Articles tagged as "Côte d'Ivoire"

Disproportionately high HIV risk and gender disparity in prevalence among urban poor in Sub-Saharan Africa

The disproportionate high risk of HIV infection among the urban poor in sub-Saharan Africa.

Magadi MA. AIDS Behav. 2013 Jun;17(5):1645-54. doi: 10.1007/s10461-012-0217-y.

The link between HIV infection and poverty in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is rather complex and findings from previous studies remain inconsistent. While some argue that poverty increases vulnerability, existing empirical evidence largely support the view that wealthier men and women have higher prevalence of HIV. In this paper, we examine the association between HIV infection and urban poverty in SSA, paying particular attention to differences in risk factors of HIV infection between the urban poor and non-poor. The study is based on secondary analysis of data from the Demographic and Health Surveys from 20 countries in SSA, conducted during 2003-2008. We apply multilevel logistic regression models, allowing the urban poverty risk factor to vary across countries to establish the extent to which the observed patterns are generalizable across countries in the SSA region. The results reveal that the urban poor in SSA have significantly higher odds of HIV infection than urban non-poor counterparts, despite poverty being associated with a significantly lower risk among rural residents. Furthermore, the gender disparity in HIV infection (i.e. the disproportionate higher risk among women) is amplified among the urban poor. The paper confirms that the public health consequence of urban poverty that has been well documented in previous studies with respect to maternal and child health outcomes does apply to the risk of HIV infection. The positive association between household wealth and HIV prevalence observed in previous studies largely reflects the situation in the rural areas where the majority of the SSA populations reside.

Abstract   Full-text [free] access 

Editor’s notes: Evidence on the association between socio-economic position and HIV incidence in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has been mixed and appears to be changing over time. Although wealth was previously a predictor of HIV infection, it has recently been suggested that poverty is increasingly driving new infections in mature epidemics, especially in rural areas, where the majority of the population in SSA resides. With high rates of urbanisation both in SSA and globally (according to UNAIDS 2 of every 3 people living with HIV will be living in urban areas by 2030), this article provides important disaggregated evidence of the higher risk of HIV infection among the urban poor as well, and particularly among poor urban women. Even after controlling for sexual behaviour, the results suggest that other structural factors that characterise the environment, in which the urban poor live, such as unemployment, discrimination and violence, may be playing a key role. Interestingly, higher educational attainment was found to be associated with higher HIV risk among the urban poor, while it appeared to be protective among the better-off urban population. This may be pointing towards the ‘inverse equity hypothesis’, discussed in another paper this month (Hargreaves et al.), whereby groups with higher socio-economic position (wealth and/or education) are expected to benefit first from HIV/health interventions, thereby initially widening the gap in health outcomes until the poor catch up. 

Africa
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Adverse events associated with nevirapine use in pregnancy

Adverse events associated with nevirapine use in pregnancy: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Ford N, Calmy A, Andrieux-Meyer I, Hargreaves S, Mills EJ, Shubber Z. AIDS. 2013 Jan 5. [Epub ahead of print]

The risk of adverse drug events associated with nevirapine is suggested to be greater in pregnant women. The authors conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of severe adverse events in HIV-positive women who initiated NVP while pregnant. Six databases were searched for studies reporting adverse events among HIV-positive pregnant women who had received nevirapine-based antiretroviral therapy for at least seven days. Data were pooled by the fixed-effects method. Twenty studies (3582 pregnant women) from 14 countries were included in the final review. The pooled proportion of patients experiencing a severe hepatotoxic event was 3.6% (95%CI 2.4-4.8%), severe rash was experienced by 3.3% of patients (95%CI 2.1-4.5%), and 6.2% (95%CI 4.0-8.4%) of patients discontinued nevirapine due to an adverse event. These results were comparable to frequencies observed in the general adult patient population, and to frequencies reported in non-pregnant women within the same cohort. For pregnant women with a CD4 cell count >250 cells/mm there was a non-significant tendency towards an increased likelihood of cutaneous events overall (OR 1.1, 95%CI 0.8-1.6) and severe cutaneous adverse events (OR 1.4, 95%CI 0.8-2.4) and consequently an increased risk of toxicity-driven regimen substitution (OR 1.7, 95%CI 1.1-2.6). These results suggest that the frequency of adverse events associated with nevirapine use in pregnant women, while high, is no higher than reported for nevirapine in the general adult population. Pregnant women with a high CD4 count may be at increased risk of adverse events, but evidence supporting this association is weak.

