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(1/2136) Condom use and HIV risk behaviors among U.S. adults: data from a national survey.

CONTEXT: How much condom use among U.S. adults varies by type of partner or by risk behavior is unclear. Knowledge of such differentials would aid in evaluating the progress being made toward goals for levels of condom use as part of the Healthy People 2000 initiative. METHODS: Data were analyzed from the 1996 National Household Survey of Drug Abuse, an annual household-based probability sample of the noninstitutionalized population aged 12 and older that measures the use of illicit drugs, alcohol and tobacco. The personal behaviors module included 25 questions covering sexual activity in the past year, frequency of condom use in the past year, circumstances of the last sexual encounter and HIV testing. RESULTS: Sixty-two percent of adults reported using a condom at last intercourse outside of an ongoing relationship, while only 19% reported using condoms when the most recent intercourse occurred within a steady relationship. Within ongoing relationships, condom use was highest among respondents who were younger, black, of lower income and from large metropolitan areas. Forty percent of unmarried adults used a condom at last sex, compared with the health objective of 50% for the year 2000. Forty percent of injecting drug users used condoms at last intercourse, compared with the 60% condom use objective for high-risk individuals. Significantly, persons at increased risk for HIV because of their sexual behavior or drug use were not more likely to use condoms than were persons not at increased risk; only 22% used condoms during last intercourse within an ongoing relationship. CONCLUSIONS: Substantial progress has been made toward national goals for increasing condom use. The rates of condom use by individuals at high risk of HIV need to be increased, however, particularly condom use with a steady partner.  (+info)

(2/2136) Changing epidemiology of hepatitis A in the 1990s in Sydney, Australia.

Surveillance of hepatitis A in residents of Eastern Sydney Health Area identified substantial epidemics in homosexual males in 1991-2 with a peak rate of 520 per 100,000 recorded in males aged 25-29 years, and again in 1995-6, with a peak rate of 405 per 100,000 per year in males aged 30-34 years. During 1994-5 an epidemic was detected among disadvantaged youth associated with injecting drug use; peak rates of 200 per 100,000 per year were reported in males aged 25-29 years and of 64 per 100,000 per year among females aged 20-24 years. The epidemiology of hepatitis A in these inner suburbs of Sydney is characterized by very few childhood cases and recurrent epidemics among homosexual men. Identified risk groups need to be targeted with appropriate messages regarding the importance of hygiene and vaccination in preventing hepatitis A. However, poor access to health services among disadvantaged youth and a constant influx of young homosexual males into these inner suburbs present major challenges to hepatitis A control.  (+info)

(3/2136) No evidence for an effect of the CCR5 delta32/+ and CCR2b 64I/+ mutations on human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 disease progression among HIV-1-infected injecting drug users.

The relationship between CCR5 and CCR2b genotypes and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 disease progression was studied among the 108 seroconverters of the Amsterdam cohort of injecting drug users (IDUs). In contrast to earlier studies among homosexual men, no effect on disease progression of the CCR5 Delta32/+ and the CCR2b 64I/+ genotypes was found, when progression to AIDS, death, or a CD4 cell count <200/microL was compared by a Cox proportional hazards model. Furthermore, CD4 cell decline (by a regression model for repeated measurements) and virus load in the first 3 years after seroconversion did not differ between the CCR5 and CCR2b wild type and heterozygous genotypes. A nested matched case-control study also revealed no significant effect of the CCR5 and CCR2b mutations. Immunologic differences between IDUs and homosexual men may account for the observed lack of effect. Alternatively, difference in transmission route or characteristics of the HIV-1 variants that circulate in IDUs could also explain this phenomenon.  (+info)

(4/2136) HIV-1 incidence among opiate users in northern Thailand.

The incidence of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection among opiate users was determined in a retrospective cohort of 436 patients with multiple admissions to the only inpatient drug treatment program in northern Thailand between October 1993 and September 1995. During 323.4 person-years of follow-up, 60 patients presenting for detoxification acquired HIV-1 infection, for a crude incidence rate of 18.6 per 100 person-years (95% confidence interval 14.4-23.9). All seroconverters were male. HIV-1 incidence varied by the current route of drug administration: 31.3 per 100 person-years for injectors and 2.8 per 100 person-years for noninjectors (smoking and ingestion). Significant differences were found by ethnicity: HIV-1 incidence was 29.3 per 100 person-years for Thai lowlanders and 8.5 per 100 person-years for hill tribes. Multivariate relative risk estimates showed that injecting opiates (vs. use by other routes), being unmarried, being under age 40 years, being a Thai lowlander, having a primary and secondary education, and being employed in the business sector were each independently associated with human immunodeficiency virus seroconversion. This HIV-1 incidence rate is double that reported for Bangkok and suggests that prevention and control programs for drug users need to be expanded throughout Thailand. Improved availability of more-effective treatment regimens and increased access to sterile injection equipment are needed to confront the HIV-1 epidemic among opiate users in northern Thailand.  (+info)

(5/2136) Acute hepatitis B infection in England and Wales: 1985-96.

