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      High HIV-1 prevalence, risk behaviours, and willingness to participate in HIV vaccine trials in fishing communities on Lake Victoria, Uganda

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          Abstract

          Introduction

          HIV epidemics in sub-Saharan Africa are generalized, but high-risk subgroups exist within these epidemics. A recent study among fisher-folk communities (FFC) in Uganda showed high HIV prevalence (28.8%) and incidence (4.9/100 person-years). However, those findings may not reflect population-wide HIV rates in FFC since the study population was selected for high-risk behaviour.

          Methods

          Between September 2011 and March 2013, we conducted a community-based cohort study to determine the population representative HIV rates and willingness to participate (WTP) in hypothetical vaccine trials among FFC, Uganda. At baseline (September 2011–January 2012), a household enumeration census was done in eight fishing communities (one lakeshore and seven islands), after which a random sample of 2200 participants aged 18–49 years was selected from 5360 individuals. Interviewer-administered questionnaire data were collected on HIV risk behaviours and WTP, and venous blood was collected for HIV testing using rapid HIV tests with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (EIA) confirmation. Adjusted prevalence proportion ratios (adj.PPRs) of HIV prevalence were determined using log-binomial regression models.

          Results

          Overall baseline HIV prevalence was 26.7% and was higher in women than men (32.6% vs. 20.8%, p<0.0001). Prevalence was lower among fishermen (22.4%) than housewives (32.1%), farmers (33.1%) and bar/lodge/restaurant workers (37%). The adj.PPR of HIV was higher among women than men (adj.PPR =1.50, 95%; 1.20, 1.87) and participants aged 30–39 years (adj.PPR=1.40, 95%; 1.10, 1.79) and 40–49 years (adj.PPR=1.41, 95%; 1.04, 1.92) compared to those aged 18–24 years. Other factors associated with HIV prevalence included low education, previous marriage, polygamous marriage, alcohol and marijuana use before sex. WTP in hypothetical vaccine trials was 89.3% and was higher in men than women (91.2% vs. 87.3%, p=0.004) and among island communities compared to lakeshore ones (90.4% vs. 85.8%, p=0.004).

          Conclusions

          The HIV prevalence in the general fisher-folk population in Uganda is similar to that observed in the “high-risk” fisher folk. FFC have very high levels of willingness to participate in future HIV vaccine trials.

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          Most cited references 26

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          Prevalence proportion ratios: estimation and hypothesis testing.

          Recent communications have argued that often it may not be appropriate to analyse cross-sectional studies of prevalent outcomes with logistic regression models. The purpose of this communication is to compare three methods that have been proposed for application to cross sectional studies: (1) a multiplicative generalized linear model, which we will call the log-binomial model, (2) a method based on logistic regression and robust estimation of standard errors, which we will call the GEE-logistic model, and (3) a Cox regression model. Five sets of simulations representing fourteen separate simulation conditions were used to test the performance of the methods. All three models produced point estimates close to the true parameter, i.e. the estimators of the parameter associated with exposure had negligible bias. The Cox regression produced standard errors that were too large, especially when the prevalence of the disease was high, whereas the log-binomial model and the GEE-logistic model had the correct type I error probabilities. It was shown by example that the GEE-logistic model could produce prevalences greater than one, whereas it was proven that this could not happen with the log-binomial model. The log-binomial model should be preferred.
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            Control of sexually transmitted diseases for AIDS prevention in Uganda: a randomised community trial. Rakai Project Study Group.

