Browsing by Author "Chersich, Matthew"
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- ItemAre HIV and reproductive health services adapted to the needs of female sex workers? results of a policy and situational analysis in Tete, Mozambique(BioMed Central, 2016) Lafort, Yves; Jocitala, Osvaldo; Candrinho, Balthazar; Greener, Letitia; Beksinska, Mags; Smit, Jenni A.; Chersich, Matthew; Delva, WimBackground In the context of an implementation research project aiming at improving use of HIV and sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services for female sex workers (FSWs), a broad situational analysis was conducted in Tete, Mozambique, assessing if services are adapted to the needs of FSWs. Methods Methods comprised (1) a policy analysis including a review of national guidelines and interviews with policy makers, and (2) health facility assessments at 6 public and 1 private health facilities, and 1 clinic specifically targeting FSWs, consisting of an audit checklist, interviews with 18 HIV/SRH care providers and interviews of 99 HIV/SRH care users. Results There exist national guidelines for most HIV/SRH care services, but none provides guidance for care adapted to the needs of high-risk women such as FSWs. The Ministry of Health recently initiated the process of establishing guidelines for attendance of key populations, including FSWs, at public health facilities. Policy makers have different views on the best approach for providing services to FSWs—integrated in the general health services or through parallel services for key populations—and there exists no national strategy. The most important provider of HIV/SRH services in the study area is the government. Most basic services are widely available, with the exception of certain family planning methods, cervical cancer screening, services for victims of sexual and gender-based violence, and termination of pregnancy (TOP). The public facilities face serious limitations in term of space, staff, equipment, regular supplies and adequate provider practices. A stand-alone clinic targeting key populations offers a limited range of services to the FSW population in part of the area. Private clinics offer only a few services, at commercial prices. Conclusion There is a need to improve the availability of quality HIV/SRH services in general and to FSWs specifically, and to develop guidelines for care adapted to the needs of FSWs. Access for FSWs can be improved by either expanding the range of services and the coverage of the targeted clinic and/or by improving access to adapted care at the public health services and ensure a minimum standard of quality.
- ItemBarriers to HIV and sexual and reproductive health care for female sex workers in Tete, Mozambique : results from a cross-sectional survey and focus group discussions(BioMed Central, 2016) Lafort, Yves; Lessitala, Faustino; Candrinho, Balthazar; Greener, Letitia; Greener, Ross; Beksinska, Mags; Smit, Jenni A.; Chersich, Matthew; Delva, WimBackground: In the context of an operational research project in Tete, Mozambique, use of, and barriers to, HIV and sexual and reproductive health (HIV/SRH) commodities and services for female sex workers (FSWs) were assessed as part of a baseline situational analysis. Methods: In a cross-sectional survey 311 FSWs were recruited using respondent driven sampling and interviewed face-to-face, and three focus group discussions were held with respectively 6 full-time Mozambican, 7 occasional Mozambican and 9 full-time Zimbabwean FSWs, to investigate use of, and barriers to, HIV/SRH care. Results: The cross-sectional survey showed that 71 % of FSWs used non-barrier contraception, 78 % sought care for their last sexually transmitted infection episode, 51 % of HIV-negative FSWs was tested for HIV in the last 6 months, 83 % of HIV-positive FSWs were in HIV care, 55 % sought help at a health facility for their last unwanted pregnancy and 48 % after sexual assault, and none was ever screened for cervical cancer. Local public health facilities were by far the most common place where care was sought, followed by an NGO-operated clinic targeting FSWs, and places outside the Tete area. In the focus group discussions, FSWs expressed dissatisfaction with the public health services, as a result of being asked for bribes, being badly attended by some care providers, stigmatisation and breaches of confidentiality. The service most lacking was said to be termination of unwanted pregnancies. Conclusions: The use of most HIV and SRH services is insufficient in this FSW population. The public health sector is the main provider, but access is hampered by several barriers. The reach of a FSW-specific NGO clinic is limited. Access to, and use of, HIV and SRH services should be improved by reducing barriers at public health facilities, broadening the range of services and expanding the reach of the targeted NGO clinic.
