High incidence of intended partner pregnancy among men living with HIV in rural Uganda: Implications for safer conception services. Kaida, A; Kabakyenga, J; Bwana, M; Bajunirwe, F; Mayindike, W; Bennett, K; Kembabazi, A; Haberer, JE; Boum, Y; Martin, JN; Hunt, PW; Bangsberg, DR; Matthews, LT Many men with HIV express fertility intentions and nearly half have HIV-uninfected sexual partners. We measured partner pregnancy among a cohort of men accessing antiretroviral therapy (ART) in Uganda. Self-reported partner pregnancy incidence and bloodwork (CD4, HIV-RNA) were collected quarterly. Interviewer-administered questionnaires assessed men's sexual and reproductive health annually and repeated at time of reported pregnancy (2011-2015). We measured partner pregnancy incidence overall, by pregnancy intention, and by reported partner HIV-serostatus. We assessed viral suppression (≤400 copies/mL) during the peri-conception period. Cox proportional hazard regression with repeated events identified predictors of partner pregnancy. Among 189 men, baseline median age was 39.9 years [IQR:34.7,47.0], years on ART was 3.9 [IQR:0.0,5.1], and 51% were virally suppressed. Over 530.2 person-years of follow-up, 63 men reported 85 partner pregnancies (incidence=16.0/100 person-years); 45% with HIV-serodifferent partners. By three years of follow-up, 30% of men reported a partner pregnancy, with no difference by partner HIV-serostatus (p=0.75). 69% of pregnancies were intended, 18% wanted but mis-timed, and 8% unwanted. 78% of men were virally suppressed prior to pregnancy report. Men who were younger (aHR:0.94/year;95%CI:0.89-0.99), had incomplete primary education (aHR:2.95;95%CI:1.36-6.40), and reported fertility desires (aHR:2.25;95%CI:1.04-4.85) had higher probability of partner pregnancy. A high incidence of intended partner pregnancy highlights the need to address men's reproductive goals within HIV care. Nearly half of pregnancy partners were at-risk for HIV and one-quarter of men were not virally suppressed during peri-conception. Safer conception care provides opportunity to support men's health and reproductive goals, while preventing HIV transmission to women and infants.
A screening tool for psychological difficulties in children aged 6 to 36 months: cross-cultural validation in Kenya, Cambodia and Uganda. Nackers, F; Roederer, T; Marquer, C; Ashaba, S; Maling, S; Mwanga-Amumpaire, J; Muny, S; Sokeo, C; Shom, V; Palha, M; Lefebvre, P; Kirubi, BW; Kamidigo, G; Falissard, B; Moro, MR; Grais, RF In low-resource settings, the lack of mental health professionals and cross-culturally validated screening instruments complicates mental health care delivery. This is especially the case for very young children. Here, we aimed to develop and cross-culturally validate a simple and rapid tool, the PSYCa 6-36, that can be administered by non-professionals to screen for psychological difficulties among children aged six to 36 months. A primary validation of the PSYCa 6-36 was conducted in Kenya (n = 319 children aged 6 to 36 months; 2014), followed by additional validations in Kenya (n = 215; 2014) Cambodia (n = 189; 2015) and Uganda (n = 182; 2016). After informed consent, trained interviewers administered the PSYCa 6-36 to caregivers participating in the study. We assessed the psychometric properties of the PSYCa 6-36 and external validity was assessed by comparing the results of the PSYCa 6-36 against a clinical global impression severity [CGIS] score rated by an independent psychologist after a structured clinical interview with each participant. The PSYCa 6-36 showed satisfactory psychometric properties (Cronbach's alpha > 0.60 in Uganda and > 0.70 in Kenya and Cambodia), temporal stability (intra-class correlation coefficient [ICC] > 0.8), and inter-rater reliability (ICC from 0.6 in Uganda to 0.8 in Kenya). Psychologists identified psychological difficulties (CGIS score > 1) in 11 children (5.1%) in Kenya, 13 children (8.7%) in Cambodia and 15 (10.5%) in Uganda, with an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.65 in Uganda and 0.80 in Kenya and Cambodia. The PSYCa 6-36 allowed for rapid screening of psychological difficulties among children aged 6 to 36 months among the populations studied. Use of the tool also increased awareness of children's psychological difficulties and the importance of early recognition to prevent long-term consequences. The PSYCa 6-36 would benefit from further use and validation studies in popula`tions with higher prevalence of psychological difficulties.
