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Gosling R.D.,University of California at San Francisco | Gosling R.D.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Okell L.,Imperial College London | Mosha J.,National Institute for Medical Research Mwanza Center | Chandramohan D.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Clinical Microbiology and Infection | Year: 2011

With declining transmission of malaria in several regions of the world and renewed interest in the elimination of malaria, strategies for malaria control using antimalarial drugs are being revisited. Drug-based strategies to reduce transmission of malaria need to target the asymptomatic carriers of infection. Drugs that are effective against gametocytes are few in number, but it may be possible to reduce gametocyte production by killing the asexual stages, for which more drugs are available. Drugs for use in large-scale programmes must be safe and tolerable. Strategies include improving access to treatment for malaria with an efficacious drug, intermittent-treatment programmes, and mass drug administration, with and without screening for malaria. Recent proposals have targeted high-risk groups for interventions. None of the strategies has been rigorously tested with appropriate control groups for comparison. Because of the lack of field evidence, modelling has been used. Models have shown, first, that for long-lasting effects, drug administration programmes should be linked with vector control, and second, that if elimination is the aim, programmes are likely to be more successful when applied to smaller populations of a few thousand or less. In order to sustain the gains following the scaling up of vector control and use of artemisinin combination therapies (ACTs), strategies that use antimalarials effectively need to be devised and evidence generated for the most cost-efficient way forward. © 2011 The Authors. Clinical Microbiology and Infection © 2011 European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.

Francis S.C.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Francis S.C.,National Institute for Medical Research Mwanza Center | Lees S.S.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Lees S.S.,National Institute for Medical Research Mwanza Center | And 12 more authors.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases | Year: 2012

BACKGROUND: Intravaginal practices (IVP) are highly prevalent behaviors among women at increased risk for HIV in sub-Saharan Africa. IVP data collected by face-to-face interviews (FTFI) may be subject to recall or social desirability bias. Daily self-administered diaries may help to decrease bias associated with FTFI. IVP data from a diary and FTFI were compared during a multisite microbicide feasibility study in Tanzania and Uganda. METHODS: In all, 200 women were recruited and given diaries to complete daily for 6 weeks. Data obtained in the diary were compared with data from the FTFI during clinical visits to assess the consistency of reporting of IVP between the data collection methods. RESULTS: In Tanzania, proportions of overall vaginal cleansing and insertion were similar for the FTFI and the diary, but the diary indicated higher frequency of cleansing and use of a cloth or other applicator. In Uganda, proportions of overall vaginal cleansing were similar for FTFI and the diary, but the diary indicated higher frequency of cleansing, use of soaps and cloths for cleansing, and insertion. Most of the inconsistencies between the 2 data collection methods were from reported frequency of IVP or IVP related to sexual intercourse. CONCLUSIONS: The comparison of FTFI and the vaginal practice diary suggests that recall of IVP may be improved by a daily self-administered diary, especially for frequency of cleansing and cleansing in proximity to sexual intercourse. The vaginal practices diary can provide a more detailed understanding of IVP and aid in the interpretation of findings from FTFI. Copyright © 2012 American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association.

Tanton C.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Tanton C.,National Institute for Medical Research Mwanza Center | Weiss H.A.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Le Goff J.,Laboratoire Of Microbiologie | And 10 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

