Scientific Program

Conference Series LLC Ltd invites all the participants across the globe to attend 10th World Congress on Control and Prevention of HIV/AIDS, STDs & STIs Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Day 1 :

  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases | Co-infections Associated with STD | Transmission and Prevention | HIV and Women Health Issues | Testing and Health Monitoring | Sexual Health

Session Introduction

Vincent Lwangai

Rainbow House of Hope, Uganda

Title: Stigma and discrimination againist people living with HIV/AIDS
Biography:

Vincent Lwangai Director, Elderly Widows Orphans Family Support. Elderly Widows Orphans Family Support is a registered community based organization in Sipi, Kapchorwa district, eastern Uganda. It supports children with education one on one sponsorship, HIV awareness and prevention, vocational training for school dropout.

Abstract:

Although there is some evidence that HIV/AIDS related discrimination and stigma is declining among families and communities, this continues to be a significant issue in Uganda. HIV/AIDS, is often a taboo issue, fear of disclosure leads to secrecy and denial while fair treatment of PLWHA, OVC and caregivers is preached, when a real situation arises the response is quite different. How can we facilitate attitudinal and behavioral change in this area?

Description

Elderly Widows Orphans Family Support (EWOFS) uses Behavior change process to enable all to live a fuller life amidst and beyond the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Included in this approach is an anti-stigma method: (i) Asking searching questions: How would you feel, think and act if a loved one or friend is diagnosed HIV+? Is HIV/AIDS a punishment from God? Are there people who deserve to be infected? Would you tell your spouse if you were HIV+? Inviting a positive person, who remains unknown until the 3rd day of the program and then discloses, while participants note their feelings after disclosure. (ii) The program’s non-judgmental approach helps people to reveal their status voluntarily.

Methodology

(i) Information on stigma and discrimination

(ii) Exercises to identify and challenge stigma e.g. The “hot seat” – USAID stigma Toolkit

(iii) Stigma codes and videos to help analyze stigma and its impact.

(iv) New advocacy programmes – Orphans and Vulnerable Children, PLWHAs and care givers couples.

Lessons Learnt

(i) The stigmatized more easily process emotions in neutral environments.

(ii) Group discussions make people free, open, and honest.

(iii) At first, anonymity is a priority. At the end, disclosure and group support is more important.

Recommendations

Spread the word: - stigma and discrimination are vices. They spread HIV/AIDS, inhibit VCT attendance and make disclosure difficult. Sensitization empowers individuals to fight these vices, starting with self – stigmatization – involves children as a target group – Use several approaches.

Doreen Ditshwanelo

Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership Gaborone, Botswana

Title: Hepatitis B Virus sub-genotype A1 evolutionary dynamics in Botswana
Biography:

Doreen Ditshwanelo MSc student at (BIUST)/graduate student at Botswana Harvard Aids Partnership with close to 4 years’ experience of biomedical research.

Abstract:

Background: Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a major global health problem. Botswana has an intermediate HBV prevalence of 3.1–10 %. The predominant genotypes are A, D and E with a prevalence of 80%, 18.6% and 1.4%, respectively. No studies have investigated the origins and evolutionary history of the HBV genotypes in Botswana. We sought to investigate the Time to Most Common Recent Ancestor (tMRCA) and spread of the predominant HBV subgenotype, A1 (HBV/A1) in the population of Botswana. We also aimed to determine the diversity of HBV/A1 open reading frames (ORFs) in Botswana HBV sequences.

Method: A retrospective study was conducted utilizing 24 near-full length HBV sequences sequenced in Botswana from 2009 and retrieved from NCBI sequence database. Additional 130 HBV near full-length sequences were included as references. Bayesian coalescent analyses were used to study the population dynamics of the 154 HBV/A1 sequences. The temporal signal was estimated through the root-to-tip method using node density in tempEST. Correlation coefficient was used to indicate the amount of variation in genetic distance explained by sampling time and used as a measure of the clockliness of the data. Skyline plots were used to estimate the effective HBV infections in Botswana population over time. Botswana sequences were partitioned into 7 HBV ORFs and used to calculate nucleotide diversity based on pairwise distances analysis implemented in MEGA. 

