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Antiretroviral treatment in resource-poor settings: A view from India  [cached]
Vajpayee Madhu,Kaushik Shweta,Mojumdar Kamalika,Sreenivas V
Indian Journal of Medical Sciences , 2007,
Abstract: Context : The introduction of highly effective generic antiretroviral drugs at reduced cost has transformed the face of HIV/AIDS epidemic in developing countries like India. However, there is an urgent emphasis on developing and implementing guidelines for antiretroviral treatment monitoring by laboratory methods utilizing the available technologies in resource-limited settings. Aim : We studied the efficacy of antiretroviral treatment, adherence to therapy and motivation of patients for regular treatment monitoring by CD4 counts. Settings and Design :A longitudinal cohort study on an established cohort of 166 HIV-1-infected Indian individuals. Materials and Methods: Study subjects were followed up for the period from January 2002 to November 2006. Their clinical status and treatment regimen were recorded, and CD4 counts were performed at each visit. Statistical Analysis : Repeated-measures ANOVA was used to compute changes in median CD4 counts at each visit in the different treatment groups. Results : We observed a growing awareness and motivation for regular HIV disease monitoring among patients, accompanied by a trend of increasing median CD4 counts at all subsequent follow-up visits after initiation of antiretroviral treatment. Conclusions :The study gives an insight into the institutional efforts for the establishment of cohorts for longitudinal studies, which will help in designing effective treatment guidelines, thus providing impetus to the free public sector antiretroviral therapy program in India. Such formative research aims to fill the lacunae in the limited available data for the formulation of treatment-monitoring guidelines in resource-poor settings of developing countries like India.
Community-based approaches for prevention of mother to child transmission in resource-poor settings: a social ecological review  [cached]
Joanna Busza,Damilola Walker,Alana Hairston,Alicia Gable
Journal of the International AIDS Society , 2012, DOI: 10.7448/ias.15.4.17373
Abstract: Introduction: Numerous barriers to optimal uptake of prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) services occur at community level (i.e., outside the healthcare setting). To achieve elimination of paediatric HIV, therefore, interventions must also work within communities to address these barriers and increase service use and need to be informed by evidence. This paper reviews community-based approaches that have been used in resource-limited settings to increase rates of PMTCT enrolment, retention in care and successful treatment outcomes. It aims to identify which interventions work, why they may do so and what knowledge gaps remain. Methods: First, we identified barriers to PMTCT that originate outside the health system. These were used to construct a social ecological framework categorizing barriers to PMTCT into the following levels of influence: individual, peer and family, community and sociocultural. We then used this conceptual framework to guide a review of the literature on community-based approaches, defined as interventions delivered outside of formal health settings, with the goal of increasing uptake, retention, adherence and positive psychosocial outcomes in PMTCT programmes in resource-poor countries. Results: Our review found evidence of effectiveness of strategies targeting individuals and peer/family levels (e.g., providing household HIV testing and training peer counsellors to support exclusive breastfeeding) and at community level (e.g., participatory women's groups and home-based care to support adherence and retention). Evidence is more limited for complex interventions combining multiple strategies across different ecological levels. There is often little information describing implementation; and approaches such as “community mobilization” remain poorly defined. Conclusions: Evidence from existing community approaches can be adapted for use in planning PMTCT. However, for successful replication of evidence-based interventions to occur, comprehensive process evaluations are needed to elucidate the pathways through which specific interventions achieve desired PMTCT outcomes. A social ecological framework can help analyze the complex interplay of facilitators and barriers to PMTCT service uptake in each context, thus helping to inform selection of locally relevant community-based interventions.
