113 research outputs found

    Young women's use of a microbicide surrogate: The complex influence of relationship characteristics and perceived male partners' evaluations

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    This is the post-print version of the article. The official published version can be found at the link below.Currently in clinical trials, vaginal microbicides are proposed as a female-initiated method of sexually transmitted infection prevention. Much of microbicide acceptability research has been conducted outside of the United States and frequently without consideration of the social interaction between sex partners, ignoring the complex gender and power structures often inherent in young women’s (heterosexual) relationships. Accordingly, the purpose of this study was to build on existing microbicide research by exploring the role of male partners and relationship characteristics on young women’s use of a microbicide surrogate, an inert vaginal moisturizer (VM), in a large city in the United States. Individual semi-structured interviews were conducted with 40 young women (18–23 years old; 85% African American; 47.5% mothers) following use of the VM during coital events for a 4 week period. Overall, the results indicated that relationship dynamics and perceptions of male partners influenced VM evaluation. These two factors suggest that relationship context will need to be considered in the promotion of vaginal microbicides. The findings offer insights into how future acceptability and use of microbicides will be influenced by gendered power dynamics. The results also underscore the importance of incorporating men into microbicide promotion efforts while encouraging a dialogue that focuses attention on power inequities that can exist in heterosexual relationships. Detailed understanding of these issues is essential for successful microbicide acceptability, social marketing, education, and use.This study was funded by a grant from National Institutes of Health (NIHU19AI 31494) as well as research awards to the first author: Friends of the Kinsey Institute Research Grant Award, Indiana University’s School of HPER Graduate Student Grant-in-Aid of Research Award, William L. Yarber Sexual Health Fellowship, and the Indiana University Graduate and Professional Student Organization Research Grant

    Recruitment and retention of women in a large randomized control trial to reduce repeat preterm births: the Philadelphia Collaborative Preterm Prevention Project

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Recruitment and retention of patients for randomized control trial (RCT) studies can provide formidable challenges, particularly with minority and underserved populations. Data are reported for the Philadelphia Collaborative Preterm Prevention Project (PCPPP), a large RCT targeting risk factors for repeat preterm births among women who previously delivered premature (< 35 weeks gestation) infants.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>Design of the PCPPP incorporated strategies to maximize recruitment and retention. These included an advanced database system tracking follow-up status and assessment completion rates; cultural sensitivity training for staff; communication to the community and eligible women of the benefits of participation; financial incentives; assistance with transportation and supervised childcare services; and reminder calls for convenient, flexibly scheduled appointments. Analyses reported here: 1) compare recruitment projections to actual enrollment 2) explore recruitment bias; 3) validate the randomization process 4) document the extent to which contact was maintained and complete assessments achieved 5) determine if follow-up was conditioned upon socio-economic status, race/ethnicity, or other factors.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>Of eligible women approached, 1,126 (77.7%) agreed to participate fully. Of the 324 not agreeing, 118 (36.4%) completed a short survey. Consenting women were disproportionately from minority and low SES backgrounds: 71.5% consenting were African American, versus 38.8% not consenting. Consenting women were also more likely to report homelessness during their lifetime (14.6% vs. 0.87%) and to be unmarried at the time of delivery (81.6% versus 47.9%). First one-month postpartum assessment was completed for 83.5% (n = 472) of the intervention group (n = 565) and 76% (426) of the control group. Higher assessment completion rates were observed for the intervention group throughout the follow-up. Second, third, fourth and fifth postpartum assessments were 67.6% vs. 57.5%, 60.0% vs. 48.9%, 54.2% vs. 46.3% and 47.3% vs. 40.8%, for the intervention and control group women, respectively. There were no differences in follow-up rates according to race/ethnicity, SES or other factors. Greater retention of the intervention group may reflect the highly-valued nature of the medical and behavior services constituting the intervention arms of the Project.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>Findings challenge beliefs that low income and minority women are averse to enrolling and continuing in clinical trials or community studies.</p

    Willingness of Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM) in the United States to Be Circumcised as Adults to Reduce the Risk of HIV Infection

