Why stimulant use may cause HIV progression independently of behavioural risk-factors

In many countries injection drug users (IDU) constitute a ‘key population’ for HIV/AIDS. There may in some contexts be substantial overlap with other groups – where, for example, the IDU are also sex-workers, or prisoners. In reality, IDU may be exposed to multiple risk factors, which can be hard to isolate from each other. However, […]

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Does Scripture support HIV prevention? Meeting the challenge of HIV in the African-American population.

African-Americans comprise 12% of the US population, but, as of 2016, accounted for 44% of the estimated 40,000 new HIV diagnoses. 58% of the African-Americans diagnosed with HIV were black MSM. Statistics such as these, drawn from the 2016 CDC HIV Surveillance Report, are the basis of a recent ‘Decade Call to Action’ (Laurencin & […]

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Seeking realistic gains within tight budgetary constraints: Is changing HIV drug regimen the next step in India’s struggle against HIV/AIDS?

The case of India has been seen as a model of an intelligent and integrated use of data for an evidence-based response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic (Sgaier & Chandramouli (STI)). Avahan, the India HIV/AIDS initiative, can claim considerable success in reducing incidence among ‘bridging’ populations – by 21-45% among female sex-workers, and among their clients […]

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Intervene fast to prevent lasting cognitive impairment during the primary phase of HIV infection

The impact of HIV/AIDS on cognitive function is the topic of a paper appearing in STIs as early as 1989, where some degree of neurological impairment is observed in patients who otherwise appear ‘well’ (Carne & Harrison (STI)). Dementia may be rarely seen nowadays, but quality-of-life limiting cognitive impairment remains a serious issue for some […]

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Are vaginal/genital ‘health’ products bad for vaginal/genital health?

An ‘exploratory’ survey (1,435 respondents) reported in a recent paper in BMC Women’s Health by Crann & O’Doherty (C&D) indicates the widespread use (>95%) of ‘health and hygiene’ products by Canadian women in and around the vagina. The researchers also investigate, in a preliminary way, the relationship between their use and the experience of vaginal […]

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Can we use online search query data to predict the next syphilis outbreak?

Considerable stir has been generated by Young & Aral (Y&A) in a recent modelling study claiming to have demonstrated the potential of Google online search data to identify and predict syphilis outbreaks. The application of digital technologies to the epidemiology of STIs, and of syphilis in particular, is nothing new (Simms & Petersen (STI)). The […]

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Anti-HIV strategies in limited resource settings set the pattern for combating other diseases

HIV-specific interventions in poor regions of the world like sub-Saharan Africa may have benefits for their health systems that exceed the initial aims of those interventions (How should HIV-specific charitable interventions like PEPFAR be evaluated? (STI/blog)). This is the encouraging message coming out of a recent evaluation of treatment of rheumatoid heart disease (RHD) in […]

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The risk network approach to HIV detection: something like contact tracing?

There has been considerable debate on the most effective and cost-effective means of accessing untested HIV- or STI-infected individuals. One frequently canvassed strategy is that of respondent driven sampling (RDS). This involves issuing suitable ‘seeds’ (e.g. recently diagnosed MSM) with coupons to distribute to others in their sexual or social networks.  Wei & Raymond (STI) […]

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The recent trend towards multi-resistant gonorrhoea in coastal China

Alarming data have recent been reported (Yin & Chen) (Y&C) from the China Gonococcal Resistance Surveillance Programme (China-GRSP), covering seven (mostly coastal) provinces in the period 2013-2016. The study is relevant for Chinese national treatment policy, which currently recommends azithromycin monotherapy. However, with an estimated 45% of the world’s 78 million incident cases occurring in […]

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