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Baral S.D.,Center for Public Health and Human Rights | Baral S.D.,Karolinska Institutet | Stromdahl S.,Center for Public Health and Human Rights | Stromdahl S.,Karolinska Institutet | And 3 more authors.
The Lancet Infectious Diseases | Year: 2013

Background: Previous systematic reviews have identified a high prevalence of HIV infection in transgender women in the USA and in those who sell sex (compared with both female and male sex workers). However, little is known about the burden of HIV infection in transgender women worldwide. We aimed to better assess the relative HIV burden in all transgender women worldwide. Methods: We did a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies that assessed HIV infection burdens in transgender women that were published between Jan 1, 2000, and Nov 30, 2011. Meta-analysis was completed with the Mantel-Haenszel method, and random-effects modelling was used to compare HIV burdens in transgender women with that in adults in the countries for which data were available. Findings: Data were only available for countries with male-predominant HIV epidemics, which included the USA, six Asia-Pacific countries, five in Latin America, and three in Europe. The pooled HIV prevalence was 19·1% (95% CI 17·4-20·7) in 11 066 transgender women worldwide. In 7197 transgender women sampled in ten low-income and middle-income countries, HIV prevalence was 17·7% (95% CI 15·6-19·8). In 3869 transgender women sampled in five high-income countries, HIV prevalence was 21·6% (95% CI 18·8-24·3). The odds ratio for being infected with HIV in transgender women compared with all adults of reproductive age across the 15 countries was 48·8 (95% CI 21·2-76·3) and did not differ for those in low-income and middle-income countries compared with those in high-income countries. Interpretation: Our findings suggest that transgender women are a very high burden population for HIV and are in urgent need of prevention, treatment, and care services. The meta-analysis showed remarkable consistency and severity of the HIV disease burden among transgender women. Funding: Center for AIDS Research at Johns Hopkins and the Center for Public Health and Human Rights at the JHU Bloomberg School of Public Health. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Singh S.,Johns Hopkins University | Singh S.,Center for Public Health and Human Rights | Clark J.M.,Johns Hopkins University | Segal J.B.,Johns Hopkins University
JAMA Internal Medicine | Year: 2013

Importance: Acute pancreatitis has significant morbidity and mortality. Previous studies have raised the possibility that glucagonlike peptide 1 (GLP-1)-based therapies, including a GLP-1 mimetic (exenatide) and a dipeptidyl peptidase 4 inhibitor (sitagliptin phosphate), may increase the risk of acute pancreatitis. Objective: To test whether GLP-1-based therapies such as exenatide and sitagliptin are associated with an increased risk of acute pancreatitis. We used conditional logistic regression to analyze the data. Design: Population-based case-control study. Setting: A large administrative database in the United States from February 1, 2005, through December 31, 2008. Participants: Adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus aged 18 to 64 years.Weidentified 1269 hospitalized cases with acute pancreatitis using a validated algorithm and 1269 control subjects matched for age category, sex, enrollment pattern, and diabetes complications. Main Outcome Measure: Hospitalization for acute pancreatitis. Results: The mean age of included individuals was 52 years, and 57.45% were male. Cases were significantly more likely than controls to have hypertriglyceridemia (12.92% vs 8.35%), alcohol use (3.23% vs 0.24%), gallstones (9.06% vs 1.34), tobacco abuse (16.39% vs 5.52%), obesity (19.62% vs 9.77%), biliary and pancreatic cancer (2.84% vs 0%), cystic fibrosis (0.79% vs 0%), and any neoplasm (29.94% vs 18.05%). After adjusting for available confounders and metformin hydrochloride use, current use of GLP-1-based therapies within 30 days (adjusted odds ratio, 2.24 [95% CI, 1.36-3.68]) and recent use past 30 days and less than 2 years (2.01 [1.37-3.18]) were associated with significantly increased odds of acute pancreatitis relative to the odds in nonusers. Conclusions and Relevance: In this administrative database study of US adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus, treatment with the GLP-1-based therapies sitagliptin and exenatide was associated with increased odds of hospitalization for acute pancreatitis. © 2013 American Medical Association. All rights reserved.