Results: We estimated the tMRCA of HBV/A1 to be 1959 (1920–1980), 95% Highest Posterior Density (HPD) in Botswana. Skyline plot analysis showed an increase in the size of the HBV/A1 infected population around 1985 and 1990 which is over the last ∼30–40 years. Pre-core region had highest median diversity of 1 (IQR, 0.0115–1) and the surface region was relatively conserved with median diversity of 0.0075 (IQR, 0.0029–0.0135) p <0.01.

Conclusion: Study provides baseline subgenotype-based phylodynamic information by predicting the tMRCA of HBV/A1 sequences revealing the evolutionary dynamics of HBV/A1 thus aiding in theoretical, clinical prevention and treatment of HBV/A1 in Botswana. Statistically significant mean diversity was observed between the different HBV/A1 ORFs that should be taken into consideration in future treatments and vaccine designs of HBV/A1.

Biography:

Bechan Sharma is presently working as a Professor and Head, Department of Biochemistry, University of Allahabad, Allahabad, India. His research interests include Molecular Biology of HIV/AIDS, Free radical Biology, Tropical Diseases, Enzyme technology, Drug development and Biochemical Toxicology. He has received number of Awards/ Honors and successfully completed numerous important Academic/ Administrative Assignments. With 36 years of teaching / research experience, he has carried out several research projects and published over 230 research papers, 8 books and one US patent on HIV-1 genome structure based antiHIV-1 drugs design to his credit. He has supervised 18 PhDs and 7 PDFs. He is a member/life member of several national/international scientific societies and attended numerous symposia/conferences in India and abroad. He is Chief-Editor/Associate Editor/Executive Editor and Member Editorial Board / Reviewer of over 170 peer-reviewed International. 

Abstract:

Statement of the Problem: The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection causes Acquired Immuno-deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), a disease posing threats to humans, especially when its early detection and effective therapy is lacking. Since the currently available antiretroviral regimen to treat AIDS are laced with severe side effects and induce drug resistant variants of virus, it is required to explore safe and novel plant-based molecules with immense therapeutic potential. The traditional application of ethnomedicines to treat different diseases is the best substitute of synthetic drugs. 

Methodology & Theoretical Orientation: Suitable procedures have been used for the extraction of bioactive molecules from the Indian weed, Parthenium hysterophorus, their qualitative analysis and quantitative chemical characterization of herbal molecules by GC-MS and assessment of their activities against microbial growth and replication of HIV-1 catalyzed by reverse transcriptase (HIV-1RT).

Findings: The results suggested that the plant extracts were potentially acting as antimicrobials and were able to significantly inhibit the activity of HIV-1RT.

Conclusion: The results from this study suggested that the herbal molecule(s) from P. hysterophorus may be developed as a new NNRTI against HIV-1RT to arrest HIV-1 infection.

Biography:

Magdalena Ankiersztejn-Bartczak CEO Foundation For Social Education Her background is in pedagogy, sexual education and sociology and she is the author and coordinator of numerous educational programmes delivering knowledge on HIV and fighting stigma and discrimination towards PLWH in Poland. She is an EACS member.

Abstract:

Background: Poland, like the rest of the world, has been severely affected by SARS-CoV-2. In April 2020, because of the COVID-19 epidemic and resulting lockdown, all Polish CBVCTs were closed for several weeks. The Foundation for Social Education made it possibility to order a free HIV self-test for home use. Any person who wished to order the test just had to call the free helpline.

Description: Foundation for Social Education created a project that made it possible to order a free HIV self-test for use at home. Any person who wished to order the test just had to call the free helpline, from which, after talking to an HIV counsellor, they received a password that allowed them to order the test online and receive it by post. An individual questionnaire was created to collect the data, and these were filled in by the counsellor during every call. All data was anonymous. Every client was asked to call again after they had made the test to inform the counsellor of the result.