Modelling the Impact of Antiretroviral Use in Resource-Poor Settings  [PDF]
Rebecca F Baggaley ,Geoff P Garnett,Neil M Ferguson
PLOS Medicine , 2006, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.0030124
Abstract: Background The anticipated scale-up of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in high-prevalence, resource-constrained settings requires operational research to guide policy on the design of treatment programmes. Mathematical models can explore the potential impacts of various treatment strategies, including timing of treatment initiation and provision of laboratory monitoring facilities, to complement evidence from pilot programmes. Methods and Findings A deterministic model of HIV transmission incorporating ART and stratifying infection progression into stages was constructed. The impact of ART was evaluated for various scenarios and treatment strategies, with different levels of coverage, patient eligibility, and other parameter values. These strategies included the provision of laboratory facilities that perform CD4 counts and viral load testing, and the timing of the stage of infection at which treatment is initiated. In our analysis, unlimited ART provision initiated at late-stage infection (AIDS) increased prevalence of HIV infection. The effect of additionally treating pre-AIDS patients depended on the behaviour change of treated patients. Different coverage levels for ART do not affect benefits such as life-years gained per person-year of treatment and have minimal effect on infections averted when treating AIDS patients only. Scaling up treatment of pre-AIDS patients resulted in more infections being averted per person-year of treatment, but the absolute number of infections averted remained small. As coverage increased in the models, the emergence and risk of spread of drug resistance increased. Withdrawal of failing treatment (clinical resurgence of symptoms), immunologic (CD4 count decline), or virologic failure (viral rebound) increased the number of infected individuals who could benefit from ART, but effectiveness per person is compromised. Only withdrawal at a very early stage of treatment failure, soon after viral rebound, would have a substantial impact on emergence of drug resistance. Conclusions Our analysis found that ART cannot be seen as a direct transmission prevention measure, regardless of the degree of coverage. Counselling of patients to promote safe sexual practices is essential and must aim to effect long-term change. The chief aims of an ART programme, such as maximised number of patients treated or optimised treatment per patient, will determine which treatment strategy is most effective.
Obstructed Labour in Resource-poor Settings: The Need for Revival of Symphysiotomy in Nigeria
Emmanuel Monjok, Ita B Okokon, Margaret M Opiah, Justin A Ingwu, John E Ekabua, Ekere J Essien
African Journal of Reproductive Health , 2012,
Abstract: Symphysiotomy is an operation in which the fibres of the pubic symphysis are partially divided to allow separation of the joint and thus enlargement of the pelvic dimensions thereby facilitating vaginal delivery of the foetus in the presence of mild to moderate cephalopelvic disproportion. It is performed with local anaesthesia, does not require an operating theatre or advanced surgical skills. It can be a lifesaving procedure for both mother and baby in obstructed labour, especially in rural areas and resource-poor settings of developing countries, where a 24 hours availability of a caesarean section cannot be guaranteed. It is a simple underused technology that can be performed by a graduate doctor or midwife in rural health facilities and hospitals where most of the times, in Nigeria, there are no practicing specialist obstetricians. In rural hospital and in communities where sympysiotomy is still being performed, it is evident that it is preferred to caesarean section because of the socio-cultural desire to achieve a vaginal delivery. This paper highlights our experiences with symphysiotomy in a rural Roman Catholic hospital providing evidence on the safety of symphysiotomy and the need for its revival and reinstatement in the obstetric arsenal in Nigeria and similar countries in sub-Saharan Africa where maternal mortality as a result of prolonged and neglected obstructed labour still occur (Afr J Reprod Health 2012; 16[3]: 93-100).
Solar Disinfection of MODS Mycobacterial Cultures in Resource-Poor Settings  [PDF]
Ruvandhi Nathavitharana, Jorge Coronel, David A. J. Moore
PLOS ONE , 2007, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0001100
Abstract: Introduction Safe disposal of TB culture material in which the infectious burden of clinical samples has been greatly amplified is an important challenge in resource-limited settings. The bactericidal capacity of solar cookers has been demonstrated previously for conventional bacteria and contaminated clinical waste. We investigated the use of a simple solar cooker for the sterilization of mycobacterial broth cultures from the microscopic observation drug susceptibility assay (MODS). Methods Simulated TB culture materials were prepared by inoculating 24-well MODS plates with 500 μL of a known concentration of Mycobacterium bovis BCG. In a series of experiments, samples were simultaneously placed inside a box-type solar cooker and control box and removed at timepoints between 15 minutes and 6 hours. Quantitative cultures were performed using retrieved samples to determine sterilization effect. Results All cultures from the control box were positive at or within 1–4 logs of inoculation concentration. Simulated culture plates at concentrations from 103colony-forming-units (CFU)/ml to 107 CFU/ml were completely sterilized after only one hour of cooker exposure, at temperatures between 50–102°C. At 109 CFU/ml (far in excess of diagnostic cultures), it was only possible to recover mycobacterial growth in plates removed after 15 minutes. By 30 minutes all plates were effectively sterilized. Discussion Solar disinfection provides a very effective, safe and low-cost alternative to conventional equipment used for disposal of mycobacterial culture material. Effect of climatic conditions and optimal operating procedure remain to be defined.
