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Wilson K.C.,Imperial College London | Mhangara M.,Zimbabwe Ministry of Health and Child Care | Dzangare J.,Zimbabwe Ministry of Health and Child Care | Eaton J.W.,Imperial College London | And 4 more authors.
AIDS | Year: 2017

Objective: The objective was to assess whether HIV prevalence measured among women attending antenatal clinics (ANCs) are representative of prevalence in the local area, or whether estimates may be biased by some women's choice to attend ANCs away from their residential location. We tested the hypothesis that HIV prevalence in towns and periurban areas is underestimated in ANC sentinel surveillance data in Zimbabwe. Methods: National unlinked anonymous HIV surveillance was conducted at 19 ANCs in Zimbabwe in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2009, and 2012. This data was used to compare HIV prevalence and nonlocal attendance levels at ANCs at city, town, periurban, and rural clinics in aggregate and also for individual ANCs. Results: In 2000, HIV prevalence at town ANCs (36.6%, 95% CI 34.4-38.9%) slightly underestimated prevalence among urban women attending these clinics (40.7%, 95% CI 37.6-43.9%). However, there was no distortion in HIV prevalence at either the aggregate clinic location or at individual clinics in more recent surveillance rounds. HIV prevalence was consistently higher in towns and periurban areas than in rural areas. Nonlocal attendance was high at town (26-39%) and periurban (53-95%) ANCs but low at city clinics (<10%). However, rural women attending ANCs in towns and periurban areas had higher HIV prevalence than rural women attending rural clinics, and were younger, more likely to be single, and less likely to be housewives. Conclusions:: In Zimbabwe, HIV prevalence among ANC attendees provides reliable estimates of HIV prevalence in pregnant women in the local area. © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Lowenthal E.D.,University of Pennsylvania | Lowenthal E.D.,Children's Hospital of Philadelphia | Bakeera-Kitaka S.,Makerere University | Chapman J.,Children's Hospital of Philadelphia | And 3 more authors.
The Lancet Infectious Diseases | Year: 2014

Worldwide, more than three million children are infected with HIV, 90% of whom live in sub-Saharan Africa. As the HIV epidemic matures and antiretroviral treatment is scaled up, children with HIV are reaching adolescence in large numbers. The growing population of adolescents with perinatally acquired HIV infection living within this region presents not only unprecedented challenges but also opportunities to learn about the pathogenesis of HIV infection. In this Review, we discuss the changing epidemiology of paediatric HIV and the particular features of HIV infection in adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa. Longstanding HIV infection acquired when the immune system is not developed results in distinctive chronic clinical complications that cause severe morbidity. As well as dealing with chronic illness, HIV-infected adolescents have to confront psychosocial issues, maintain adherence to drugs, and learn to negotiate sexual relationships, while undergoing rapid physical and psychological development. Context-specific strategies for early identification of HIV infection in children and prompt linkage to care need to be developed. Clinical HIV care should integrate age-appropriate sexual and reproductive health and psychological, educational, and social services. Health-care workers will need to be trained to recognise and manage the needs of these young people so that the increasing numbers of children surviving to adolescence can access quality care beyond specialist services at low-level health-care facilities. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Kranzer K.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Meghji J.,Biomedical Research and Training Institute | Bandason T.,Biomedical Research and Training Institute | Dauya E.,Biomedical Research and Training Institute | And 6 more authors.
PLoS Medicine | Year: 2014