Patient and health-care worker experiences of an HIV viral load intervention using SMS: A qualitative study. Venables, E; Ndlovu, Z; Munyaradzi, D; Martinez-Perez, G; Mbofana, E; Nyika, P; Chidawanyika, H; Bygrave, H; Garone, D Mobile Health or mHealth interventions, including Short Message Service (SMS), can help increase access to care, enhance the efficiency of health service delivery and improve diagnosis and treatment for HIV. Text messaging, or SMS, allows for the low cost transmission of information, and has been used to send appointment reminders, information about HIV counselling and treatment, messages to encourage adherence and information on nutrition and side-effects. HIV Viral Load (VL) monitoring is recommended by the WHO and has been progressively adopted in many settings. In Zimbabwe, implementation of VL is routine and has been rolled out with support of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) since 2012. An SMS intervention to assist with the management of VL results was introduced in two rural districts of Zimbabwe. After completion of the HIV VL testing at the National Microbiology Reference Laboratory in Harare, results were sent to health facilities via SMS. Consenting patients were also sent an SMS informing them that their viral load results were ready for collection at their nearest health facilities. No actual VL results were sent to patients. A qualitative study was conducted in seven health-care facilities using in-depth interviews (n = 32) and focus group discussions (n = 5) to explore patient and health-care worker experiences of the SMS intervention. Purposive sampling was used to select participants to ensure that male and female patients, as well as those with differing VL results and who lived differing distances from the clinics were included. Data were transcribed, translated from Shona into English, coded and thematically analysed using NVivo software. The VL SMS intervention was considered acceptable to patients and health-care workers despite some challenges in implementation. The intervention was perceived by health-care workers as improving adherence and well-being of patients as well as improving the management of VL results at health facilities. However, there were some concerns from participants about the intervention, including challenges in understanding the purpose and language of the messages and patients coming to their health facility unnecessarily. Health-care workers were more concerned than patients about unintentional HIV disclosure relating to the content of the messages or phone-sharing. This was an innovative intervention in Zimbabwe, in which SMS was used to send VL results to health-care facilities, and notifications of the availability of VL results to patients. Interventions such as this have the potential to reduce unnecessary clinic visits and ensure patients with high VL results receive timely support, but they need to be properly explained, alongside routine counselling, for patients to fully benefit. The findings of this study also have potential policy implications, as if implemented well, such an SMS intervention has the potential to help patients adopt a more active role in the self-management of their HIV disease, become more aware of the importance of adherence and VL monitoring and seek follow-up at clinics when results are high.
2017 Outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease in Northern Democratic Republic of Congo Nsio, J; Kapetshi, J; Makiala, S; Raymond, F; Tshapenda, G; Boucher, N; Corbeil, J; Okitandjate, A; Mbuyi, G; Kiyele, M; Mondonge, V; Kikoo, MJ; Van Herp, M; Barboza, P; Petrucci, R; Benedetti, G; Formenty, P; Muzinga, BM; Kalenga, OI; Ahuka, S; Fausther-Bovendo, H; Ilunga, BK; Kobinger, GP; Muyembe, JJT Background In 2017, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) recorded its eighth Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak, approximately 3 years after the previous outbreak. Methods Suspect cases of EVD were identified on the basis of clinical and epidemiological information. Reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis or serological testing was used to confirm Ebola virus infection in suspected cases. The causative virus was later sequenced from a RT-PCR–positive individual and assessed using phylogenetic analysis. Results Three probable and 5 laboratory-confirmed cases of EVD were recorded between 27 March and 1 July 2017 in the DRC. Fifty percent of cases died from the infection. EVD cases were detected in 4 separate areas, resulting in > 270 contacts monitored. The complete genome of the causative agent, a variant from the Zaireebolavirus species, denoted Ebola virus Muyembe, was obtained using next-generation sequencing. This variant is genetically closest, with 98.73% homology, to the Ebola virus Mayinga variant isolated from the first DRC outbreaks in 1976–1977. Conclusion A single spillover event into the human population is responsible for this DRC outbreak. Human-to-human transmission resulted in limited dissemination of the causative agent, a novel Ebola virus variant closely related to the initial Mayinga variant isolated in 1976–1977 in the DRC.
