UVRI IAVI HIV Vaccine Program

Entebbe, Uganda

UVRI IAVI HIV Vaccine Program

Entebbe, Uganda
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Ssetaala A.,UVRI IAVI HIV Vaccine Program | Nakiyingi-Miiro J.,MRC UVRI Uganda Research Unit on AIDS | Nakiyingi-Miiro J.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Asiki G.,MRC UVRI Uganda Research Unit on AIDS | And 16 more authors.
Tropical Medicine and International Health | Year: 2015

Objective: It has been suggested that Schistosoma mansoni, which is endemic in African fishing communities, might increase susceptibility to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) acquisition. If confirmed, this would be of great public health importance in these high HIV-risk communities. This study was undertaken to determine whether S. mansoni infection is a risk factor for HIV infection among the fishing communities of Lake Victoria, Uganda. We conducted a matched case-control study, nested within a prospective HIV incidence cohort, including 50 HIV seroconverters (cases) and 150 controls during 2009-2011. Methods: S. mansoni infection prior to HIV seroconversion was determined by measuring serum circulating anodic antigen (CAA) in stored serum. HIV testing was carried out using the Determine rapid test and infection confirmed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. Results: About 49% of cases and 52% of controls had S. mansoni infection prior to HIV seroconversion (or at the time of a similar study visit, for controls): odds ratio, adjusting for ethnicity, religion, marital status, education, occupation, frequency of alcohol consumption in previous 3 months, number of sexual partners while drunk, duration of stay in the community, and history of schistosomiasis treatment in the past 2 years was 1.23 (95% CI 0.3-5.7) P = 0.79. S. mansoni infections were chronic (with little change in status between enrolment and HIV seroconversion), and there was no difference in median CAA concentration between cases and controls. Conclusions: These results do not support the hypothesis that S. mansoni infection promotes HIV acquisition. © 2015 The Authors. Tropical Medicine & International Health Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


PubMed | MRC UVRI Uganda Research Unit on AIDS, University of Georgia, UVRI IAVI HIV Vaccine Program and International AIDS Vaccine Initiative IAVI
Type: | Journal: The Pan African medical journal | Year: 2015

Women in fishing communities in Uganda are more at risk and have higher rates of HIV infection. Socio-cultural gender norms, limited access to health information and services, economic disempowerment, sexual abuse and their biological susceptibility make women more at risk of infection. There is need to design interventions that cater for womens vulnerability. We explore factors affecting recruitment and retention of women from fishing communities in HIV prevention research.An HIV incidence cohort screened 2074 volunteers (1057 men and 1017 women) aged 13-49 years from 5 fishing communities along Lake Victoria using demographic, medical history, risk behaviour assessment questionnaires.1000 HIV negative high risk volunteers were enrolled and followed every 6 months for 18 months. Factors associated with completion of study visits among women were analyzed using multivariable logistic regression.Women constituted 1,017(49%) of those screened, and 449(45%) of those enrolled with a median (IQR) age of 27 (22-33) years. Main reasons for non-enrolment were HIV infection (33.9%) and reported low risk behaviour (37.5%). A total of 382 (74%) women and 332 (69%) men completed all follow up visits. Older women (>24 yrs) and those unemployed, who had lived in the community for 5 years or more, were more likely to complete all study visits.Women had better retention rates than men at 18 months. Strategies for recruiting and retaining younger women and those who have stayed for less than 5 years need to be developed for improved retention of women in fishing communities in HIV prevention and research Programs.


Njai H.F.,MRC UVRI Uganda Research Unit on AIDS | Gombe B.,MRC UVRI Uganda Research Unit on AIDS | Khamis T.,MRC UVRI Uganda Research Unit on AIDS | Birungi J.,UVRI IAVI HIV Vaccine Program | And 9 more authors.
Laboratory Medicine | Year: 2011

Despite infrastructure and capacity challenges in Africa, significant development has been made in the number of laboratories supporting immunological and safety studies required for large-scale HIV/AIDS vaccine or intervention trials. In Uganda, cohorts participating in HIV intervention trials are often recruited from rural areas. To avoid transporting samples from intervention trial areas over long distances (120 km) to central laboratories in Entebbe, we set up a standardized peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) processing laboratory at a field station in Masaka, southwest Uganda. The laboratory was well equipped and enrolled into the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) Quality Assurance (QA) program. Staff was trained in laboratory techniques and Good Clinical Laboratory Practice (GCLP). The laboratory received IAVI and GCLP accreditation in 2008. In this paper we describe the process and achievements of measures taken to overcome challenges, to build staff capacity, and to optimize the quality of the cells yielded.


