Recent Publications

The health service costs of offering female condoms in South Africa’s National Female Condom Program 2015/16

The female condom (FC) was identified by the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition in 2011 as one of several under-used reproductive health technologies with the potential to expand choice in reproductive health and family planning programs, responding to the needs of diverse clients (1). The FC is also key to increasing HIV protection options for women and men. It is the only female-initiated HIV prevention barrier method. Although FC distribution rates lag far behind those of male condoms 

Comparison of Kaposi Sarcoma Risk in HIV-Positive Adults Across 5 Continents: A Multiregional Multicohort Study

Background. We compared Kaposi sarcoma (KS) risk in adults who started antiretroviral therapy (ART) across the Asia-Pacific, South Africa, Europe, Latin, and North America. Methods. We included cohort data of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–positive adults who started ART after 1995 within the framework of 2 large collaborations of observational HIV cohorts. We present incidence rates and adjusted hazard ratios (aHRs). Results. We included 208 140 patients from 57 countries. Over a 

Field evaluation of the performance of Alere and Cepheid qualitative HIV assays for paediatric point of-care testing in a Soweto academic hospital, South Africa

Point-of-care (POC) technologies for HIV diagnosis in infants have the potential to overcome logistical challenges that delay treatment initiation and prevent improvements in morbidity and mortality. This study aimed to evaluate the performance of two POC technologies against the current standard of care (SOC) laboratory-based assay in South Africa, when operated by nurses in a hospital environment. Children <18 months of age that were treatment naïve (excluding prophylaxis) and in whom an 

Multidisciplinary Point-of-Care Testing in South African Primary Health Care Clinics Accelerates HIV ART Initiation but Does Not Alter Retention in Care

Background: Lack of accessible laboratory infrastructure limits HIV antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation, monitoring, and retention in many resource-limited settings. Point-of-care testing (POCT) is advocated as a mechanism to overcome these limitations. We executed a pragmatic, prospective, randomized, controlled trial comparing the impact of POCT vs. standard of care (SOC) on treatment initiation and retention in care. Methods: Selected POC technologies were embedded at 3 primary health 

South African Health Review 2017 – Chapter 17

The South African Health Review (SAHR) has been published by Health Systems Trust (HST) since 1995. Since 2014, it has been internationally recognized as a peer-reviewed journal. According to HST, the Review is considered to be a critical resource for understanding, from a South African perspective, local and international public health issues. In the 2016 edition of the Review, HE2RO Senior Researcher, Naomi Lince-Deroche, collaborated with South African academics and the National Department 

Treatment initiation among persons diagnosed with drug resistant tuberculosis in Johannesburg, South Africa

Background In South Africa, roughly half of the drug-resistant TB cases diagnosed are reported to have been started on treatment. We determined the proportion of persons diagnosed with rifampicin resistant (RR-) TB who initiated treatment in Johannesburg after the introduction of decentralized RR-TB care in 2011. Methods We retrospectively matched adult patients diagnosed with laboratory-confirmed RR-TB in Johannesburg from 07/2011-06/2012 with records of patients initiating RR-TB 

Cohort profile: the Right to Care Clinical HIV Cohort, South Africa

Purpose: The research objectives of the Right to Care Clinical HIV Cohort analyses are to: (1) monitor treatment outcomes (including death, loss to follow-up, viral suppression and CD4 count gain among others) for patients on antiretroviral therapy (ART); (2) evaluate the impact of changes in the national treatment guidelines around when to initiate ART on HIV treatment outcomes; (3) evaluate the impact of changes in the national treatment guidelines around what ART regimens to initiate on drug 

Predicting the need for third-line antiretroviral therapy by identifying patients at high risk for failing second-line antiretroviral therapy in South Africa

Although third-line antiretroviral therapy (ART) is available in South Africa’s public sector, its cost is substantially higher than first and second line. Identifying risk factors for failure on second-line treatment remains crucial to reduce the need for third-line drugs. We conducted a case–control study including 194 adult patients (‡18 years; 70 cases and 124 controls) who initiated second-line ART in Johannesburg, South Africa. Unconditional logistic regression was used to assess 

Changes in elevated cholesterol in the era of tenofovir in South Africa: risk factors, clinical management and outcomes

Objectives Antiretroviral therapy (ART) has been associated with unfavourable lipid profile changes and increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). With a growing population on ART in South Africa, there has been concern about the increase in noncommunicable diseases such as CVD. We determined risk factors associated with increased total cholesterol (TC) in a large cohort on ART and describe the clinical management thereof. Methods We conducted an observational cohort study of 

A new cascade of HIV care for the era of ‘treat all’

Now that the World Health Organization has recommended antiretroviral therapy for all people infected with HIV regardless of their CD4 count, millions more people will become eligible for HIV treatment. · We and others have previously described the cascade of care for HIV treatment for monitoring retention in care and targeting interventions to improve retention to areas of greatest need. · To inform research and track progress, we propose a new cascade for the "treat all" policy that 

Contraceptive use among Women in Accra, Ghana: 2003 and 2008

Despite a relatively low fertility rate, maternal mortality in Ghana still remains high. According to the Ghana Demographic and Health Surveys, about 22% of Ghanaian women of reproductive age currently use contraception. We analyzed contraceptive use among a representative sample of women in Accra, Ghana, to better understand contraceptive use patterns. We used data from two cross-sectional surveys of a representative cohort of women in Accra. In 2003, 28.9% of sexually active women used a