Background: Understanding the correlates of HIV shedding is important to inform strategies to reduce HIV infectiousness. We examined correlates of genital HIV-1 RNA in women who were seropositive for both herpes simplex virus (HSV)-2 and HIV-1 and who were enrolled in a randomised controlled trial of HSV suppressive therapy (aciclovir 400 mg b.i.d vs. placebo) in Tanzania. Methodology: Samples, including a cervico-vaginal lavage, were collected and tested for genital HIV-1 and HSV and reproductive tract infections (RTIs) at randomisation and 6, 12 and 24 months follow-up. Data from all women at randomisation and women in the placebo arm during follow-up were analysed using generalised estimating equations to determine the correlates of cervico-vaginal HIV-1 RNA detection and load. Principal Findings: Cervico-vaginal HIV-1 RNA was detected at 52.0% of 971 visits among 482 women, and was independently associated with plasma viral load, presence of genital ulcers, pregnancy, bloody cervical or vaginal discharge, abnormal vaginal discharge, cervical ectopy, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Chlamydia trachomatis, Trichomonas vaginalis, an intermediate bacterial vaginosis score and HSV DNA detection. Similar factors were associated with genital HIV-1 RNA load. Conclusions: RTIs were associated with increased presence and quantity of genital HIV-1 RNA in this population. These results highlight the importance of integrating effective RTI treatment into HIV care services. © 2011 Tanton et al.

Francis S.C.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Francis S.C.,National Institute for Medical Research Mwanza Center | Baisley K.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Lees S.S.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | And 17 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Background: Intravaginal practices (IVP) are highly prevalent in sub-Saharan African and have been implicated as risk factors for HIV acquisition. However, types of IVP vary between populations, and detailed information on IVP among women at risk for HIV in different populations is needed. We investigated IVP among women who practice transactional sex in two populations: semi-urban, facility workers in Tanzania who engage in opportunistic sex work; and urban, self-identified sex workers and bar workers in Uganda. The aim of the study was to describe and compare IVP using a daily pictorial diary. Methodology/Principal Findings: Two hundred women were recruited from a HIV prevention intervention feasibility study in Kampala, Uganda and in North-West Tanzania. Women were given diaries to record IVP daily for six weeks. Baseline data showed that Ugandan participants had more lifetime partners and transactional sex than Tanzanian participants. Results from the diary showed that 96% of Tanzanian participants and 100% of Ugandan participants reported intravaginal cleansing during the six week study period. The most common types of cleansing were with water only or water and soap. In both countries, intravaginal insertion (e.g. with herbs) was less common than cleansing, but insertion was practiced by more participants in Uganda (46%) than in Tanzania (10%). In Uganda, participants also reported more frequent sex, and more insertion related to sex. In both populations, cleansing was more often reported on days with reported sex and during menstruation, and in Uganda, when participants experienced vaginal discomfort. Participants were more likely to cleanse after sex if they reported no condom use. Conclusions: While intravaginal cleansing was commonly practiced in both cohorts, there was higher frequency of cleansing and insertion in Uganda. Differences in IVP were likely to reflect differences in sexual behaviour between populations, and may warrant different approaches to interventions targeting IVP. Vaginal practices among women at high risk in Uganda and Tanzania: recorded behaviour from a daily pictorial diary. © 2013 Francis et al.

PubMed | Medical Research Council Uganda Research Unit on AIDS, National Institute for Medical Research Mwanza Center, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and University of East Anglia
Type: | Journal: Social science & medicine (1982) | Year: 2014

Some types of intravaginal practices (IVP) may increase the risk for HIV acquisition. This is particularly worrisome for populations with dual high prevalence of HIV and IVP. Women involved in transactional sex are at increased risk for HIV infection in sub-Saharan Africa. Social, cultural and economic influences are strong drivers of IVP in this population. To explore this, we carried out a qualitative research study to investigate the drivers and motivations for using IVP within a large observational study of women at high risk of HIV in Tanzania and Uganda from September 2008 to September 2009. Of the 201 women selected, 176 women took part in a semi-structured in-depth interview. Additionally, in Tanzania, eight focus group discussions among study participants and community members were carried out to obtain information on community norms and expectations. IVP were motivated by overlapping concerns with hygiene, morality, sexual pleasure, fertility, relationship security, and economic security. These motives were driven by the need to meet cultural and social expectations of womanhood, and at the same time attend to personal well-being. Among women involved in transactional sex in East Africa, interventions aimed at modifying or eliminating IVP should attend to local cultural and social norms as well as the individual as an agent of change.

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