research & publications

HIV RESEARCH

Results by County (Approx)
  • 530 results found
  • HIV mortality in urban slums of Nairobi, Kenya 2003–2010: a period effect analysis

    Background :

    It has been almost a decade since HIV was declared a national disaster in Kenya. Antiretroviral therapy (ART) provision has been a mainstay of HIV treatment efforts globally. In Kenya, the government started ART provision in 2003 with significantly scale-up after 2006. This study aims to demonstrate changes in population-level HIV mortality in two high HIV prevalence slums in Nairobi with respect to the initiation and subsequent scale-up of the national ART program.


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  • The Efficacy of the HIV/AIDS Symptom Management Manual

    Background:

    People living with HIV/AIDS encounter many psychological, physiological, and cognitive symptoms, such as pain, diarrhea, fever, fatigue, depression, and confusion. These symptoms have been found to restrict a person's daily life significantly. Self-management of multiple HIV and medication side effects symptoms and maintaining optimal quality of life have, therefore, become major daily tasks for people living with HIV/AIDS.


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  • Prevalence, Perceptions and Correlates of Pediatric HIV Disclosure in an HIV Treatment Program in Kenya

    Background:

    Disclosure to HIV-infected children regarding their diagnosis is important as expanding numbers of HIV-infected children attain adolescence and may become sexually active. In order to define correlates of pediatric disclosure and facilitate development of models for disclosure, we conducted a cross-sectional survey of primary caregivers of HIV-1 infected children aged 6 to 16 years attending a pediatric HIV treatment program in Nairobi, Kenya. We conducted focus group discussions with a subset of caregivers to further refine perceptions of disclosure.


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  • Younger age at HAART initiation is associated with more rapid growth reconstitution

    Worldwide, more than 2.5 million children are infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1), nearly 90% of whom are living in sub-Saharan Africa. A common feature of HIV-1 infection in children is growth failure. HIV-1-infected infants tend to have substantially lower weight and height compared to HIV-1-uninfected children of similar age. In Africa, many HIV-1-infected children also lack adequate nutrition. Malnourished HIV-1-infected children struggle to meet metabolic demands of growth and development, and poor nutrient status weakens the immune system and decreases the likelihood of survival. Growth faltering has been reported in up to 50% of untreated HIV-1-infected children in resource-limited settings.

    Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) suppresses viral replication and results in immune recovery and growth reconstitution in HIV-1-infected children. Although HAART improves growth in pediatric HIV-1, the pattern and determinants of growth reconstitution following HAART are not well defined. In the US, HIV-1-infected children generally achieve normal weight-forage Z-scores (WAZ) within a year of HAART initiation and experience improvement in height-for-age Z-scores (HAZ) by 2 years. In Africa, baseline WAZ and HAZ in untreated HIV-1-infected children are substantially lower (typically with Z-scores <−2 which is <2nd percentile) than reported in US/European cohorts (Z-scores >−0.5, or >30th percentile).


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  • ART treatment costs and retention in care in Kenya: a cohort study in three rural outpatient clinics

    Background:

    After almost 10 years of PEPFAR funding for antiretroviral therapy (ART) treatment programmes in Kenya, little is known about the cost of care provided to HIV-positive patients receiving ART. With some 430,000 ART patients, understanding and managing costs is essential to treatment programme sustainability.


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  • Measuring adherence to antiretroviral therapy in children and adolescents in western Kenya

    Introduction :

    High levels of adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) are central to HIV management. The objective of this study was to compare multiple measures of adherence and investigate factors associated with adherence among HIV-infected children in western Kenya.


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  • Effectiveness of option B HAART in prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) in pregnant HIV women

    Background :

    Ensuring that no baby is born with HIV is an essential step towards achieving an AIDS-free generation. To achieve this, strategies that decouple links between childbirth and HIV transmission are necessary. Traditional forms of prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT), has been recommended. Recognizing the importance and challenges of combination of methods to achieve rapid PMTCT, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended option B Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) for all HIV-positive pregnant women. This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of the HAART in PMTCT. A cohort of HIV-infected pregnant women in Kenya were obtained from the DREAM Center, Nairobi. The study participants underwent adherence counselling and Option B of HAART [Nevirapine(NVP) + Lamivudine + Zidovudine] at the fourth week of gestation followed by an intravenous NVP administration intrapartum and postpartum NVP syrup to the respective infants for six weeks. Absolute pre-HAART and post-HAART CD4 counts and viral loads counts were determined. Comparison of the CD4 counts and viral loads before and after administration of HAART were done using Wilcoxon’s Matched Pairs Signed-Ranks Test.


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  • HIV type 1 drug resistance patterns among patients failing first and second line antiretroviral therapy in Nairobi, Kenya

    Background:

    The ever-expanding roll out of antiretroviral therapy in poor resource settings without routine virological monitoring has been accompanied with development of drug resistance that has resulted in limited treatment success.


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  • Integrating Tuberculosis and HIV Services in rural Kenya: uptake and outcomes

    Background:

    An estimated 35.3 million persons worldwide were living with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in 2012, while 8.6 million people developed tuberculosis (TB), the majority of them in sub-Saharan Africa. Kenya is one of the world’s 22 high TB burden2 and high HIV burden countries.


