• 'Face Up to the Truth': Helping Gay Men in Vietnam Protect Themselves from AIDS.

      Wilson, D; Cawthorne, P; Médecins Sans Frontières, Belgium. msfbthai@asianet.co.th (1999-01)
      Appropriate AIDS prevention information is not available in Vietnam for men who have sex with men. Current AIDS prevention messages can be misunderstood with potentially dangerous results. We outline some features of gay culture in a provincial city in Vietnam. We describe the activities of a peer educator who made contact with a small group of young gay men during 1996 and 1997. All the young men were ill-informed about AIDS. Their attitudes and sexual practices made them vulnerable to AIDS. The peer educator provided clear information and emotional support. The peer education was done without government endorsement and on a very low budget.
    • Motives, sexual behaviour, and risk factors associated with HIV in individuals seeking voluntary counselling and testing in a rural district of Malawi.

      Zachariah, R; Spielmann M P; Harries, A D; Buhendwa, L; Chingi, C; Medecins sans Frontieres, Thyolo, Malawi. zachariah@internet.lu (2003-04)
      A study was conducted among individuals seeking voluntary HIV counselling and testing (VCT) in order to (a) describe their motives and source(s) of information, (b) describe their sexual behaviour; and (c) identify risk factors associated with HIV infection. Of 723 individuals who sought VCT, the most common reason (50%) was recent knowledge of HIV/AIDS and a desire to know their HIV status. The majority (77%) underwent VCT after being encouraged by others who knew their status. Ninety five per cent reported sexual encounters, with 337 (49%) engaging in unprotected sex. HIV prevalence was 31% and an HIV-positive status was associated with being female, being over 25 years of age and/or being a farmer. There is a demand for VCT, and the service provides an opportunity for intensive education about HIV/AIDS prevention on a one-to-one basis. It could also be an entry point to prevention and care for those who are infected.
    • The prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission programme and infant feeding practices.

      Hilderbrand, K; Goemaere, E; Coetzee, D; Infectious Diseases and HIV/AIDS Epidemiology Unit, School of Public Health and Family Medicine, University of Cape Town. (2003-10)
      Since the first cases of HIV transmission through breast-feeding were documented, a fierce debate has raged on appropriate guidelines for infant feeding in resource-poor settings. A major problem is determining when it is safe and feasible to formula-feed, as breast-milk protects against other diseases. A cross-sectional survey of 113 women attending the programme for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, was conducted. Over 95% of women on the programme formula-fed their infants and did not breast-feed at all. Seventy per cent of women said that their infant had never had diarrhoea, and only 3% of children had had two episodes of diarrhoea. Focus groups identified the main reasons for not breast-feeding given by women to their families and those around them. Formula feeding is safe and feasible in an urban environment where sufficient potable water is available.
    • Providing antiretroviral care in conflict settings.

      Mills, Edward J; Ford, Nathan; Singh, Sonal; Eyawo, Oghenowede; BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, Vancouver, BC, Canada. emills@cfenet.ubc.ca (2009-11)
      There has been an historic expectation that delivering combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) to populations affected by violent conflict is untenable due to population movement and separation of drug supplies. There is now emerging evidence that cART provision can be successful in these populations. Using examples from Médecins Sans Frontières experience in a variety of African settings and also local nongovernmental organizations' experiences in northern Uganda, we examine novel approaches that have ensured retention in programs and adequate adherence. Emerging guidelines from United Nations bodies now support the expansion of cART in settings of conflict.
    • Village-based AIDS prevention in a rural district in Uganda.

      Schopper, D; Doussantousse, S; Ayiga, N; Ezatirale, G; Idro, W J; Homsy, J; Médecins Sans Frontières, Geneva, Switzerland. (Oxford Journals, 1995-06)
      OBJECTIVE: To design, implement and evaluate a village-based AIDS prevention programme in a rural district in north-western Uganda. A baseline KAP survey of the general population was carried out to design a district-wide information campaign and condom promotion programme. Eighteen months later the impact achieved was measured through a second KAP survey, using the same methodology. METHODS: Anonymous structured interviews were conducted in March 1991 and October 1992 with 1486 and 1744 randomly selected individuals age 15-49, respectively. RESULTS: At 18 months, 60% of respondents had participated in an information session in the past year (47% women, 71% men) and 42% had received a pamphlet about AIDS (26% women, 58% men). Knowledge about AIDS, high initially (94%), reached 98%. More respondents knew that the incubation period is longer than one year (from 29% to 40%), and were willing to take care of a PWA (from 60% to 77%). Knowledge about condoms increased from 26 to 63% in women and 57 to 91% in men. Ever use of condoms among persons having engaged in casual sex in the past year increased from 6 to 33% in women, and 27 to 48% in men. Fifty per cent of condom users criticized lack of regular access to condoms. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first documented example of the impact a village-based AIDS prevention programme can achieve in a rural African community. Critical areas to be improved were identified, such as: women must be given better access to information, more attention must be paid to explain the asymptomatic state of HIV infection in appropriate terms, and condom social marketing must be developed.