Confirmed acute hepatitis B infections are reported to the Public Health Laboratory Service Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre by laboratories in England and Wales. These reports have been used to monitor trends in the incidence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection over time, and between exposure categories and age groups. Between 1985 and 1996 a total of 9252 cases of acute HBV infection were reported; the number of reports fell from 1761 in 1985 to 581 in 1996. Most infections were reported in adults aged 15-44 years [n = 7365 (80%)], and infections were more commonly reported in males [n = 6490 (70%)] than females [n = 2658 (29%)]. The probable means of acquisition was known for just over half of all adult cases [4827/8956 (54%)]. Injecting drug use was the most common exposure [n = 1901 (21%)], followed by sex between men and women [n = 1140 (13%)] and sex between men [n = 1025 (11%)]. The number of infections in injecting drug users fell in the late 1980s, but increased again from 1991 onwards. In children aged under 15 years, infections acquired by mother to baby transmission accounted for 35/170 (21%) of the total. Surveillance indicates that the incidence of acute hepatitis B infection fell in the late 1980s, probably reflecting changed behaviour in injecting drug users. An increase in the number of infections in injecting drug users since 1993 may indicate ongoing transmission that has not been contained by the introduction of needle exchange schemes or by selective vaccination.  (+info)

(6/2136) Harm reduction in Bern: from outreach to heroin maintenance.

In Switzerland, harm-reduction programs have the support of the national government and many localities, in congruence with much of the rest of Europe and in contrast with the United States, and take place in public settings. The threat of AIDS is recognized as the greater harm. This paper describes the overall national program and highlights the experience from one city; the program is noteworthy because it is aimed at gathering comparative data from controlled trials.  (+info)

(7/2136) Research on needle exchange: redefining the agenda.

Researchers studying needle-exchange programs in the United States pursue a two-fold agenda that requires answers to these questions: (1) Do such programs successfully reduce HIV seroprevalence among injecting drug users? (2) Do they promote drug use? Several federal laws and regulations require convincing data on each question before the release of federal funds for needle exchange. Fears that needle exchange promotes drug use are at the core of federal concerns, and these fears are shared by community leaders, scientists, and public health professionals. Nonetheless, the manner in which the "drug use" question has been framed and addressed in scientific research has been given insufficient attention. This article aims to stimulate debate about current research, and restore a focus on HIV prevention, by addressing several methodological, logical, and ethical weaknesses that characterize the scientific inquiry into whether needle exchange promotes drug use.  (+info)

(8/2136) Outcome of pulmonary tuberculosis treatment in the tertiary care setting--Toronto 1992/93. Tuberculosis Treatment Completion Study Group.

BACKGROUND: Completion of treatment of active cases of tuberculosis (TB) is the most important priority of TB control programs. This study was carried out to assess treatment completion for active cases of pulmonary TB in Toronto. METHODS: Consecutive cases of culture-proven pulmonary TB were obtained from the microbiology laboratories of 5 university-affiliated tertiary care centres in Toronto in 1992/93. A standard data-collection tool was used to abstract information from inpatient and outpatient charts. For patients who were transferred to other treatment centres or lost to follow-up, the local health unit was contacted for information about treatment completion. If incomplete information was obtained from these sources, data from the provincial Reportable Disease Information System were also reviewed. The main outcome analysed was treatment outcome, with cases classified as completed (record of treatment completion noted), transferred (patient transferred to another centre but no treatment results available), defaulted (record of defaulting in patient chart but no record of treatment completion elsewhere, or patient still receiving treatment more than 15 months after diagnosis) or dead (patient died before treatment completion). RESULTS: Of the 145 patients 84 (58%) completed treatment, 25 (17%) died, 22 (15%) defaulted and 14 (10%) were transferred. The corresponding values for the 22 patients with HIV coinfection were 6 (27%), 5 (23%), 8 (36%) and 3 (14%). Independent predictors of failure to complete treatment were injection drug use (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 5.7, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.5 to 22.0), HIV infection (adjusted OR 4.6, 95% CI 1.4 to 14.7) and adverse drug reaction (adjusted OR 2.9, 95% CI 1.1 to 7.9). Independent predictors of death included age more than 50 years (adjusted OR 16.7, 95% CI 2.6 to 105.1), HIV infection (adjusted OR 16.1, 95% CI 3.9 to 66.4), immunosuppressive therapy (adjusted OR 8.0, 95% CI 1.9 to 34.4) and infection with a multidrug-resistant organism (adjusted OR 30.7, 95% CI 1.5 to 623.0). INTERPRETATION: Treatment completion rates in tertiary care hospitals in Toronto in 1992/93 were below the rate recommended by the World Health Organization. Careful surveillance of treatment completion is necessary for the management of TB in metropolitan centres in Canada.  (+info)