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  • HIV diversity and drug resistance from plasma and non-plasma analytes in a large treatment program in western Kenya.

    Background:

    Antiretroviral resistance leads to treatment failure and resistance transmission. Resistance data in western Kenya are limited. Collection of non-plasma analytes may provide additional resistance information.


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  • Incident HSV-2 infections are common among HIV-1-discordant couples.

    Background:

    The synergy between herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) and human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) is well known, but lack of knowledge about the epidemiology of HSV-2 acquisition in HIV-1-discordant couples hampers development of HSV-2 prevention interventions that could reduce HIV-1 transmission.


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  • "If I am given antiretrovirals I will think I am nearing the grave:" Kenyan HIV serodiscordant couples' attitudes regarding early initiation of antiretroviral therapy

    Background:

    Initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) by HIV-infected persons – that is, at higher CD4+ cell counts (>350 cells/μl) – is a potent HIV prevention strategy.The WHO recommends ART initiation irrespective of CD4+ cell count for HIV-infected members of HIV serodiscordant couples.Studies from a variety of settings have reported that some HIV-infected individuals are not willing to initiate ART, but few studies have directly explored early ART initiation. Among 181 HIV-infected Kenyan individuals with CD4+ cell counts higher than 350 cells/μl and known HIV-uninfected partners, approximately 40% reported reluctance to consider early ART, citing side-effects, stigma, pill burden, and ART resistance.In the control arm of HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) 052, nearly 20% of HIV-infected participants declined ART when offered after the trial demonstrated HIV protection – many stating that they were not ready to begin ART or believed their CD4+ cell count was too high .Recent studies have suggested that higher CD4+ cell counts are associated with delayed ART initiation or refusal .

    Socially constructed perceptions of HIV are important to understand refusal, uptake, and adherence to HIV treatment and prevention. In high-income settings, the social definition of HIV has been shifted from a universally fatal disease to a chronic, manageable illness because of the advent of highly effective ART.The reconceptualization of HIVas a treatable disease has a profound social and psychological impact: restored hope, a return to normalcy, and potentially reduced stigma, but also the burden of managing an ongoing, unpredictable illness and adhering to treatment. It is hypothesized that the transition of HIV to a chronic illness will reduce stigma, an important barrier to engagement in HIV services, as HIV-infected individuals on ART can remain healthy and maintain a `normal' identity and life, concealing their HIV status and avoiding potential negative reactions from others. Less has been described about reconceptualization of HIV as a chronic, treatable illness in Africa, where ART availability is more recent and is generally initiated at low CD4+ cell counts. Particularly unknown is the conceptualization of earlier initiation of ART. This qualitative study explored HIV serodiscordant couples' attitudes toward the early initiation of ART.


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  • Willingness of Kenyan HIV-1 serodiscordant couples to use antiretroviral-based HIV-1 prevention strategies.

    Background:

    Antiretroviral treatment (ART) and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) have demonstrated efficacy as new human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) prevention approaches for HIV-1 serodiscordant couples.


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  • Preventing HIV infection without targeting the virus: how reducing HIV target cells at the genital tract is a new approach to HIV prevention

    Background:

    According to the latest UNAIDS report, 36.7 million people are living with HIV/AIDS worldwide. Despite the development of new antiretroviral drugs and better access to care and prevention programs, the number of new HIV cases has remained over 2 million per annum over the past 10 years with a very slow rate of decline . Clearly, existing prevention methods are not sufficient and new approaches are required. However, to develop new biomedical prevention methods, we need a better understanding of the factors driving susceptibility to HIV infection.


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  • HIV-associated mortality in the era of antiretroviral therapy scale-up – Nairobi, Kenya, 2015

    Background:

    Declines in HIV prevalence and increases in antiretroviral treatment coverage have been documented in Kenya, but population-level mortality associated with HIV has not been directly measured. In urban areas where a majority of deaths pass through mortuaries, mortuary-based studies have the potential to contribute to our understanding of excess mortality among HIV-infected persons. We used results from a cross-sectional mortuary-based HIV surveillance study to estimate the association between HIV and mortality for Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya.


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  • Pharmacokinetics-based adherence measures for antiretroviral therapy in HIV-infected Kenyan children

    Background:

    Traditional medication adherence measures do not account for the pharmacokinetic (PK) properties of the drugs, potentially misrepresenting true therapeutic exposure.


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  • The Burden of Polypharmacy in Aging Population Living with HIV in Mombasa, Kenya

    Background :


    Kenya has the fourth-largest HIV epidemic in the world. In Kenya 2.92% of the population are 65 years and above. Aging population tend to have health problems like cardiovascular conditions, endocrine disorders and malignancies. These comorbidities are due to aging organs and immunity, with HIV increasing their risk. Polypharmacy is concurrent use of multiple medications for multiple conditions. This study is aimed at establishing the burden of polypharmacy in aging population living with HIV in Mombasa.