Beyrer C.,Center for Public Health and Human Rights | Baral S.D.,Center for Public Health and Human Rights | Van Griensven F.,University of California at San Francisco | Goodreau S.M.,University of Washington | And 3 more authors.
The Lancet | Year: 2012

Epidemics of HIV in men who have sex with men (MSM) continue to expand in most countries. We sought to understand the epidemiological drivers of the global epidemic in MSM and why it continues unabated. We did a comprehensive review of available data for HIV prevalence, incidence, risk factors, and the molecular epidemiology of HIV in MSM from 2007 to 2011, and modelled the dynamics of HIV transmission with an agent-based simulation. Our findings show that the high probability of transmission per act through receptive anal intercourse has a central role in explaining the disproportionate disease burden in MSM. HIV can be transmitted through large MSM networks at great speed. Molecular epidemiological data show substantial clustering of HIV infections in MSM networks, and higher rates of dual-variant and multiple-variant HIV infection in MSM than in heterosexual people in the same populations. Prevention strategies that lower biological transmission and acquisition risks, such as approaches based on antiretrovirals, offer promise for controlling the expanding epidemic in MSM, but their potential effectiveness is limited by structural factors that contribute to low health-seeking behaviours in populations of MSM in many parts of the world.


Beyrer C.,Center for Public Health and Human Rights | Abdool Karim Q.,University of KwaZulu - Natal | Abdool Karim Q.,Columbia University
Current Opinion in HIV and AIDS | Year: 2013

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: We sought to review the recent epidemiology of HIV-1 and to identify emerging challenges in HIV surveillance and epidemic control. RECENT FINDINGS: There is increasing evidence that HIV epidemics are in decline among general populations worldwide. Critical exceptions to these trends are HIV epidemics among key populations globally; the HIV epidemics in Eastern Europe and Central Asia in injecting drug using populations; the continued high burden epidemics of sexually transmitted HIV among young women and girls in southern sub-Saharan Africa, and young men who have sex in men (MSM) in the America, Asia, and Africa. In the new era of ART access, prevalence measures over time are less reliable and new approaches to the measurement of incident infection will be critical to assess trends. The implementation of expanded options for HIV prevention, reducing vertical transmission, and treatment as prevention, will shift focus from individuals to population-level impact. Strong surveillance and information systems will be necessary to meet these expanded surveillance needs. SUMMARY: The epidemiology of HIV infection is changing, dynamic, complex, and progress in epidemic control remains markedly uneven. Without addressing the components of global HIV, in which disease rates continue to expand, current efforts are unlikely to succeed. © 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams &Wilkins.


Sullivan P.S.,Emory University | Jones J.S.,Emory University | Baral S.D.,Center for Public Health and Human Rights
Current Opinion in HIV and AIDS | Year: 2014

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The epidemiology of HIV epidemics provides the roadmap for prioritization of programmes and serves over time to evaluate broadly the successes and challenges in prevention. The purpose of this review was to summarize recent information about the epidemiology of HIV in high-income countries with concentrated HIV epidemics. RECENT FINDINGS: Data from 26 countries were organized and analysed, and a systematic review of published literature relating to epidemiology in these countries was conducted. Our major findings illustrated strong patterns in epidemiology by mode of HIV acquisition: in most high-income countries, new HIV diagnoses attributable to male-female sex have been stable or decreasing, whereas new HIV diagnoses attributable to male-male sex have been stable or increasing. Late diagnoses of HIV infection are common. Prevalence of HIV in high-income countries has risen over the past 5 years as death rates have been stable or decreasing. Reports of the epidemiology of HIV among sex workers and transgendered persons are rare. SUMMARY: The epidemiology of HIV in high-income countries in 2013 depicts both the successes and challenges of HIV prevention. The stable to decreasing death rates and stable or declining trends in heterosexual populations are likely attributable, at least in part, to the broader availability of effective treatments for HIV and relatively broad availability of antiretroviral treatment in these countries. However, late diagnoses undermine the individual and public health value of antiretroviral treatment, and epidemics of HIV among MSM remain largely uncontrolled despite broad availability and coverage of treatment. © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.