Abstract access 

Editor’s notes: The selection of antiretroviral drug regimens has been particularly challenging for HIV-positive pregnant women. Adverse events are less frequent for men and women with efavirenz use compared to nevirapine, and increasingly efavirenz is a preferred choice. However, due to concerns about the safety of efavirenz in pregnancy, nevirapine continues to be widely used as a component of antiretroviral treatment for pregnant women. However, there have been suggestions that HIV-positive pregnant women have higher rates of nevirapine-associated adverse events, especially for those women with high CD4, compared to non-pregnant women on nevirapine. This meta-analysis of 20 studies did demonstrate a relatively high frequency of adverse events in women who use nevirapine, but not at rates higher than among non-pregnant women on HIV treatment with nevirapine. The data about efavirenz safety for the fetus is being carefully reviewed to elucidate if widespread use of efavirenz is preferable to nevirapine during pregnancy.

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Comparing adverse effects of nevirapine and efavirenz

Adverse events associated with nevirapine and efavirenz-based first-line antiretroviral therapy: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Shubber Z, Calmy A, Andrieux-Meyer I, Vitoria M, Renaud-Thery F, Shaffer N, Hargreaves S, Mills EJ, Ford N. AIDS. 2013 Jan 22. [Epub ahead of print]

Since 2002, the World Health Organization has recommended either nevirapine (NVP) or efavirenz (EFV) as part of first-line antiretroviral therapy. These two drugs are known to have differing toxicity profiles, but the clinical importance of these toxicities overall is not well established. The authors systematically reviewed adverse events among treatment-naïve HIV-positive adults and children receiving either NVP or EFV as part of first-line antiretroviral therapy. The primary outcome was drug discontinuation as a result of any adverse event; specific toxicities were evaluated as secondary outcomes. Point estimates and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were calculated and proportions and odds ratios (OR) pooled using fixed-effects meta-analysis. Data was reviewed on 26446 adult and 3975 children from 8 randomized trials and 26 prospective cohorts. Overall, adults on NVP were more than two times more likely to discontinue treatment due to any adverse event compared to patients on EFV (OR 2.2, 95%CI 1.9-2.6). Severe hepatotoxicity (OR 3.3, 95%CI 2.5-4.2), severe skin toxicity (OR 3.9, 95%CI 2.5-5.4), and severe hypersensitivity reactions (OR 2.4, 95%CI 1.9-2.9) were more likely to occur among patients on NVP. Patients receiving EFV were more likely to experience severe CNS-events (OR 3.4, 95%CI 2.1-5.4). Similar associations were seen in children. Compared to NVP, EFV is associated with a lower frequency of severe adverse events, in particular treatment discontinuations. This finding supports a move towards efavirenz-based therapy as the preferred first-line treatment regimen for HIV treatment within a public health approach.

Abstract access 

Editor’s notes: As increased progress is being made towards universal access to treatment, increased attention is being addressed towards retention in care and on treatment. Simpler, less toxic regimens have been a cornerstone of the Treatment 2.0 initiative of UNAIDS and WHO. Nevirapine has been widely utilized as an essential component of three drug antiretroviral therapy, in part due to low cost and safety at a population level. While efavirenz does have a greater incidence of central nervous system side effects (many of them manageable with supportive treatment), the overall discontinuation rate is significantly lower than with nevirapine. This data in combination with the continued reduction in efavirenz price, and incorporation into combination pill form, supports the move towards increased use of efavirenz for first line antiretroviral therapy.

