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      Diagnostics as prevention — a rapid testing-based strategy of sex workers against sexual HIV exposure

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          Introduction: German sex workers have illegally established a prevention strategy, which consists of testing potential sexual partners with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-specific rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) prior to engaging in unprotected sexual intercourse eventually performed in case of a negative test result. Based on a recently established modeling approach, the effectiveness of this strategy regarding the risk of HIV exposure was compared with protection provided by condom use.

          Methods: Based on a literature search, the following assumptions were used for the calculations: an averaged 80% exposure risk reduction with a condom used during sexual intercourse, usage of a well-characterized 4th-generation HIV RDT, and a 10 day post-infection period without any measurable viral load in peripheral blood followed by a seroconversion period of about 3 weeks with 12.3% test sensitivity (antigen-specific) and only afterwards 97.3% (antibody-specific) test sensitivity.

          Results: In most constellations, the HIV exposure risk in case of RDT-based prevention was lower than with condom use.

          Conclusions: The RDT-based HIV exposure prevention as established by sex workers is effective in most situations. A notable weakness of the strategy is the RDTs' poor sensitivity in spite of a high transmission risk during the seroconversion stage.

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          Most cited references 26

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          Condom effectiveness in reducing heterosexual HIV transmission.

          The amount of protection that condoms provide for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections is unknown. Cohort studies of sexually active HIV serodiscordant couples with follow-up of the seronegative partner, provide a situation in which a seronegative partner has known exposure to the disease and disease incidence can be estimated. When some individuals use condoms and some do not, namely some individuals use condoms 100% of the time and some never use (0%) condoms, condom effectiveness can be estimated by comparing the two incidence rates. Condom effectiveness is the proportionate reduction in disease due to the use of condoms. The objective of this review is to estimate condom effectiveness in reducing heterosexual transmission of HIV. Studies were located using electronic databases (AIDSLINE, CINAHL, Embase, and MEDLINE) and handsearched reference lists. For inclusion, studies had to have: (1) data concerning sexually active HIV serodiscordant heterosexual couples, (2) a longitudinal study design, (3) HIV status determined by serology, and (4) contain condom usage information on a cohort of always (100%) or never (0%) condom users. Studies identified through the above search strategy that met the inclusion criteria were reviewed for inclusion in the analysis. Sample sizes, number of seroconversions, and the person-years of disease-free exposure time were recorded for each cohort. If available, the direction of transmission in the cohort (male-to-female, female-to-male), date of study enrollment, source of infection in the index case, and the presence of other STDs was recorded. Duplicate reports on the same cohort and studies with incomplete or nonsepecific information were excluded. HIV incidence was estimated from the cohorts of "always" users and for the cohorts of "never" users. Effectiveness was estimated from these two incidence estimates. Of the 4709 references that were initially identified, 14 were included in the final analysis. There were 13 cohorts of "always" users that yielded an homogeneous HIV incidence estimate of 1.14 [95% C.I.:.56, 2.04] per 100 person-years. There were 10 cohorts of "never" users that appeared to be heterogeneous. The studies with the longest follow-up time, consisting mainly of studies of partners of hemophiliac and transfusion patients, yielded an HIV incidence estimate of 5.75 [95% C.I.: 3.16, 9.66] per 100 person-years. Overall effectiveness, the proportionate reduction in HIV seroconversion with condom use, is approximately 80%. This review indicates that consistent use of condoms results in 80% reduction in HIV incidence. Consistent use is defined as using a condom for all acts of penetrative vaginal intercourse. Because the studies used in this review did not report on the "correctness" of use, namely whether condoms were used correctly and perfectly for each and every act of intercourse, effectiveness and not efficacy is estimated. Also, this estimate refers in general to the male condom and not specifically to the latex condom, since studies also tended not to specify the type of condom that was used. Thus, condom effectiveness is similar to, although lower than, that for contraception.
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            Alcohol consumption and the intention to engage in unprotected sex: systematic review and meta-analysis of experimental studies.