Background:There is a substantial burden of HIV infection among older children in sub-Saharan Africa, the majority of whom are diagnosed after presentation with advanced disease. We investigated the provision and uptake of provider-initiated HIV testing and counselling (PITC) among children in primary health care facilities, and explored health care worker (HCW) perspectives on providing HIV testing to children.Methods and Findings:Children aged 6 to 15 y attending six primary care clinics in Harare, Zimbabwe, were offered PITC, with guardian consent and child assent. The reasons why testing did not occur in eligible children were recorded, and factors associated with HCWs offering and children/guardians refusing HIV testing were investigated using multivariable logistic regression. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with clinic nurses and counsellors to explore these factors. Among 2,831 eligible children, 2,151 (76%) were offered PITC, of whom 1,534 (54.2%) consented to HIV testing. The main reasons HCWs gave for not offering PITC were the perceived unsuitability of the accompanying guardian to provide consent for HIV testing on behalf of the child and lack of availability of staff or HIV testing kits. Children who were asymptomatic, older, or attending with a male or a younger guardian had significantly lower odds of being offered HIV testing. Male guardians were less likely to consent to their child being tested. 82 (5.3%) children tested HIV-positive, with 95% linking to care. Of the 940 guardians who tested with the child, 186 (19.8%) were HIV-positive.Conclusions:The HIV prevalence among children tested was high, highlighting the need for PITC. For PITC to be successfully implemented, clear legislation about consent and guardianship needs to be developed, and structural issues addressed. HCWs require training on counselling children and guardians, particularly male guardians, who are less likely to engage with health care services. Increased awareness of the risk of HIV infection in asymptomatic older children is needed.Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary. © 2014 Kranzer et al.

Theron G.,Lung Infection and Immunity Unit | Zijenah L.,University of Zimbabwe | Chanda D.,University of Lusaka | Clowes P.,National Institute of Medical Research | And 16 more authors.
The Lancet | Year: 2014

Background: The Xpert MTB/RIF test for tuberculosis is being rolled out in many countries, but evidence is lacking regarding its implementation outside laboratories, ability to inform same-day treatment decisions at the point of care, and clinical effect on tuberculosis-related morbidity. We aimed to assess the feasibility, accuracy, and clinical effect of point-of-care Xpert MTB/RIF testing at primary-care health-care facilities in southern Africa. Methods: In this pragmatic, randomised, parallel-group, multicentre trial, we recruited adults with symptoms suggestive of active tuberculosis from five primary-care health-care facilities in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Tanzania. Eligible patients were randomly assigned using pregenerated tables to nurse-performed Xpert MTB/RIF at the clinic or sputum smear microscopy. Participants with a negative test result were empirically managed according to local WHO-compliant guidelines. Our primary outcome was tuberculosis-related morbidity (measured with the TBscore and Karnofsky performance score [KPS]) in culture-positive patients who had begun anti-tuberculosis treatment, measured at 2 months and 6 months after randomisation, analysed by intention to treat. This trial is registered with Clinicaltrials. gov, number NCT01554384. Findings: Between April 12, 2011, and March 30, 2012, we randomly assigned 758 patients to smear microscopy (182 culture positive) and 744 to Xpert MTB/RIF (185 culture positive). Median TBscore in culture-positive patients did not diff er between groups at 2 months (2 [IQR 0-3] in the smear microscopy group vs 2 [0·25-3] in the MTB/RIF group; p=0·85) or 6 months (1 [0-3] vs 1 [0-3]; p=0·35), nor did median KPS at 2 months (80 [70-90] vs 90 [80-90]; p=0·23) or 6 months (100 [90-100] vs 100 [90-100]; p=0·85). Point-of-care MTB/RIF had higher sensitivity than microscopy (154 [83%] of 185 vs 91 [50%] of 182; p=0·0001) but similar specificity (517 [95%] 544 vs 540 [96%] of 560; p=0·25), and had similar sensitivity to laboratory-based MTB/RIF (292 [83%] of 351; p=0·99) but higher specificity (952 [92%] of 1037; p=0·0173). 34 (5%) of 744 tests with point-of-care MTB/RIF and 82 (6%) of 1411 with laboratory-based MTB/RIF failed (p=0·22). Compared with the microscopy group, more patients in the MTB/RIF group had a same-day diagnosis (178 [24%] of 744 vs 99 [13%] of 758; p<0·0001) and same-day treatment initiation (168 [23%] of 744 vs 115 [15%] of 758; p=0·0002). Although, by end of the study, more culture-positive patients in the MTB/RIF group were on treatment due to reduced dropout (15 [8%] of 185 in the MTB/RIF group did not receive treatment vs 28 [15%] of 182 in the microscopy group; p=0·0302), the proportions of all patients on treatment in each group by day 56 were similar (320 [43%] of 744 in the MTB/RIF group vs 317 [42%] of 758 in the microscopy group; p=0·6408). Interpretation: Xpert MTB/RIF can be accurately administered by a nurse in primary-care clinics, resulting in more patients starting same-day treatment, more culture-positive patients starting therapy, and a shorter time to treatment. However, the benefits did not translate into lower tuberculosis-related morbidity, partly because of high levels of empirical-evidence-based treatment in smear-negative patients. Funding European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership, National Research Foundation, and Claude Leon Foundation.