HIV Treatment
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Preventing nosocomial tuberculosis in health facilities

Assessment of organizational measures to prevent nosocomial tuberculosis in health facilities of 4 sub-Saharan countries in 2010.

Robert J, Affolabi D, Awokou F, Nolna D, Manouan BA, Acho YB, Gninafon M, Trebucq A. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2013 Feb;34(2):190-5. doi: 10.1086/669085. Epub 2012 Dec 18

The prevention of tuberculosis (TB) transmission in healthcare settings is a major issue, particularly because of the interaction between human immunodeficiency virus and TB and the emergence of multidrug-resistant TB. A questionnaire was developed by representatives of Benin, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, and Togo to evaluate the organizational measures implemented in facilities involved in TB management in healthcare facilities. On-site visits were performed between July 2010 and July 2011. A total of 115 facilities, including 10 university hospitals and 92 basic management units, were visited. None had a TB infection control plan, and only 5.2% provided education for staff about nosocomial TB. Overall, 48.3% of the facilities performed triage of suspected TB cases on hospital arrival or admission, 89.6% provided education for TB cases on cough etiquette, 20.0% segregated smear-positive TB cases, and 15.7% segregated previously treated cases. A total of 15.5% of the facilities registered TB among staff, for a global prevalence rate of 348 cases per 100,000 staff members. This survey identified simple and mostly costless administrative measures to be urgently implemented at the local level to prevent nosocomial TB, such as staff education, triage on admission, and segregation of previously treated patients.

Abstract access 

Editor’s notes: WHO promotes the TB strategy of the “Three Is” – isoniazid prophylaxis, intensified case finding and infection control. Intensified case finding has been promoted by provider and patient education as well as focused screening of patient symptoms suggestive of active tuberculosis. Isoniazid prophylaxis is recommended by WHO, but has not been widely adopted in high TB and TB/HIV settings in many resource challenged settings due to a number of management and diagnostic concerns. Infection control is widely recognized as important to prevent TB transmission in health care settings, but the environmental and administrative interventions have not been widely implemented despite their relatively low cost. The recommendations associated with the Three Is have been disseminated widely – a clearer understanding of the obstacles associated with their adoption may need to be understood and assessed to facilitate better TB control measures.

Avoid TB deaths
Africa
Benin, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Togo
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Integration of HIV and TB services: a model to shift from "vertical to horizontal"

Integrating tuberculosis and HIV services in low- and middle-income countries: a systematic review.

Legido-Quigley H, Montgomery CM, Khan P, Atun R, Fakoya A, Getahun H, Grant AD. Trop Med Int Health. 2012 Dec 10. [Epub ahead of print]

Objectives: Given the imperative to scale up integrated tuberculosis (TB) and HIV services in settings where both are of major public health importance, we aimed to synthesise knowledge concerning implementation of TB/HIV service integration.

Methods: Systematic review of studies describing a strategy to facilitate TB and HIV service integration, searching 15 bibliographic databases including Medline, Embase and the Cochrane library; and relevant conference abstracts.

Results: Sixty-three of 1936 peer-reviewed articles and 70 of 170 abstracts met our inclusion criteria. We identified five models: entry via TB service, with referral for HIV testing and care; entry via TB service, on-site HIV testing, and referral for HIV care; entry via HIV service with referral for TB screening and treatment; entry via HIV service, on-site TB screening, and referral for TB diagnosis and treatment; and TB and HIV services provided at a single facility. Referral-based models are most easily implemented, but referral failure is a key risk. Closer integration requires more staff training and additional infrastructure (e.g. private space for HIV counselling; integrated records). Infection control is a major concern. More integrated models hold potential efficiencies from both provider and user perspective. Most papers report 'outcomes' (e.g. proportion of TB patients tested for HIV); few report downstream 'impacts' such as outcomes of TB treatment or antiretroviral therapy. Very few studies address the perspectives of service users or staff, or costs or cost-effectiveness.