Screening of asymptomatic rheumatic heart disease among refugee/migrant children and youths in Italy. Condemi, F; Rossi, G; Miguel, L; Pagano, A; Zamatto, F; Marini, S; Romeo, F; De Maio, G Rheumatic heart disease (RHD) is a chronic condition responsible of congestive heart failure, stroke and arrhythmia. Almost eradicated in high-income countries (HIC), it persists in low- and middle-income countries. The purpose of the study was to assess the feasibility and meaningfulness of ultrasound-based RHD screening among the population of unaccompanied foreign minors in Italy and determine the burden of asymptomatic RHD among this discrete population. From February 2016 to January 2018, Médecins Sans Frontières conducted a weekly mobile screening by echocardiography in reception centers and family houses for unaccompanied foreign minors in Rome, followed by fix echocardiographic retesting for those resulting positive at screening. 'Definite' and 'borderline' cases were defined according to the World Hearth Federation criteria. Six hundred fifty-three individuals (13-26 years old) were screened; 95.6% were below 18 years old (624/653). Six 'definite RHD' were identified at screening, yielding a detection rate of 9.2‰ (95% CI 4.1-20.3‰), while 285 (436.4‰) were defined as 'borderline' (95% CI 398.8-474.9‰). Out of 172 "non-negative borderline" cases available for being retested (113 "non-negative borderline" lost in follow-up), additional 11 were categorized as 'definite RHD', for a total of 17 'definite RHD', yielding a final prevalence of 26.0‰ (95% CI 16.2-41.5‰) (17/653), and 122 (122/653) were confirmed as 'borderline' (final prevalence of 186.8‰, 95% CI 158.7-218.7). In multivariate logistic regression analysis the presence of systolic murmur was a strong predictor for both 'borderline' (OR 4.3 [2.8-6.5]) and 'definite RHD' (OR 5.2 [1.7-15.2]), while no specific country/geographic area of origin was statistically associated with an increased risk of latent, asymptomatic RHD. Screening for RHD among the unaccompanied migrant minors in Italy proved to be feasible. The burden of 'definite RHD' was similar to that identified in resource-poor settings, while the prevalence of 'borderline' cases was higher than reported in other studies. In view of these findings, the health system of high-income countries, hosting migrants and asylum seekers, are urged to adopt screening for RHD in particular among the silent and marginalized population of refugee and migrant children.
The Continuing Value of CD4 Cell Count Monitoring for Differential HIV Care and Surveillance Rice, B; Boulle, A; Schwarcz, S; Shroufi, A; Rutherford, G; Hargreaves, J The move toward universal provision of antiretroviral therapy and the expansion of HIV viral load monitoring call into question the ongoing value of CD4 cell count testing and monitoring. We highlight the role CD4 monitoring continues to have in guiding clinical decisions and measuring and evaluating the epidemiology of HIV. To end the HIV/AIDS epidemic, we require strategic information, which includes CD4 cell counts, to make informed clinical decisions and effectively monitor key surveillance indicators.
Treatment outcomes of patients switching from an injectable drug to bedaquiline during short standardized MDR-TB treatment in Mozambique Bastard, M; Molfino, L; Mutaquiha, C; Galindo, MA; Zindoga, P; Vaz, D; Mahinca, I; du Cros, P; Rusch, B; Telnov, A Bedaquiline was recommended by WHO as the preferred option in treatment of MDR-TB patients with long regimen. However, no recommendation was given for the short MDR-TB regimen. Data from our small cohort of patients who switched injectable dug to bedaquiline suggest that bedaquiline based short regimen is effective and safe.
