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(1/76) Reproductive health and AIDS prevention in sub-Saharan Africa: the case for increased male participation.

Reproduction is a dual commitment, but so often in much of the world, it is seen as wholly the woman's responsibility. She bears the burden not only of pregnancy and childbirth but also the threats from excessive child bearing, some responsibility for contraception, infertility investigation and often undiagnosed sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) including AIDS. Failure to target men in reproductive health interventions has weakened the impact of reproductive health care programmes. The paper proposes that sophisticated and dynamic strategies in Africa and elsewhere which target women's reproductive health and research (such as control of STDs including AIDS, family planning, infertility investigation) require complementary linkage to the study and education of men. Men's perceptions, as well as determinants of sexual behavioural change and the socioeconomic context in which STDs, including AIDS, become rife, should be reviewed. There is a need to study and foster change to reduce or prevent poor reproductive health outcomes; to identify behaviours which could be adversely affecting women's reproductive health. Issues of gender, identity and tolerance as expressed through sexuality and procreation need to be amplified in the context of present risks in reproductive health. Researchers and providers often ignore the social significance of men. This paper reviews the impact of male dominance, as manifested through reproductive health and sexual decisions, against the background of present reproductive health problems. A research agenda should define factors at both macro and micro levels that interact to adversely impinge on reproductive health outcomes. This should be followed up by well-developed causal models of the determinants of positive reproductive health-promoting behaviours. Behaviour specific influences in sexual partnership include the degree of interpersonal support towards prevention, for example, of STDs, unwanted pregnancy or maternal deaths. Perceived efficacy and situational variables influencing male compliance in, say, condom use, form part of the wider study that addresses men. Thus preventive reproductive health initiatives and information should move from the female alone to both sexes. Women need men as partners in reproductive health who understand the risks they might be exposed to and strategies for their prevention.  (+info)

(2/76) Current status of fertility control methods in India.

Approximately 48.2% of couples of 15 to 49 years of age practice family planning methods in India. Female sterilization accounts for 34.2%, with male sterilization declining from 3.4% in 1992-93 to 1.9% in 1998-99. Use of the condom increased to 3.1% from 2.4%. There is an urgent need for research to develop new contraceptive modalities especially for men and also for women and to make existing methods more safe, affordable and acceptable. Current efforts in India to develop a male contraceptive are mainly directed towards (i) development of antispermatogenic agents to suppress sperm production, (ii) prevention of sperm maturation, (iii) prevention of sperm transport through vas deferens or rendering these sperm infertile and (iv) prevention of sperm deposition. Research work in the field of prevention of sperm transport through vas deferens has made significant advances. Styrene maleic anhydride (SMA) disturbed the electrical charge of spermatozoa leading to acrosome rupture and consequent loss in fertilizing ability of sperm. A multicentre phase-III clinical trial using SMA is continuing and it is hoped that the SMA approach would be available in the near future as an indigenously developed injectable intra-vasal male contraceptive. The safety and efficacy of available oral contraceptives were evaluated. An indigenously developed oral contraceptive 'Centchorman', which is a nonsteroidal, weakly estrogenic but potently antiestrogenic, was found to be safe and effective and is now being marketed in India since 1991 as a 'once a week' pill. Cyclofem and Mesigyna have been recommended as injectable contraceptives with proper counselling and service delivery by Indian studies. It has been recommended that these injectable contraceptives be added to the existing range of contraceptive methods available in the National Family Planning Programme. Based on the Indian studies CuT 200 was also recommended. Studies have indicated the advantage of intrauterine devices (IUD); they are long acting, relatively easily removed and fertility returns rapidly after their removal. Recent studies have recommended CuT 200 for use up to 5 years. The combination of some plant products i.e. Embelia ribes, Borax and Piper longum has been found to be safe and effective as a female contraceptive and the results of phase-I clinical trials are encouraging. Research work is going on in the country in various areas with special reference to hormonal contraceptive - a three monthly injectable contraceptive, immuno-contraceptives, antiprogestins, etc.  (+info)

(3/76) Trends in male contraception.