Conclusions: While scaling up integrated services, robust comparisons of the impacts of different models are needed using standardised outcome measures.

Abstract access

Editor’s notes:This study emphasizes the need to implement the most effective integrated services for the prevention and cure of HIV and TB.  TB remains one of the most deadly infectious diseases that dramatically impacts on people in sub-Saharan Africa and represent the major cause of death in those living with HIV in the region. In fact, the progressive weakening of the immune system in HIV-positive people increases the likelihood of contracting/reactivating tuberculosis. Already in 2004, the WHO published "A Interim Policy on TBV/HIV Collaborative Activities" with the purpose of providing a guide to establish integration of TB and HIV services, and to reduce the TB load in people living with HIV. An updated document "WHO policy on collaborative TB/HIV activities: guidelines for national programmes and other stakeholders" is now available. The document provides guidance for integrating care activities between TB and HIV health services. However, to put this paper into perspective, a consensus can be reached by saying that integration shall not just be about HIV and TB. Indeed, the old debate between "vertical approaches (e.g. disease focused)" and horizontal approaches (e.g. health systems focused) shall now be concluded and integration of services shall expand to care of other diseases, particularly when, at the horizon, an epidemic of chronic non-communicable diseases is slowly but surely rising in Africa. In summary, HIV is a chronic infection impacting the lifecycle; with periods of illness and wellness, with multiple clinical and psychosocial needs, requiring lifelong care and treatment with a secure supply of medicines and laboratory tests.

It is evident that HIV care may inform appropriate responses to other health threats which share the same demand for services, training of health care workers, support for adherence, infrastructure and equipment, programme management, drug and laboratory supplies, linkage to care and community involvement. In other words, there is a wide recognition of the spillover effect of HIV interventions towards health systems strengthening, not only to the benefit of other communicable diseases, but also of child and maternal health and of chronic non-communicable diseases (like diabetes, hypertension and cancer).

Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America
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Sex work

High prevalence of HIV and sexually transmitted infections among male sex workers in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire: need for services tailored to their needs

Vuylsteke B, Semde G, Sika L, Crucitti T, Ettiegne Traore V, Buve A, Laga M. Sex Transm Infect. 2012 Feb 11. [Epub ahead of print]

To assess condom use and prevalence of sexually transmitted infections (STI) and HIV among male sex workers in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire a cross-sectional survey was conducted between October 2007 and January 2008 among men attending a sex worker clinic in Abidjan. A short questionnaire was administered in a face-to-face interview, and the participants were asked to provide a urine sample for STI testing and to self-collect transudate of the gingival mucosa for anonymous HIV testing, using a rapid test. A rectal swab for STI testing was taken by a physician. Molecular amplification assays were performed for the detection of Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Trichomonas vaginalis. 96 male sex workers participated in the survey, their median age was 27 years and the median duration of sex work was 5 years. Consistent condom use with clients during the last working day was 86.0%, and consistent condom use with the regular partner during the last week was 81.6%. HIV infection was detected in 50.0% of the participants. The prevalence of N gonorrhoeae was 12.8%, chlamydia infection was present in 3.2% and T vaginalis in 2.1% of the study participants. HIV and STI rates found in this study confirm the high risk and vulnerability status of male sex workers in Côte d'Ivoire. There is a definite need for studies exploring risk and risk perceptions among male sex workers in more depth and for services tailored to their needs, including developing and validating simple algorithms for the diagnosis of STI in MSW and men who have sex with men.

For abstract access click here. 

