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New Delhi, India

Vuylsteke B.,Institute of Tropical Medicine | Semde G.,FHI | Sika L.,National Institute of Statistics and Applied economics | Crucitti T.,Institute of Tropical Medicine | And 3 more authors.
Sexually Transmitted Infections | Year: 2012

Objectives: To assess condom use and prevalence of sexually transmitted infections (STI) and HIV among male sex workers (MSW) in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted between October 2007 and January 2008 among MSW 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. Results: 96 MSW 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. Conclusions: HIV and STI rates found in this study confirm the high risk and vulnerability status of MSW in Côte d'Ivoire. There is a definite need for studies exploring risk and risk perceptions among MSW 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.

Bratt J.H.,FHI | Torpey K.,FHI ZPCT | Kabaso M.,FHI ZPCT | Gondwe Y.,FHI ZPCT
Tropical Medicine and International Health | Year: 2011

Objective: To present evidence on unit and total costs of outpatient HIV/AIDS services in ZPCT-supported facilities in Zambia; specifically, to measure unit costs of selected outpatient HIV/AIDS services, and to estimate total annual costs of antiretroviral therapy (ART) and prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) in Zambia. Methods: Cost data from 2008 were collected in 12 ZPCT-supported facilities (hospitals and health centres) in four provinces. Costs of all resources used to produce ART, PMTCT and CT visits were included, using the perspective of the provider. All shared costs were distributed to clinic visits using appropriate allocation variables. Estimates of annual costs of HIV/AIDS services were made using ZPCT and Ministry of Health data on numbers of persons receiving services in 2009. Results: Unit costs of visits were driven by costs of drugs, laboratory tests and clinical labour, while variability in visit costs across facilities was explained mainly by differences in utilization. First-year costs of ART per client ranged from US$278 to US$523 depending on drug regimen and facility type; costs of a complete course of antenatal care (ANC) including PMTCT were approximately US$114. Annual costs of ART provided in ZPCT-supported facilities were estimated at US$14.7-$40.1 million depending on regimen, and annual costs of antenatal care including PMTCT were estimated at US$16 million. In Zambia as a whole, the respective estimates were US$41.0-114.2 million for ART and US$57.7 million for ANC including PMTCT. Conclusions: Consistent with the literature, total costs of services were dominated by drugs, laboratory tests and clinical labour. For each visit type, variability across facilities in total costs and cost components suggests that some potential exists to reduce costs through greater harmonization of care protocols and more intensive use of fixed resources. Improving facility-level information on the costs of resources used to produce services should be emphasized as an element of health systems strengthening. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Bengtson A.M.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | L'Engle K.,FHI | Mwarogo P.,FHI 360 | King'Ola N.,International Center for Reproductive Health
AIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV | Year: 2014

HIV testing is a critical first step to accessing HIV care and treatment, particularly for high-risk groups such as female sex workers (FSWs). Alcohol use may be a barrier to accessing HIV services, including HIV testing. We analyzed data from a cross-sectional survey of 818 FSWs in Mombasa, Kenya, and estimated the association between different levels of alcohol use and having never tested for HIV. In multivariable analyses, higher levels of alcohol consumption were associated with having never tested for HIV (PR 1.60; 95% CI: 1.07, 2.40). Future interventions should explore whether reducing harmful drinking improves HIV testing among FSWs. © 2014 Taylor & Francis.