Lessons: The data collected by the Foundation show that the introduction of an anonymous method of ordering and receiving self-tests increased the participation of women in testing. During the project, which ran for almost a year (14/04/2020–31/12/2021) during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, the Foundation distributed 1,700 tests across Poland.

Conclusions: The great interest in home testing shows that such a diagnostic form should be readily available and accessible. The Polish AIDS Society recommends access to diversified forms of HIV testing. According to the recommendations, due to a large percentage of people unaware of their HIV infection, especially in key populations, as well as various barriers to access to HIV screening, it is recommended to introduce at-home HIV test kits . The study was carried out at one site only, on a small test group, and constituted a pilot program. Its results provide a basis for further research and the introduction of a systemic approach to the popularisation of self-testing in Poland.

Biography:

Warrancy Mohamed Conteh born in the Northern part of Sierra Leone and a Bachelor of Science Degree Holder in Agricultural Education. He worked as a teacher up to the rank of senior teacher and later worked in the Ministry of Health and Sanitation simultaneously holding supervisory positions of hospital secretary and senior registrar of births and deaths for the regional hospital and Northern Province respectively.  He has been a supervisor for primary health care activities for over ten years. He later became agricultural extension Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security. Now he is a retired civil servant now working for Medical Assistance and Rural development Programme Sierra Lone as deputy director

Abstract:

The incidence and prevalence of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) has become a global concern especially for developing countries where the prevalence and incidence continue to be very high yearly. The public health structures that have been set up for the implementation of interventions for the prevention and control of STDs are still faced with problems. Several factors have been highlighted to be major contributing factors influencing the spread of these diseases. Key among them is associated with social, cultural, and economic.  A lot of research has been done towards containing these diseases. However, this study investigates the social factors influencing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases in developing countries. The demographic characters (the age bracket 15 –44 yrs. And sex) are the active players in spreading STDs including HIV/AIDS.  Indicators like promiscuity/behavior, educational status, marital status, social disharmony and in some part of Africa, inadequate availability of health facility, non-cooperation of patients and partners for test and treatment, stigmatization, mismanagement in treating the disease (blind treatment /treatment done without lab test) and drug stock out are other factors. This study therefore creates the atmosphere to probe further to understand more of these social factors that influence the spread of these diseases. In essence both the risk and management factors were considered among others

INTRODUCTION

The prevalence and incidence of sexually transmitted diseases (STD) including HIV/AIDS is a global issue that engages the minds of all works of life especially the public health sector globally. Although the rate of incidence, prevalence, prevention and control mechanisms could be different for each locality or region but there are common factors that cut across everywhere the occurrence of the disease, the individuals (key players) involved, the magnitude of the occurrence, the agents of distribution and prevention and control. Some of the common sexually transmitted diseases include gonorrhea, chlamydia, pelvic infectious disease, syphilis, HIV/AIDS. The study is closely looking at the how are these diseases spread? Who are the active players? What is the demographic character of these plyers? When do we need to step in and how during the prevention and control process; there are many other factors that influence the spread of the disease? The spread of sexually transmitted disease is an important issue to the public health sector because it does not only create complications for other health conditions but can also increase the incidence and prevalence of HIV/AIDS. The importance of this study is therefore of  a necessity if to provide information that can provide the requisite facts that can contribute to the developments of health policies and the justice system.  Gender based violence being one of the social factors is another key factor that generates STI/ STDs and their spread. The issue of the incidence and management of the disease if not properly managed can lead to its spread.

METHODS AND MATERIALS

After assuring Household members/respondents, both male and female within the age bracket   of 15 – 44 yrs. Confidentiality the two-pronged approach; the questionnaire and focus group discussions method was used. Respondents were from both the urban and rural settings. Among the household members interviewed were Married and unmarried men and women of different occupational and religious background.

