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- ItemA brief history of South Africa's response to Aids(2014) Simelela, N.P.; Venter, W.D.F.The story of the AIDS response in South Africa over the past 4 years is one of great progress after almost a decade of complex and tragic denialism that united the world and civil society in a way not seen since the opposition to apartheid. Today the country can boast >2 million people on antiretroviral therapy, far and away the largest number in the world. Prevention efforts appear to be yielding results. The estimated number of annual new HIV infections declined by 79 000 between 2011 and 2012. New HIV infections among adults aged 15 - 49 years are projected to decline by 48% by 2016, from 414 000 (2010) to ~215 000 (2016). The national incidence rate has reached its lowest level since the disease was first declared an epidemic in 1992, translating into reductions in both infant and under-5 mortality and an increase in life expectancy from 56 to 60 years over the period 2009 - 2011 alone. This is largely thanks to a civil society movement that was prepared to pose a rights-based challenge to a governing party in denial, and to brave health officials, politicians and clinicians working in a hostile system to bring about change.
- ItemThe challenges of managing breast cancer in the developing world- a perspective from sub- Saharan Africa(2014-05) Edge, J; Buccimazza, I; Cubasch, H; et al.Communicable diseases are the major cause of mortality in lower-income countries. Consequently, local and international resources are channelled mainly into addressing the impact of these conditions. HIV, however, is being successfully treated, people are living longer, and disease patterns are changing. As populations age, the incidence of cancer inevitably increases. The World Health Organization has predicted a dramatic increase in global cancer cases during the next 15 years, the majority of which will occur in low- and middle-income countries. Cancer treatment is expensive and complex and in the developing world 5% of global cancer funds are spent on 70% of cancer cases. This paper reviews the challenges of managing breast cancer in the developing world, using sub-Saharan Africa as a model.
- ItemCharting the path along the continuum of PMCT or HIV-1 to elimination and finally to eradication(2014-01) EditorialIn this editorial we traverse the continuum of transmission of HIV-1 from mothers to children to highlight the biomedical history of this problem. Treatment has progressed from prevention with antiretrovirals (ARVs) through to a broader set of interventions, including various breastfeeding options and other health system improvements, that have increased the possibility of eliminating mother-to-child-transmission (MTCT) of HIV.
- ItemClinical access to Bedaquiline Programme for the treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis(2014-03) Conradie, F; Meintjies, G; Hughes, J; et alWhile clinical disease caused by drug-sensitive Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) can usually be treated successfully, clinical disease caused by drug-insensitive MTB is associated with a poorer prognosis. In December 2012, a new drug, bedaquiline, was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. This article documents the process whereby the National Department of Health, Right to Care and Médecins Sans Frontières obtained access to this medication for South Africans who might benefit from subsequent implementation of the Clinical Access to Bedaquiline Programme.
- ItemClinicopathological characteristics among South African women with breast cancer receiving antiretroviral therapy for HIVBoitumelo Phakathi; Herbert Cubasch; Sarah Nietz; Caroline Dickens; Therese Dix-Peek; Maureen Joffe; A Neugut; J Jacobson; Raquel Duarte; Paul Ruff
- ItemCongenital Rubella Syndrome Surveillance in South Africa using a sentinel site approach A crosssectional studyNkengafac Villyen Motaze; Jack Manamela; Sheilagh Smit; Helena Rabie; Gary Reubenson; Daynia Ballot; David Moore; E et al; Cheryl Cohen; Melinda Suchard
- ItemThe cost of harmful alcohol use in South Africa(2014-02) Matzopoulos, R G; Truen, S; Bowman, B; et al.Background. The economic, social and health costs associated with alcohol-related harms are important measures with which to inform alcohol management policies and laws. This analysis builds on previous cost estimates for South Africa. Methods. We reviewed existing international best-practice costing frameworks to provide the costing definitions and dimensions. We sourced data from South African costing literature or, if unavailable, estimated costs using socio-economic and health data from secondary sources. Care was taken to avoid possible causes of cost overestimation, in particular double counting and, as far as possible, second-round effects of alcohol abuse. Results. The combined total tangible and intangible costs of alcohol harm to the economy were estimated at 10 - 12% of the 2009 gross domestic product (GDP). The tangible financial cost of harmful alcohol use alone was estimated at R37.9 billion, or 1.6% of the 2009 GDP. Discussion. The costs of alcohol-related harms provide a substantial counterbalance to the economic benefits highlighted by the alcohol industry to counter stricter regulation. Curtailing these costs by regulatory and policy interventions contributes directly and indirectly to social well-being and the economy. Conclusions. Existing frameworks that guide the regulation and distribution of alcohol frequently focus on maximising the contribution of the alcohol sector to the economy, but should also take into account the associated economic, social and health costs. Current interventions do not systematically address the most important causes of harm from alcohol, and need to be informed by reliable evidence of the ongoing costs of alcohol-related harms.