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  • Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) Co-Morbidities in Overweight and Obese Adults Living with HIV: A cross-sectional review of HIV Clinical Routine Data of LVCT Health’s Clinic in Nairobi County

    Background:


    Being overweight is defined as Body Mass Index (BMI) ranging from 25 to 29.9 kg/m² and obesity (BMI greater than 30 kg/m²). Collectively termed as over-nutrition, both are on the increase and are associated with increased non-communicable diseases (NCDs) e.g. diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Studies show that People Living with HIV (PLHIV) are similarly affected by over-nutrition and related NCDs. We sought to determine the prevalence of over nutrition and related NCD among HIV positive adults attending LVCT Hurlingham clinic in Nairobi county of Kenya, between January and December 2016

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  • Effects Terrorism and HIV prevention and treatment: Case Study of Mpeketoni Terrorist Attack in Lamu West Kenya

    Background:


    Studies show that violent conflicts create disruptive conditions for consistent uptake of health services including HIV treatment and ANC. Lamu West suffered terrorist attacks in 2014 prompting series of security interventions including militarization of some parts of the sub-county. There was massive population dislocation, especially from Witu, Hindi and Mpeketoni. Do these terror attacks affect HIV treatment services in Kenya?

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  • The Molecular Epidemiology of HIV-1 Infection Within and Between Risk Groups in Kenya

    What questions are we trying to answer? We aim to describe introduction, spread and transmission of HIV networks within and between risk groups (MSM, FSW and HET) and geographic locations in Kenya. We also aim to describe the distribution of HIV subtypes, and to determine levels of pretreatment HIV drug resistance over time, within and between risk groups and geographic locations in Kenya. 


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  • HIV AND AIDS-RELATED STIGMA AND DISCRIMINATION: PERSPECTIVE OF PEOPLE LIVING WITH HIV AND AIDS IN GARISSA COUNTY, KENYA

    Abstract

    Purpose: To determine the factors influencing stigmatization and discrimination among people living with HIV and AIDS in Garissa County.

    Methodology: This research utilized a survey research design.

    Findings: Results revealed that people living with HIV and AIDS experienced stigmatization and discrimination. The people were stigmatized and discriminated in ways such as verbal abuse, they were perceived to die soon, being shunned by their families and friends, people avoiding physical contact with them and general fear from the public. Additionally, illiteracy, ignorance and poverty were the factors that promoted stigmatization and discrimination. Binary logistic regression results showed that gender was statistically associated with stigmatization and discrimination. The probability of stigmatization and discrimination increased. The multivariate logistic regression results showed that gender was not statistically associated with stigmatization and discrimination levels. Binary logistic regression results showed that the level of education, level of income, was negatively statistically associated with stigmatization and discrimination levels. The multivariate logistic regression results showed that the level of income was negatively statistically associated with stigmatization and discrimination levels. Binary logistic regression results showed that the likelihood of females spreading HIV, likelihood of unmarried people spreading HIV and likelihood of old people spreading HIV was statistically associated to levels of stigmatization and discrimination. A multivariate logistic regression results revealed that the likelihood of females spreading HIV and likelihood of old people spreading HIV is statistically associated to levels of stigmatization and discrimination. Binary logistic regression results showed that the knowledge level on whether HIV can be spread through a mosquito bite is statistically associated to levels of stigmatization and discrimination. The multivariate logistic regression results showed that the knowledge level on whether HIV can be spread through a mosquito bite is statistically associated to levels of stigmatization and discrimination.

    Unique contribution to theory, practice and policy: This study will benefit various groups of people. These include stakeholders in the management of stigma and discrimination of People Living with HIV and AIDS, Governmental and Non Governmental organizations (NGOs) and people living with HIV and AIDS. The study will also benefit academicians and other researchers.


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  • Trauma, Depression, and Resilience among Women Living with HIV/AIDS in Kenya

    Abstract

    Kenya has one of the world’s worst HIV and AIDS epidemics. In 2011, an estimated 1.6 million people were living with HIV and nearly 62,000 people died from AIDS-related illnesses including Korogocho, the worst slum area with 14% HIV prevalence. Even though awareness of HIV and AIDS in Kenya is high, many people living with the virus still face stigma and discrimination. Studies have shown that although people are aware of the basic facts about HIV and AIDS, many do not have the more in-depth knowledge that address issues of stigma. Especially social stigma of HIV to women is an urgent issue in Kenya. Especially women with HIV suffered from stigma and discrimination to break themselves down. Their severe depression and psychological trauma is the most significant cause of their deprived quality of life. Kenya women have been exposed to intense and ongoing trauma and depression since diagnosis of HIV/AIDS. Among 122 women living with HIV/AIDS in Korogocho, Kenya, we examined the prevalence and severity of pre traumatic experience (PET), impact of event (IES-R), depression (CES-D), internal stigma (ISS), and resilience (RS). Results revealed a high prevalence in emotional impact of event in women living with HIV/AIDS (86%); 65.3% reported severe depression after diagnosis of HIV/AIDS. As expected, depression was significantly correlated with both impact of event and internal stigma. Hierarchical regression analyses revealed the association between IES-R score and CES-D scores persisted even after controlling for relevant demographic variables. The most difficulties on living with HIV/AIDS were emotional distress, physical health, social relationship, and financial problems. Implications for improving the psychological functioning and resilience of women living with HIV/AIDS are discussed.

  • "Once you join the streets you will have to do it": sexual practices of street children and youth in Uasin Gishu County, Kenya.

