79 research outputs found

    Community acceptance and implementation of HIV prevention interventions for injection drug users

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    In 1997, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reviewed evidence of the effectiveness of HIV prevention programs for injection drug users (IDUs) and recommended that three types ofinterventions be implemented to prevent transmission of HIV among IDUs: 1) community-based outreach, 2) expanded syringe access (including needle exchange programs [NEP] and pharmacy sales), and 3) drug treatment. Progress on increasing the acceptance and feasibility of implementing these programs has been made at the national level, but their implementation has been varied at the local level.Understanding the conditions under which communities accept and implement interventions can help guide effective strategies to foster the implementation of these interventions in areas where programs do not currently exist

    The effect of HIV infection and HCV viremia on Inflammatory Mediators and Hepatic Injury-The Women\u27s Interagency HIV Study.

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    Hepatitis C virus infection induces inflammation and while it is believed that HIV co-infection enhances this response, HIV control may reduce inflammation and liver fibrosis in resolved or viremic HCV infection. Measurement of systemic biomarkers in co-infection could help define the mechanism of inflammation on fibrosis and determine if HIV control reduces liver pathology. A nested case-control study was performed to explore the relationship of systemic biomarkers of inflammation with liver fibrosis in HCV viremic and/or seropositive women with and without HIV infection. Serum cytokines, chemokines, growth factors and cell adhesion molecules were measured in HIV uninfected (HIV-, n = 18), ART-treated HIV-controlled (ARTc, n = 20), uncontrolled on anti-retroviral therapy (ARTuc, n = 21) and elite HIV controllers (Elite, n = 20). All were HCV seroreactive and had either resolved (HCV RNA-; \u3c50IU/mL) or had chronic HCV infection (HCV RNA+). In HCV and HIV groups, aspartate aminotransferase to platelet ratio (APRI) was measured and compared to serum cytokines, chemokines, growth factors and cell adhesion molecules. APRI correlated with sVCAM, sICAM, IL-10, and IP-10 levels and inversely correlated with EGF, IL-17, TGF-α and MMP-9 levels. Collectively, all HCV RNA+ subjects had higher sVCAM, sICAM and IP-10 compared to HCV RNA-. In the ART-treated HCV RNA+ groups, TNF-α, GRO, IP-10, MCP-1 and MDC were higher than HIV-, Elite or both. In ARTuc, FGF-2, MPO, soluble E-selectin, MMP-9, IL-17, GM-CSF and TGF-α are lower than HIV-, Elite or both. Differential expression of soluble markers may reveal mechanisms of pathogenesis or possibly reduction of fibrosis in HCV/HIV co-infection

    Reinterpreting Ethnic Patterns among White and African American Men Who Inject Heroin: A Social Science of Medicine Approach

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    BACKGROUND: Street-based heroin injectors represent an especially vulnerable population group subject to negative health outcomes and social stigma. Effective clinical treatment and public health intervention for this population requires an understanding of their cultural environment and experiences. Social science theory and methods offer tools to understand the reasons for economic and ethnic disparities that cause individual suffering and stress at the institutional level. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We used a cross-methodological approach that incorporated quantitative, clinical, and ethnographic data collected by two contemporaneous long-term San Francisco studies, one epidemiological and one ethnographic, to explore the impact of ethnicity on street-based heroin-injecting men 45 years of age or older who were self-identified as either African American or white. We triangulated our ethnographic findings by statistically examining 14 relevant epidemiological variables stratified by median age and ethnicity. We observed significant differences in social practices between self-identified African Americans and whites in our ethnographic social network sample with respect to patterns of (1) drug consumption; (2) income generation; (3) social and institutional relationships; and (4) personal health and hygiene. African Americans and whites tended to experience different structural relationships to their shared condition of addiction and poverty. Specifically, this generation of San Francisco injectors grew up as the children of poor rural to urban immigrants in an era (the late 1960s through 1970s) when industrial jobs disappeared and heroin became fashionable. This was also when violent segregated inner city youth gangs proliferated and the federal government initiated its “War on Drugs.” African Americans had earlier and more negative contact with law enforcement but maintained long-term ties with their extended families. Most of the whites were expelled from their families when they began engaging in drug-related crime. These historical-structural conditions generated distinct presentations of self. Whites styled themselves as outcasts, defeated by addiction. They professed to be injecting heroin to stave off “dopesickness” rather than to seek pleasure. African Americans, in contrast, cast their physical addiction as an oppositional pursuit of autonomy and pleasure. They considered themselves to be professional outlaws and rejected any appearance of abjection. Many, but not all, of these ethnographic findings were corroborated by our epidemiological data, highlighting the variability of behaviors within ethnic categories. CONCLUSIONS: Bringing quantitative and qualitative methodologies and perspectives into a collaborative dialog among cross-disciplinary researchers highlights the fact that clinical practice must go beyond simple racial or cultural categories. A clinical social science approach provides insights into how sociocultural processes are mediated by historically rooted and institutionally enforced power relations. Recognizing the logical underpinnings of ethnically specific behavioral patterns of street-based injectors is the foundation for cultural competence and for successful clinical relationships. It reduces the risk of suboptimal medical care for an exceptionally vulnerable and challenging patient population. Social science approaches can also help explain larger-scale patterns of health disparities; inform new approaches to structural and institutional-level public health initiatives; and enable clinicians to take more leadership in changing public policies that have negative health consequences