Data on morbidity cases for pregnant women on sexually transmitted infection including HIV/AIDS for 3 months (300) were collected from health facilities both in the rural and urban areas including HIV/AIDS clinics.  Information from 20 health personnel for cooperation by partners of the pregnant women during follow - up clinics for STI/STD treatment, 10 Commercial sex workers (15 – 30) yrs. were interviewed specifically using the focus group discussion approach in order to get relatively sincere information after the assurance of confidentiality.  Commercial motorbike riders (Okada riders) one of the sexually active and socially exposed group with age bracket 15 –35 yrs. Data from the justice system FSU (Family Support Unit) collected and analyzed to capture sexual gender-based violence. Statistics on number of available health facilities in 2 rural communities with their distances apart

 

Result

Table 1 STI/STD Risk factors: Educational status, peer group/sex workers and motor bike riders marital status Religion with multiple partner(MP)

 

Risk factors

No. of infection cases

No. of infection cases treated but not tested J

No. of infection cases tested

No. of cases diagnosed for STD treated

No of relapse cases

Use sex protection practices /condom

remarks

Educational status/knowledge about the disease (n =10)

9

1

8

8

1

7

 

Data from ANC morbidity n=300 

180

150

180

30

85 ©

1

MP high risk factor for spreading STD

 Marital status n=20

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Married/8

5

3

3

3

2

1

 

Unmarried(single)/12

10

8

2

2

3

MP High risk factor

Socially exposed/peer group  n=10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sex workers n=10

10

5

4

4

6

MP

Bike riders n=10

9

7

1

1

5

MP

Religion n=20

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Muslim

17

12

3

2

 

MP

Christian

16

7

4

4

3

2

 

Others

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In table 1 above socially exposed multi partner peer group rates high for sex workers and bike riders risk to spread STI/STD (

 

 

Table 2 Management of STI/STD cases reported and treated, # of facilities by distance in 2 rural communities (Cooperated including patients who both took the drug and advice accordingly)

 

 

 

 

Management

#. Cooperated (C)

Did not cooperate (UC)

%C

% (UC)

 

Treatment cooperation

16

14

53.3

46.6 ©

 

 Health facility –Distances apart n=5

Number

Type of facility

 

 

 

      ≤ 5km

1

CHP

 

 

 

10km

1

MCHP

 

 

 

10 km and above

3

CHP

 

 

HF ≥5KM

 

 

80©

Inadequate Hf

 

Drug stock out n=10

 

 

 

 

 

Yes

4

 

40

 

 

No

6

 

60

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Treatment protocol

 

 

# Infected with STI

Treated without test

# Of STD tested diagnosed and treated

Health education advice

# Of relapse cases

Data from ANC morbidity n=300 

251

135

251

251

52

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

             

 

Table 2 above shows that% for non - cooperation to treatment is 46.6 % A cause for concern The same table  the number of health facilities that are located at distance above 5km are many  ie low number o0f facility Data from the morbidity for pregnant women shows that 83.6% had STI of which 53.7# were treated without  test and later referred fortest.20.7% had relapse

Table 3 Demographic data of STI cases reported n=60 Urban

Age at risk

Number STI cases reported

Number of STI cases tested, Diagnosed, and treated

Number of relapse cases

% STD     Relapse cases

% STI incidence /prevalence

Remarks

15 – 20 yrs.

15

13

2

13.3

25

 

20 –25 yrs

31

25

7

22.1

51.6

 

25 – 30 yrs

42

39

18

42.8 ©

70    ©

 

35 – 40

17

15

3

17.6

28.3

 

40+

8

2

1

12.5

13.3

 

Sex

 

 

 

 

 

 

Male

22

20

5

22.7

36.6

 

Female

38

37

8

21.0

63.3   ©

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From table 3 above the age with highest STI /STD prevalence is 20 -- 30 yrs.