Delays in arrival and treatment in emergency departments: Women, children and non-trauma consultations the most at risk in humanitarian settings Guzman, IB; Cuesta, JG; Trelles, M; Jaweed, O; Cherestal, S; van Loenhout, JAF; Guha-Sapir, D Introduction Delays in arrival and treatment at health facilities lead to negative health outcomes. Individual and external factors could be associated with these delays. This study aimed to assess common factors associated with arrival and treatment delays in the emergency departments (ED) of three hospitals in humanitarian settings. Methodology This was a cross-sectional study based on routine data collected from three MSF-supported hospitals in Afghanistan, Haiti and Sierra Leone. We calculated the proportion of consultations with delay in arrival (>24 hours) and in treatment (based on target time according to triage categories). We used a multinomial logistic regression model (MLR) to analyse the association between age, sex, hospital and diagnosis (trauma and non-trauma) with these delays. Results We included 95,025 consultations. Males represented 65.2%, Delay in arrival was present in 27.8% of cases and delay in treatment in 27.2%. The MLR showed higher risk of delay in arrival for females (OR 1.2, 95% CI 1.2–1.3), children <5 (OR 1.4, 95% CI 1.4–1.5), patients attending to Gondama (OR 30.0, 95% CI 25.6–35.3) and non-trauma cases (OR 4.7, 95% CI 4.4–4.8). A higher risk of delay in treatment was observed for females (OR 1.1, 95% CI 1.0–1.1), children <5 (OR 2.0, 95% CI 1.9–2.1), patients attending to Martissant (OR 14.6, 95% CI 13.9–15.4) and non-trauma cases (OR 1.6, 95% CI 1.5–1.7). Conclusions Women, children <5 and non-trauma cases suffered most from delays. These delays could relate to educational and cultural barriers, and severity perception of the disease. Treatment delay could be due to insufficient resources with consequent overcrowding, and severity perception from medical staff for non-trauma patients. Extended community outreach, health promotion and support to community health workers could improve emergency care in humanitarian settings.
Long term outcomes and prognostics of visceral leishmaniasis in HIV infected patients with use of pentamidine as secondary prophylaxis based on CD4 level: a prospective cohort study in Ethiopia Diro, E; Edwards, T; Ritmeijer, K; Fikre, H; Abongomera, c; Kibret, A; Bardonneau, C; Soipei, P; Mutinda, B; Omollo, R; van Griensven, J; Zijlstra, EE; Wasunna, M; Alves, F; Alvar, J; Hailu, A; Alexander, N; Blesson, S BACKGROUND: The long-term treatment outcome of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) patients with HIV co-infection is complicated by a high rate of relapse, especially when the CD4 count is low. Although use of secondary prophylaxis is recommended, it is not routinely practiced and data on its effectiveness and safety are limited. METHODS: A prospective cohort study was conducted in Northwest Ethiopia from August 2014 to August 2017 (NCT02011958). HIV-VL patients were followed for up to 12 months. Patients with CD4 cell counts below 200/μL at the end of VL treatment received pentamidine prophylaxis starting one month after parasitological cure, while those with CD4 count ≥200 cells/μL were followed without secondary prophylaxis. Compliance, safety and relapse-free survival, using Kaplan-Meier analysis methods to account for variable time at risk, were summarised. Risk factors for relapse or death were analysed. RESULTS: Fifty-four HIV patients were followed. The probability of relapse-free survival at one year was 50% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 35-63%): 53% (30-71%) in 22 patients with CD4 ≥200 cells/μL without pentamidine prophylaxis and 46% (26-63%) in 29 with CD4 <200 cells/μL who started pentamidine. Three patients with CD4 <200 cells/μL did not start pentamidine. Amongst those with CD4 ≥200 cells/μL, VL relapse was an independent risk factor for subsequent relapse or death (adjusted rate ratio: 5.42, 95% CI: 1.1-25.8). Except for one case of renal failure which was considered possibly related to pentamidine, there were no drug-related safety concerns. CONCLUSION: The relapse-free survival rate for VL patients with HIV was low. Relapse-free survival of patients with CD4 count <200cells/μL given pentamidine secondary prophylaxis appeared to be comparable to patients with a CD4 count ≥200 cells/μL not given prophylaxis. Patients with relapsed VL are at higher risk for subsequent relapse and should be considered a priority for secondary prophylaxis, irrespective of their CD4 count.