Baral S.D.,Center for Public Health and Human Rights
Journal of the International AIDS Society | Year: 2013

Similar to other Southern African countries, Swaziland has been severely affected by HIV, with over a quarter of its reproductive-age adults estimated to be living with the virus, equating to an estimate of 170,000 people living with HIV. The last several years have witnessed an increase in the understanding of the potential vulnerabilities among men who have sex with men (MSM) in neighbouring countries with similarly widespread HIV epidemics. To date, there are no data characterizing the burden of HIV and the HIV prevention, treatment and care needs of MSM in Swaziland. In 2011, 324 men who reported sex with another man in the last 12 months were accrued using respondent-driven sampling (RDS). Participants completed HIV testing using Swazi national guidelines as well as structured survey instruments administered by trained staff, including modules on demographics, individual-level behavioural and biological risk factors, social and structural characteristics and uptake of HIV services. Population and individual weights were computed separately for each variable with a data-smoothing algorithm. The weights were used to estimate RDS-adjusted univariate estimates with 95% bootstrapped confidence intervals (BCIs). Crude and RDS-adjusted bivariate and multivariate analyses were completed with HIV as the dependent variable. Overall, HIV prevalence was 17.6% (n=50/284), although it was strongly correlated with age in bivariate- [odds ratio (OR) 1.2, 95% BCI 1.15-1.21] and multivariate-adjusted analyses (adjusted OR 1.24, 95% BCI 1.14-1.35) for each additional year of age. Nearly, 70.8% (n=34/48) were unaware of their status of living with HIV. Condom use with all sexual partners and condom-compatible-lubricant use with men were reported by 1.3% (95% CI 0.0-9.7). Although the epidemic in Swaziland is driven by high-risk heterosexual transmission, the burden of HIV and the HIV prevention, treatment and care needs of MSM have been understudied. The data presented here suggest that these men have specific HIV acquisition and transmission risks that differ from those of other reproductive-age adults. The scale-up in HIV services over the past decade has likely had limited benefit for MSM, potentially resulting in a scenario where epidemics of HIV among MSM expand in the context of slowing epidemics in the general population, a reality observed in most of the world.


Wirtz A.L.,Center for Public Health and Human Rights
Journal of the International AIDS Society | Year: 2013

There are limited data characterizing the burden of HIV among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Malawi. Epidemiologic research and access to HIV prevention, treatment and care services have been traditionally limited in Malawi by criminalization and stigmatization of same-sex practices. To inform the development of a comprehensive HIV prevention intervention for Malawian MSM, we conducted a community-led assessment of HIV prevalence and correlates of infection. From April 2011 to March 2012, 338 MSM were enrolled in a cross-sectional study in Blantyre, Malawi. Participants were recruited by respondent-driven sampling methods (RDS), reaching 19 waves. Trained staff administered the socio-behavioural survey and HIV and syphilis voluntary counselling and testing. Crude HIV and syphilis prevalence estimates were 15.4% (RDS-weighted 12.5%, 95% confidence interval (CI): 7.3-17.8) and 5.3% (RDS-weighted 4.4%, 95% CI: 3.1-7.6), respectively. Ninety per cent (90.4%, unweighted) of HIV infections were reported as being previously undiagnosed. Participants were predominantly gay-identified (60.8%) or bisexually identified (36.3%); 50.7% reported recent concurrent relationships. Approximately half reported consistent condom use (always or almost always) with casual male partners, and proportions were relatively uniform across partner types and genders. The prevalence of perceived and experienced stigma exceeded 20% for almost all variables, 11.4% ever experienced physical violence and 7% were ever raped. Current age >25 years (RDS-weighted adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 3.9, 95% CI: 1.2-12.7), single marital status (RDS-weighted AOR: 0.3; 95% CI: 0.1-0.8) and age of first sex with a man <16 years (RDS-weighted AOR: 4.3, 95% CI: 1.2-15.0) were independently associated with HIV infection. Results demonstrate that MSM represent an underserved, at-risk population for HIV services in Malawi and merit comprehensive HIV prevention services. Results provide a number of priorities for research and prevention programmes for MSM, including providing access to and encouraging regular confidential HIV testing and counselling, and risk reduction counselling related to anal intercourse. Other targets include the provision of condoms and compatible lubricants, HIV prevention information, and HIV and sexually transmitted infection treatment and adherence support. Addressing multiple levels of HIV risk, including structural factors, may help to ensure that programmes have sufficient coverage to impact this HIV epidemic among MSM.


