Obstetrics and Gynaecology

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    HIV-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 al
    Background: 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.
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    Health-seeking behaviours by gender among adolescents in Soweto, South Africa
    (2015) Otwombe, K.; Dietrich, J.; Laher, F.; et al
    BACKGROUND: 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.
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    Charting the path along the continuum of PMCT or HIV-1 to elimination and finally to eradication
    (2014-01) Editorial
    In 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.