    BACKGROUND: Adolescents living in HIV endemic settings face unique sexual health risks, and in the context of abject poverty, orphanhood, social marginalization, and discrimination, adolescents may be particularly at-risk of horizontal HIV transmission. Street-connected children and youth are a particularly vulnerable and marginalized population and therefore may be a key population at-risk.


    METHODS: We sought to describe the sexual behaviours of street-connected children and youth in order to comprehend their sexual practices and elucidate circumstances that put them at increased risk of contracting HIV utilizing qualitative methods from a sample of street-connected children and youth in Eldoret, Kenya. We recruited participants aged 11-24 years who had lived on the street for ≥ 3 months to participate in 25 in-depth interviews and 5 focus group discussions stratified by age and sex.


    RESULTS: In total we interviewed 65 street-connected children and youth; 69 % were male with a median age of 18 years (IQR: 14-20.5 years). Participants identified both acceptable and unacceptable sexual acts that occur on the streets between males and females, between males, and between females. We grouped reasons for having sex into four categories based on common themes: pleasure, procreation, transactional, and forced. Transactional sex and multiple concurrent partnerships were frequently described by participants. Rape was endemic to street life for girls.


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  • Health care-seeking behaviour of HIV-infected mothers and male partners in Nairobi, Kenya

    Abstract

    Health care-seeking behaviours of HIV-infected mothers in sub-Saharan Africa are poorly characterised and typically focus on individual health conditions rather than overall health. We conducted a qualitative study to understand how HIV-infected mothers, their male partners and their HIV-exposed infants seek medical services. We performed 32 in-depth interviews (17 female, 15 male) and four focus group discussions among HIV-infected post-partum women and their male partners in Nairobi, Kenya. We used a grounded theory approach to explore the paths followed for health-related concerns. Female participants reported that willingness to be tested for HIV influences whether women sought antenatal care and the type of facility they preferred for childbirth. The need for medical care outside regular clinic hours and securing safe transportation at night were also significant barriers to seeking care. Most men sought services from traditional healers and chemists before HIV diagnosis, and at governmental facilities afterwards. Both men and women sent infants to traditional healers for non-medical conditions such as bewitching and massage but rarely for medical conditions. Strategies to reduce HIV-related stigma and fears in antenatal and maternity settings, increase access to care after-hours and improve linkage to HIV care for men early in their infection are needed. 


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  • Outcomes up to Twelve Months after Treatment with Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure for Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia Among HIV-Infected Women

    Introduction

    HIV-infected women may have higher rates of recurrent cervical precancer after treatment. Knowledge about rates and predictors of recurrence could impact guidelines and program planning, especially in low-resource settings.


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  • Incidence and predictors of attrition from antiretroviral care among adults in a rural HIV clinic in Coastal Kenya: a retrospective cohort study

    Background

    Scale up of antiretroviral therapy (ART) has led to substantial declines in HIV related morbidity and mortality. However, attrition from ART care remains a major public health concern and has been identified as one of the key reportable indicators in assessing the success of ART programs. This study describes the incidence and predictors of attrition among adults initiating ART in a rural HIV clinic in Coastal Kenya.


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  • HIV with non-communicable diseases in primary care in Kibera, Nairobi, Kenya: characteristics and outcomes 2010-2013

    BACKGROUND:

    Antiretroviral therapy (ART) has increased the life expectancy of people living with HIV (PLHIV); HIV is now considered a chronic disease. Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and HIV care were integrated into primary care clinics operated within the informal settlement of Kibera, Nairobi, Kenya. We describe early cohort outcomes among PLHIV and HIV-negative patients, both of whom had NCDs.


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  • "Wan Kanyakla" (We are together): Community transformations in Kenya following a social network intervention for HIV care.

    BACKGROUND:

    In sub-Saharan Africa, failure to initiate and sustain HIV treatment contributes to significant health, psychosocial, and economic impacts that burden not only infected individuals but diverse members of their social networks. Yet, due to intense stigma, the responsibility for managing lifelong HIV treatment rests solely, and often secretly, with infected individuals. We introduce the concept of "HIV risk induction" to suggest that social networks of infected individuals share a vested interest in improving long-term engagement with HIV care, and may represent an underutilized resource for improving HIV/AIDS outcomes within high prevalence populations.


    METHODS:

    In 2012, we implemented a 'microclinic' intervention to promote social network engagement in HIV/AIDS care and treatment. A microclinic is a therapy management collective comprised of a small group of neighbors, relatives, and friends who are trained as a team to provide psychosocial and adherence support for HIV-infected members. Our study population included 369 patients on ART and members of their social networks on Mfangano Island, Kenya, where HIV prevalence approaches 30%. Here we report qualitative data from 18 focus group discussions conducted with microclinic participants (n = 82), community health workers (n = 40), and local program staff (n = 39).


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  • Incremental Yield of Including Determine-TB LAM Assay in Diagnostic Algorithms for Hospitalized and Ambulatory HIV-Positive Patients in Kenya.

    BACKGROUND:

    Determine-TB LAM assay is a urine point-of-care test useful for TB diagnosis in HIV-positive patients. We assessed the incremental diagnostic yield of adding LAM to algorithms based on clinical signs, sputum smear-microscopy, chest X-ray and Xpert MTB/RIF in HIV-positive patients with symptoms of pulmonary TB (PTB).