Severe post-kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis successfully treated with miltefosine in an Ethiopian HIV patient. Abongomera, C; Battaglioli, T; Adera, C; Ritmeijer, K Post-kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis (PKDL) is a neglected tropical disease characterized by a dermatosis which often appears after successful treatment of visceral leishmaniasis caused by Leishmania donovani. PKDL treatment options are few and have severe limitations. In East- Africa, the standard treatment of PKDL is with daily painful potentially toxic sodium stibogluconate injections, administered for a prolonged duration of 30-60 days. In the Indian subcontinent, PKDL is mainly treated with miltefosine, a safer orally administered drug. However, in East-Africa, there is very limited experience in the use of miltefosine for treatment of severe PKDL, with only one published case report. Here we report a severe PKDL case in an Ethiopian HIV patient successfully treated with oral miltefosine (100 milligrams/day for 28 days). Miltefosine was efficacious, safe and well tolerated, suggesting that it can play an important role in the treatment of severe PKDL also in East-African patients. Further research is warranted.
"Even if she's really sick at home, she will pretend that everything is fine.": Delays in seeking care and treatment for advanced HIV disease in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. Venables, E; Casteels, I; Manziasi Sumbi, E; Goemaere, E HIV prevalence in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is estimated to be 1.2%, and access to HIV testing and treatment remains low across the country. Despite advances in treatment, HIV continues to be one of the main reasons for hospitalisation and death in low- and middle-income countries, including DRC, but the reasons why people delay seeking health-care when they are extremely sick remain little understood. People in Kinshasa, DRC, continue to present to health-care facilities in an advanced stage of HIV when they are close to death and needing intensive treatment.
Title: Demonstration of the Diagnostic Agreement of Capillary and Venous Blood Samples, Using Hepatitis-C Virus SD Bioline© Rapid Test: A Clinic-based Study Authors: Sun, C; Iwamoto, M; Calzia, A; Sreng, B; Yann, S; Pin, S; Lastrucci, C; Kimchamroeun, S; Dimanche, C; Dousset, JP; Le Paih, M; Balkan, S; Marquardt, T; Carnimeo, V; Lissouba, P; Maman, D; Loarec, A Abstract: Simplifying hepatitis C virus (HCV) screening is a key step in achieving the elimination of HCV as a global public health threat by 2030.
Title: Accelerating the Elimination of Viral Hepatitis: a Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology Commission. Authors: Cooke, GS; Andrieux-Meyer, I; Applegate, TL; Atun, R; Burry, JR; Cheinquer, H; Dusheiko, G; Feld, JJ; Gore, C; Griswold, MG; Hamid, S; Hellard, ME; Hou, J; Howell, J; Jia, J; Kravchenko, N; Lazarus, JV; Lemoine, M; Lesi, OA; Maistat, L; McMahon, BJ; Razavi, H; Roberts, TR; Simmons, B; Sonderup, MW; Spearman, WC; Taylor, BE; Thomas, DL; Waked, I; Ward, JW; Wiktor, SZ Abstract: Viral hepatitis is a major public health threat and a leading cause of death worldwide. Annual mortality from viral hepatitis is similar to that of other major infectious diseases such as HIV and tuberculosis. Highly effective prevention measures and treatments have made the global elimination of viral hepatitis a realistic goal, endorsed by all WHO member states. Ambitious targets call for a global reduction in hepatitis-related mortality of 65% and a 90% reduction in new infections by 2030. This Commission draws together a wide range of expertise to appraise the current global situation and to identify priorities globally, regionally, and nationally needed to accelerate progress. We identify 20 heavily burdened countries that account for over 75% of the global burden of viral hepatitis. Key recommendations include a greater focus on national progress towards elimination with support given, if necessary, through innovative financing measures to ensure elimination programmes are fully funded by 2020. In addition to further measures to improve access to vaccination and treatment, greater attention needs to be paid to access to affordable, high-quality diagnostics if testing is to reach the levels needed to achieve elimination goals. Simplified, decentralised models of care removing requirements for specialised prescribing will be required to reach those in need, together with sustained efforts to tackle stigma and discrimination. We identify key examples of the progress that has already been made in many countries throughout the world, demonstrating that sustained and coordinated efforts can be successful in achieving the WHO elimination goals.