- ItemImpact of a diagonal intervention on uptake of sexual and reproductive health services by female sex workers in Mozambique : a mixed-methods implementation study(Frontiers Media, 2018) Lafort, Yves; Lessitala, Faustino; De Melo, Malica Sofia Ismael; Griffin, Sally; Chersich, Matthew; Delva, WimBackground: Female sex workers (FSWs) have high risks for adverse sexual and reproductive health (SRH) outcomes, yet low access to services. Within an implementation research project enhancing uptake of SRH services by FSWs, we piloted a “diagonal” intervention, which combined strengthening of FSW-targeted services (vertical) with making public health facilities more FSW-friendly (horizontal), and tested its effect. Methods: The study applied a convergent parallel mixed-methods design to assess changes in access to SRH services. Results of structured interviews with FSWs pre-intervention (N = 311) and thereafter (N = 404) were compared with the findings of eight post-intervention focus group discussions (FGDs) with FSWs and two with FSW-peer educators (PEs). Results: Marked and statistically significant rises occurred in consistent condom use with all partners (55.3–67.7%), ever use of female condoms (37.9–54.5%), being tested for HIV in the past 6 months (56.0–76.6%), using contraception (84.5–95.4%), ever screened for cervical cancer (0.0–16.9%) and having ≥10 contacts with a PE in the past year (0.5–24.45%). Increases mostly resulted from FSW-targeted outreach, with no rise detected in utilization of public health facilities. FGD participants reported that some facilities had become more FSW-friendly, but barriers such as stock-outs, being asked for bribes and disrespectful treatment persisted. Conclusion: The combination of expanding FSW-targeted SRH services with improving access to the public health services resulted in an overall increased uptake of services, but almost exclusively because of the strengthened targeted (vertical) outreach services. Utilization of public SRH services had not yet increased and many barriers to access remained. Our diagonal approach was thus only successful in its vertical component. Improving access to the general health services remains nevertheless important and further research is needed how to reduce barriers. Ideally, the combination approach should be maintained and more successful approaches to increase utilization of public services should be explored.
- ItemThe impact of alcohol on HIV prevention and treatment for South Africans in primary healthcare(AOSIS Publishing, 2014-08-01) Schneider, Michelle; Chersich, Matthew; Temmerman, Marleen; Degomme, Olivier; Parry, Charles D.Background: Antiretroviral treatment (ART) has substantially reduced morbidity and mortality for HIV patients. In South Africa, with the largest ART programme globally, attention is needed not only on the further expansion of ART coverage, but also on factors which undermine its effectiveness, such as alcohol use. Objective: Given the decentralised approach of nurse-initiated and -sustained ART in the South African primary health sector, it is important to document key aspects of alcohol use to be conveyed to HIV-positive individuals and those at risk for HIV. Method: This study comprised a narrative review of relevant literature. Results: Alcohol acts through both behavioural and physiological pathways to impact on the acquisition, further transmission and then progression of HIV disease. Besides links to risky sex, alcohol undermines the immune system, raising susceptibility to contracting and then countering HIV and other infections. There are important drug interactions between alcohol and ART, or therapies for opportunistic infections and other co-morbidities. Moreover, alcohol undermines adherence to the medication which is essential for effective ART. Conclusion: Primary healthcare clinic attendees need evidence-based information on the detrimental effects of alcohol consumption on HIV infection, which ensue throughout the clinical course of HIV. This spans the role of alcohol consumption as a risk factor for HIV infection, HIV replication in infected individuals, a person’s response to HIV infection and HIV treatment. Primary healthcare workers, especially nurses and HIV counsellors, require training in order to screen for and provide appropriate interventions for HIV-positive patients, those on treatment and treatment-naïve patients, who will benefit from reduced alcohol consumption or the cessation thereof.