Methods that are available for male contraception, namely coitus interruptus, condoms, and vasectomy, have been used since the 19th century. With the exceptions of a few improvements of these methods, no major progress has been made with respect to introducing new male contraceptives since then. It is extremely urgent to develop new, safe, effective, and reversible male contraceptive methods. Among all male contraceptive methods that are being investigated, the hormonal approach is the closest to clinical application. Hormonal contraception provides pregnancy protection by means of spermatogenic suppression. Androgen-progestin regimens currently represent the best available hormonal combination for induction of a profound suppression of spermatogenesis. Further development of new steroids is mandatory for increasing the choices of available contraceptive formulations and to optimize long-term safety of these regimens.  (+info)

(4/76) Black males who always use condoms: their attitudes, knowledge about AIDS, and sexual behavior.

One hundred six black males completed a questionnaire concerning attitudes and knowledge about the use of condoms and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Of the 106 males in the study, 27 (26%) reported that they "always" used condoms, 31 (29%) did not use condoms and had low intentions of using them, and 48 (45%) reported high intentions to use condoms. Results indicated that knowledge about AIDS was exceptionally high for black males in all three groups. Black males with low intentions to use condoms reported significantly more negative attitudes about the use of condoms (eg, using condoms is disgusting) and reacted with more intense anger when their partners asked about previous sexual contacts, when a partner refused sex without a condom, or when they perceived condoms as interfering with foreplay and sexual pleasure. A significantly larger percentage of low intenders were treated for gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, and genital warts than males in the other groups. Drug use did not differentiate the three groups, although marijuana was used more often by males in the low-intender group. Finally, a larger percentage of black males in the low-intender group reported experiences with anal intercourse and sex with a prostitute, but considered themselves at lower risk for AIDS than did their high-intender or steady-user counterparts.  (+info)

(5/76) Factors associated with AIDS risk behaviors among high school students in an AIDS epicenter.

BACKGROUND: A greater understanding of the determinants of risky behaviors is an essential precursor to the development of successful AIDS prevention programs for adolescents. METHODS: A survey measuring AIDS-related behaviors, beliefs, and knowledge was administered to a sample of 531 10th-grade students residing in an AIDS epicenter. RESULTS: Of the 56.8% of students reporting past-year involvement in sexual intercourse, 67.3% reported unprotected intercourse with low-risk partners, 1.3% reported unprotected intercourse with high-risk partners, and 6.6% reported a past-year history of a sexually transmitted disease. Students whose friends had intercourse and never or inconsistently used condoms, who personally sanctioned intercourse involvement, who believed that the majority of their peers had intercourse, and who perceived low preventive action self-efficacy, were 5.1, 3.0, 2.1, 3.7, and 2.8 times more likely, respectively, to score in the riskier categories of an AIDS behavior index. CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that addressing socioenvironmental influences on risky and preventive behaviors may prove to be the most effective AIDS prevention strategy among adolescents.  (+info)

(6/76) Ineffectiveness of AIDS education and HIV antibody testing in reducing high-risk behaviors among injection drug users.

The effectiveness of education in reducing high-risk human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission behaviors was examined in 313 injection drug users. Involvement in high-risk behaviors was assessed via structured interview at study entry and 4 months following the intervention. Subjects were randomly assigned to (1) AIDS education, (2) AIDS education with optional HIV antibody testing, or (3) a wait list. The sample as a whole decreased its involvement in high-risk behaviors, but there were no significant differences as a function of experimental group assignment.  (+info)

(7/76) Prevalence of HIV antibodies in transsexual and female prostitutes.

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevalence was studied in an unselected group of 216 female and transsexual prostitutes. Subjects were asked about age, biological sex, marital status, children, length of occupation, sexual practices, and drug abuse history. Blood was drawn on site. All 128 females who did not admit to drug abuse were seronegative; 2 of the 52 females (3.8%) who admitted to intravenous drug abuse were seropositive. In contrast, 11.1% of the 36 male transsexuals (including 3 out of 32 non-drug abusers) were seropositive. The results support the notion that vaginal transmission of HIV is less effective than anal transmission.  (+info)

(8/76) Predictors of condom accessibility among Hispanics in San Francisco.

Ready access to condoms can be an important means of slowing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and human immunodeficiency virus. We identified the factors associated with keeping or carrying condoms in a random-digit dialing survey of 522 Hispanic adults aged 18 to 65 years in San Francisco. Overall, more Hispanic men reported having condoms than Hispanic women (55.2% vs 23.8%). Hispanic men also reported much higher levels of risky sexual behavior than Hispanic women. Condom promotion efforts with Hispanics will require different approaches for each gender.  (+info)