87 research outputs found

    Acceptability and feasibility of early infant male circumcision for HIV prevention in Malawi

    Get PDF
    Background Voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) has been successfully implemented in 14 countries as an additional HIV prevention intervention. As VMMC programs mature in most countries, the focus is now on how to sustain the HIV prevention gains realised from VMMC. As part of preparations for the sustainability phase, countries are either piloting or preparing to pilot early infant male circumcision (EIMC). This qualitative study explored the acceptability and feasibility of EIMC in Malawi in order to inform pilot implementation. Methods In 2016, 23 focus group discussions were held across Malawi with participants from several ethnicities and religions/faiths. Additionally, 21 key informant interviews were held with traditional and religious leaders, traditional circumcisers (ngalibas), policy-makers, programme managers and health-care workers. Audio recordings were transcribed, translated into English (where necessary), and thematically coded using NVivo 10. Results Discussions highlighted the socio-cultural significance of MC in Malawi. Knowledge or experience of EIMC was poor although acceptability was high among most ethnic/religious groups and key informants. Participants identified EIMC's comparative HIV benefits although a few health-care workers expressed scepticism. All participants said EIMC should be offered within a clinical setting. In addition to fathers, maternal uncles and traditional leaders were deemed key decision-makers. Potential barriers to EIMC included concerns about procedure safety as well as cultural considerations. Key informants felt it was feasible to offer EIMC in Malawi. Participants' recommendations, including phased implementation, engagement of traditional leaders, use of external mobilisers and initially reaching out to influential parents, will be taken into account when designing a pilot EIMC program. Conclusions EIMC is potentially an acceptable and feasible HIV prevention intervention for most ethnic/religious groups in Malawi if wide-ranging, culturally appropriate demand-creation activities are developed, piloted, evaluated and appropriately implemented

    Poverty, food insufficiency and HIV infection and sexual behaviour among young rural Zimbabwean women.

    Get PDF
    BACKGROUND: 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. DESIGN: Cross-sectional population-based survey of 18-22 year olds, conducted in 30 communities in south-eastern Zimbabwe in 2007. OBJECTIVE: 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. METHODS: 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. RESULTS: 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. CONCLUSIONS: 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 and biomedical interventions, as a component of HIV prevention programming and policy

    Unpacking early infant male circumcision decision-making using qualitative findings from Zimbabwe.

    Get PDF
    BACKGROUND Early infant male circumcision (EIMC) has been identified as a key HIV prevention intervention. Exploring the decision-making process for adoption of EIMC for HIV prevention among parents and other key stakeholders is critical for designing effective demand creation interventions to maximize uptake, roll out and impact in preventing HIV. This paper describes key players, decisions and actions involved in the EIMC decision-making process. METHODS Two complementary qualitative studies explored hypothetical and actual acceptability of EIMC in Zimbabwe. The first study (conducted 2010) explored hypothetical acceptability of EIMC among parents and wider family through focus group discussions (FGDs, n = 24). The follow-up study (conducted 2013) explored actual acceptability of EIMC among parents through twelve in-depth interviews (IDIs), four FGDs and short telephone interviews with additional parents (n = 95). Short statements from the telephone interviews were handwritten. FGDs and IDIs were audio-recorded, transcribed and translated into English. All data were thematically coded. RESULTS Study findings suggested that EIMC decision-making involved a discussion between the infant's parents. Male and female participants of all age groups acknowledged that the father had the final say. However, discussions around EIMC uptake suggested that the infant's mother could sometimes covertly influence the father's decision in the direction she favoured. Discussions also suggested that fathers who had undergone voluntary medical male circumcision were more likely to adopt EIMC for their sons, compared to their uncircumcised counterparts. Mothers-in-law/grandparents were reported to have considerable influence. Based on study findings, we describe key EIMC decision makers and attempt to illustrate alternative outcomes of their key actions and decisions around EIMC within the Zimbabwean context. CONCLUSIONS These complementary studies identified critical players, decisions and actions involved in the EIMC decision-making process. Findings on who influences decisions regarding EIMC in the Zimbabwean context highlighted the need for EIMC demand generation interventions to target fathers, mothers, grandmothers, other family members and the wider community

    Conceptualisation and psychometric evaluation of positive psychological outcome measures used in adolescents and young adults living with HIV:a mixed scoping and systematic review protocol