            To review and analyse in experimentally controlled studies the impact of alcohol consumption on intentions to engage in unprotected sex. To draw conclusions with respect to the question of whether alcohol has an independent effect on the incidence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled studies examined the association between blood alcohol content (BAC) and self-perceived likelihood of using a condom during intercourse. The systematic review and meta-analysis were conducted according to internationally standardized protocols (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses: PRISMA). The meta-analysis included an estimate of the dose-response effect, tests for publication bias and sensitivity analyses. Of the 12 studies included in the quantitative synthesis, our pooled analysis indicated that an increase in BAC of 0.1 mg/ml resulted in an increase of 5.0% (95% CI: 2.8-7.1%) in the indicated likelihood (indicated by a Likert scale) of engaging in unprotected sex. After adjusting for potential publication bias, this estimate dropped to 2.9% (95% CI: 2.0-3.9%). Thus, the larger the alcohol intake and the subsequent level of BAC, the higher the intentions to engage in unsafe sex. The main results were homogeneous, persisted in sensitivity analyses and after correction for publication bias. Alcohol use is an independent risk factor for intentions to engage in unprotected sex, and as risky sex intentions have been shown to be linked to actual risk behavior, the role of alcohol consumption in the transmission of HIV and other STIs may be of public health importance. © 2011 The Authors, Addiction © 2011 Society for the Study of Addiction.
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              Prevalence of HIV infection in conflict-affected and displaced people in seven sub-Saharan African countries: a systematic review.

              Violence and rape are believed to fuel the HIV epidemic in countries affected by conflict. We compared HIV prevalence in populations directly affected by conflict with that in those not directly affected and in refugees versus the nearest surrounding host communities in sub-Saharan African countries. Seven countries affected by conflict (Democratic Republic of Congo, southern Sudan, Rwanda, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, and Burundi) were chosen since HIV prevalence surveys within the past 5 years had been done and data, including original antenatal-care sentinel surveillance data, were available. We did a systematic and comprehensive literature search using Medline and Embase. Only articles and reports that contained original data for prevalence of HIV infection were included. All survey reports were independently evaluated by two epidemiologists to assess internationally accepted guidelines for HIV sentinel surveillance and population-based surveys. Whenever possible, data from the nearest antenatal care and host country sentinel site of the neighbouring countries were presented. 95% CIs were provided when available. Of the 295 articles that met our search criteria, 88 had original prevalence data and 65 had data from the seven selected countries. Data from these countries did not show an increase in prevalence of HIV infection during periods of conflict, irrespective of prevalence when conflict began. Prevalence in urban areas affected by conflict decreased in Burundi, Rwanda, and Uganda at similar rates to urban areas unaffected by conflict in their respective countries. Prevalence in conflict-affected rural areas remained low and fairly stable in these countries. Of the 12 sets of refugee camps, nine had a lower prevalence of HIV infection, two a similar prevalence, and one a higher prevalence than their respective host communities. Despite wide-scale rape in many countries, there are no data to show that rape increased prevalence of HIV infection at the population level. We have shown that there is a need for mechanisms to provide time-sensitive information on the effect of conflict on incidence of HIV infection, since we found insufficient data to support the assertions that conflict, forced displacement, and wide-scale rape increase prevalence or that refugees spread HIV infection in host communities.

                Author and article information

                European Journal of Microbiology and Immunology
                Akadémiai Kiadó
                June 2018
                : 8
                : 2
                : 47-52
                [ 1 ] Institute for Microbiology, Charité — University Medicine Berlin , Berlin, Germany
                [ 2 ]Department of Microbiology and Hospital Hygiene, Bundeswehr Hospital Hamburg , Hamburg, Germany
                [ 3 ]Institute for Medical Microbiology, Virology and Hygiene, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf , Hamburg, Germany
                [ 4 ] Institute for Hygiene and Environment, City of Hamburg , Hamburg, Germany
                [ 5 ]Institute for Experimental Gene Therapy and Cancer Research, University Medicine Rostock , Rostock, Germany
                [ 6 ] Duy Tan University , Đà Nẵng, Vietnam
                [ 7 ]Institute for Tropical Medicine, Eberhard Karls University , Tübingen, Germany
                [ 8 ] Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine Hamburg , Hamburg, Germany
                [ 9 ]Institute for Medical Microbiology, Virology and Hygiene, University Medicine Rostock , Rostock, Germany
                Author notes

                Corresponding author: Department of Microbiology and Hospital Hygiene, Bundeswehr Hospital Hamburg, Bernhard Nocht street 74, D-20359 Hamburg, Germany; Frickmann@ 123456bni-hamburg.de

                © 2018 The Author(s)

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium for non-commercial purposes, provided the original author and source are credited, a link to the CC License is provided, and changes - if any - are indicated.

                Page count
                Pages: 6
                Original Research Paper


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