CONCEPTS OF ANTI-HIV THERAPY & ITS APPLICATIONS IN RESOURCE POOR SETTINGS  [PDF]
P.D. Shankpal, J.H. Hotwani, K.A. Chitnis and A.S. Limaye*
International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research , 2013,
Abstract: HIV since its invention has become global burden. In last two decades of the HIV prevalence many anti-retroviral drugs have been developed. Poor countries like India have started central government funded programmes to tackle the menace of the HIV. These programmes have been started because many people cannot afford costly ART drugs. In this review article, we have discussed current ART regimens and the new drugs which have been introduced. Also we have discussed traditional systems of medicine which are practised in India and their potential use in the HIV treatment.
Added Value of Antigen ELISA in the Diagnosis of Neurocysticercosis in Resource Poor Settings  [PDF]
Sarah Gabri?l equal contributor,Joachim Blocher equal contributor ,Pierre Dorny,Emmanuel Nji Abatih,Erich Schmutzhard,Michaeli Ombay,Bartholomayo Mathias,Andrea Sylvia Winkler
PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases , 2012, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0001851
Abstract: Background Neurocysticercosis (NCC) is the most common cause of acquired epilepsy in Taenia solium endemic areas, primarily situated in low-income countries. Diagnosis is largely based upon the “Del Brutto diagnostic criteria” using the definitive/probable/no NCC diagnosis approach. Neuroimaging and specific T. solium cysticercosis antibody detection results are at the mainstay of this diagnosis, while antigen detection in serum has never been included. This study aimed at evaluating the addition of antigen detection as a major diagnostic criterion, especially in areas where neuroimaging is absent. Methods The B158/B60 monoclonal antibody-based enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for the detection of circulating cysticercus antigen was carried out retrospectively on serum samples collected during a hospital-based study from 83 people with epilepsy (PWE) in an endemic area. Results The addition of antigen results as a major criterion allowed the correct diagnosis of definitive NCC in 10 out of 17 patients as opposed to 0/17 without antigen results in the absence of neuroimaging. A sensitivity of 100% and a specificity of 84% were determined for the diagnosis of active NCC using antigen ELISA. While the use of a higher cutoff improves the specificity of the test to 96%, it decreases its sensitivity to 83%. Conclusions In areas where neuroimaging is absent, NCC diagnosis according to the existing criteria is problematic. Taking into account its limitations for diagnosis of inactive NCC, antigen detection can be of added value for diagnosing NCC in PWE by supporting diagnostic and treatment decisions. Therefore, we recommend a revision of the “Del Brutto diagnostic criteria” for use in resource poor areas and suggest the inclusion of serum antigen detection as a major criterion.
