54 research outputs found

    Computerized Tailored Interventions to Enhance Prevention and Screening for Hepatitis C Virus Among People Who Inject Drugs: Protocol for a Randomized Pilot Study.

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    BACKGROUND: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a growing problem among people who inject drugs. Strategies to reduce disease transmission (eg, syringe exchange programs) and facilitate HCV screening and linkage are available but are under-utilized in many communities affected by injection drug use. Novel approaches to increasing the use of these strategies are needed. OBJECTIVE: The goals of this project are to (1) develop and pilot test a computerized tailored intervention for increasing HCV screening and decreasing risky drug use behavior among people who inject drugs and (2) determine the feasibility of disseminating such an intervention using peer-based referrals in the setting of a community-based syringe exchange program. METHODS: This 2-arm, randomized pilot study is being conducted in a large-volume, multisite syringe exchange program in southern Wisconsin. A social network-based strategy was used to recruit a total of 235 adults who reported past-month injection of opioids, cocaine, or methamphetamine. Network recruiters were identified among clients requesting services from the syringe exchange program and were enlisted to refer eligible peers to the study. All participants completed a computer-adapted questionnaire eliciting information about risk behaviors and their knowledge, attitudes, and prior experiences related to HCV screening. Subjects were then randomly assigned to receive usual care, consisting of standard counseling by syringe exchange staff, or the Hep-Net intervention, which provides algorithm-based, real-time tailored feedback and recommendations for behavior change in the style of motivational interviewing. Changes in drug use behaviors and attitudes will be assessed during a second session between 90 and 180 days after the baseline visit. Frequency of repeat HCV testing and HCV incidence will be assessed through a database search 1 year after study completion. RESULTS: Recruitment for this study was completed in April 2015. Follow-up of enrolled participants is expected to continue until March 2016. Network recruiters were enrolled who referred a total of 195 eligible peers (overall N=235). At baseline, the median age was 34 years; 41.3% (97/235) were non-white; and 86.4% (203/235) reported predominantly injecting heroin. Most participants (161/234, 68.8%) reported sharing injection equipment in the past and of these, 30.4% (49/161) had never been tested for HCV. CONCLUSIONS: This study will provide preliminary evidence to determine whether incorporating computerized behavioral interventions into existing prevention services at syringe exchange programs can lead to adoption of healthier behaviors. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02474043; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02474043 (Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/6dbjUQG7J)

    Hepatitis C Virus Transmission Clusters in Public Health and Correctional Settings, Wisconsin, USA, 2016-20171.

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    Ending the hepatitis C virus (HCV) epidemic requires stopping transmission among networks of persons who inject drugs. Identifying transmission networks by using genomic epidemiology may inform community responses that can quickly interrupt transmission. We retrospectively identified HCV RNA-positive specimens corresponding to 459 persons in settings that use the state laboratory, including correctional facilities and syringe services programs, in Wisconsin, USA, during 2016-2017. We conducted next-generation sequencing of HCV and analyzed it for phylogenetic linkage by using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Global Hepatitis Outbreak Surveillance Technology platform. Analysis showed that 126 persons were linked across 42 clusters. Phylogenetic clustering was higher in rural communities and associated with female sex and younger age among rural residents. These data highlight that HCV transmission could be reduced by expanding molecular-based surveillance strategies to rural communities affected by the opioid crisis

    Natural History of Tuberculosis: Duration and Fatality of Untreated Pulmonary Tuberculosis in HIV Negative Patients: A Systematic Review

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    Background The prognosis, specifically the case fatality and duration, of untreated tuberculosis is important as many patients are not correctly diagnosed and therefore receive inadequate or no treatment. Furthermore, duration and case fatality of tuberculosis are key parameters in interpreting epidemiological data. Methodology and Principal Findings To estimate the duration and case fatality of untreated pulmonary tuberculosis in HIV negative patients we reviewed studies from the pre-chemotherapy era. Untreated smear-positive tuberculosis among HIV negative individuals has a 10-year case fatality variously reported between 53% and 86%, with a weighted mean of 70%. Ten-year case fatality of culture-positive smear-negative tuberculosis was nowhere reported directly but can be indirectly estimated to be approximately 20%. The duration of tuberculosis from onset to cure or death is approximately 3 years and appears to be similar for smear-positive and smear-negative tuberculosis. Conclusions Current models of untreated tuberculosis that assume a total duration of 2 years until self-cure or death underestimate the duration of disease by about one year, but their case fatality estimates of 70% for smear-positive and 20% for culture-positive smear-negative tuberculosis appear to be satisfactory

    Idiopathic CD4 lymphocytopenia with giant cell arteritis and pulmonary mucormycosis

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    Idiopathic CD4 lymphocytopenia (ICL) is characterized by a low CD4+ lymphocyte count in the absence of HIV or other underlying etiologies. We report a case of a 57-year old man with ICL and giant cell arteritis (GCA) who developed pulmonary mucormycosis, which, to our knowledge, is the first report of these occurring in a patient with ICL. Abnormally low total lymphocyte or CD4+ cell counts occurring in patients with autoimmune disorders should alert clinicians to the possibility of ICL. Immunosuppressive treatment should be used with caution in this context

    Ethical Issues in mHealth Research Involving Persons Living with HIV/AIDS and Substance Abuse

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    We aim to raise awareness and stimulate dialogue among investigators and research ethics committees regarding ethical issues that arise specifically in the design and conduct of mHealth research involving persons living with HIV/AIDS and substance abuse. Following a brief background discussion of mHealth research in general, we offer a case example to illustrate the characteristics of mHealth research involving people living with HIV/AIDS and substance abuse. With reference to a well-established systematic general ethical framework for biomedical research with human participants, we identify a range of ethical issues that have particular salience for the protection of participants in mHealth research on HIV/AIDS and substance abuse