Faced with a rising HIV epidemic among injecting drug users, harm reduction policies and programs were introduced in Malaysia in 2005. The positive impact seen since the introduction of these programs comprise the inclusion of the health aspects of illicit drug use in the country's drug policies; better access to antiretroviral therapy for injecting drug users who are HIV infected; reduction in HIV-risk behavior; and greater social benefits, including increased employment. Despite these achievements, tension between law enforcement and public health persists, as harm reduction exists alongside an overall drug policy that is based on abstinence and zero tolerance. Unless there is harmonization of this policy, sustainability and scale-up of harm reduction programs will remain a challenge.
Over the last three decades in response to a rise in substance use in the region, many countries in East and Southeast Asia responded by establishing laws and policies that allowed for compulsory detention in the name of treatment for people who use drugs. These centers have recently come under international scrutiny with a call for their closure in a Joint Statement from United Nations entities in March 2012. The UN's response was a result of concern for human rights violations, including the lack of consent for treatment and due process protections for compulsory detention, the lack of general healthcare and evidence based drug dependency treatment and in some centers, of forced labor and physical and sexual abuse (United Nations, 2012). A few countries have responded to this call with evidence of an evolving response for community-based voluntary treatment; however progress is likely going to be hampered by existing laws and policies, the lack of skilled human resource and infrastructure to rapidly establish evidence based community treatment centers in place of these detention centers, pervasive stigmatization of people who use drugs and the ongoing tensions between the abstinence-based model of treatment as compared to harm reduction approaches in many of these affected countries.
HIV management in people who use drugs (PWUD) is typically complex and challenging due to the presence of multiple medical and psychiatric comorbidities as well as social, physical, economic and legal factors that often disrupt the HIV continuum of care. In this review, we describe the individual, health systems and societal barriers to HIV treatment access and care retention for PWUD. In addition, the clinical management of HIV-infected PWUD is often complicated by the presence of multiple infectious and noninfectious comorbidities.
Tuberculosis (TB) is a well recognised occupational hazard for healthcare workers (HCWs). Concerns on the safety of healthcare settings in Malaysia was raised following a report of 25 HCWs working in 11 general hospitals in Malaysia who were infected with TB in 2004 being publicised in the media recently. As the disease burden in general is high in Malaysia, due attention should be given to this disease in our healthcare facilities including the radiology department, an often neglected area in TB infection control programmes. This article focuses on the key control measures that can be implemented in radiology departments in a developing country with limited resources.
Community-based HIV voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) services is an effective alternative for mapping the local demographics of at-risk populations for HIV as well as provide an acceptable and reliable means of early detection of HIV. We describe the profiles of men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM) who sought VCT services in a community based centre in Kuala Lumpur.
Although drugs are haram and therefore prohibited in Islam, illicit drug use is widespread in many Islamic countries throughout the world. In the last several years increased prevalence of this problem has been observed in many of these countries which has in turn led to increasing injecting drug use driven HIV/AIDS epidemic across the Islamic world. Whilst some countries have recently responded to the threat through the implementation of harm reduction programmes, many others have been slow to respond. In Islam, The Quran and the Prophetic traditions or the Sunnah are the central sources of references for the laws and principles that guide the Muslims' way of life and by which policies and guidelines for responses including that of contemporary social and health problems can be derived. The preservation and protection of the dignity of man, and steering mankind away from harm and destruction are central to the teachings of Islam. When viewed through the Islamic principles of the preservation and protection of the faith, life, intellect, progeny and wealth, harm reduction programmes are permissible and in fact provide a practical solution to a problem that could result in far greater damage to the society at large if left unaddressed.
To determine the socioeconomic impacts among HIV-infected persons in Sudan and examine whether there are significant variations in coping strategies between infected men and women, a primary survey was conducted among infected persons (n = 555). Discriminant function was used to analyze the data. We found significant variation in the coping strategies (
INTRODUCTION: HIV-positive people are often more susceptible to illnesses associated with smoking, for example, cardiovascular disease, than those in the general population. The purpose of this article is to examine the association between tobacco use and HIV-status in India.
METHODS: This article analyzed data from the National Family Health Survey III, which provides a representative sample of the Indian population. Patterns in tobacco consumption among HIV-positive and negative respondents were assessed through logistic and ordinal regression models. Associations between smoking, asthma, and tuberculosis were examined through bivariate logistic regressions.
RESULTS: A greater percentage of male HIV-positive participants (68%) reported current tobacco use in comparison to male HIV-negative respondents (58%) and female HIV-positive (12%) and negative (11%) participants. Multivariable logistic regression analyses revealed that there was a positive correlation between male respondents' HIV-status and their propensity to use tobacco (odds ratio [OR] = 1.48, confidence interval [CI] = 1.05-2.1, P < .05) when controlled for extraneous variables. Results from ordinal regression analyses illustrated that male HIV-positive respondents had a twofold increased OR of smoking 20 or more cigarettes (OR = 2.1, CI = 1.4-3.2, P < .005). Finally, there was a positive association between being HIV-infected (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 4.6, CI = 2.02-10.6, P < .005), smoking 15-19 cigarettes (AOR = 2.11, CI = 1.1-4.1, P < .05) and male participants' TB-status.