- ItemDeterminants of poor adherence to antiretroviral treatment using a combined effect of age and education among human immunodeficiency virus infected young adults attending care at letaba hospital hiv clinic Limpopo Province South AfricaK Mabunda; E Ngamasana; Joseph Babalola; M Zunza; Peter Nyasulu
- ItemEquity in maternal health outcomes in a middleincome urban setting a cohort studyA De Groot; L Van de Munt; D Boateng; A Savitri; Kerstin Klipstein-Grobusch; E et al
- ItemEvidence for use of a healthy relationships assessment tool in the CHARISMA pilot studyElizabeth E. Tolley; Andres Martinez; Seth Zissette; Thesla Palanee-Philips; Florence Mathebula; Siyanda Tenza; Miriam Hartmann; et al et al
- ItemFactors associated with mortality in HIV-infected people in rural and urban South Africa(2014) Otwombe, K N; Petzold, M; Modisenyane, T; et alBackground: Factors associated with mortality in HIV-infected people in sub-Saharan Africa are widely reported. However rural urban disparities and their association with all-cause mortality remain unclear. Furthermore, commonly used classical Cox regression ignores unmeasured variables and frailty. Objective: To incorporate frailty in assessing factors associated with mortality in HIV-infected people in rural and urban South Africa. Design: Using data from a prospective cohort following 6,690 HIV-infected participants from Soweto (urban) and Mpumalanga (rural) enrolled from 2003 to 2010; covariates of mortality were assessed by the integrated nested Laplace approximation method. Results: We enrolled 2,221 (33%) rural and 4,469 (67%) urban participants of whom 1,555 (70%) and 3,480 (78%) were females respectively. Median age (IQR) was 36.4 (31.0 44.1) in rural and 32.7 (28.2 38.1) in the urban participants. The mortality rate per 100 person-years was 11 (9.7 12.5) and 4 (3.6 4.5) in the rural and urban participants, respectively. Compared to those not on HAART, rural participants had a reduced risk of mortality if on HAART for 6 12 (HR: 0.20, 95% CI: 0.10 0.39) and 12 months (HR: 0.10, 95% CI: 0.05 0.18). Relative to those not on HAART, urban participants had a lower risk if on HAART 12 months (HR: 0.35, 95% CI: 0.27 0.46). The frailty variance was significant and 1 in rural participants indicating more heterogeneity. Similarly it was significant but B1 in the urban participants indicating less heterogeneity. Conclusion: The frailty model findings suggest an elevated risk of mortality in rural participants relative to the urban participants potentially due to unmeasured variables that could be biological, socio economic, or healthcare related. Use of robust methods that optimise data and account for unmeasured variables could be helpful in assessing the effect of unknown risk factors thus improving patient management and care in South Africa and elsewhere.
- ItemFocus on adolescents with HIV and AIDS(2014-12) Fairlie, L; Sipambo, N; Fick, C; et alAdolescents living with HIV, including those infected perinatally and non-perinatally, bear a disproportionate burden of the HIV epidemic in South Africa. This article discusses HIV management in adolescents including the following aspects: (i) burden of HIV disease, modes of HIV acquisition and implications for management; (ii) initiation of combination antiretroviral therapy (ART), outcomes and complications of ART in adolescents,including virological failure and switching regimens; (iii) adherence in adolescence, including factors that may contribute to poor adherence and advice to improve adherence; (iv) issues particular to adolescents, including sexual and reproductive health needs, disclosure to adolescents and by adolescents, and transition to adult care. This article aims to provide insights based on the literature and experience to assist the clinician to navigate the difficulties of managing HIV in adolescence and achieving successful transition to adult care.