- ItemSexual and reproductive health services utilization by female sex workers is contextspecific : results from a cross-sectional survey in India, Kenya, Mozambique and South Africa(BMC (part of Springer Nature), 2017) Lafort, Yves; Greener, Ross; Roy, Anuradha; Greener, Letitia; Ombidi, Wilkister; Lessitala, Faustino; Skordis-Worrall, Jolene; Beksinska, Mags; Gichangi, Peter; Reza-Paul, Sushena; Smit, Jenni A.; Chersich, Matthew; Delva, WimBackground: Female sex workers (FSWs) are extremely vulnerable to adverse sexual and reproductive health (SRH) outcomes. To mitigate these risks, they require access to services covering not only HIV prevention but also contraception, cervical cancer screening and sexual violence. To develop context-specific intervention packages to improve uptake, we identified gaps in service utilization in four different cities. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted, as part of the baseline assessment of an implementation research project. FWSs were recruited in Durban, South Africa (n = 400), Mombasa, Kenya (n = 400), Mysore, India (n = 458) and Tete, Mozambique (n = 308), using respondent-driven sampling (RDS) and starting with 8-16 ‘seeds’ identified by the peer educators. FSWs responded to a standardised interviewer-administered questionnaire about the use of contraceptive methods and services for cervical cancer screening, sexual violence and unwanted pregnancies. RDS-adjusted proportions and surrounding 95% confidence intervals were estimated by non-parametric bootstrapping, and compared across cities using post-hoc pairwise comparison tests with Dunn–Šidák correction. Results: Current use of any modern contraception ranged from 86.2% in Tete to 98.4% in Mombasa (p = 0.001), while non-barrier contraception (hormonal, IUD or sterilisation) varied from 33.4% in Durban to 85.1% in Mysore (p < 0.001). Ever having used emergency contraception ranged from 2.4% in Mysore to 38.1% in Mombasa (p < 0.001), ever having been screened for cervical cancer from 0.0% in Tete to 29.0% in Durban (p < 0.001), and having gone to a health facility for a termination of an unwanted pregnancy from 15.0% in Durban to 93.7% in Mysore (p < 0.001). Having sought medical care after forced sex varied from 34.4% in Mombasa to 51.9% in Mysore (p = 0.860). Many of the differences between cities remained statistically significant after adjusting for variations in FSWs’ sociodemographic characteristics. Conclusion: The use of SRH commodities and services by FSWs is often low and is highly context-specific. Reasons for variation across cities need to be further explored. The differences are unlikely caused by differences in socio-demographic characteristics and more probably stem from differences in the availability and accessibility of SRH services. Intervention packages to improve use of contraceptives and SRH services should be tailored to the particular gaps in each city.
- ItemWhere do female sex workers seek HIV and reproductive health care and what motivates these choices? a survey in 4 cities in India, Kenya, Mozambique and South Africa(Public Library of Science, 2016) Lafort, Yves; Greener, Ross; Roy, Anuradha; Greene, Letitia; Ombidi, Wilkister; Lessitala, Faustino; Haghparast-Bidgoli, Hassan; Beksinska, Mags; Gichangi, Peter; Reza-Paul, Sushena; Smit, Jenni A.; Chersich, Matthew; Delva, WimBackground: A baseline cross-sectional survey among female sex workers (FSWs) was conducted in four cities within the context of an implementation research project aiming to improve FSWs’ access to HIV, and sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services. The survey measured where FSWs seek HIV/SRH care and what motivates their choice. Methods: Using respondent-driven sampling (RDS), FWSs were recruited in Durban, South Africa (n = 400), Tete, Mozambique (n = 308), Mombasa, Kenya (n = 400) and Mysore, India (n = 458) and interviewed. RDS-adjusted proportions were estimated by non-parametric bootstrapping, and compared across cities using post-hoc pairwise comparison tests. Results: Across cities, FSWs most commonly sought care for the majority of HIV/SRH services at public health facilities, most especially in Durban (ranging from 65% for condoms to 97% for HIV care). Services specifically targeting FSWs only had a high coverage in Mysore for STI care (89%) and HIV testing (79%). Private-for-profit clinics were important providers in Mombasa (ranging from 17% for STI care and HIV testing to 43% for HIV care), but not in the other cities. The most important reason for the choice of care provider in Durban and Mombasa was proximity, in Tete ‘where they always go’, and in Mysore cost of care. Where available, clinics specifically targeting FSWs were more often chosen because of shorter waiting times, perceived higher quality of care, more privacy and friendlier personnel. Conclusion: The place where care is sought for HIV/SRH services differs substantially between cities. Targeted services have limited coverage in the African cities compared to Mysore. Convenience appears more important for choosing the place of care than aspects of quality of care. The best model to improve access, linking targeted interventions with general health services, will need to be tailored to the specific context of each city.