CONCLUSIONS: Results in this article suggest HIV-positive men in India were not only significantly more likely to consume tobacco, but they also smoked a higher number of cigarettes compared to their HIV-negative counterparts. This is a cause for concern as our analyses revealed a possible association between the number of cigarettes smoked and TB-status.
IMPLICATIONS: This article contributes to knowledge on the intertwining epidemics of HIV and smoking through using cross-sectional data from the National Family Survey III to demonstrate that HIV-positive men in India display patterns of tobacco consumption which differs to that of HIV-negative men. These findings could have strong implications for long-term treatment of HIV-positive patients as smoking has been proven to increase the likelihood of contracting HIV-related illnesses.
Active tuberculosis remains the leading cause of death among the HIV-1 seropositive individuals. Although significant success has been achieved in bringing down the number of HIV/AIDS-related mortality and morbidity following implementation of highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART). Yet, co-infection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) has posed severe clinical and preventive challenges in our efforts to eradicate the virus from the body. Both HIV-1 and Mtb commonly infect macrophages and trigger production of host inflammatory mediators that subsequently regulate the immune response and disease pathogenesis. These inflammatory mediators can impose beneficial or detrimental effects on each pathogen and eventually on host. Among these, inflammatory C-C chemokines play a central role in HIV-1 and Mtb pathogenesis. However, their role in lung-specific mechanisms of HIV-1 and Mtb interaction are poorly understood. In this review we highlight current view on the role of C-C chemokines, more precisely CCL2, on HIV-1: Mtb interaction, potential mechanisms of action and adverse clinical consequences in a setting HIV-1/Mtb co-infection. Targeting common chemokine regulators of HIV-1/Mtb pathogenesis can be an attractive and potential anti-inflammatory intervention in HIV/AIDS-related comorbidities.
This is a retrospective descriptive study of the chest imaging findings of 118 patients with confirmed A(H1N1) in a tertiary referral centre. About 42% of the patients had positive initial chest radiographic (CXR) findings. The common findings were bi-basal air-space opacities and perihilar reticular and alveolar infiltrates. In select cases, high-resolution computed tomography (CT) imaging showed ground-glass change with some widespread reticular changes and atelectasis.
Kostmann's syndrome is a rare congenital disorder of neutrophil production due to impairment of myeloid differentiation in the bone marrow, with the neutrophil count being characteristically less than 500 x 10(3) cells/l (normal: 2-7 x 10(9)/l). Severe persistent neutropenia results in an increased susceptibility to frequent bacterial infections. The condition can be treated with recombinant human granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF). Although several articles have addressed the clinicopathological and haematological aspects of this disorder, little or no information has been available concerning the radiological findings in this disorder. This report summarizes the clinical features, radiological findings and management of a patient with Kostmann's syndrome.
To assess the prevalence of major drug resistance mutations in antiretroviral (ARV)-treated patients with detectable viral load (VL) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, genotypic resistance testing was performed among treated human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) patients attending the University Malaya Medical Center between July 2003 and November 2004. The reverse transcriptase (RT) and protease genes from 36 plasma samples with detectable VL were examined for major mutations associated with ARV resistance as reported by the International AIDS Society-USA Drug Resistance Mutations Group. The prevalence of patients with at least one major mutation conferring drug resistance to nucleoside RT inhibitors (NRTIs), non-NRTIs (NNRTIs) or protease inhibitors (PIs) was 77.8%. In the RT gene, the frequency of mutations associated with NRTIs and NNRTIs resistance was 52.8 and 63.9%, respectively, with M184V and K103N mutations being selected most frequently by these drugs. A patient with Q151M mutation complex was also detected. Twenty-two percent of the patients had mutations associated with PIs. The following pattern of prevalence of ARV-resistant HIV-1 variants was observed: NNRTI-resistant > NRTI-resistant > PI-resistant. The prevalence of major drug resistance mutations among ARV-treated patients with detectable VL is high in Kuala Lumpur. Genotypic drug resistance testing is therefore important for monitoring patients experiencing ARV regimen failure.
To assess the prevalence of mutations associated with drug resistance in antiretroviral-naive patients in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, genotypic resistance testing was conducted among drug-naive HIV-1 patients attending the University Malaya Medical Center (UMMC) between July 2003 and June 2004. Reverse transcriptase (RT) and protease genes of plasma virions were sequenced from 100 individuals. The majority of the patients were recently diagnosed. Codons 20-255 of the RT and 1-96 of the protease gene were examined for major and minor mutations associated with antiretroviral resistance reported by the International AIDS Society- USA (IAS-USA) Drug Resistance Mutations Group. The prevalence of patients with at least one major mutation conferring drug resistance was 1%, with only one patient having a Y181C amino acid substitution in the RT gene that confers high-level resistance to nevirapine and delavirdine. Minor mutations were detected in high prevalence in the protease gene. Amino acid substitutions I13V, E35D, and M36I were associated with CRF01_AE while L63P, V77I, and I93L were associated with subtype B. Baseline prevalence of major mutations associated with resistance to antiretroviral drugs was low among antiretroviral-naive HIV-1 patients, suggesting that routine drug resistance testing may be unnecessary for all individuals newly diagnosed with HIV or all patients beginning antiretroviral therapy.