    METHODS:

    Prospective observational cohort of ambulatory (either severely ill or CD4<200cells/μl or with Body Mass Index<17Kg/m2) and hospitalized symptomatic HIV-positive adults in Kenya. Incremental diagnostic yield of adding LAM was the difference in the proportion of confirmed TB patients (positive Xpert or MTB culture) diagnosed by the algorithm with LAM compared to the algorithm without LAM. The multivariable mortality model was adjusted for age, sex, clinical severity, BMI, CD4, ART initiation, LAM result and TB confirmation.


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  • Uptake and Acceptability of Oral HIV Self-Testing among Community Pharmacy Clients in Kenya: A Feasibility Study.

    BACKGROUND:

    While HIV testing and counselling is a key entry point for treatment as prevention, over half of HIV-infected adults in Kenya are unaware they are infected. Offering HIV self-testing (HST) at community pharmacies may enhance detection of undiagnosed infections. We assessed the feasibility of pharmacy-based HST in Coastal Kenya.


    METHODS:

    Staff at five pharmacies, supported by on-site research assistants, recruited adult clients (≥18 years) seeking services indicative of HIV risk. Participants were offered oral HST kits (OraQuick®) at US$1 per test. Within one week of buying a test, participants were contacted for post-test data collection and counselling. The primary outcome was test uptake, defined as the proportion of invited clients who bought tests. Views of participating pharmacy staff were solicited in feedback sessions during and after the study.


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  • An assessment of staffing needs at a HIV clinic in a Western Kenya using the WHO workload indicators of staffing need WISN, 2011.

    BACKGROUND:

    An optimal number of health workers, who are appropriately allocated across different occupations and geographical regions, are required to ensure population coverage of health interventions. Health worker shortages in HIV care provision are highest in areas that are worst hit by the HIV epidemic. Kenya is listed among countries that experience health worker shortages (<2.5 health workers per 1000 population) and have a high HIV burden (HIV prevalence 5.6 with 15.2% in Nyanza province). We set out to determine the optimum number of clinicians required to provide quality consultancy HIV care services at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital, JOOTRH, HIV Clinic, the premier HIV clinic in Nyanza province with a cumulative client enrolment of PLHIV of over 20,000 persons.


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  • Alcohol use and immune reconstitution among HIV-infected patients on antiretroviral therapy in Nairobi, Kenya.

    Studies on the effects of alcohol use on HIV disease progression have been contradictory, with at least one study finding a positive effect of low alcohol consumption on CD4 count. In addition, most such studies have taken place in the developed West. We investigated the association between alcohol use and immune reconstitution through CD4 count response among HIV-infected individuals on antiretroviral therapy (ART) at an urban sub-Saharan African clinic. This was a retrospective cohort study of treatment-naïve HIV-infected adults initiating ART in Nairobi, Kenya and followed for 12 months between January 2009 and December 2012. At enrollment, a standardized questionnaire was used to collect data on sociodemographic variables and alcohol consumption. CD4 count was measured every six months. Linear regression models assessed the association between CD4 count and alcohol consumption, categorized as abstinent, moderate, or hazardous. Overall, 854 participants were included, 522 of which were women, with 85 (25.6%) men and 50 (9.6%) women reporting any alcohol use, and 8 (2.4%) men and 7 (1.3%) women reporting hazardous drinking. At baseline, alcohol use was associated with higher education and socioeconomic status. Median CD4 count was higher among alcohol users compared to those who abstained at baseline and at 6 and 12 months post-ART initiation, although this was only significant at 6 months.


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  • Genetic Diversity of Cryptosporidium in Children in an Urban Informal Settlement of Nairobi, Kenya.

    INTRODUCTION: Globally Cryptosporidium and Giardia species are the most common non-bacterial causes of diarrhoea in children and HIV infected individuals, yet data on their role in paediatric diarrhoea in Kenya remains scant. This study investigated the occurrence of Cryptosporidium species, genotypes and subtypes in children, both hospitalized and living in an informal settlement in Nairobi.


    METHODS: This was a prospective cross-sectional study in which faecal specimen positive for Cryptosporidium spp. by microscopy from HIV infected and uninfected children aged five years and below presenting with diarrhoea at selected outpatient clinics in Mukuru informal settlements, or admitted to the paediatric ward at the Mbagathi District Hospital were characterized. The analysis was done by Polymerase Chain Reaction-Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) of the 18srRNA gene for species identification and PCR-sequencing of the 60 kDa glycoprotein (GP60) gene for subtyping


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  • Medication Adherence Clubs: a potential solution to managing large numbers of stable patients with multiple chronic diseases in informal settlements

    INTRODUCTION:

    Medication Adherence Clubs (MACs) have been developed in South Africa as a unique solution to managing stable patients with HIV where they shifted care from overburdened clinics to peer groups; MSF has demonstrated improved patient outcomes such as viral load suppression, medication adherence, less loss to follow‐up and reduced clinician workload 8, 9, 10 Wilkinson LS. 2013; Luque‐Fernandez MA et al. 2013; MSF ART adherence club report and tool kit. 2012. Subsequently, WHO has recommended the peer group treatment model as one way to decrease the cumulative workload of follow‐ups on healthcare providers and to improve patient outcomes in its 2013 HIV treatment guideline 11. Finding solutions that give long‐term, quality care to this ever‐increasing cohort are of importance in other low resource settings.