    Get PDF
    Introduction Sub-Saharan Africa bears the greatest burden of HIV. Concomitant mental disorders are common, necessitating the integration of mental healthcare into routine HIV care. Consequently, it is necessary to holistically evaluate the mental health of adolescents and young adults living with HIV (AYALHIV, 10–24 years old) by measuring negative and positive psychological constructs (eg, anxiety and self-acceptance, respectively). There has been a proliferation of positive psychological outcome measures, but the evidence of their psychometric robustness is fragmented. This review, therefore, seeks to (1) identify positive psychological outcomes used in AYALHIV in sub-Saharan Africa and map the constructs onto corresponding measures and (2) critically appraise the psychometrics of the identified outcomes Methods and analysis This mixed review will be done in two parts. First, a scoping review will identify positive psychological outcomes and map them onto corresponding outcome measures. Subsequently, we will systematically evaluate the psychometric properties of the outcomes identified from the scoping review. Independent and blinded reviewers will search articles in PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, Africa-Wide Information, CINAHL, PsychINFO and Google Scholar from inception through 30 September 2022. Thereafter, separate independent reviewers will screen the retrieved articles. We will apply a narrative synthesis to map the key constructs emerging from the scoping review. For the systematic review, the risk of bias across studies will be evaluated using the COnsensus-based Standards for the selection of health Measurement INstruments (COSMIN) checklist. The quality of the psychometric properties will be rated using the COSMIN checklist and qualitatively synthesised using the modified Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation checklist. Ethics and dissemination No ethical approvals are needed. The mixed-review outputs will collectively inform the development, implementation and evaluation of bespoke interventions for AYALHIV. Review outcomes will be disseminated in a peer-reviewed journal, on social media and through policy briefs

    Male involvement interventions and improved couples’ emotional relationships in Tanzania and Zimbabwe: ‘When we are walking together, I feel happy’

    Get PDF
    Male involvement in maternal and child health is recognised as a valuable strategy to improve care-seeking and uptake of optimal home care practices for women and children in low- and middle-income settings. However, the specific mechanisms by which involving men can lead to observed behaviour change are not well substantiated. A qualitative study conducted to explore men’s and women’s experiences of male involvement interventions in Tanzania and Zimbabwe found that, for some women and men, the interventions had fostered more loving partner relationships. Both male and female participants identified these changes as profoundly meaningful and highly valued. Our findings illustrate key pathways by which male involvement interventions were able to improve couples’ emotional relationships. Findings also indicate that these positive impacts on couple relationships can motivate and support men’s behaviour change, to improve care-seeking and home care practices. Men’s and women’s subjective experiences of partner relationships following male involvement interventions have not been well documented to date. Findings highlight the importance of increased love, happiness and emotional intimacy in couple relationships – both as a wellbeing outcome valued by men and women, and as a contributor to the effectiveness of male involvement interventions

    Acceptability of Early Infant Male Circumcision as an HIV Prevention Intervention in Zimbabwe: A Qualitative Perspective

    Get PDF
    Background Early infant male circumcision (EIMC) is simpler, safer and more cost-effective than adult circumcision. In sub-Saharan Africa, there are concerns about acceptability of EIMC which could affect uptake. In 2009 a quantitative survey of 2,746 rural Zimbabweans (aged 18–44) indicated that 60% of women and 58% of men would be willing to have their newborn son circumcised. Willingness was associated with knowledge of HIV and male circumcision. This qualitative study was conducted to better understand this issue. Methods In 2010, 24 group discussions were held across Zimbabwe with participants from seven ethnic groups. Additionally, key informant interviews were held with private paediatricians who offer EIMC (n = 2) plus one traditional leader. Discussions were audio-recorded, transcribed, translated into English (where necessary), coded using NVivo 8 and analysed using grounded theory principles. Results Knowledge of the procedure was poor. Despite this, acceptability of EIMC was high among parents from most ethnic groups. Discussions suggested that fathers would make the ultimate decision regarding EIMC although mothers and extended family can have (often covert) influence. Participants' concerns centred on: safety, motive behind free service provision plus handling and disposal of the discarded foreskin. Older men from the dominant traditionally circumcising population strongly opposed EIMC, arguing that it separates circumcision from adolescent initiation, as well as allowing women (mothers) to nurse the wound, considered taboo. Conclusions EIMC is likely to be an acceptable HIV prevention intervention for most populations in Zimbabwe, if barriers to uptake are appropriately addressed and fathers are specifically targeted by the programme