            The study tested the hypothesis that community-level control of sexually transmitted disease (STD) would result in lower incidence of HIV-1 infection in comparison with control communities. This randomised, controlled, single-masked, community-based trial of intensive STD control, via home-based mass antibiotic treatment, took place in Rakai District, Uganda. Ten community clusters were randomly assigned to intervention or control groups. All consenting residents aged 15-59 years were enrolled; visited in the home every 10 months; interviewed; asked to provide biological samples for assessment of HIV-1 infection and STDs; and were provided with mass treatment (azithromycin, ciprofloxacin, metronidazole in the intervention group, vitamins/anthelmintic drug in the control). Intention-to-treat analyses used multivariate, paired, cluster-adjusted rate ratios. The baseline prevalence of HIV-1 infection was 15.9%. 6602 HIV-1-negative individuals were enrolled in the intervention group and 6124 in the control group. 75.0% of intervention-group and 72.6% of control-group participants provided at least one follow-up sample for HIV-1 testing. At enrolment, the two treatment groups were similar in STD prevalence rates. At 20-month follow-up, the prevalences of syphilis (352/6238 [5.6%]) vs 359/5284 [6.8%]; rate ratio 0.80 [95% CI 0.71-0.89]) and trichomoniasis (182/1968 [9.3%] vs 261/1815 [14.4%]; rate ratio 0.59 [0.38-0.91]) were significantly lower in the intervention group than in the control group. The incidence of HIV-1 infection was 1.5 per 100 person-years in both groups (rate ratio 0.97 [0.81-1.16]). In pregnant women, the follow-up prevalences of trichomoniasis, bacterial vaginosis, gonorrhoea, and chlamydia infection were significantly lower in the intervention group than in the control group. No effect of the intervention on incidence of HIV-1 infection was observed in pregnant women or in stratified analyses. We observed no effect of the STD intervention on the incidence of HIV-1 infection. In the Rakai population, a substantial proportion of HIV-1 acquisition appears to occur independently of treatable STD cofactors.
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              High HIV incidence and socio-behavioral risk patterns in fishing communities on the shores of Lake Victoria, Uganda.

              We report on HIV acquisition and its associated risk factors in 5 fishing communities on the shores of Lake Victoria in Uganda. A cohort of 1000 HIV-uninfected at-risk volunteers aged 13 to 49 years were recruited in 2009 and followed up for 18 months. At enrollment and semiannual visits, socio-demographic and risk behavior data were collected through a structured questionnaire and blood samples tested for HIV and syphilis. Detailed life histories were collected from 78 volunteers using in-depth interviews. Of the 1000 volunteers enrolled, 919 (91.9%) were followed up, with 762 (76.2%) reaching the study end points (either seroconverted or completed 4 visits). There were 59 incident cases in 1205.6 person-years at risk (PYAR), resulting in an incidence rate of 4.9 (95% CI = 3.8 to 6.3) per 100 PYAR. The highest HIV incidence rates were among those working in bars (9.8/100 PYAR [4.7-20.6]), protestants (8.6/100 PYAR [5.8-12.7]), those aged 13 to 24 years (7.5/100 PYAR [5.2-11.0]), and new immigrants (6.6/100 PYAR [4.9-8.9]). HIV infection was independently associated with being young (adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) = 2.5 [95% CI = 1.3-4.9]), reporting genital sores/discharge recently (aHR = 2.8 [1.6-5.0]), regular alcohol consumption (aHR = 3.3 [1.6-6.1]), use of marijuana (aHR = 2.9 [1.0-8.0]), cigarette smoking (aHR = 3.6 [1.4-9.3]), and religion (compared with Catholics, Protestants had aHR = 2.7 [1.4-5.3] and Muslims had aHR = 2.3 [1.1-4.8]). These fishing communities experienced high HIV infection, which was mainly explained by high-risk behavior. There is an urgent need to target HIV prevention and research efforts to this vulnerable and neglected group.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                J Int AIDS Soc
                J Int AIDS Soc
                JIAS
                Journal of the International AIDS Society
                International AIDS Society
                1758-2652
                22 July 2013
                2013
                : 16
                : 1
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Makerere University College of Health Sciences, Kampala, Uganda
                [2 ]UVRI-IAVI HIV Vaccine Program, Entebbe, Uganda
                [3 ]International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), NY, USA
                [4 ]Laboratory and Basic Sciences department, Uganda Virus Research Insitute, Entebbe, Uganda
                [5 ]Clinical Epidemiology Unit, School of Medicine, Makerere University College of Health Sciences, Kampala, Uganda
                Author notes
                [§ ] Corresponding author: Noah Kiwanuka, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Makerere University College of Health Sciences, P.O. Box 7072 Kampala, Uganda. Tel: +256-782-788-036. ( nkiwanuka@ 123456gmail.com )
                18621
                10.7448/IAS.16.1.18621
                3720985
                23880102
                © 2013 Kiwanuka N et al; licensee International AIDS Society

                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 work is properly cited.

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                Research Article

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