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  • Pulling the network together: quasi-experimental trial of a patient-defined support network intervention for promoting engagement in HIV care and medication adherence on Mfangano Island, Kenya

    BACKGROUND:

    Despite progress in the global scale-up of antiretroviral therapy, sustained engagement in HIV care remains challenging. Social capital is an important factor for sustained engagement, but interventions designed to harness this powerful social force are uncommon.


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  • Effects of highly active antiretroviral therapy on the survival of HIV-infected adult patients in urban slums of Kenya

    Abstract :

    Recent improvements in access to Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) have radically reduced hospitalizations and deaths associated with HIV infection in both developed countries and sub-Saharan Africa. Not much is known about survival of patients on ART in slums. The objective of this study was to identify factors associated with mortality among adult patients on ART in resource poor, urban, sub-Saharan African setting. A prospective open cohort study was conducted with adult patients on ART at a clinic in Kibera slums, Nairobi, Kenya. The patients' enrollment to care was between March 2005 and November 2011. Descriptive statistics were computed and Kaplan-Meier (KM) methods used to estimate survival time while Cox's proportional hazards (CPH) model fitted to determine mortality predictors. A total of 2,011 adult patients were studied, 69% being female. Female gender (p=0.0016), zidovudine-based regimen patients (p<0.0001), CD4 count>351 patients (p<0.0001), WHO stage I patients (p<0.0001) and "Working" functional status patients recorded better survival probability on ART. In CPH analysis, the hazard of dying was higher in patients on Stavudine-based regimen(hazard ratio (HR)=.8; 95% CI, 1.5-2.2; p<0.0001),CD4 count<50 cells/µl (HR=1.6; 95% CI, 1.5-1.7;p<0.0001), WHO Stage IV at ART initiation (HR=1.3; 95% CI, 1.1-1.6; p=0.016) and bedridden patients (HR=2.7; 95% CI, 1.7-4.4;p<0.0001). There was increased mortality among the males, those with advanced Immunosuppression, late WHO stage and bedridden patients. The findings further justify the need to switch patients on Stavudine-based regimen as per the WHO recommendations.


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  • I Knew I Would Be Safer. Experiences of Kenyan HIV Serodiscordant Couples Soon After Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Initiation.

    Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV-uninfected persons is highly efficacious for HIV prevention. Understanding how people at risk for HIV will use PrEP is important to inform PrEP scale-up and implementation. We used qualitative methods to gather insights into couples' early experiences with PrEP use within the Partners Demonstration Project, an open-label implementation study evaluating integrated delivery of PrEP and antiretroviral therapy (ART). PrEP is offered to HIV uninfected partners until the HIV-infected partner initiates and sustains ART use (i.e., PrEP as a "bridge" to ART initiation and viral suppression). From August 2013 to March 2014 we conducted 20 in-depth dyadic interviews (n = 40) with heterosexual HIV serodiscordant couples participating at the Thika, Kenya study site, exploring how couples make decisions about using PrEP for HIV prevention. We developed and applied deductive and inductive codes to identify key themes related to experiences of PrEP initiation and use of time-limited PrEP. Couples reported that PrEP offered them an additional strategy to reduce the risk of HIV transmission, meet their fertility desires, and cope with HIV serodiscordance. Remaining HIV negative at follow-up visits reinforced couples' decisions and motivated continued adherence to PrEP.


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  • A model for HIV disclosure of a parent's and/or a child's illness.

    HIV prevalence in Kenya remains steady at 5.6% for adults 15 years and older, and 0.9% among children aged below 14 years. Parents and children are known to practice unprotected sex, which has implications for continued HIV spread within the country. Additionally, due to increased accessibility of antiretroviral therapy, more HIV-positive persons are living longer. Therefore, the need for HIV disclosure of a parent's and/or a child's HIV status within the country will continue for years to come. We conducted a qualitative phenomenological study to understand the entire process of disclosure from the time of initial HIV diagnosis of an index person within an HIV-affected family, to the time of full disclosure of a parent's and/or a child's HIV status to one or more HIV-positive, negative, or untested children within these households. Participants were purposively selected and included 16 HIV-positive parents, seven HIV-positive children, six healthcare professionals (physician, clinical officer, psychologist, registered nurse, social worker, and a peer educator), and five HIV-negative children. All participants underwent an in-depth individualized semistructured interview that was digitally recorded. Interviews were transcribed and analyzed in NVivo 8 using the modified Van Kaam method. Six themes emerged from the data indicating that factors such as HIV testing, living with HIV, evolution of disclosure, questions, emotions, benefits, and consequences of disclosure interact with each other and either impede or facilitate the HIV disclosure process.


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  • Molecular Epidemiology and Transmission Dynamics of Recent and Long-Term HIV-1 Infections in Rural Western Kenya.

    OBJECTIVE:

    To identify unique characteristics of recent versus established HIV infections and describe sexual transmission networks, we characterized circulating HIV-1 strains from two randomly selected populations of ART-naïve participants in rural western Kenya.


    METHODS: Recent HIV infections were identified by the HIV-1 subtype B, E and D, immunoglobulin G capture immunoassay (IgG BED-CEIA) and BioRad avidity assays. Genotypic and phylogenetic analyses were performed on the pol gene to identify transmitted drug resistance (TDR) mutations, characterize HIV subtypes and potential transmission clusters. Factors associated with recent infection and clustering were assessed by logistic regression.