    Evaluating a multi-component, community-based program to improve adherence and retention in care among adolescents living with HIV in Zimbabwe: study protocol for a cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Get PDF
    BACKGROUND: World Health Organization (WHO) adolescent HIV-testing and treatment guidelines recommend community-based interventions to support antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence and retention in care, while acknowledging that the evidence to support this recommendation is weak. This cluster randomized controlled trial aims to evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a psychosocial, community-based intervention on HIV-related and psychosocial outcomes. METHODS/DESIGN: We are conducting the trial in two districts. Sixteen clinics were randomized to either enhanced ART-adherence support or standard of care. Eligible individuals (HIV-positive adolescents aged 13-19 years and eligible for ART) in both arms receive ART and adherence support provided by adult counselors and nursing staff. Adolescents in the intervention arm additionally attend a monthly support group, are allocated to a designated community adolescent treatment supporter, and followed up through a short message service (SMS) and calls plus home visits. The type and frequency of contact is determined by whether the adolescent is "stable" or in need of enhanced support. Stable adolescents receive a monthly home visit plus a weekly, individualized SMS. An additional home visit is conducted if participants miss a scheduled clinic appointment or support-group meeting. Participants in need of further, enhanced, support receive bi-weekly home visits, weekly phone calls and daily SMS. Caregivers of adolescents in the intervention arm attend a caregiver support group. Trial outcomes are assessed through a clinical, behavioral and psychological assessment conducted at baseline and after 48 and 96 weeks. The primary outcome is the proportion who have died or have virological failure (viral load ≥1000 copies/ml) at 96 weeks. Secondary outcomes include virological failure at 48 weeks, retention in care (proportion of missed visits) and psychosocial outcomes at both time points. Statistical analyses will be conducted and reported in line with CONSORT guidelines for cluster randomized trials, including a flowchart. DISCUSSION: This study provides a unique opportunity to generate evidence of the impact of the on-going Zvandiri program, for adolescents living with HIV, on virological failure and psychosocial outcomes as delivered in a real-world setting. If found to reduce rates of treatment failure, this would strengthen support for further scale-up across Zimbabwe and likely the region more widely. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Pan African Clinical Trial Registry database, registration number PACTR201609001767322 (the Zvandiri trial). Retrospectively registered on 5 September 2016

    Exploring the beliefs, experiences and impacts of HIV-related self-stigma amongst adolescents and young adults living with HIV in Harare, Zimbabwe: A qualitative study

    Get PDF
    Background: HIV-related self-stigma is a significant barrier to HIV management. However, very little research has explored this phenomenon, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. This study explored the beliefs, experiences, and impacts of HIV self-stigma amongst adolescents and young adults (AYALHIV) in Harare, Zimbabwe to inform future interventions. It aimed to capture the lived experience of self-stigmatization among AYALHIV and its impact on their social context using Corrigan et al (2009) self-stigma framework of 'awareness', 'agreement', and 'application'. Methods: Virtual semi-structured key informant interviews were conducted between June and July 2020 with adolescents and young adults (Female = 8; Male = 8) living with HIV (18-24 years) in Harare, Zimbabwe. We conducted the interviews with a purposive sample of AYALHIV enrolled in Africaid's 'Zvandiri' program which provides HIV support services. Interviews were mainly conducted in English and with three in Shona, the main indigenous language. Audio-recorded qualitative data were transcribed, translated into English (where necessary) and deductively coded using Corrigan et al.'s self-stigma framework. The outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 coincided with the commencement of data collection activities, which impacted on both the sample size and a shift from in-person to virtual interviewing methods. Results: Sixteen respondents (50% male) took part in the interviews. The mean age of respondents was 22 years. All respondents reported HIV-related self-stigma either occasionally or frequently. Three main themes of self-stigmatizing experiences emerged: disclosure, relationships, and isolation. These themes were then analyzed within the self-stigma development framework by Corrigan et al. (2009) known as 'the three As': awareness, agreement, and application of self-stigmatizing thoughts. Respondents' experiences of self-stigma reportedly led to poor well-being and decreased mental and physical health. Gendered experiences and coping mechanisms of self-stigma were reported. Data suggested that context is key in the way that HIV is understood and how it then impacts the way people living with HIV (PLHIV) live with, and experience, HIV. Conclusions: HIV-related negative self-perceptions were described by all respondents in this study, associated with self-stigmatizing beliefs that adversely affected respondents' quality of life. Study findings supported Corrigan et al.'s framework on how to identify self-stigma and was a useful lens through which to understand HIV-related self-stigma among young people in Harare. Study findings highlight the need for interventions targeting PLHIV and AYALHIV to be context relevant if they are to build individual resilience, while working concurrently with socio-political and systemic approaches that challenge attitudes to HIV at the wider societal levels. Finally, the gendered experiences of self-stigma point to the intersecting layers of self-stigma that are likely to be felt by particularly marginalized populations living with HIV and should be further explored

    Living with COVID-19 and preparing for future pandemics: revisiting lessons from the HIV pandemic

    Get PDF
    In April 2020, just months into the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic, an international group of public health researchers published three lessons learned from pandemic HIV for the response to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which were to: 1) anticipate health inequalities; 2) create an enabling environment to support behaviour change, and 3) engage a multidisciplinary effort.1 We revisit these lessons in light of over two years’ experience with the COVID-19 pandemic. With specific examples, we detail how inequalities have played out within and between countries, highlight factors that support or impede creation of enabling environments, and note ongoing issues with the lack of integrated science and health system approaches. We argue that to better apply lessons learned as the COVID-19 pandemic matures and other infectious disease outbreaks emerge, it will be imperative to create dialogue among polarised perspectives, identify shared priorities, and draw on multi-disciplinary evidence
    corecore