Robertson L.,Imperial College London | Mushati P.,Biomedical Research and Training Institute | Eaton J.W.,Imperial College London | Dumba L.,Catholic Relief Services | And 11 more authors.
The Lancet | Year: 2013

Background Cash-transfer programmes can improve the wellbeing of vulnerable children, but few studies have rigorously assessed their effectiveness in sub-Saharan Africa. We investigated the effects of unconditional cash transfers (UCTs) and conditional cash transfers (CCTs) on birth registration, vaccination uptake, and school attendance in children in Zimbabwe. Methods We did a matched, cluster-randomised controlled trial in ten sites in Manicaland, Zimbabwe. We divided each study site into three clusters. After a baseline survey between July, and September, 2009, clusters in each site were randomly assigned to UCT, CCT, or control, by drawing of lots from a hat. Eligible households contained children younger than 18 years and satisfied at least one other criteria: head of household was younger than 18 years; household cared for at least one orphan younger than 18 years, a disabled person, or an individual who was chronically ill; or household was in poorest wealth quintile. Between January, 2010, and January, 2011, households in UCT clusters collected payments every 2 months. Households in CCT clusters could receive the same amount but were monitored for compliance with several conditions related to child wellbeing. Eligible households in all clusters, including control clusters, had access to parenting skills classes and received maize seed and fertiliser in December, 2009, and August, 2010. Households and individuals delivering the intervention were not masked, but data analysts were. The primary endpoints were proportion of children younger than 5 years with a birth certificate, proportion younger than 5 years with up-to-date vaccinations, and proportion aged 6-12 years attending school at least 80% of the time. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00966849. Findings 1199 eligible households were allocated to the control group, 1525 to the UCT group, and 1319 to the CCT group. Compared with control clusters, the proportion of children aged 0-4 years with birth certificates had increased by 1•5% (95% CI -7•1 to 10•1) in the UCT group and by 16•4% (7•8-25•0) in the CCT group by the end of the intervention period. The proportions of children aged 0-4 years with complete vaccination records was 3•1% (-3•8 to 9•9) greater in the UCT group and 1•8% (-5•0 to 8•7) greater in the CCT group than in the control group. The proportions of children aged 6-12 years who attended school at least 80% of the time was 7•2% (0•8-13•7) higher in the UCT group and 7•6% (1•2-14•1) in the CCT group than in the control group. Interpretation Our results support strategies to integrate cash transfers into social welfare programming in sub-Saharan Africa, but further evidence is needed for the comparative effectiveness of UCT and CCT programmes in this region.

Bandason T.,Biomedical Research and Training Institute | Rusakaniko S.,University of Zimbabwe
Tobacco Induced Diseases | Year: 2010