A Microchip CD4 Counting Method for HIV Monitoring in Resource-Poor Settings  [PDF]
William R Rodriguez ,Nicolaos Christodoulides,Pierre N Floriano,Susan Graham,Sanghamitra Mohanty,Meredith Dixon,Mina Hsiang,Trevor Peter,Shabnam Zavahir,Ibou Thior,Dwight Romanovicz,Bruce Bernard,Adrian P Goodey,Bruce D Walker,John T McDevitt
PLOS Medicine , 2005, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.0020182
Abstract: Background More than 35 million people in developing countries are living with HIV infection. An enormous global effort is now underway to bring antiretroviral treatment to at least 3 million of those infected. While drug prices have dropped considerably, the cost and technical complexity of laboratory tests essential for the management of HIV disease, such as CD4 cell counts, remain prohibitive. New, simple, and affordable methods for measuring CD4 cells that can be implemented in resource-scarce settings are urgently needed. Methods and Findings Here we describe the development of a prototype for a simple, rapid, and affordable method for counting CD4 lymphocytes. Microliter volumes of blood without further sample preparation are stained with fluorescent antibodies, captured on a membrane within a miniaturized flow cell and imaged through microscope optics with the type of charge-coupled device developed for digital camera technology. An associated computer algorithm converts the raw digital image into absolute CD4 counts and CD4 percentages in real time. The accuracy of this prototype system was validated through testing in the United States and Botswana, and showed close agreement with standard flow cytometry (r = 0.95) over a range of absolute CD4 counts, and the ability to discriminate clinically relevant CD4 count thresholds with high sensitivity and specificity. Conclusion Advances in the adaptation of new technologies to biomedical detection systems, such as the one described here, promise to make complex diagnostics for HIV and other infectious diseases a practical global reality.
A microchip CD4 counting method for HIV monitoring in resource-poor settings.
Rodriguez William R,Christodoulides Nicolaos,Floriano Pierre N,Graham Susan
PLOS Medicine , 2005,
Abstract: BACKGROUND: More than 35 million people in developing countries are living with HIV infection. An enormous global effort is now underway to bring antiretroviral treatment to at least 3 million of those infected. While drug prices have dropped considerably, the cost and technical complexity of laboratory tests essential for the management of HIV disease, such as CD4 cell counts, remain prohibitive. New, simple, and affordable methods for measuring CD4 cells that can be implemented in resource-scarce settings are urgently needed. METHODS AND FINDINGS: Here we describe the development of a prototype for a simple, rapid, and affordable method for counting CD4 lymphocytes. Microliter volumes of blood without further sample preparation are stained with fluorescent antibodies, captured on a membrane within a miniaturized flow cell and imaged through microscope optics with the type of charge-coupled device developed for digital camera technology. An associated computer algorithm converts the raw digital image into absolute CD4 counts and CD4 percentages in real time. The accuracy of this prototype system was validated through testing in the United States and Botswana, and showed close agreement with standard flow cytometry (r = 0.95) over a range of absolute CD4 counts, and the ability to discriminate clinically relevant CD4 count thresholds with high sensitivity and specificity. CONCLUSION: Advances in the adaptation of new technologies to biomedical detection systems, such as the one described here, promise to make complex diagnostics for HIV and other infectious diseases a practical global reality.
A taxonomy for community-based care programs focused on HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, and care in resource-poor settings
Beth Rachlis,Sumeet Sodhi,Barry Burciul,James Orbinski
Global Health Action , 2013, DOI: 10.3402/gha.v6i0.20548
Abstract: Community-based care (CBC) can increase access to key services for people affected by HIV/AIDS through the mobilization of community interests and resources and their integration with formal health structures. Yet, the lack of a systematic framework for analysis of CBC focused on HIV/AIDS impedes our ability to understand and study CBC programs. We sought to develop taxonomy of CBC programs focused on HIV/AIDS in resource-limited settings in an effort to understand their key characteristics, uncover any gaps in programming, and highlight the potential roles they play. Our review aimed to systematically identify key CBC programs focused on HIV/AIDS in resource-limited settings. We used both bibliographic database searches (Medline, CINAHL, and EMBASE) for peer-reviewed literature and internet-based searches for gray literature. Our search terms were ‘HIV’ or ‘AIDS’ and ‘community-based care’ or ‘CBC’. Two co-authors developed a descriptive taxonomy through an iterative, inductive process using the retrieved program information. We identified 21 CBC programs useful for developing taxonomy. Extensive variation was observed within each of the nine categories identified: region, vision, characteristics of target populations, program scope, program operations, funding models, human resources, sustainability, and monitoring and evaluation strategies. While additional research may still be needed to identify the conditions that lead to overall program success, our findings can help to inform our understanding of the various aspects of CBC programs and inform potential logic models for CBC programming in the context of HIV/AIDS in resource-limited settings. Importantly, the findings of the present study can be used to develop sustainable HIV/AIDS-service delivery programs in regions with health resource shortages.
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