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  • 'Everyone has a secret they keep close to their hearts': challenges faced by adolescents living with HIV infection at the Kenyan coast.

    BACKGROUND: The upsurge in the uptake of antiretroviral therapy (ART) has led to a significant increase in the survival of vertically acquired HIV infected children, many of whom are currently living into adolescence and early adulthood. However little if anything is known of the lived experiences and the challenges faced by HIV positive adolescents in the African context. We set out to investigate psychosocial challenges faced by HIV infected adolescents on the Kenyan coast.


    METHODS: A total of 44 participants (12 HIV-infected adolescents, 7 HIV uninfected adolescents, and 25 key informants) took part in this qualitative study, using individually administered in-depth interviews. A framework approach was used to analyze the data using NVIVO software.


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  • Conducting experimental research in marginalised populations: clinical and methodological implications from a mixed-methods randomised controlled trial in Kenya.

    Experimental studies to test interventions for people living with HIV in low- and middle-income countries are essential to ensure appropriate and effective clinical care. The implications of study participation on outcome data in such populations have been discussed theoretically, but rarely empirically examined. We aimed to explore the effects of participating in a randomised controlled trial conducted in an HIV clinic in Mombasa, Kenya. We report qualitative data from the Treatment Outcomes in Palliative Care trial, which evaluated the impact of a nurse-led palliative care intervention for HIV positive adults on antiretroviral therapy compared to standard care. Participants in both arms attended five monthly quantitative data collection appointments. Post-trial exit, 10 control and 20 intervention patients participated in semi-structured qualitative interviews, analysed using thematic analysis. We found benefit attributed to the compassion of the research team, social support, communication, completion of patient reported outcome measures (PROMs) and material support (transport reimbursement). Being treated with compassion and receiving social support enabled participants to build positive relationships with the research team, which improved mental health and well-being. Open and non-judgmental communication made participants feel accepted.


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  • Community Perceptions of Community Health Workers (CHWs) and Their Roles in Management for HIV, Tuberculosis and Hypertension in Western Kenya.

    Given shortages of health care providers and a rise in the number of people living with both communicable and non-communicable diseases, Community Health Workers (CHWs) are increasingly incorporated into health care programs. We sought to explore community perceptions of CHWs including perceptions of their roles in chronic disease management as part of the Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare Program (AMPATH) in western Kenya. In depth interviews and focus group discussions were conducted between July 2012 and August 2013. Study participants were purposively sampled from three AMPATH sites: Chulaimbo, Teso and Turbo, and included patients within the AMPATH program receiving HIV, tuberculosis (TB), and hypertension (HTN) care, as well as caregivers of children with HIV, community leaders, and health care workers. Participants were asked to describe their perceptions of AMPATH CHWs, including identifying the various roles they play in engagement in care for chronic diseases including HIV, TB and HTN.


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  • High Rates of Exclusive Breastfeeding in Both Arms of a Peer Counseling Study Promoting EBF Among HIV-Infected Kenyan Women.

    BACKGROUND: Exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) is recommended for 6 months after delivery as the optimal infant feeding method and is especially important for prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT). However, EBF promotion efforts among HIV-infected mothers in sub-Saharan Africa have achieved mixed success and require context-specific interventions.


    METHODS: HIV-positive, pregnant women from six clinics in Nairobi were enrolled into a clinic-level, before-after counseling intervention study. All women received standard perinatal and HIV care. Women in the intervention arm were offered three counseling sessions that promoted EBF, described its benefits, and explained breastfeeding techniques. Mother-infant pairs were followed until 14 weeks postpartum, with infant HIV testing at 6 weeks. EBF prevalence at 14 weeks postpartum was compared between study arms using log-binomial regression. Proportions of 6-week HIV-free survival and 14-week infant survival were assessed using Cox regression. Risk estimates were adjusted for clinic, relationship status, and antiretroviral therapy.


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  • Everyone has a secret they keep close to their hearts: challenges faced by adolescents living with HIV infection at the Kenyan coast

    BACKGROUND:

    The upsurge in the uptake of antiretroviral therapy (ART) has led to a significant increase in the survival of vertically acquired HIV infected children, many of whom are currently living into adolescence and early adulthood. However little if anything is known of the lived experiences and the challenges faced by HIV positive adolescents in the African context. We set out to investigate psychosocial challenges faced by HIV infected adolescents on the Kenyan coast.


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  • The Impact of Sex Work Interruption on Blood-Derived T Cells in Sex Workers from Nairobi, Kenya.

    BACKGROUND: Unprotected sexual intercourse exposes the female genital tract (FGT) to semen-derived antigens, which leads to a proinflammatory response. Studies have shown that this postcoital inflammatory response can lead to recruitment of activated T cells to the FGT, thereby increasing risk of HIV infection.


    OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of sex work on activation and memory phenotypes of peripheral T cells among female sex workers (FSW) from Nairobi, Kenya.


