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      Individual and Population Level Impact of Key HIV Risk Factors on HIV Incidence Rates in Durban, South Africa

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          Abstract

          We aimed to estimate the individual and joint impact of age, marital status and diagnosis with sexually transmitted infections (STIs) on HIV acquisition among young women at a population level in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. A total of 3,978 HIV seronegative women were recruited for four biomedical intervention trials from 2002–2009. Point and interval estimates of partial population attributable risk (PAR) were used to quantify the proportion of HIV seroconversions which can be prevented if a combination of risk factors is eliminated from a target population. More than 70% of the observed HIV acquisitions were collectively attributed to the three risk factors: younger age (<25 years old), unmarried and not cohabiting with a stable/regular partner and diagnosis with STIs. Addressing these risks requires targeted structural, behavioural, biomedical and cultural interventions in order to impact on unacceptably high HIV incidence rates among young women and the population as a whole.

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          Most cited references 12

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          HIV infection and tuberculosis in South Africa: an urgent need to escalate the public health response.

          One of the greatest challenges facing post-apartheid South Africa is the control of the concomitant HIV and tuberculosis epidemics. HIV continues to spread relentlessly, and tuberculosis has been declared a national emergency. In 2007, South Africa, with 0.7% of the world's population, had 17% of the global burden of HIV infection, and one of the world's worst tuberculosis epidemics, compounded by rising drug resistance and HIV co-infection. Until recently, the South African Government's response to these diseases has been marked by denial, lack of political will, and poor implementation of policies and programmes. Nonetheless, there have been notable achievements in disease management, including substantial improvements in access to condoms, expansion of tuberculosis control efforts, and scale-up of free antiretroviral therapy (ART). Care for acutely ill AIDS patients and long-term provision of ART are two issues that dominate medical practice and the health-care system. Decisive action is needed to implement evidence-based priorities for the control of the HIV and tuberculosis epidemics. By use of the framework of the Strategic Plans for South Africa for tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, we provide prioritised four-step approaches for tuberculosis control, HIV prevention, and HIV treatment. Strong leadership, political will, social mobilisation, adequate human and financial resources, and sustainable development of health-care services are needed for successful implementation of these approaches.
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            Point and interval estimates of partial population attributable risks in cohort studies: examples and software.

            The concept of the population attributable risk (PAR) percent has found widespread application in public health research. This quantity describes the proportion of a disease which could be prevented if a specific exposure were to be eliminated from a target population. We present methods for obtaining point and interval estimates of partial PARs, where the impact on disease burden for some presumably modifiable determinants is estimated in, and applied to, a cohort study. When the disease is multifactorial, the partial PAR must, in general, be used to quantify the proportion of disease which can be prevented if a specific exposure or group of exposures is eliminated from a target population, while the distribution of other modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors is unchanged. The methods are illustrated in a study of risk factors for bladder cancer incidence (Michaud DS et al., New England J Med 340 (1999) 1390). A user-friendly SAS macro implementing the methods described in this paper is available via the worldwide web.
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              No short-cut in assessing trial quality: a case study

               Karim F Hirji (2009)
              Background Assessing the quality of included trials is a central part of a systematic review. Many check-list type of instruments for doing this exist. Using a trial of antibiotic treatment for acute otitis media, Burke et al., BMJ, 1991, as the case study, this paper illustrates some limitations of the check-list approach to trial quality assessment. Results The general verdict from the check list type evaluations in nine relevant systematic reviews was that Burke et al. (1991) is a good quality trial. All relevant meta-analyses extensively used its data to formulate therapeutic evidence. My comprehensive evaluation, on the other hand, brought to the surface a series of serious problems in the design, conduct, analysis and report of this trial that were missed by the earlier evaluations. Conclusion A check-list or instrument based approach, if used as a short-cut, may at times rate deeply flawed trials as good quality trials. Check lists are crucial but they need to be augmented with an in-depth review, and where possible, a scrutiny of the protocol, trial records, and original data. The extent and severity of the problems I uncovered for this particular trial warrant an independent audit before it is included in a systematic review.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: Editor
                Journal
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                plos
                plosone
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, CA USA )
                1932-6203
                22 April 2016
                2016
                : 11
                : 4
                Affiliations
                [1 ]HIV Prevention Research Unit, Medical Research Council, Durban, South Africa
                [2 ]Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom
                [3 ]Department of Global Health, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Washington DC, United States of America
                [4 ]National Center for HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research, Sydney, Australia
                University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio Texas, UNITED STATES
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                Conceived and designed the experiments: GR SM NSA HW. Performed the experiments: HW. Analyzed the data: GR SM NSA HW. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: HW. Wrote the paper: GR SM NSA HW.

                Article
                PONE-D-15-43315
                10.1371/journal.pone.0153969
                4841582
                27104835
                © 2016 Ramjee et al

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Page count
                Figures: 0, Tables: 2, Pages: 11
                Product
                Funding
                The authors have no support or funding to report.
                Categories
                Research Article
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Microbiology
                Medical Microbiology
                Microbial Pathogens
                Viral Pathogens
                Immunodeficiency Viruses
                HIV
                Medicine and Health Sciences
                Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
                Pathogens
                Microbial Pathogens
                Viral Pathogens
                Immunodeficiency Viruses
                HIV
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                Africa
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                Custom metadata
                Data are restricted from public sharing due to participant-specific information in the underlying data. Please email Prof Gita Ramjee at Gita.Ramjee@ 123456mrc.ac.za for coordination of approval of various datasets.

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