In response to an absence of studies among refugees and host communities accessing highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in urban settings, our objective was to compare adherence and virological outcomes among clients attending a public clinic in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. A cross-sectional survey was conducted among adult clients (≥18 years). Data sources included a structured questionnaire that measured self-reported adherence, a pharmacy-based measure of HAART prescription refills over the previous 24 months, and HIV viral loads. The primary outcome was unsuppressed viral load (≥40 copies/mL). Among a sample of 153 refugees and 148 host community clients, refugees were younger (median age 35 [interquartile range, IQR 31, 39] vs 40 years [IQR 35, 48], p
We examined socio-demographic and behavioral characteristics of men who have sex with men (MSM) residing in Asia and correlates of unprotected receptive intercourse with Internet ejaculation (URAIE). Asia Internet MSM Sex Survey, a behavioral survey of MSM in Asia was conducted from 1 January to 28 February 2010. Data analysis was limited to participants aged 18 or above, biological male, and had one regular or casual sex partner in the past 6 months (n = 10,413). Pearson's Chi-square test, t test and logistic regression were used to examine the correlates of URAIE in the past 6 months, the highest risk sexual behavior sampled. Of 7311 participants who had receptive anal intercourse, 47.5 % had URAIE, which was associated with the following attributes: less than high-school education and pre-college education compared to university (AOR = 1.53, 95 % CI: 1.28, 1.83; AOR = 1.22, CI: 1.08, 1.37), being in the heterosexual marriage (AOR = 1.35, CI: 1.18, 1.56), having regular partners or both regular and casual partners compared to having casual partners (AOR = 2.85, CI: 2.48, 3.27; AOR = 2.32, CI: 2.06, 2.62), HIV-positive compared to HIV-negative status (AOR = 1.39, 95 % CI: 1.08, 1.81), higher perception of HIV risk (AOR = 1.62, CI: 1.34, 1.95), use of recreational drug before sex (AOR = 1.30, CI: 1.14, 1.49), and use of the Internet as the main way to seek sex partners (AOR = 1.21, CI: 1.08, 1.36). MSM from certain Asian countries reported alarming rates of URAIE. The internet can be used as a platform for HIV surveillance and intervention.
Negative attitudes toward HIV medications may restrict utilization of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in Indonesian prisons where many people living with HIV (PLH) are diagnosed and first offered ART. This mixed-method study examines the influence of medication attitudes on ART utilization among HIV-infected Indonesian prisoners. Randomly-selected HIV-infected male prisoners (n = 102) completed face-to-face in-depth interviews and structured surveys assessing ART attitudes. Results show that although half of participants utilized ART, a quarter of those meeting ART eligibility guidelines did not. Participants not utilizing ART endorsed greater concerns about ART efficacy, safety, and adverse effects, and more certainty that ART should be deferred in PLH who feel healthy. In multivariate analyses, ART utilization was independently associated with more positive ART attitudes (AOR = 1.09, 95 % CI 1.03-1.16, p = 0.002) and higher internalized HIV stigma (AOR = 1.03, 95 % CI 1.00-1.07, p = 0.016). Social marketing of ART is needed to counteract negative ART attitudes that limit ART utilization among Indonesian prisoners.
The HIV epidemic in Malaysia is concentrated among people who inject drugs (PWID). Accurate estimates of HIV prevalence are critical for developing appropriate treatment and prevention interventions for PWID in Malaysia. In 2010, 461 PWID were recruited using respondent-driven sampling in Greater Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Participants completed rapid HIV testing and behavioral assessments. Estimates of HIV prevalence were computed for each of the three recruitment sites and the overall sample. HIV prevalence was 15.8 % (95 % CI 12.5-19.2 %) overall but varied widely by location: 37.0 % (28.6-45.4 %) in Kampung Baru, 10.3 % (5.0-15.6 %) in Kajang, and 6.3 % (3.0-9.5 %) in Shah Alam. Recruitment extended to locations far from initial interview sites but was concentrated around discrete geographic regions. We document the high prevalence of HIV among PWID in Greater Kuala Lumpur. Sustained support for community surveillance and HIV prevention interventions is needed to stem the HIV epidemic among PWID in Malaysia.