Rubenstein L.S.,Center for Public Health and Human Rights
Disasters | Year: 2011

Despite increasing experience in health reconstruction in societies emerging from conflict, the policy basis for investing in the development of equitable and effective health systems in the wake of war remains unsettled. Consideration of post-conflict health reconstruction is almost entirely absent in donor policies on global health. Practically by default, health programmes are seen increasingly as an element of stabilisation and security interventions in the aftermath of armed conflict. That perspective, however, lacks an evidence base and can skew health programmes towards short-term security and stabilisation goals that have a marginal impact and violate the principles of equity, non-discrimination, and quality, which are central to sound health systems and public acceptance of them. A better approach is to ground policy in legitimacy, viewing health both as a core social institution and one that, if developed according to human rights principles, including equity, non-discrimination, participation and accountability, can advance the effectiveness and the quality of governance in the emerging state. © 2011 The Author(s). Disasters © Overseas Development Institute, 2011.


Baral S.D.,Center for Public Health and Human Rights | Grosso A.,Center for Public Health and Human Rights | Holland C.,Center for Public Health and Human Rights | Papworth E.,Center for Public Health and Human Rights
Current Opinion in HIV and AIDS | Year: 2014

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Key populations at high risk for HIV acquisition and transmission, such as MSM, have long been identified as essential subpopulations for epidemiological surveillance of the HIV epidemic. However, surveillance systems in the context of generalized and widespread HIV epidemics have traditionally excluded these men. RECENT FINDINGS: Emerging and consistent data highlight the disproportionate burden of HIV among MSM that exists when compared with other men of reproductive age across countries with generalized epidemics. Correlates of prevalent HIV infection include individual-level determinants of HIV acquisition and transmission similar to that found in concentrated HIV epidemics and community-level structural factors, such as stigma, being blackmailed, and history of homophobic abuse. HIV incidence was only available from two countries (Kenya, Thailand) with generalized HIV epidemics, but in both settings was an order of magnitude higher than that of other populations. SUMMARY: The data presented here suggest that the dynamics of HIV infection among men are more similar across the world than they are different. Many HIV epidemics among average-risk reproductive age adults are slowing across both generalized and concentrated settings. It is in this context that high HIV incidence is observed among MSM, especially young MSM. This trend suggests a change in the trajectory of these HIV epidemics, a change that we may miss if we continue to understudy these populations based on unproved and dated assumptions. © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.


Park J.N.,Center for Public Health and Human Rights
Journal of the International AIDS Society | Year: 2013

Despite men who have sex with men (MSM) being a key population for HIV programming globally, HIV epidemiologic data on MSM in Central Africa are sparse. We measured HIV and syphilis prevalence and the factors associated with HIV infection among MSM in Cameroon. Two hundred and seventy-two and 239 MSM aged ≥ 18 from Douala and Yaoundé, respectively, were recruited using respondent-driven sampling (RDS) for this cross-sectional surveillance study in 2011. Participants completed a structured questionnaire and HIV and syphilis testing. Statistical analyses, including RDS-weighted proportions, bootstrapped confidence intervals and logistic regressions, were used. Crude and RDS-weighted HIV prevalence were 28.6% (73/255) and 25.5% (95% CI 19.1-31.9) in Douala, and 47.3% (98/207) and 44.4% (95% CI 35.7-53.2) in Yaoundé. Active syphilis prevalence in total was 0.4% (2/511). Overall, median age was 24 years, 62% (317/511) of MSM identified as bisexual and 28.6% (144/511) identified as gay. Inconsistent condom use with regular male partners (64.1%; 273/426) and casual male and female partners (48.5%; 195/402) was common, as was the inconsistent use of condom-compatible lubricants (CCLs) (26.3%; 124/472). In Douala, preferring a receptive sexual role was associated with prevalent HIV infection [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 2.33, 95% CI 1.02-5.32]. Compared to MSM without HIV infection, MSM living with HIV were more likely to have ever accessed a health service targeting MSM in Douala (aOR 4.88, 95% CI 1.63-14.63). In Yaoundé, MSM living with HIV were more likely to use CCLs (aOR 2.44, 95% CI 1.19-4.97). High HIV prevalence were observed and condoms and CCLs were used inconsistently indicating that MSM are a priority population for HIV prevention, treatment and care services in Douala and Yaoundé. Building the capacity of MSM community organizations and improving the delivery and scale-up of multimodal interventions for MSM that are sensitive to concerns about confidentiality and the complex individual, social, community-level and policy challenges are needed to successfully engage young MSM in the continuum of HIV care. In addition to scaling up condom and CCL access, evaluating the feasibility of novel biomedical interventions, including antiretroviral pre-exposure prophylaxis and early antiretroviral therapy for MSM living with HIV in Cameroon, is also warranted.

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