Background. There is a growing epidemic of tobacco use among adolescents in the developing world. However, there is no up to date information on smoking among adolescents. Although in the developing world concerted efforts are being made to control tobacco use, Zimbabwe does not have any documented tobacco control programmes. We estimated the prevalence of smoking among school going secondary school students in Harare, Zimbabwe. Methods. A 3-stage stratified random sampling was employed to select six participating schools and students. A descriptive analysis was conducted to describe the demographic characteristics of the participants. The prevalence of smoking was estimated and the comparison of prevalence was performed according to its associated factors. Logistic regression analysis was used to identify risk factors for smoking. Results. 650 students with a mean age 16 years and 47% of them female participated. Prevalence of ever-smoked was 28.8% (95% CI 25.3 to 32.3). Prevalence of ever-smoked among males (37.8%) was significantly (p < 0.001) much higher than among females (18.5%). In the multivariate analysis, smoking was found to be statistically associated with having friends that smoke (OR 2.8), getting involved in physical fights (OR 2.3), alcohol use (OR 5.7), marijuana use (OR 8.1) and having had sexual intercourse (OR 4.4). Conclusions. The study provides recent estimates of prevalence of smoking, and indicates that there is still a high prevalence of smoking among urban secondary school students. Exposure to friends who smoke, risky behaviour like substance abuse, premarital sex and physical fights are significantly associated with smoking. Interventions to stop or reduce the habit should be implemented now and future studies should monitor and evaluate the impact of the interventions. © 2010 Bandason and Rusakaniko; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Banks L.M.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Zuurmond M.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Ferrand R.,Biomedical Research and Training Institute | Ferrand R.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Kuper H.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Tropical Medicine and International Health | Year: 2015

Objective: To systematically review evidence on the prevalence and risk of disabilities among children and adults living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa. Methods: Articles were identified from 1980 to June 2013 through searching seven electronic databases. Epidemiological studies conducted in sub-Saharan Africa that explored the association between HIV status and general disability or specific impairments, with or without an HIV-uninfected comparison group, were eligible for inclusion. Results: Of 12 867 records initially identified, 61 papers were deemed eligible for inclusion. The prevalence of disability was high across age groups, impairment types and study locations. Furthermore, 73% of studies using an HIV- comparator found significantly lower levels of functioning in people living with HIV (PLHIV). By disability type, the results were as follows: (i) for studies measuring physical impairments (n = 14), median prevalence of limitations in mobility and motor function among PLHIV was 25.0% (95% CI: 21.8-28.2%). Five of eight comparator studies found significantly reduced functioning among PLHIV; for arthritis, two of three studies which used an HIV- comparison group found significantly increased prevalence among PLHIV; (ii) for sensory impairment studies (n = 17), median prevalence of visual impairment was 11.2% (95%CI: 9.5-13.1%) and hearing impairment was 24.1% (95%CI: 19.2-29.0%) in PLHIV. Significantly increased prevalence among PLHIV was found in one of four (vision) and three of three studies (hearing) with comparators; (iii) for cognitive impairment in adults (n = 30), median prevalence for dementia was 25.3% (95% CI: 22.0-28.6%) and 40.9% (95% CI: 37.7-44.1%) for general cognitive impairment. Across all types of cognitive impairment, twelve of fourteen studies found a significant detrimental effect of HIV infection; (iv) for developmental delay in children with HIV (n = 20), median prevalence of motor delay was 67.7% (95% CI: 62.2-73.2%). All nine studies that included a comparator found a significant difference between PLHIV and controls; for cognitive development and global delay, a significant detrimental effect of HIV was found in five of six and one of two studies, respectively. In the nine cohort studies comparing vertically infected and uninfected children, eight showed a significant gap in development over time in children with HIV. Finally, fifteen of thirty-one (48%) studies found a statistically significant dose-response relationship between indicators of disease progression (CD4 or WHO stage) and disability. Conclusions: HIV is widespread in sub-Saharan Africa and the evidence suggests that it is linked to disabilities, affecting a range of body structures and functions. More research is needed to better understand the implications of HIV-related disability for individuals, their families as well as those working in the fields of disability and HIV so that appropriate interventions can be developed. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Garnett G.P.,Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation | Hallett T.B.,Imperial College London | Takaruza A.,Biomedical Research and Training Institute | Hargreaves J.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | And 6 more authors.
The Lancet HIV | Year: 2016