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    BACKGROUND: Circumcision reduces HIV acquisition among heterosexual men in Africa, but it is unclear if circumcision may reduce HIV acquisition among men who have sex with men (MSM) in the United States, or whether MSM would be willing to be circumcised if recommended. METHODS: We interviewed presumed-HIV negative MSM at gay pride events in 2006. We asked uncircumcised respondents about willingness to be circumcised if it were proven to reduce risk of HIV among MSM and perceived barriers to circumcision. Multivariate logistic regression was used to identify covariates associated with willingness to be circumcised. RESULTS: Of 780 MSM, 133 (17%) were uncircumcised. Of these, 71 (53%) were willing to be circumcised. Willingness was associated with black race (exact odds ratio [OR]: 3.4, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.3-9.8), non-injection drug use (OR: 6.1, 95% CI: 1.8-23.7) and perceived reduced risk of penile cancer (OR: 4.7, 95% CI: 2.0-11.9). The most commonly endorsed concerns about circumcision were post-surgical pain and wound infection. CONCLUSIONS: Over half of uncircumcised MSM, especially black MSM, expressed willingness to be circumcised. Perceived risks and benefits of circumcision should be a part of educational materials if circumcision is recommended for MSM in the United States

    Regional differences in awareness and attitudes regarding genetic testing for disease risk and ancestry

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    Little is known about the lay public’s awareness and attitudes concerning genetic testing and what factors influence their perspectives. The existing literature focuses mainly on ethnic and socioeconomic differences; however, here we focus on how awareness and attitudes regarding genetic testing differ by geographical regions in the US. We compared awareness and attitudes concerning genetic testing for disease risk and ancestry among 452 adults (41% Black and 67% female) in four major US cities, Norman, OK; Cincinnati, OH; Harlem, NY; and Washington, DC; prior to their participation in genetic ancestry testing. The OK participants reported more detail about their personal ancestries (p = 0.02) and valued ancestry testing over disease testing more than all other sites (p < 0.01). The NY participants were more likely than other sites to seek genetic testing for disease (p = 0.01) and to see benefit in finding out more about one’s ancestry (p = 0.02), while the DC participants reported reading and hearing more about genetic testing for African ancestry than all other sites (p < 0.01). These site differences were not better accounted for by sex, age, education, self-reported ethnicity, religion, or previous experience with genetic testing/counseling. Regional differences in awareness and attitudes transcend traditional demographic predictors, such as ethnicity, age and education. Local sociocultural factors, more than ethnicity and socioeconomic status, may influence the public’s awareness and belief systems, particularly with respect to genetics

    Barriers to colorectal cancer screening in community health centers: A qualitative study

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Colorectal cancer screening rates are low among disadvantaged patients; few studies have explored barriers to screening in community health centers. The purpose of this study was to describe barriers to/facilitators of colorectal cancer screening among diverse patients served by community health centers.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>We identified twenty-three outpatients who were eligible for colorectal cancer screening and their 10 primary care physicians. Using in-depth semi-structured interviews, we asked patients to describe factors influencing their screening decisions. For each unscreened patient, we asked his or her physician to describe barriers to screening. We conducted patient interviews in English (n = 8), Spanish (n = 2), Portuguese (n = 5), Portuguese Creole (n = 1), and Haitian Creole (n = 7). We audiotaped and transcribed the interviews, and then identified major themes in the interviews.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>Four themes emerged: 1) Unscreened patients cited lack of trust in doctors as a barrier to screening whereas few physicians identified this barrier; 2) Unscreened patients identified lack of symptoms as the reason they had not been screened; 3) A doctor's recommendation, or lack thereof, significantly influenced patients' decisions to be screened; 4) Patients, but not their physicians, cited fatalistic views about cancer as a barrier. Conversely, physicians identified competing priorities, such as psychosocial stressors or comorbid medical illness, as barriers to screening. In this culturally diverse group of patients seen at community health centers, similar barriers to screening were reported by patients of different backgrounds, but physicians perceived other factors as more important.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>Further study of these barriers is warranted.</p

    Colorectal cancer screening, perceived discrimination, and low-income and trust in doctors: a survey of minority patients

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Completion of colorectal cancer (CRC) screening testing is lower among low-income and minority groups than the population as a whole. Given the multiple cancer screening health disparities known to exist within the U.S., this study investigated the relationship between perceived discrimination, trust in most doctors, and completion of Fecal Occult Blood Testing (FOBT) among a low-income, minority primary care population in an urban setting.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>We recruited a convenience sample of adults over age 40 (n = 282) from a federally qualified community health center (70% African American). Participants completed a survey which included measures of trust in most doctors, perceived discrimination, demographics and report of cancer screening.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>Participants reported high levels of trust in most doctors, regardless of sex, race, education or income. High trust was associated with low perceived discrimination (p < 0.01). The trend was for older participants to express more trust (p = 0.09) and less perceived discrimination (p < 0.01). Neither trust nor discrimination was associated with race or education. Trust was higher among participants over 50 who were up-to-date on FOBT screening vs. those who were not (31 vs. 29 (median), p < 0.05 by T-test). Among those over 50, up-to-date FOBT screening was nearly associated with high trust (p < 0.06; 95% CI 0.99, 1.28) and low perceived discrimination (p < 0.01; 95% CI 0.76, 0.96). Nevertheless, in multivariate-modeling, age and income explained FOBT completion better than race, trust and discrimination.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>Perceived discrimination was related to income, but not race, suggesting that discrimination is not unique to minorities, but common to those in poverty. Since trust in most doctors trended toward being related to age, FOBT screening could be negatively influenced by low trust and perceived discrimination in health care settings. A failure to address these issues in middle-aged, low income individuals could exacerbate future disparities in CRC screening.</p

