September 2013

Published on September 13, 2013 by

Debate: PreP is not an essential component of TasP

At the 3rd International HIV Treatment as Prevention Workshop in Vancouver, Canada, in April 2013 I was asked to put forward the case that “Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PreP) is not an essential component of Treatment as Prevention (TasP)”. So my job was to convince the public that while PreP may be a useful, and even an important, addition to TasP it is by no means an essential component of TasP. Here I reproduce my argument and invite readers of the SACEMA Quarterly to express their own views on this important issue.

Published on September 13, 2013 by

Assessing the validity and appropriateness of Audio Computer-Assisted Self-Interviews in urban, disadvantaged Cape Town communities

Those who study sexual behaviour often rely on self-reported information from surveys. However, results from surveys may be inaccurate due to social desirability bias (SDB). One way to combat SDB is to change the mode of inquiry. Typically surveys are conducted using face-to-face-interviewing. The use of audio computer-assisted self-interviewing (ACASI) has been proposed as a better alternative. There is evidence from Africa, that use of ACASI may elicit more adequate reporting of sensitive sexual behaviours. Here we describe a sexual behaviour survey we conducted in three disadvantaged communities of Cape Town using ACASI methods.

Published on September 13, 2013 by

A journey to show the benefits of early antiretroviral therapy initiation in Viet Nam

My motivation to plan for the mathematical modelling of the HIV epidemic in Viet Nam has been to demonstrate the benefits of earlier initiation of antiretroviral treatment (ART). I especially wanted to estimate the potential impact of ART to prevent HIV transmission in communities. I hoped that the results would potentially influence the society to become more serious in creating an environment in which people feel safe to access HIV testing and counselling and treatment early, especially for the people who inject drugs and other groups who have a high HIV incidence. Here I tell you my journey to realize my plan.

Published on September 13, 2013 by

Modelling “Tik” abuse in the presence of drug-supply chains

Methamphetamine (MA), commonly known by the street name “tik” in South Africa, is a highly addictive stimulant whose production and abuse has increased dramatically. Many questions remain unanswered as to how prevalent is drug abuse and the implications of drug use, especially on disease burden, healthcare and budgetary demands as well as risky behaviour. There is a need to understand the problem, measure drug use trends, design appropriate intervention measures and evaluate the success of these interventions. As is demonstrated here mathematical models can help in modelling the “tik” epidemic.