Schmidt C.,International AIDS Vaccine Initiative IAVI | Jaoko W.,University of Nairobi | Omosa-Manyonyi G.,University of Nairobi | Kaleebu P.,UVRI IAVI HIV Vaccine Program | And 17 more authors.
Human Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics | Year: 2014

Long-term safety is critical for the development and later use of a vaccine to prevent HIV/AIDS. Likewise, the persistence of vaccine-induced antibodies and their impact on HIV testing must be established. IAVI has sponsored several Phase I and IIA HIV vaccine trials enrolling healthy, HIV-seronegative African volunteers. Plasmid DNA and viral vector based vaccines were tested. No vaccine-related serious adverse events were reported. After completion of vaccine trials conducted between 2001-2007, both vaccine and placebo recipients were offered enrolment into an observational long-term follow-up study (LTFU) to monitor potential late health effects and persistence of immune responses. At scheduled 6-monthly clinic visits, a health questionnaire was administered; clinical events were recorded and graded for severity. Blood was drawn for HIV testing and cellular immune assays. 287 volunteers were enrolled; total follow-up after last vaccination was 1463 person years (median: 5.2 years). Ninety-three (93)% of volunteers reported good health at their last LTFU visit. Infectious diseases and injuries accounted for almost 50% of the 175 reported clinical events, of which over 95% were mild or moderate in severity. There were 30 six pregnancies, six incident HIV infections and 14 volunteers reported cases of social harm. Persistence of immune responses was rare. No safety signal was identified. No potentially vaccine-related medical condition, no immune mediated disease, or malignancy was reported. HIV vaccines studied in these trials had a low potential of induction of persisting HIV antibodies. © 2014 Landes Bioscience.


Kiwanuka N.,Makerere University | Ssetaala A.,UVRI IAVI HIV Vaccine Program | Mpendo J.,UVRI IAVI HIV Vaccine Program | Wambuzi M.,UVRI IAVI HIV Vaccine Program | And 8 more authors.
Journal of the International AIDS Society | Year: 2013

Introduction: HIV epidemics in sub-Saharan Africa are generalized, but high-risk subgroups exist within these epidemics. A recent study among fisher-folk communities (FFC) in Uganda showed high HIV prevalence (28.8%) and incidence (4.9/100 person-years). However, those findings may not reflect population-wide HIV rates in FFC since the study population was selected for high-risk behaviour. Methods: Between September 2011 and March 2013, we conducted a community-based cohort study to determine the population representative HIV rates and willingness to participate (WTP) in hypothetical vaccine trials among FFC, Uganda. At baseline (September 2011-January 2012), a household enumeration census was done in eight fishing communities (one lakeshore and seven islands), after which a random sample of 2200 participants aged 18-49 years was selected from 5360 individuals. Interviewer-administered questionnaire data were collected on HIV risk behaviours and WTP, and venous blood was collected for HIV testing using rapid HIV tests with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (EIA) confirmation. Adjusted prevalence proportion ratios (adj.PPRs) of HIV prevalence were determined using log-binomial regression models. Results: Overall baseline HIV prevalence was 26.7% and was higher in women than men (32.6% vs. 20.8%, p < 0.0001). Prevalence was lower among fishermen (22.4%) than housewives (32.1%), farmers (33.1%) and bar/lodge/restaurant workers (37%). The adj.PPR of HIV was higher among women than men (adj.PPR = 1.50, 95%; 1.20, 1.87) and participants aged 30-39 years (adj.PPR = 1.40, 95%; 1.10, 1.79) and 40-49 years (adj.PPR = 1.41, 95%; 1.04, 1.92) compared to those aged 18-24 years. Other factors associated with HIV prevalence included low education, previous marriage, polygamous marriage, alcohol and marijuana use before sex. WTP in hypothetical vaccine trials was 89.3% and was higher in men than women (91.2% vs. 87.3%, p =0.004) and among island communities compared to lakeshore ones (90.4% vs. 85.8%, p =0.004). Conclusions: The HIV prevalence in the general fisher-folk population in Uganda is similar to that observed in the "high-risk" fisher folk. FFC have very high levels of willingness to participate in future HIV vaccine trials. © 2013 Kiwanuka N et al; licensee International AIDS Society.


PubMed | Entebbe General Hospital, Uganda Virus Research Institute, UVRI IAVI HIV Vaccine Program, King's College and University of Toronto
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Malaria journal | Year: 2016

The malaria burden in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has fallen substantially. Nevertheless, malaria remains a serious health concern, and Uganda ranks third in SSA in total malaria burden. Epidemiological studies of adult malaria in Uganda are scarce and little is known about rates of malaria in non-pregnant adult women. This pilot study assessed malaria prevalence among adult women from Wakiso district, historically a highly malaria endemic region.Adult women using public health services were screened for malaria, HIV and pregnancy. A physician-selected subset of women presenting to the Outpatient Department of Entebbe General Hospital (EGH) with current fever (axillary temperature37.5C) or self-reporting fever during the previous 24h, and a positive thick smear for malaria in the EGH laboratory were enrolled (n=86). Women who self-identified as pregnant or HIV-positive were excluded from screening. Malaria infection was then assessed using HRP2/pLDH rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) in all participants. Repeat microscopy and PCR were performed at a research laboratory for a subset of participants. In addition, 104 women without a history of fever were assessed for asymptomatic parasitaemia using RDT, and a subset of these women screened for parasitaemia using microscopy (40 women) and PCR (40 women).Of 86 women diagnosed with malaria by EGH, only two (2.3%) had malaria confirmed using RDT, subsequently identified as a Plasmodium falciparum infection by research microscopy and PCR. Subset analysis of hospital diagnosed RDT-negative participants detected one sub-microscopic infection with Plasmodium ovale. Compared to RDT, sensitivity, specificity and PPV of hospital microscopy were 100% (CI 19.8-100), 0% (CI 0-5.32) and 2.33% (CI 0.403-8.94) respectively. Compared to PCR, sensitivity, specificity and PPV of hospital microscopy were 100% (CI 31.0-100), 0% (CI 0-34.5) and 23.1% (CI 6.16-54.0), respectively. No malaria was detected among asymptomatic women using RDT, research microscopy or PCR.Malaria prevalence among adult women appears to be low in Wakiso, but is masked by high rates of malaria overdiagnosis. More accurate malaria testing is urgently needed in public hospitals in this region to identify true causes of febrile illness and reduce unnecessary provision of anti-malarial therapy.