Title: Post-traumatic osteomyelitis in Middle East war-wounded civilians: resistance to first-line antibiotics in selected bacteria over the decade 2006-2016. Authors: Fily, F; Ronat, JB; Malou, N; Kanapathipillai, R; Seguin, C; Hussein, N; Fakhri, RM; Langendorf, C Abstract: War-wounded civilians in Middle East countries are at risk of post-traumatic osteomyelitis (PTO). We aimed to describe and compare the bacterial etiology and proportion of first-line antibiotics resistant bacteria (FLAR) among PTO cases in civilians from Syria, Iraq and Yemen admitted to the reconstructive surgical program of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Amman, Jordan, and to identify risk factors for developing PTO with FLAR bacteria.
Title: A Randomized Trial of AmBisome Monotherapy and AmBisome and Miltefosine Combination to Treat Visceral leishmaniasis in HIV Co-infected Patients in Ethiopia Authors: Diro, E; Blesson, S; Edwards, T; Ritmeijer, K; Fikre, H; Admassu, H; Kibret, A; Ellis, SJ; Bardonneau, C; Zijlstra, EE; Soipei, P; Mutinda, B; Omollo, R; Kimutai, R; Omwalo, G; Wasunna, M; Tadesse, F; Alves, F; Strub-Wourgaft, N; Hailu, A; Alexander, N; Alvar, J Abstract: Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) co-infected patients requires special case management. AmBisome monotherapy at 40 mg/kg is recommended by the World Health Organization. The objective of the study was to assess if a combination of a lower dose of AmBisome with miltefosine would show acceptable efficacy at the end of treatment.
Title: 'I saw it as a second chance': A qualitative exploration of experiences of treatment failure and regimen change among people living with HIV on second- and third-line antiretroviral therapy in Kenya, Malawi and Mozambique Authors: Burns, R; Borges, J; Blasco, P; Vandenbulcke, A; Mukui, I; Magalasi, D; Molfino, L; Manuel, R; Schramm, B; Wringe, A Abstract: Increasing numbers of people living with HIV (PLHIV) in sub-Saharan Africa are experiencing failure of first-line antiretroviral therapy and transitioning onto second-line regimens. However, there is a dearth of research on their treatment experiences. We conducted in-depth interviews with 43 PLHIV on second- or third-line antiretroviral therapy and 15 HIV health workers in Kenya, Malawi and Mozambique to explore patients' and health workers' perspectives on these transitions. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed and translated into English. Data were coded inductively and analysed thematically. In all settings, experiences of treatment failure and associated episodes of ill-health disrupted daily social and economic activities, and recalled earlier fears of dying from HIV. Transitioning onto more effective regimens often represented a second (or third) chance to (re-)engage with HIV care, with patients prioritising their health over other aspects of their lives. However, many patients struggled to maintain these transformations, particularly when faced with persistent social challenges to pill-taking, alongside the burden of more complex regimens and an inability to mobilise sufficient resources to accommodate change. Efforts to identify treatment failure and support regimen change must account for these patients' unique illness and treatment histories, and interventions should incorporate tailored counselling and social and economic support. Abbreviations: ART: Antiretroviral therapy; HIV: Human immunodeficiency virus; IDI: In-depth interview; MSF: Médecins Sans Frontières; PLHIV: People living with HIV.