- ItemHealth-seeking behaviours by gender among adolescents in Soweto, South Africa(2015) Otwombe, K.; Dietrich, J.; Laher, F.; et alBACKGROUND: Adolescents are an important age-group for preventing disease and supporting health yet little is known about their health-seeking behaviours. OBJECTIVE: We describe socio-demographic characteristics and health-seeking behaviours of adolescents in Soweto, South Africa, in order to broaden our understanding of their health needs. DESIGN: The Botsha Bophelo Adolescent Health Study was an interviewer-administered cross-sectional survey of 830 adolescents (14-19 years) conducted in Soweto from 2010 to 2012. Health-seeking behaviours were defined as accessing medical services and/or being hospitalised in the 6 months prior to the survey. Chi-square analysis tested for associations between gender, other socio-demographic and behavioural characteristics, and health-seeking behaviours. RESULTS: Of 830 adolescents, 57% were female, 50% were aged 17-19 years, 85% were enrolled in school, and 78% reported experiencing medium or high food insecurity. Males were more likely than females to report sexual debut (64% vs. 49%; p<0.0001) and illicit drug use (11% vs. 3%; p<0.0001). Approximately 27% (n=224) and 8% (n=65) reported seeking healthcare or being hospitalised respectively in the previous 6 months, with no significant differences by gender. Services were most commonly sought at medical clinics (75%), predominantly because of flu-like symptoms (32%), followed by concerns about HIV (10%). Compared to females, males were more likely to seek healthcare for condom breakage (8% vs. 2%; p=0.02). Relative to males, a significantly higher proportion of females desired general healthcare services (85% vs. 78%; p=0.0091), counselling (82% vs. 70%; p<0.0001), and reproductive health services (64% vs. 56%; p=0.02). CONCLUSIONS: A quarter of male and female adolescents accessed health services in the 6 months prior to the interview. Adolescents reported a gap between the availability and the need for general, reproductive, and counselling services. Integrated adolescent-friendly, school-based health services are recommended to bridge this gap.
- ItemHIV-related knowledge, perceptions, attitudes, and utilisation of HIV counselling and testing: a venue-based intercept commuter population survey in the inner city of Johannesburg, South Africa(2015) Chimoyi, L; Tshuma, N; Muloongo, K; et alBackground: HIV counselling and testing (HCT) and knowledge about HIV have been key strategies utilised in the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS worldwide. HIV knowledge and uptake of HCT services in sub-Saharan Africa are still low. This study was conducted to determine factors associated with HCT and HIV/AIDS knowledge levels among a commuter population in Johannesburg, South Africa. Objective: To identify the factors associated with HCT uptake among the commuter population. Design: A simple random sampling method was used to select participants in a venue-based intercept survey at a taxi rank in the Johannesburg Central Business District. Data were collected using an electronic questionnaire. Logistic regression analysis assessed factors associated with HIV testing stratified by gender. Results: 1,146 respondents were interviewed, the ma[j]ority (n = 579, 50.5%) were females and (n = 780, 68.1%) were over 25 years of age. Overall HCT knowledge was high (n = 951, 83%) with more females utilising HCT facilities. There was a significant difference in HIV testing for respondents living closer to and further away from health facilities. Slightly more than half of the respondents indicated stigma as one of the barriers for testing (n = 594, 52%, p-value = 0.001). For males, living with a partner (aOR: 1.68, 95% CI: 1.02-2.78, p-value: 0.041) and possessing a post-primary education were positively associated with testing (aOR: 2.00, 95% CI: 1.15-3.47, p-value: 0.014), whereas stigma and discrimination reduced the likelihood of testing (aOR: 0.40, 95% CI: 0.31-0.62, p-value: <0.001). For females, having one sexual partner (aOR: 2.65, 95% CI: 1.19-5.90, p-value: 0.017) and a low perceived benefit for HIV testing (aOR: 0.54, 95% CI: 0.30-0.96, p-value: 0.035) were associated with HIV testing. Conclusion: The overall HIV/AIDS knowledge was generally high. Gender-specific health education and HIV intervention programmes are needed for improved access to HCT services. One favourable intervention would be the use of home-based HCT programmes.
- ItemMaternal alcohol use and childrens emotional and cognitive outcomes in rural South AfricaTamsen Rochat; Brian Houle; Alan Stein; J Mitchell; Ruth Bland
- ItemNational expenditure on health research in South Africa : What is the benchmark ?(2014-07) Paruk, F.; Blackburn, J.M.; Friedman, I.B.; et al.The Mexico (2004), Bamako (2008) and Algiers (2008) declarations committed the South African (SA) Ministry of Health to allocate 2% of the national health budget to research, while the National Health Research Policy (2001) proposed that the country budget for health research should be 2% of total public sector health expenditure. The National Health Research Committee has performed an audit to determine whether these goals have been met, judged by: (i) health research expenditure as proportions of gross expenditure on research and development (GERD) and the gross domestic product (GDP); and (ii) the proportion of the national health and Department of Health budgets apportioned to research. We found that total expenditure on health research in SA, aggregated across the public and private sectors,was R3.5 billion in 2009/10, equating to 16.7% of GERD. However, the total government plus science council spend on health research that year was only R729 million, equating to 3.5% of GERD (0.03% of the GDP) or 0.80% of the R91.4 billion consolidated government expenditure on health. We further found that R418 million was spent through the 2009/2010 Health Vote on health research, equating to 0.46% of the consolidated government expenditure on health or 0.9% of the R45.2 billion Health Vote. Data from other recent years were similar. Current SA public sector health research allocations therefore remain well below the aspirational goal of 2% of the national health budget. We recommend that new, realistic, clearly defined targets be adopted and an efficient monitoring mechanism be developed to track future health research expenditure.