Background The HIV treatment cascade illustrates the steps required for successful treatment and is a powerful advocacy and monitoring tool. Similar cascades for people susceptible to infection could improve HIV prevention programming. We aim to show the feasibility of using cascade models to monitor prevention programmes. Methods Conceptual prevention cascades are described taking intervention-centric and client-centric perspectives to look at supply, demand, and efficacy of interventions. Data from two rounds of a population-based study in east Zimbabwe are used to derive the values of steps for cascades for voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) and for partner reduction or condom use driven by HIV testing and counselling (HTC). Findings In 2009 to 2011 the availability of circumcision services was negligible, but by 2012 to 2013 about a third of the population had access. However, where it was available only 12% of eligible men sought to be circumcised leading to an increase in circumcision prevalence from 3·1% to 6·9%. Of uninfected men, 85·3% did not perceive themselves to be at risk of acquiring HIV. The proportions of men and women tested for HIV increased from 27·5% to 56·6% and from 61·1% to 79·6%, respectively, with 30·4% of men tested self-reporting reduced sexual partner numbers and 12·8% reporting increased condom use. Interpretation Prevention cascades can be populated to inform HIV prevention programmes. In eastern Zimbabwe programmes need to provide greater access to circumcision services and the design and implementation of associated demand creation activities. Whereas, HTC services need to consider how to increase reductions in partner numbers or increased condom use or should not be considered as contributing to prevention services for the HIV-negative adults. Funding Wellcome Trust and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. © 2016 Garnett et al. Open Access article distributed under the terms of CC BY

Hallett T.B.,Imperial College London | Stover J.,FutuResearch Institute | Mishra V.,Macro International Inc. | Ghys P.D.,UNAIDS | And 3 more authors.
AIDS | Year: 2010

OBJECTIVE: To estimate HIV incidence in the general population in countries where there have been two recent household-based HIV prevalence surveys (the Dominican Republic, Mali, Niger, Tanzania, and Zambia). METHODS: We applied a validated method to estimate HIV incidence using HIV prevalence measurement in two surveys. RESULTS: We estimate incidence among men and women aged 15-44 years to be: 0.5/1000 person-years at risk in the Dominican Republic 2002-2007, 1.1/1000 in Mali 2001-2006, 0.6/1000 in Niger 2002-2006, 3.4/1000 in Tanzania 2004-2008, and 11.2/1000 in Zambia 2002-2007. The groups most at risk in these epidemics are typically 15-24-year-old women and 25-39-year-old men. Incidence appears to have declined in recent years in all countries, but only significantly among men in the Dominican Republic and Tanzania and women in Zambia. CONCLUSION: Using prevalence measurements to estimate incidence reveals the current level and age distribution of new infections and the trajectory of the HIV epidemic. This information is more useful than prevalence data alone and should be used to help determine priorities for interventions. © 2010 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Cremin I.,Imperial College London | Cauchemez S.,Imperial College London | Garnett G.P.,Imperial College London | Gregson S.,Imperial College London | Gregson S.,Biomedical Research and Training Institute
Tropical Medicine and International Health | Year: 2012

Objectives To compare nationally representative trends in self-reported uptake of HIV testing and receipt of results in selected countries prior to treatment scale-up. Methods Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) data from 13 countries in sub-Saharan Africa were used to describe the pattern of uptake of testing for HIV among sexually active participants. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression were used to analyse the associations between socio-demographic and behavioural characteristics and the uptake of testing. Results Knowledge of serostatus ranged from 2.2% among women in Guinea (2005) to 27.4% among women in Rwanda (2005). Despite varied levels of testing, univariate analysis showed the profile of testers to be remarkably similar across countries, with respect to socio-demographic characteristics such as area of residence and socio-economic status. HIV-positive participants were more likely to have tested and received their results than HIV-negative participants, with the exception of women in Senegal and men in Guinea. Adjusted analyses indicate that a secondary or higher level of education was a key determinant of testing, and awareness that treatment exists was independently positively associated with testing, once other characteristics were taken into account. Conclusion This work provides a baseline for monitoring trends in testing and exploring changes in the profile of those who get tested after the introduction and scale-up of treatment. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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