« Tohoku researchers develop efficient hydrodynamic reactor for pretreatment of biomass | Main | Toyota begins production at efficient new engine plant in Indonesia » Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (FHI), the manufacturer of Subaru automobiles, outlined the Subaru Global Platform which is currently under development as the architecture to be used for all the company’s next-generation vehicles. The next-generation platform looks ahead to 2025. The main features include Subaru’s biggest-ever enhancement in overall vehicle performance, with an emotionally engaging “dynamic feel” that goes beyond high performance; the highest levels of safety; and a single design concept for development of all models, adaptable to electrification in the future. The Subaru Global Platform is part of the six initiatives to enhance the Subaru brand described in the Company’s mid-term management vision, “Prominence 2020,” announced in 2014. Together with the horizontally-opposed engines, Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (AWD), and EyeSight that represent Subaru’s core technologies, the new platform will constitute the basic foundation of the next generation of Subaru vehicles. “Dynamic feel”. The new platform will further refine Subaru’s dynamic feel in the following areas: (1) straight line stability, (2) noise and vibration suppression, and (3) comfort. Straight line stability. The new platform significantly increases rigidity throughout the body and chassis (a 70% to 100% increase over present models) and incorporates substantial improvements to the suspension system and achieves a lower center of gravity, bringing about highly responsive steering that allows drivers to control the vehicle precisely as they want. The eradication of unnecessary movement in handling makes the car seem to grip the road surface, achieving a traveling performance that looks ahead to the need for enhanced straight line stability in the autonomous vehicles of the future. Noise and vibration suppression. Optimized frame structure and stronger joints between parts allow the new platform to improve overall torsional rigidity by 70% over present models. This distributes the resonance and distortion throughout the body, greatly reducing vibrations from the steering wheel, floor, and seats. It achieves a quietness that goes beyond vehicle class. Comfort. The new platform increases the rigidity of the suspension mounting, improving the absorption of the suspension without warping the body of the car, and providing a smooth and comfortable drive whatever the irregularities in the road surface. By mounting the rear stabilizer directly to the body, the new platform reduces the body roll of the vehicle by 50% compared to present models. Active safety. The new platform achieves a center of gravity that is 5 mm lower than present models. Together with the major improvements in rigidity and the evolution of the suspension system, this lower center of gravity makes possible a more stable driving experience than ever before, and offers outstanding danger avoidance capabilities on a level with a high-performance sports car. Passive safety. Thanks to a frame structure that enables more efficient energy absorption in the event of collision and the enhanced body rigidity resulting from the increased use of high-tensile steel plates including materials formed by the hot press method, impact energy absorption is improved by 40% over present models. The platform anticipates further improvements in strength and new materials and has the potential to continue to offer the world’s highest levels of collision safety even in 2025, FHI said. Single design concept, adaptable to electrification. The new platform will offer a single unified design concept for all Subaru models. Planning the main specifications of all vehicle types at one time and flexibly adjusting these basic specifications to match with the requirements of different models will strengthen the entire Subaru lineup while still allowing the company to develop models that take advantage of each model’s strengths. The new concept allows one design concept to be adapted not only to gasoline engines but also to hybrid vehicles, plug-in hybrids, electric cars, and other types of alternative power units for which demand will increase further. Development based on a single design concept makes it possible to use limited development personnel and facilities efficiently to develop a diverse range of models and to direct the resulting savings into areas that can make our products more competitive. It will also become possible to produce platform components for multiple models in the same one production facility, rather than manufacturing them in different factories as has been the case in the past. This will increase production efficiency at Subaru’s factories and at our partner companies. The new unified design concept will also make it easier for the two factories in Japan and the Subaru of Indiana Automotive plant in the United States to carry out bridge production of multiple different models on a single line, making the global production system more flexible. The Subaru Global Platform that offers these benefits will be used in the development of all Subaru vehicles from now on, beginning with the next-generation Impreza, due to hit the market in 2016.

« FHI and IBM Japan collaborating on advanced driver assistance systems; cloud-based data analytics | Main | Survey: consumers in China less enthusiastic for autonomous vehicles than consumers in US » At Auto China 2016 in Beijing, Audi is presenting the Audi connected mobility concept, a concept car based on the Audi Q3, the brand’s urban compact SUV. The concept offers sporty and multi-functional mobility for megacities with dense traffic and road restrictions. Tailored to markets with growing urbanization such as China, this lifestyle concept was developed at Audi Research& Development in Beijing and focuses on young, progressive drivers. An electrically powered multifunctional longboard, measuring 1.05 meters in length, is integrated into the rear bumper of the car for convenient storage and removal. To ensure permanent usability, the device is charged automatically while loaded in the car. The board’s premium design includes superior materials such as carbon fiber and aluminum. The car’s infotainment system is linked to the smartphone calendar of the user. Based on the destination and planned arrival time, the system will calculate the fastest mobility mix based on real-time traffic data. In case the longboard option is faster, the system will recommend a parking space nearby so that the driver may continue the commute to the destination with the electric board. The navigation information synchronizes with the Audi MMI connect App on the user’s smartphone that continues to guide the route. The multi-functional longboard has a battery range of more than 12 kilometers and reaches a maximum speed of 30 km/h. The board can be utilized in three riding modes: The Audi connected mobility concept is based on the Audi Q3 which is produced locally in China. More than 70,000 units were sold in the region in 2015, making the Q3 the market leader in the premium compact SUV segment. At Auto China 2016, Audi is launching the new Audi Q3 on the Chinese market.

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