drinking than non-binge drinkers. Male sex workers were 2.9 times (AOR, 95% CI 1.6 - 5.3; p\u3c0.001) more likely, and transgender people 2.4 times (AOR, 95% CI 1.1 - 4.9; p=0.021) more likely, than females to have unprotected sex. Sex workers in Hillbrow, where the only sex work-specific clinic was operational, were less likely to have unprotected sex than those in other sites. Conclusion: Tailored sex work interventions should explicitly include male and transgender sex workers, sex work-specific clinics, focus on the risks of unprotected anal sex, and include interventions to reduce harm caused by alcohol abuse

    A qualitative exploration of the emotional wellbeing and support needs of new mothers from Afghanistan living in Melbourne, Australia

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    Background: The Afghan community is a priority population for many health and social services within the southeast region of Melbourne, which is home to the largest population of Afghanistan-born people within the state of Victoria. The majority of Afghan women arriving in Australia are of childbearing age, and evidence suggests that they are at increased risk of emotional challenges following birth as a result of the refugee and migration experience. This research aimed to explored the experiences of Afghan women living in Melbourne throughout pregnancy, birth, and early motherhood, and gain insight into the aspects of their experiences that they perceive as positively and negatively impacting their emotional wellbeing. Methods: This qualitative study collected data through two focus group discussions (conducted in Dari) and 10 in-depth interviews (conducted in Dari or English). Thirty-eight Afghanistan-born women aged 18 years and older, who recently migrated to Australia and have at least one Australian-born child, were purposively selected to participate. A trained bicultural worker assisted in recruitment, data collection and translation. Thematic analysis was performed, and findings were confirmed with a subgroup of participants prior to being included within reporting. Results: Participants consistently discussed experiencing emotional challenges following birth, identifying symptoms commonly associated with postnatal depression. Women largely attributed this emotional state to separation from family and culture, leading to loneliness, isolation, and disconnection. Participants expressed resistance towards professional support due to cultural stigma associated with mental illness. Partner support was seen to be positive but difficult to negotiate. Religion, strong relationship with child, forming friendships, education, and utilising childcare were identified as positive influences on the emotional wellbeing of women. Conclusions: This study highlighted social and cultural factors contributing towards the emotional wellbeing of Afghan mothers. Findings confirm the need for innovative community-based models to support the mental health of Afghan women. This is particularly pertinent given the identified resistance towards discussing emotional wellbeing with healthcare professionals. Further research and investment is required in this area

    \u27There are a lot of new people in town: but they are here for soccer, not for business\u27 a qualitative inquiry into the impact of the 2010 soccer world cup on sex work in South Africa

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    Background: Sports mega-events have expanded in size, popularity and cost. Fuelled by media speculation and moral panics, myths proliferate about the increase in trafficking into forced prostitution as well as sex work in the run-up to such events. This qualitative enquiry explores the perceptions of male, female and transgender sex workers of the 2010 Soccer World Cup held in South Africa, and the impact it had on their work and private lives. Methods: A multi-method study design was employed. Data consisted of 14 Focus Group Discussions, 53 sex worker diaries, and responses to two questions in surveys with 1059 male, female and transgender sex workers in three cities. Results: Overall, a minority of participants noted changes to the sex sector due to the World Cup and nothing emerged on the feared increases in trafficking into forced prostitution. Participants who observed changes in their work mainly described differences, both positive and negative, in working conditions, income and client relations, as well as police harassment. The accounts of changes were heterogeneous - often conflicting in the same research site and across sites. Conclusions: No major shifts occurred in sex work during the World Cup, and only a few inconsequential changes were noted. Sports mega-events provide strategic opportunities to expand health and human rights programmes to sex workers. The 2010 World Cup missed that opportunity

    Male involvement in reproductive, maternal and child health: a qualitative study of policymaker and practitioner perspectives in the Pacific

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    Background: The importance of involving men in reproductive, maternal and child health programs is increasingly recognised globally. In the Pacific region, most maternal and child health services do not actively engage expectant fathers and fathers of young children and few studies have been conducted on the challenges, benefits and opportunities for involving fathers. This study explores the attitudes and beliefs of maternal and child health policymakers and practitioners regarding the benefits, challenges, risks and approaches to increasing men\u27s involvement in maternal and child health education and clinical services in the Pacific. Methods: In-depth interviews were conducted with 17 senior maternal and child health policymakers and practitioners, including participants from five countries (Cook Island, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Island, and Vanuatu) and four regional organisations in the Pacific. Qualitative data generated were analysed thematically. Results: Policymakers and practitioners reported that greater men\u27s involvement would result in a range of benefits for maternal and child health, primarily through greater access to services and interventions for women and children. Perceived challenges to greater father involvement included sociocultural norms, difficulty engaging couples before first pregnancy, the physical layout of clinics, and health worker workloads and attitudes. Participants also suggested a range of strategies for increasing men\u27s involvement, including engaging boys and men early in the life-cycle, in community and clinic settings, and making health services more father-friendly through changes to clinic spaces and health worker recruitment and training. Conclusions: These findings suggest that increasing men\u27s involvement in maternal and child health services in the Pacific will require initiatives to engage men in community and clinic settings, engage boys and men of all ages, and improve health infrastructure and service delivery to include men. Our findings also suggest that while most maternal and child health officials consulted perceived many benefits of engaging fathers, perceived challenges to doing so may prevent the development of policies that explicitly direct health providers to routinely include fathers in maternal and child health services. Pilot studies assessing feasibility and acceptability of context-appropriate strategies for engaging fathers will be useful in addressing concerns regarding challenges to engaging fathers

    Male Sex Workers Who Sell Sex to Men Also Engage in Anal Intercourse with Women: Evidence from Mombasa, Kenya

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    Objective: To investigate self-report of heterosexual anal intercourse among male sex workers who sell sex to men, and to identify the socio-demographic characteristics associated with practice of the behavior. Design: Two cross-sectional surveys of male sex workers who sell sex to men in Mombasa, Kenya. Methods: Male sex workers selling sex to men were invited to participate in surveys undertaken in 2006 and 2008. A structured questionnaire administered by trained interviewers was used to collect information on socio-demographic characteristics, sexual behaviors, HIV and STI knowledge, and health service usage. Data were analyzed through descriptive and inferential statistics. Bivariate logistic regression, after controlling for year of survey, was used to identify socio- demographic characteristics associated with heterosexual anal intercourse. Results: From a sample of 867 male sex workers, 297 men had sex with a woman during the previous 30 days – of whom 45% did so with a female client and 86% with a non-paying female partner. Within these groups, 66% and 43% of male sex workers had anal intercourse with a female client and non-paying partner respectively. Factors associated with reporting recent heterosexual anal intercourse in bivariate logistic regression after controlling for year of survey participation were being Muslim, ever or currently married, living with wife only, living with a female partner only, living with more than one sexual partner, self-identifying as basha/king/bisexual, having one’s own children, and lower education. Conclusions: We found unexpectedly high levels of self-reported anal sex with women by male sex workers, including selling sex to female clients as well as with their own partners. Further investigation among women in Mombasa is needed to understand heterosexual anal sex practices, and how HIV programming may respond
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