    SUBJECTS: Thirty FSW were recruited from the Pumwani Sex Workers Cohort, 10 in each of the following groups: HIV-exposed seronegative (at least 7 years in active sex work), HIV positive, and New Negative (HIV negative, less than 3 years in active sex work). Blood was obtained at three different phases (active sex work, abstinence from sex work-sex break, and following resumption of sex work). Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were isolated and stained for phenotypic markers (CD3, CD4, CD8, and CD161), memory phenotype markers (CD45RA and CCR7), activation markers (CD69, HLA-DR, and CD95), and the HIV coreceptor (CCR5). T-cell populations were compared between groups.


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  • Genital Shedding of Resistant Human Immunodeficiency Virus-1 Among Women Diagnosed With Treatment Failure by Clinical and Immunologic Monitoring.

    Background.  

    The accumulation of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) resistance mutations can compromise treatment outcomes and promote transmission of drug-resistant virus. We conducted a study to determine the duration and evolution of genotypic drug resistance in the female genital tract among HIV-1-infected women failing first-line therapy.


    Methods.  Treatment failure was diagnosed based on World Health Organization (WHO) clinical or immunologic criteria, and second-line therapy was initiated. Stored plasma and genital samples were tested to determine the presence and timing of virologic failure and emergence of drug resistance. The median duration of genital shedding of genotypically resistant virus prior to regimen switch was estimated.



  • Perspectives of healthcare providers and HIV-affected individuals and couples during the development of a Safer Conception Counseling Toolkit in Kenya: stigma, fears, and recommendations for the delivery of services.

    Reproduction is important to many HIV-affected individuals and couples and healthcare providers (HCPs) are responsible for providing resources to help them safely conceive while minimizing the risk of sexual and perinatal HIV transmission. In order to fulfill their reproductive goals, HIV-affected individuals and their partners need access to information regarding safer methods of conception. The objective of this qualitative study was to develop a Safer Conception Counseling Toolkit that can be used to train HCPs and counsel HIV-affected individuals and couples in HIV care and treatment clinics in Kenya. We conducted a two-phased qualitative study among HCPs and HIV-affected individuals and couples from eight HIV care and treatment sites in Kisumu, Kenya. We conducted in-depth interviews (IDIs) and focus group discussions (FGDs) to assess the perspectives of HCPs and HIV-affected individuals and couples in order to develop and refine the content of the Toolkit. Subsequently, IDIs were conducted among HCPs who were trained using the Toolkit and FGDs among HIV-affected individuals and couples who were counseled with the Toolkit. HIV-related stigma, fears, and recommendations for delivery of safer conception counseling were assessed during the discussions. One hundred and six individuals participated in FGDs and IDIs; 29 HCPs, 49 HIV-affected women and men, and 14 HIV-serodiscordant couples.


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  • No sex for fish: empowering women to promote health and economic opportunity in a localized place in Kenya.

    A pervasive cultural practice called 'jaboya' or women trading sex for fish exists at Nyamware Beach, on Lake Victoria in Kenya, where the fishing industry is the primary source of income. This case study describes how an innovative market-based solution succeeded in changing the gender dynamics on Nyamware beach and empowering women with the means of production in the industry. Over the course of 6 months, three boats were built for women to own and manage, and 29 women and 20 men received business skills training while establishing local community savings and loans associations. This project succeeded in quickly adjusting the economic imbalance that previously left women few options but to exchange sex to purchase the best fish for food and for distribution.


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  • Understanding the Context of HIV Risk Behavior Among HIV-Positive and HIV-Negative Female Sex Workers and Male Bar Clients Following Antiretroviral Therapy Rollout in Mombasa, Kenya

    This study explored perceptions of HIV following local introduction of antiretroviral therapy (ART), among 30 HIV-positive and -negative female sex workers (FSWs) and 10 male bar patrons in Mombasa, Kenya. Semi-structured interviews were analyzed qualitatively to identify determinants of sexual risk behaviors. ART was not perceived as a barrier to safer sex and in some cases led to decreased high-risk behaviors. Barriers to safer sex included economic pressure and sexual partnership types. Many women reported that negotiating condom use is more difficult in long-term partnerships. These women favored short-term partnerships to minimize risk through consistent condom use. For women living with HIV, concern about maintaining health and avoiding HIV superinfection was a strong motivator of protective behaviors. For HIV-negative women, a negative HIV test was a powerful motivator. Incorporation of context- and serostatus-specific factors (e.g., self-protection for HIV-positive women) into tailored prevention counseling may support high-risk women to reduce risk behaviors.


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  • Comparative Yield of Different Diagnostic Tests for Tuberculosis among People Living with HIV in Western Kenya.

    BACKGROUND:

    Diagnosis followed by effective treatment of tuberculosis (TB) reduces transmission and saves lives in persons living with HIV (PLHIV). Sputum smear microscopy is widely used for diagnosis, despite limited sensitivity in PLHIV. Evidence is needed to determine the optimal diagnostic approach for these patients.


    METHODS:

    From May 2011 through June 2012, we recruited PLHIV from 15 HIV treatment centers in western Kenya. We collected up to three sputum specimens for Ziehl-Neelsen (ZN) and fluorescence microscopy (FM), GeneXpert MTB/RIF (Xpert), and culture, regardless of symptoms. We calculated the incremental yield of each test, stratifying results by CD4 cell count and specimen type; data were analyzed to account for complex sampling.


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