    MBL2 and Hepatitis C Virus Infection among Injection Drug Users

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Genetic variations in <it>MBL2 </it>that reduce circulating levels and alter functional properties of the mannose binding lectin (MBL) have been associated with many autoimmune and infectious diseases. We examined whether <it>MBL2 </it>variants influence the outcome of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>Participants were enrolled in the Urban Health Study of San Francisco Bay area injection drug users (IDU) during 1998 through 2000. Study subjects who had a positive test for HCV antibody were eligible for the current study. Participants who were positive for HCV RNA were frequency matched to those who were negative for HCV RNA on the basis of ethnicity and duration of IDU. Genotyping was performed for 15 single nucleotide polymorphisms in <it>MBL2</it>. Statistical analyses of European American and African American participants were conducted separately.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>The analysis included 198 study subjects who were positive for HCV antibody, but negative for HCV RNA, and 654 IDUs who were positive for both antibody and virus. There was no significant association between any of the genetic variants that cause MBL deficiency and the presence of HCV RNA. Unexpectedly, the <it>MBL2 </it>-289X promoter genotype, which causes MBL deficiency, was over-represented among European Americans who were HCV RNA negative (OR = 1.65, 95% CI 1.05–2.58), although not among the African Americans.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>This study found no association between genetic variants that cause MBL deficiency and the presence of HCV RNA. The observation that <it>MBL2 </it>-289X was associated with the absence of HCV RNA in European Americans requires validation.</p

    Temporal changes in HCV genotype distribution in three different high risk populations in San Francisco, California

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    Abstract Background Hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype (GT) has become an important measure in the diagnosis and monitoring of HCV infection treatment. In the United States (U.S.) HCV GT 1 is reported as the most common infecting GT among chronically infected patients. In Europe, however, recent studies have suggested that the epidemiology of HCV GTs is changing. Methods We assessed HCV GT distribution in 460 patients from three HCV-infected high risk populations in San Francisco, and examined patterns by birth cohort to assess temporal trends. Multiple logistic regression was used to assess factors independently associated with GT 1 infection compared to other GTs (2, 3, and 4). Results Overall, GT 1 was predominant (72.4%), however younger injection drug users (IDU) had a lower proportion of GT 1 infections (54.7%) compared to older IDU and HIV-infected patients (80.5% and 76.6%, respectively). Analysis by birth cohort showed increasing proportions of non-GT 1 infections associated with year of birth: birth before 1970 was independently associated with higher adjusted odds of GT 1: AOR 2.03 (95% CI: 1.23, 3.34). African-Americans as compared to whites also had higher adjusted odds of GT 1 infection (AOR: 3.37; 95% CI: 1.89, 5.99). Conclusions Although, HCV GT 1 remains the most prevalent GT, especially among older groups, changes in GT distribution could have significant implications for how HCV might be controlled on a population level and treated on an individual level

    Estimating past hepatitis C infection risk from reported risk factor histories: implications for imputing age of infection and modeling fibrosis progression

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    BackgroundChronic hepatitis C virus infection is prevalent and often causes hepatic fibrosis, which can progress to cirrhosis and cause liver cancer or liver failure. Study of fibrosis progression often relies on imputing the time of infection, often as the reported age of first injection drug use. We sought to examine the accuracy of such imputation and implications for modeling factors that influence progression rates.MethodsWe analyzed cross-sectional data on hepatitis C antibody status and reported risk factor histories from two large studies, the Women’s Interagency HIV Study and the Urban Health Study, using modern survival analysis methods for current status data to model past infection risk year by year. We compared fitted distributions of past infection risk to reported age of first injection drug use.ResultsAlthough injection drug use appeared to be a very strong risk factor, models for both studies showed that many subjects had considerable probability of having been infected substantially before or after their reported age of first injection drug use. Persons reporting younger age of first injection drug use were more likely to have been infected after, and persons reporting older age of first injection drug use were more likely to have been infected before.ConclusionsIn studies of fibrosis progression, modern methods such as multiple imputation should be used to account for the substantial uncertainty about when infection occurred. The models presented here can provide the inputs needed by such methods. Using reported age of first injection drug use as the time of infection in studies of fibrosis progression is likely to produce a spuriously strong association of younger age of infection with slower rate of progression

    Perspective: Test and treat this silent killer

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    Toward a More Accurate Estimate of the Prevalence of Hepatitis C in the United States

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    Data from the 2003-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) indicate that about 3.6 million people in the United States have antibodies to the hepatitis C virus, of whom 2.7 million are currently infected. NHANES, however, excludes several high-risk populations from its sampling frame, including people who are incarcerated, homeless, or hospitalized; nursing home residents; active-duty military personnel; and people living on Indian reservations.We undertook a systematic review of peer-reviewed literature and sought out unpublished presentations and data to estimate the prevalence of hepatitis C in these excluded populations and in turn improve the estimate of the number of people with hepatitis C in the United States. The available data do not support a precise result, but we estimated that 1.0 million (range 0.4 million-1.8 million) persons excluded from the NHANES sampling frame have hepatitis C virus antibody, including 500,000 incarcerated people, 220,000 homeless people, 120,000 people living on Indian reservations, and 75,000 people in hospitals. Most are men. An estimated 0.8 million (range 0.3 million-1.5 million) are currently infected. Several additional sources of underestimation, including nonresponse bias and the underrepresentation of other groups at increased risk of hepatitis C that are not excluded from the NHANES sampling frame, were not addressed in this study. Conclusion: The number of US residents who have been infected with hepatitis C is unknown but is probably at least 4.6 million (range 3.4 million-6.0 million), and of these, at least 3.5 million (range 2.5 million-4.7 million) are currently infected; additional sources of potential underestimation suggest that the true prevalence could well be higher
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