    Admixture mapping: from paradigms of race and ethnicity to population history

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    Admixture mapping is a whole genome association strategy that takes advantage of population history—or genetic ancestry—to map genes for complex diseases. However, because it uses racial/ethnic groupings to examine differential disease risk, admixture mapping raises ethical and social concerns. While there has been much theoretical commentary regarding the ethical and social implications of population-based genetic research, empirical data from stakeholders most closely involved with these studies is limited. One of the first admixture mapping studies carried out was a scan for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) risk factors in an African-American population. Applying qualitative research methods, we used this example to explore developing views, experiences and perceptions of the ethical and social implications of admixture mapping and other population-based research—their value, risks and benefits, and the future prospects of the field. Additionally, we sought to understand how social and ethical risks might be mitigated, and the benefits of this research optimized. We draw on in-depth, one-on-one interviews with leading population geneticists, genome scientists, bioethicists, and African-Americans with MS. Here we present our findings from this unique group of key informants and stakeholders

    The Origin and Evolutionary History of HIV-1 Subtype C in Senegal

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    Background: The classification of HIV-1 strains in subtypes and Circulating Recombinant Forms (CRFs) has helped in tracking the course of the HIV pandemic. In Senegal, which is located at the tip of West Africa, CRF02_AG predominates in the general population and Female Sex Workers (FSWs). In contrast, 40% of Men having Sex with Men (MSM) in Senegal are infected with subtype C. In this study we analyzed the geographical origins and introduction dates of HIV-1 C in Senegal in order to better understand the evolutionary history of this subtype, which predominates today in the MSM population Methodology/Principal Findings: We used a combination of phylogenetic analyses and a Bayesian coalescent-based approach, to study the phylogenetic relationships in pol of 56 subtype C isolates from Senegal with 3,025 subtype C strains that were sampled worldwide. Our analysis shows a significantly well supported cluster which contains all subtype C strains that circulate among MSM in Senegal. The MSM cluster and other strains from Senegal are widely dispersed among the different subclusters of African HIV-1 C strains, suggesting multiple introductions of subtype C in Senegal from many different southern and east African countries. More detailed analyses show that HIV-1 C strains from MSM are more closely related to those from southern Africa. The estimated date of the MRCA of subtype C in the MSM population in Senegal is estimated to be in the early 80's. Conclusions/Significance: Our evolutionary reconstructions suggest that multiple subtype C viruses with a common ancestor originating in the early 1970s entered Senegal. There was only one efficient spread in the MSM population, which most likely resulted from a single introduction, underlining the importance of high-risk behavior in spread of viruses

    Barriers to adequate follow-up during adjuvant therapy may be important factors in the worse outcome for Black women after breast cancer treatment

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Introduction</p> <p>Black women appear to have worse outcome after diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. It is still unclear if this is because Black race is more often associated with known negative prognostic indicators or if it is an independent prognostic factor. To study this, we analyzed a patient cohort from an urban university medical center where these women made up the majority of the patient population.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>We used retrospective analysis of a prospectively collected database of breast cancer patients seen from May 1999 to June 2006. Time to recurrence and survival were analyzed using the Kaplan-Meier method, with statistical analysis by chi-square, log rank testing, and the Cox regression model.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>265 female patients were diagnosed with breast cancer during the time period. Fifty patients (19%) had pure DCIS and 215 patients (81%) had invasive disease. Racial and ethnic composition of the entire cohort was as follows: Black (N = 150, 56.6%), Hispanic (N = 83, 31.3%), Caucasian (N = 26, 9.8%), Asian (N = 4, 1.5%), and Arabic (N = 2, 0.8%). For patients with invasive disease, independent predictors of poor disease-free survival included tumor size, node-positivity, incompletion of adjuvant therapy, and Black race. Tumor size, node-positivity, and Black race were independently associated with disease-specific overall survival.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>Worse outcome among Black women appears to be independent of the usual predictors of survival. Further investigation is necessary to identify the cause of this survival disparity. Barriers to completion of standard post-operative treatment regimens may be especially important in this regard.</p
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