Also, the female has the higher compared to male STI incidence

The % of relapse STI cases is high for both the male and for age bracket 20 --30

 

Table 4 Data on Sexual gender-based violence

 

# Of GBV cases reported

# Of SGBV cases

# Of SGBV cases with STI/STD

% Of STI in SGBV

Gender Based Violence

30

10

10

100%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DICUSIIONS

From the Ante Natal Care data for pregnant women, blind treatment (treatment given without test and diagnoses the same group of individuals experienced a relapse of the infection. Blind treatment therefore was identified to be risk factor for the spread of the disease The management aspect was also observed as an issue.  80% health personnel said that the health facilities are far apart each orther.in the area of the number of health facility when 80% of the respondent in the two localities. The study also identified that 63.3 % and 70% of the females and age bracket 20 -30 yrs. respectively showed the highest incidence of STI/STD and heavy carriers of the disease. 100% of the sex workers contracted the infection, 60 % of relapse STI few weeks after treatment,90% incidence/prevalence of STI sex worker and 90% STI incidence 60% STD recurrence ,30% of all Gender Based Violence cases are sexual Gender Based Violence of which 100 % of SGBV have STI/STD. The study also revealed that all sexual activities that has to do with multi partner relationship are highly vulnerable to STI/STD and thus have the potential to spread the disease   

CONCLUSION

In conclusion Religion, social disharmony and drug stock out were not found significant in the study as social factors to spread the disease. On the other hand, the socially exposed commercial bike riders and sex workers became some of the key social risk factors influencing the spread other factors that were identified by the study were the management of the disease both at health facility and community level including the inadequacy of health facility. Overall it came out clear that all indicators and or activities that has to do with multi partner sexual activity can spread STI/STD at a much faster rate than the others thereby creating more room for increase in HIV/AIDS. This study was conducted including one of the remote areas of Sierra Leone, West Africa.

Biography:

Ryan Flinn is the 2021-2023 HIV/LGBTQ+ Health Psychology Fellow at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University. They completed their predoctoral internship in Health Service Psychology at The Ohio State University’s Counseling and Consultation Service and received their doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology from New Mexico State University in 2021. Their areas of clinical and scholarly interest include well-being among people living with HIV, prevention and health promotion, mental health help-seeking, integrated behavioral 

Abstract:

Statement of the Problem: Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent HIV transmission is an efficacious biomedical intervention that has yet to be brought to scale in many communities. The present qualitative thematic analysis analyzed a subset of qualitative responses generated during semi-structured interviewing with current and former PrEP users living in the Southwestern and Rocky Mountain regions of the United States. This region is medically underserved, and many residents live in rural areas. The purpose of this study is to identify characteristics of PrEP care that current and former PrEP users identify as optimal.

Methodology & Theoretical Orientation: The parent study from which these data are drawn utilized a deductive thematic analytic approach to investigate minority stress processes among PrEP users in the Southwestern U.S. The first author interviewed 19 adults living in this region, recordings were transcribed, and transcripts were analyzed by the second and third authors.

Findings: The present analysis identified four characteristics of PrEP prescribers and health care encounters which participants view as central to optimal PrEP care: (a) informed and prepared; (b) culturally aware; (c) prompt and pragmatic; and (d) sex-positive and accepting of difference.

Conclusion & Significance: PrEP users expect their prescribers to be able to offer PrEP as one approach to HIV prevention in an informed, flexible, and prompt manner. Educators can contribute to preparing prescribers by supporting their awareness of continued stigma associated with PrEP in many communities, increasing knowledge of reasons patients may wish to utilize PrEP (e.g., seropositive partners, open or polyamorous relationship, involvement in kink, desire for intimacy without barriers), and enhancing provider skill in moderating ways of approaching patients during clinical interviews by recognizing diversity in sexual identity development, outness, and anxiety. Psychologists and other health professionals can play a key role in supporting these outcomes among patients and prescribers.