Men who have sex with men (MSM) living in countries with strong stigma toward MSM are vulnerable to HIV and experience significant barriers to HIV care. Research is needed to inform interventions to reduce stigma toward MSM in these countries, particularly among healthcare providers. A cross-sectional survey of 1158 medical and dental students was conducted at seven Malaysian universities in 2012. Multivariate analyses of variance suggest that students who had interpersonal contact with MSM were less prejudiced toward and had lower intentions to discriminate against MSM. Path analyses with bootstrapping suggest stereotypes and fear mediate associations between contact with prejudice and discrimination. Intervention strategies to reduce MSM stigma among healthcare providers in Malaysia and other countries with strong stigma toward MSM may include facilitating opportunities for direct, in-person or indirect, media-based prosocial contact between medical and dental students with MSM.
Social network analysis (SNA) and social network-based interventions (SNI) are important analytical tools harnessing peer and family influences critical for HIV prevention and treatment among substance users. While SNA is an effective way to measure social network influences, SNI directly or indirectly involves network members in interventions. Even though these methods have been applied in heterogeneous ways, leading to extensive evidence-based practices, systematic reviews are however, lacking. We searched five bibliographic databases and identified 58 studies involving HIV in substance users that had utilized SNA or SNI as part of their methodology. SNA was used to measure network variables as inputs in statistical/mathematical models in 64 % of studies and only 22 % of studies used SNI. Most studies focused on HIV prevention and few addressed diagnosis (k = 4), care linkage and retention (k = 5), ART adherence (k = 2), and viral suppression (k = 1). This systematic review highlights both the advantages and disadvantages of social network approaches for HIV prevention and treatment and gaps in its use for HIV care continuum.
In this study, we use data from a survey conducted in Ukraine among 196 HIV-infected people who inject drugs, to explore attitudes toward drug addiction and methadone maintenance therapy (MMT), and intentions to change drug use during incarceration and after release from prison. Two groups were recruited: Group 1 (n = 99) was currently incarcerated and Group 2 (n = 97) had been recently released from prison. This paper's key finding is that MMT treatment and addiction recovery were predominantly viewed as mutually exclusive processes. Group comparisons showed that participants in Group 1 (pre-release) exhibited higher optimism about changing their drug use, were less likely to endorse methadone, and reported higher intention to recover from their addiction. Group 2 participants (post-release), however, reported higher rates of HIV stigma. Structural equation modeling revealed that in both groups, optimism about recovery and awareness of addiction mediated the effect of drug addiction severity on intentions to recover from their addiction.
Prior research has widely recognized neurocognitive impairment (NCI), depression, and alcohol use disorders (AUDs) as important negative predictors of health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among people living with HIV (PLWH). No studies to date, however, have explored how these neuropsychological factors operate together and affect HRQoL. Incarcerated male PLWH (N = 301) meeting criteria for opioid dependence were recruited from Malaysia's largest prison. Standardized scales for NCI, depression, alcohol use disorders (AUDs) and HRQoL were used to conduct a moderated mediation model to explore the extent to which depression mediated the relationship between NCI, HRQoL, and AUDs using an ordinary least squares regression-based path analytic framework. Results showed that increasing levels of NCI (B = -0.1773, p
Although it is well established that HIV-related stigma, depression, and lack of social support are negatively associated with health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among people living with HIV (PLH), no studies to date have examined how these psychosocial factors interact with each other and affect HRQoL among incarcerated PLH. We, therefore, incorporated a moderated mediation model (MMM) to explore whether depression mediates the effect of HIV-related stigma on HRQoL as a function of the underlying level of social support. Incarcerated HIV-infected men with opioid dependence (N = 301) were recruited from the HIV units in Kajang prison in Malaysia. Participants completed surveys assessing demographic characteristics, HIV-related stigma, depression, social support, and HRQoL. Results showed that the effect of HIV-related stigma on HRQoL was mediated via depression (a1:β = 0.1463, p
The U.S. female criminal justice (CJ) population is rapidly growing, yet large-scale studies exploring gender-specific HIV risk behaviors in the CJ population are lacking. This analysis uses baseline data on adults with a CJ history from eight U.S. studies in an NIH-funded "Seek, Test, Treat, Retain" harmonization consortium. Data were collected using a standardized HIV risk behavior assessment tool and pooled across studies to describe participants' characteristics and risk behaviors. Multilevel mixed-effects logistic regression models were used to test for gender-based behavior differences. Among 784 HIV-positive (21.4% female) and 5521 HIV-negative (8.5% female) participants, HIV-positive women had higher odds than HIV-positive men of engaging in condomless sexual intercourse (AOR 1.84 [1.16-2.95]) with potentially sero-discordant partners (AOR 2.40 [1.41-4.09]) and of sharing injection equipment (AOR 3.36 [1.31-8.63]). HIV risk reduction interventions targeting CJ-involved women with HIV are urgently needed as this population may represent an under-recognized potential source of HIV transmission.
