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      Increasing Antenatal Care and HIV Testing among Rural Pregnant Women with Conditional Cash Transfers to Self-Help Groups: An Evaluation Study in Rural Mysore, India

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          Background. We describe a one-year evaluation study comparing SCIL intervention of mobile provision of integrated ANC/ HIV testing with an enhanced (SCIL+) intervention of community mobilization strategy providing conditional cash transfers (CCT) to women's SHG for identifying and accompanying pregnant women to mobile clinics. Methods. Twenty pairs of villages matched on population, socioeconomic status, access to medical facilities, and distance from Mysore city were divided between SCIL and SCIL+ interventions. The primary study outcome was the proportion of total pregnancies in these villages who received ANC and HIV testing. Results. Between April 2011 and March 2012, 552 pregnant women participated in SCIL or SCIL+ interventions. Among women who were pregnant at the time of intervention delivery, 181 of 418 (43.3%) women pregnant at the time of intervention delivery received ANC in the SCIL arm, while 371 of 512 (72.5%) received ANC in the SCIL+ arm ( P < 0.001); 175 (97%) in the SCIL and 366 (98.6%) in the SCIL+ arm consented to HIV testing ( P < 0.001). HIV prevalence of 0.6% was detected among SCIL clinic, and 0.9% among attending SCIL+ clinic attendees. Conclusion. Provision of CCT to women's microeconomic SHG appears to significantly increase uptake of ANC/HIV testing services in rural Mysore villages.

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          Prevention of HIV-1 infection with early antiretroviral therapy.

          Antiretroviral therapy that reduces viral replication could limit the transmission of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) in serodiscordant couples. In nine countries, we enrolled 1763 couples in which one partner was HIV-1-positive and the other was HIV-1-negative; 54% of the subjects were from Africa, and 50% of infected partners were men. HIV-1-infected subjects with CD4 counts between 350 and 550 cells per cubic millimeter were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive antiretroviral therapy either immediately (early therapy) or after a decline in the CD4 count or the onset of HIV-1-related symptoms (delayed therapy). The primary prevention end point was linked HIV-1 transmission in HIV-1-negative partners. The primary clinical end point was the earliest occurrence of pulmonary tuberculosis, severe bacterial infection, a World Health Organization stage 4 event, or death. As of February 21, 2011, a total of 39 HIV-1 transmissions were observed (incidence rate, 1.2 per 100 person-years; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.9 to 1.7); of these, 28 were virologically linked to the infected partner (incidence rate, 0.9 per 100 person-years, 95% CI, 0.6 to 1.3). Of the 28 linked transmissions, only 1 occurred in the early-therapy group (hazard ratio, 0.04; 95% CI, 0.01 to 0.27; P<0.001). Subjects receiving early therapy had fewer treatment end points (hazard ratio, 0.59; 95% CI, 0.40 to 0.88; P=0.01). The early initiation of antiretroviral therapy reduced rates of sexual transmission of HIV-1 and clinical events, indicating both personal and public health benefits from such therapy. (Funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and others; HPTN 052 number, NCT00074581.).
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            Conditional cash transfers for improving uptake of health interventions in low- and middle-income countries: a systematic review.

            Cash transfers conditional on certain behaviors, intended to provide access to social services, have been introduced in several developing countries. The effectiveness of these strategies in different contexts has not previously been the subject of a systematic review. To assess the effectiveness of conditional monetary transfers in improving access to and use of health services, as well as improving health outcomes, in low- and middle-income countries. Relevant publications were identified via electronic medical and social science databases from inception to April 2006 (PubMED, EMBASE, POPLINE, CAB Direct, Healthcare Management Information Consortium, WHOLIS (World Health Organization Library Database), African Healthline, International Bibliography of the Social Sciences (IBSS), Eldis, British Library for Development Studies (BLDS), ID21, Journal Storage (Jstor), Inter-Science, ScienceDirect, Internet Documents in Economics Access Service (Research Papers in Economics) (IDEAS[Repec]), Latin American and Caribbean Health Sciences Literature (LILACS), MEDCARIB, Virtual Library in Health (ADOLEC), Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), FRANCIS, The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, the Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effectiveness, and the Effective Practice and Organization of Care Group (EPOC) Register. Reference lists of relevant papers and "gray" literature resources were also searched. To be included, a paper had to meet study design criteria (randomized controlled trial, interrupted time series analysis, and controlled before and after study) and include a measure of at least 1 of the following outcomes: health care utilization, health expenditure, or health outcomes. Twenty-eight papers were retrieved for assessment and 10 were included in this review. Methodological details and outcomes were extracted by 2 reviewers who independently assessed the quality of the papers. Overall, the evidence suggests that conditional cash transfer programs are effective in increasing the use of preventive services and sometimes improving health status. Further research is needed to clarify the cost effectiveness of conditional cash transfer programs and better understand which components play a critical role. The potential success and desirability of such programs in low-income settings, with more limited health system capacity, also deserves more investigation.
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              A systematic review of inequalities in the use of maternal health care in developing countries: examining the scale of the problem and the importance of context.

              Two decades after the Safe Motherhood campaigns 1987 launch in India, half a million women continue to die from pregnancy-related causes every year. Key health-care interventions can largely prevent these deaths, but their use is limited in developing countries, and is reported to vary between population groups. We reviewed the use of maternal health-care interventions in developing countries to assess the extent, strength and implications of evidence for variations according to women's place of residence and socioeconomic status. Studies with data on use of a skilled health worker at delivery, antenatal care in the first trimester of pregnancy and medical settings for delivery were assessed. We identified 30 eligible studies, 12 of which were of high or moderate quality, from 23 countries. Results of these studies showed wide variation in use of maternal health care. Methodological factors (e.g. inaccurate identification of population in need or range of potential confounders controlled for) played a part in this variation. Differences were also caused by factors related to health-care users (e.g. age, education, medical insurance, clinical risk factors) or to supply of health care (e.g. clinic availability, distance to facility), or by an interaction between such factors (e.g. perceived quality of care). Variation was usually framed by contextual issues relating to funding and organization of health care or social and cultural issues. These findings emphasize the need to investigate and assess context-specific causes of varying use of maternal health care, if safe motherhood is to become a reality in developing countries.

                Author and article information

                1Department of Epidemiology, Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work, Florida International University, 11200 SW 8 Street, HLS 390W2, Miami, FL 33199, USA
                2Public Health Research Institute of India, 89/B, 2nd Cross, 2nd Main, Yadavgiri, Mysore 560021, India
                3Department of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work, 11200 SW 8 Street, HLS 390W2, Miami, FL 33199, USA
                Author notes
                *Purnima Madhivanan: pmadhiva@

                Academic Editor: Consuelo Beck-Sagué

                J Sex Transm Dis
                J Sex Transm Dis
                Journal of sexually transmitted diseases
                Hindawi Publishing Corporation
                1 September 2013
                : 2013
                4437412 10.1155/2013/971458
                Copyright © 2013 Purnima Madhivanan et al.

                This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Research Article


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