Nanvubya A.,UVRI IAVI HIV Vaccine Program | Ssempiira J.,UVRI IAVI HIV Vaccine Program | Mpendo J.,UVRI IAVI HIV Vaccine Program | Ssetaala A.,UVRI IAVI HIV Vaccine Program | And 10 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Introduction: Fishing communities (FCs) in Uganda have high HIV infection rates but poor access to health services including family planning (FP). Although FP is a cost-effective public health intervention, there is a paucity of data on knowledge and use of modern FP in FCs. This study determined knowledge and use of modern FP methods in FCs of Uganda. Methods: Data were accrued from a 12-month follow up of 1,688 HIV-uninfected individuals, 18-49 years from 8 FCs along Lake Victoria, between September 2011 and March 2013. Data on knowledge and use of modern FP were collected through a semi-structured questionnaire. Prevalence Risk Ratios with corresponding 95% CIs were used to determine factors associated with Modern FP knowledge and use. Results: The mean age was 31.4 years, with nearly half (48.8%) being females while more than half (58.6%) had attained up to primary education level. Knowledge of modern FP was high, 87.5% (1477/1688); significantly higher among females [adj. PRR = 4.84 (95% CI; 3.08, 7.61)], among older respondents (25-29 years) [adj. PRR = 1.83 (95% CI; 1.12, 2.99)] compared to younger ones (18-24 years) and among those conducting business [adj. PRR = 2.42(95% CI; 1.02, 5.74)] relative to those primarily in fishing. Just over a third (35.2%, 595/1688) reported use of at least one modern FP method. Use of modern FP methods was significantly higher among females [adj. PRR = 2.04 (95% CI; 1.56, 2.65, and among those reporting multiple sexual partnerships [adj. PRR = 2.12, 95% CI; 1.63, 2.76)]. Nonuse of modern methods was mostly due to desire for more children (30.6%), fear of side effects (12.2%) and partner refusal (5.2%). Conclusion: Despite their high knowledge of FP, FCs have low use of modern FP methods. Key barriers to use of modern FP methods were high fertility desires, fear of perceived side effects and partner refusal of methods. © 2015 Nanvubya et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


PubMed | Kabwohe Clinical Research Center, Makerere University and UVRI IAVI HIV Vaccine Program
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2015

Fishing communities (FCs) in Uganda have high HIV infection rates but poor access to health services including family planning (FP). Although FP is a cost-effective public health intervention, there is a paucity of data on knowledge and use of modern FP in FCs. This study determined knowledge and use of modern FP methods in FCs of Uganda.Data were accrued from a 12-month follow up of 1,688 HIV-uninfected individuals, 18-49 years from 8 FCs along Lake Victoria, between September 2011 and March 2013. Data on knowledge and use of modern FP were collected through a semi-structured questionnaire. Prevalence Risk Ratios with corresponding 95% CIs were used to determine factors associated with Modern FP knowledge and use.The mean age was 31.4 years, with nearly half (48.8%) being females while more than half (58.6%) had attained up to primary education level. Knowledge of modern FP was high, 87.5% (1477/1688); significantly higher among females [adj. PRR = 4.84 (95% CI; 3.08, 7.61)], among older respondents (25-29 years) [adj. PRR = 1.83 (95% CI; 1.12, 2.99)] compared to younger ones (18-24 years) and among those conducting business [adj. PRR = 2.42(95% CI; 1.02, 5.74)] relative to those primarily in fishing. Just over a third (35.2%, 595/1688) reported use of at least one modern FP method. Use of modern FP methods was significantly higher among females [adj. PRR = 2.04 (95% CI; 1.56, 2.65, and among those reporting multiple sexual partnerships [adj. PRR = 2.12, 95% CI; 1.63, 2.76)]. Nonuse of modern methods was mostly due to desire for more children (30.6%), fear of side effects (12.2%) and partner refusal (5.2%).Despite their high knowledge of FP, FCs have low use of modern FP methods. Key barriers to use of modern FP methods were high fertility desires, fear of perceived side effects and partner refusal of methods.

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