The criminal justice (CJ) system can be leveraged to access women for HIV prevention and treatment programs. Research is lacking on effective implementation strategies tailored to the specific needs of CJ-involved women. We conducted a scoping review of published studies in English from the United States that described HIV interventions, involved women or girls, and used the CJ system as an access point for sampling or intervention delivery. We identified 350 studies and synthesized data from 42 unique interventions, based in closed (n = 26), community (n = 7), or multiple/other CJ settings (n = 9). A minority of reviewed programs incorporated women-specific content or conducted gender-stratified analyses. CJ systems are comprised of diverse access points, each with unique strengths and challenges for implementing HIV treatment and prevention programs for women. Further study is warranted to develop women-specific and trauma-informed content and evaluate program effectiveness.
This study determines the optimal cut-off scores for the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) to detect HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) in a multi-ethnic Malaysian HIV-positive cohort by developing demographically corrected normative standards among 283 HIV-negative community-based controls with overlapping demographic characteristics. The norms (corrected for age, sex, education, ethnicity) were applied to 342 HIV-positive virally suppressed individuals on cART. Impairment rates were classified using the Global Deficit Score (GDS ≥ .5) method. The MoCA was also scored according to the recommended cut-off of ≤ 26, and functional decline was applied to both impairment definitions to classify HAND per the Frascati criteria. The ≤ 26 cut-off considerably overestimated cognitive impairment in both samples (59.4% HIV-negative; 69.3% HIV-positive). In contrast, corrected scores yielded impairment rates consistent with what has been reported internationally in virally suppressed cohorts (23.4% with 83.3% mild impairment, 16.7% moderate impairment). A supplemental file allowing the computation of corrected MoCA scores and impairment status is included.
People with HIV (PWH) in Malaysia experience high levels of stigma, which may act as a barrier to accessing healthcare. Stigma against PWH in medical settings is understudied in Malaysia. In the present study, we examine factors associated with physicians' intention to discriminate against PWH in Malaysia. A cross-sectional online survey was emailed to all 1431 physicians at two major university hospitals in Malaysia; 568 (39.6%) participants completed the survey and were included in this analysis. Measures included intention to discriminate against PWH, stigma-related constructs, and socio-demographic characteristics. Multivariate linear regression was used to identify factors associated with intention to discriminate against PWH. Participants were comprised of women (53.5%), Malays (43.1%), and Chinese (35.0%) with nearly 10 years of clinical experience. Most participants were from non-surgical specialties (77.6%). The final multivariate linear regression showed that physicians who expressed greater discriminatory intent against PWH also expressed more negative feelings toward PWH, more HIV-related shame, were more fearful of HIV, and believed that PWH do not deserve good care. Physicians from surgical-based specialties were also significantly more likely to endorse discriminatory intent toward PWH. Stigma and intentions to discriminate against a class of patients, including PWH, can undermine engagement in care, which is central to international HIV prevention and treatment strategies. Interventions that reduce stigma toward PWH among physicians are crucial to ensuring equitable and stigma-free healthcare.
With adequate support, people with HIV (PWH) may achieve high levels of adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) during incarceration. We examined factors associated with ART utilization and adherence among incarcerated PWH (N = 150) in Indonesia. ART utilization was positively associated with HIV status disclosure (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 5.5, 95% CI 1.2-24.1, p = 0.023), drug dependency (aOR = 3.9, 95% CI 1.2-12.6, p = 0.022), health service satisfaction (aOR = 3.2, 95% CI 1.7-6.2, p