Editor’s note: This is the first facility-based survey of male sex workers in Africa to be published. HIV prevalence is very high: 42% for first-time attenders and 54% for those coming for a repeat visit. In total, 55% of first time attenders had never had an HIV test before whereas 16% of repeat attenders had done so, of whom some were now on antiretroviral therapy. The Clinique de Confiance, established in 1992, is well known for its services for female sex workers. In 2002, male sex workers began attending the clinic and in 2004 the Clinique began offering specialised services for male sex workers, the majority of whom are men who have sex with men, many of them married to women. Some of these men are street-based workers, while others offer their services via the internet.  The high condom use with clients and with regular partners was self-reported in face-to-face interviews and is belied by the high prevalence of anal gonorrhoea. Strikingly, most of the STI laboratory work was conducted in Belgium, underscoring the urgent need for point of care STI testing. What is most important here, however, is that ‘if you build it, they will come’. Tailored services for this marginalised, stigmatised population can attract them and provide critical HIV prevention and treatment service access.

Côte d'Ivoire
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Preventing new paediatric infections

Health facility characteristics and their relationship to coverage of PMTCT of HIV services across four African countries: The PEARL Study

Ekouevi DK, Stringer E, Coetzee D, Tih P, Creek T, Stinson K, Westfall AO, Welty T, Chintu N, Chi BH, Wilfert C, Shaffer N, Stringer J, Dabis F. PLoS One. 2012;7(1):e29823. Epub 2012 Jan 20

Health facility characteristics associated with effective prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) coverage in sub-Saharan are poorly understood. Ekouevi and colleagues conducted surveys in health facilities with active PMTCT services in Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, South Africa, and Zambia. Data was compiled via direct observation and exit interviews. The authors constructed composite scores to describe provision of PMTCT services across seven topical areas: antenatal quality, PMTCT quality, supplies available, patient satisfaction, patient understanding of medication, and infrastructure quality. Pearson correlations and Generalized Estimating Equations (GEE) to account for clustering of facilities within countries were used to evaluate the relationship between the composite scores, total time of visit and select individual variables with PMTCT coverage among women delivering. Between July 2008 and May 2009, they collected data from 32 facilities; 78% were managed by the government health system. An opt-out approach for HIV testing was used in 100% of facilities in Zambia, 63% in Cameroon, and none in Côte d'Ivoire or South Africa. Using Pearson correlations, PMTCT coverage (median of 55%, (IQR: 33-68) was correlated with PMTCT quality score (rho = 0.51; p = 0.003); infrastructure quality score (rho = 0.43; p = 0.017); time spent at clinic (rho = 0.47; p = 0.013); patient understanding of medications score (rho = 0.51; p = 0.006); and patient satisfaction quality score (rho = 0.38; p = 0.031). PMTCT coverage was marginally correlated with the antenatal quality score (rho = 0.304; p = 0.091). Using GEE adjustment for clustering, the, antenatal quality score became more strongly associated with PMTCT coverage (p<0.001) and the PMTCT quality score and patient understanding of medications remained marginally significant. The authors observed a positive relationship between an antenatal quality score and PMTCT coverage but did not identify a consistent set of variables that predicted PMTCT coverage.

For abstract access click here. 

Editor’s note: The PEARL Study (PMTCT Effectiveness in Africa: Research and Linkages to Care) was conducted from 2007-2009 in 32 health facilities with PMTCT services in four countries: Cameroon (8), Cote d’Ivoire (9), South Africa (6), and Zambia (9). It found that coverage of single-dose nevirapine of both mother and baby was variable and reached only 55% overall. In this first study to do so systematically, the researchers assessed antenatal clinic and service characteristics to see if they would predict coverage. One factor stood out as distinguishing the worst-performing sites from the others and that was the lack of registers with PMTCT information. Although some other obvious variables were associated with coverage, variables related to general antenatal care were more predictive of PMTCT coverage. This supports the importance of strengthening health care in general in order to improve PMCTC coverage. But it does not in anyway decrease the need for quality assessments and creative improvements in PMTCT programmes themselves.

Africa
Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, South Africa, Zambia
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