- ItemNeglected sexual dysfunction symptoms amongst chronic patients during routine consultations in rural clinics in the North West province(AOSIS, 2021-04-28) Pretorius, Deidre; Couper, Ian D; Mlambo, Motlatso G.Background: Sexual dysfunction contributes to personal feelings of loss and despair and being a cause of exacerbated interpersonal conflict. Erectile dysfunction is also an early biomarker of cardiovascular disease. As doctors hardly ever ask about this problem, it is unknown how many patients presenting for routine consultations in primary care suffer from symptoms of sexual dysfunction. Aim: To develop an understanding of sexual history taking events, this study aimed to assess the proportion of patients living with symptoms of sexual dysfunction that could have been elicited or addressed during routine chronic illness consultations. Setting: The research was carried out in 10 primary care facilities in Dr Kenneth Kaunda Health District, the North West province, South Africa. This rural area is known for farming and mining activities. Methods: This study contributed to a broader research project with a focus on sexual history taking during a routine consultation. A sample of 151 consultations involving patients with chronic illnesses were selected to observe sexual history taking events. In this study, the patients involved in these consultations completed demographic and sexual dysfunction questionnaires (FSFI and IIEF) to establish the proportions of patients with sexual dysfunction symptoms. Results: A total of 81 women (78%) and 46 men (98%) were sexually active. A total of 91% of the women reported sexual dysfunction symptoms, whilst 98% of men had erectile dysfunction symptoms. The youngest patients to experience sexual dysfunction were a 19-year-old woman and a 26-year-old man. Patients expressed trust in their doctors and 91% of patients did not consider discussion of sexual matters with their doctors as too sensitive. Conclusion: Clinical guidelines, especially for chronic illness care, must include screening for sexual dysfunction as an essential element in the consultation. Clinical care of patients living with chronic disease cannot ignore sexual well-being, given the frequency of problems. A referral to a sexual medicine specialist, psychologist or social worker can address consequences of sexual dysfunction and improve relationships.
- ItemNew imaging approaches for improving diagnosis of childhood tuberculosis(2014-03) Bélard, S; Andronikou, S; Pillay, T; et al
- ItemPrevalence and incidence of symmetrical symptomatic peripheral neuropathy in patients with multidrug - resistant TB(2014-01) Conradie, F; Mabiletsa, T; Sefoka, M; et alBackground: Symptomatic symmetrical peripheral neuropathy (SSPN) is common in patients with HIV infection. It is also a common adverse event associated with both tuberculosis (TB) treatment and antiretroviral therapy (ART), particularly stavudine. While tenofovir is the one of recommended first-line nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs), there is a risk of nephrotoxicity when using tenofovir together with the aminoglycosides needed to treat multidrug-resistant (MDR) TB. Thus, stavudine is often chosen as a treatment option for the HIV-infected MDR TB patient. Objective: To assess whether use of stavudine both before and during treatment for MDR TB increased the prevalence and incidence of SSPN. Method: MDR TB patients at Sizwe Tropical Disease Hospital were examined for signs of prevalent SSPN. Age, gender, HIV status, alcohol use, TB and HIV treatment regimens both prior to admission and current, and concomitant medications were recorded. Results: In this cohort of 246 patients, we found that 24.4% of patients with MDR TB had SSPN at time of admission for treatment of MDR TB. They were more likely to be HIV-infected (odds ratio (OR) 3.21; 95% CI 1.25 - 8.21) and tended to have longer (>7 months) exposure to stavudine (OR 1.81; 95% CI 0.90 - 3.63). Incident SSPN occurred in 17% of patients and was associated with older age (hazard ratio (HR) 3.00; 95% CI 1.30 - 6.89) and exposure to terizidone (HR 2.98; 95% CI 0.94 to 4.61) or, to a lesser extent, with stavudine (crude HR 1.62; 95% CI 0.65 - 4.01) in the first 6 months of MDR TB treatment. This common adverse event emphasises the need for the development of less toxic drugs for the treatment of MDR TB.