Implementation of Point of care HIV Viral load monitoring for people living with HIV in Low and Middle income Countries: A systematic review on implementation research outcomes
Viral load monitoring has been rapidly increasing among people living with HIV in low- and middle-income countries. This leads to a huge burden on laboratories. Innovative Point-of-Care (PoC) tests enable a reduction of laboratory workload, but the implementation bottlenecks are uncertain. This study aims to review implementation research outcomes of PoC HIV Viral load for people living with HIV in low to middle income countries.
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“I prefer to take pills when I plan to have sex”: Perceptions of on-demand versus daily oral pre-exposure prophylaxis among adolescents in Kampala, Uganda
There is limited information about the use of on-demand and daily pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) among adolescents and young people (AYP) in sub-Saharan Africa. We explored perceptions of both regimens among 14- to 19-year-olds perceived to be at high risk of HIV infection in Kampala, Uganda, using qualitative data collection methods. Data were analysed by theme and interpreted based on constructs from the framework of acceptability. Although there were no noticeable gender differences in preferences for a particular regimen, acceptability of PrEP depended on individual AYP sexual behaviour at the time of the study. Those who perceived themselves to be at increased risk of acquiring HIV preferred using daily PrEP, citing the consistency that comes from taking a pill daily and which they considered to be efficacious and safe. AYP who had less frequent sex preferred on-demand PrEP because it would enable them to “plan for sex”. However, both groups perceived taking daily PrEP to
Tuberculin Skin Test Outdated or Still Useful
Objective: To make an informed viewpoint on the usefulness of Tuberculin Skin test (TST) compared to Interferon Gamma Release Assays (IGRAs) for diagnosis of Latent TB Infection (LTBI) in different geographical settings. Methods: We reviewed the current literature on TST compared to IGRA, including national implementation of WHO LTBI recommendations and retrospective data over the past 7 years at the National Institute for Infectious Diseases “L. Spallanzani” as indirect indicator of usage of both tests under actual programmatic conditions. Results: Current national guidelines vary considerably, reﬂecting the uncertainty and rapidly evolving evidence about the potential use of these tests. Data from Institute “L. Spallanzani” showed IGRA concordance in TST positive subjects only in 54.74% of subjects, while there was strong concordance between two tests in TST negative subjects (93.78%). Conclusion: Neither IGRAs nor TST can distinguish active TB from LTBI.
Latent TB Infection (LTBI) – Mycobacterium tuberculosis pathogenesis and the dynamics of the granuloma battleground
Latent Tuberculosis infection (LTBI) is established in over 90% of persons infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), from whom new active TB cases will arise. Understanding the spatio-temporal dynamics of host immune responses in LTBI granulomas is essential to designing effective post-exposure therapies that inhibit progression to TB. Information arising from cancer studies and other modalities – where local chronic inﬂammation leads to immunopathology – can help provide insights into the biological pathways at play in LTBI granulomas. Translational studies using patient material as well as LTBI+ donor-derived tissue samples are instrumental in understanding the various components of granuloma dynamics, immunological landscapes therein and how this could help to identify therapeutic targets. Deep sequencing technologies may aid to decipher the genetic changes in lung granuloma and blood samples from LTBI+ individuals associated with progression to active TB disease.