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Molecular characterisation of Neisseria gonorrhoeae associated with disseminated gonococcal infections in Queensland, Australia: a retrospective surveillance study

Por: Guglielmino · C. J. D. · Sandhu · S. · Lau · C. L. · Buckely · C. · Trembizki · E. · Whiley · D. M. · Jennison · A. V.
Objectives

Gonorrhoea caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae is the second most notified sexually transmitted infection (STI) in Australia and the case numbers for this STI have been increasing globally. Progressive gonococcal infection may lead to disseminated gonococcal infection (DGI), which causes significant morbidity among patients. This study aims to examine the genetic diversity of N. gonorrhoeae isolates collected in Queensland from January 2010 to August 2015 and to determine factors associated with DGI in Queensland.

Design

Retrospective surveillance study for epidemiological purposes.

Setting

All gonorrhoeae isolates referred by private and public pathology laboratories to the state of Queensland, Australia Neisseria reference laboratory.

Methods

Between January 2010 and August 2015, 3953 N. gonorrhoeae isolates from both metropolitan and regional Queensland infections were typed with NG-MAST (N. gonorrhoeae multiantigen sequence typing) to assess the genetic diversity between strains. Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) was used to investigate strain-related factors associated with DGI.

Results

ST6876 was the most common NG-MAST type, detected in 7.6% of the isolates. DGI was significantly more likely in females 30 years (OR 6.04, pporB type were associated with DGI (OR 33.23, p

Conclusion

Genotyping techniques, such as NG-MAST and WGS, are proving instrumental in providing an insight into the population structure of N. gonorrhoeae, and genetic mechanisms of pathogenesis, such as for DGI.

Impact of major disease outbreaks in the third millennium on adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health and rights in low and/or middle-income countries: a systematic scoping review protocol

Por: Akbarialiabad · H. · Shidhaye · R. · Shidhaye · P. · Cuijpers · P. · Weaver · M. R. · Bahrololoom · M. · Kiburi · S. · Njuguna · I. N. · Taghrir · M. H. · Kumar · M.
Introduction

Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) of young people continue to present a high burden and remain underinvested. This is more so in low and middle-income countries (LMICs), where empirical evidence reveals disruption of SRHR maintenance, need for enhancement of programmes, resources and services during pandemics. Despite the importance of the subject, there is no published review yet combining recent disease outbreaks such as (H1N1/09, Zika, Ebola and SARS-COV-2) to assess their impact on adolescents and youth SRHR in LMICs.

Methods and analysis

We will adopt a four-step search to reach the maximum possible number of studies. In the first step, we will carry out a limitedpreliminary search in databases for getting relevant keywords (appendix 1). Second, we will search in four databases: Pubmed, Cochrane Library, Embase and PsycINFO. The search would begin from the inception of the first major outbreak in 2009 (H1N1/09) up to the date of publication of the protocol in early 2022. We will search databases using related keywords, screen title & abstract and review full texts of the selected titles to arrive at the list of eligible studies. In the third stage, we will check their eligibility to the included article’s reference list. In the fourth stage, we will check the citations of included papers in phase 2 to complete our study selection. We will include all types of original studies and without any language restriction in our final synthesis. Our review results will be charted for each pandemic separately and include details pertaining to authors, year, country, region of the study, study design, participants (disaggregated by age and gender), purpose and report associated SRHR outcomes. The review will adhere to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses extension for Scoping Reviews guideline (PRISMA-ScR).

Patient and public involvement

Patients or public were not involved in this study.

Ethics and dissemination

Ethical assessment is not required for this study. The results of the study will be presented in peer-reviewed publications and conferences on adolescent SRHR.

Prevalence of Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae in the homeless population of Medellin, Colombia: a cross-sectional study

Objective

To determine the prevalence of Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) and Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG) in the homeless population in Medellín, Colombia, using molecular diagnostic methods. It also intended to develop a demographic profile, exploring associated factors and the dynamics of the social and sexual interactions of this community.

Design

Cross-sectional study.

Setting

Two homeless care centres in Medellín, Colombia.

Participants

Homeless individuals that assisted to the main homeless care centres of Medellín, Colombia from 2017 to 2019.

Primary and secondary outcome measures

The prevalence of CT and NG in this population using qPCR detection, factors associated with CT and NG infection, and the sociodemographic profile of the community.

Results

The prevalence of CT infection was 19.2%, while that of NG was 22.6%. Furthermore, being a female was significantly correlated to CT infection p

Conclusions

The prevalence of CT and NG was higher than that reported in the general population. Additionally, females had a higher percentage of infection compared with males.

Improving effective contraception uptake through provision of bridging contraception within community pharmacies: findings from the Bridge-it Study process evaluation

Por: Patterson · S. · McDaid · L. · Saunders · K. · Battison · C. · Glasier · A. · Radley · A. · Stephenson · J. M. · Johnstone · A. · Morelli · A. · Sally · D. · Stewart · N. · Cameron · S. T.
Objective

To present process evaluation results from the Bridge-it Study, a pragmatic cluster randomised cross-over trial to improve effective contraception uptake through provision of the progestogen only pill (POP) plus sexual and reproductive health (SRH) clinic rapid-access to women presenting to community pharmacies for emergency contraception (EC).

Research design and methods

A multimethod process evaluation was conducted to assess intervention implementation, mechanisms of change and contextual factors. Data were gathered from screening logs (n=599), observations of pharmacist training, analysis of data from 4-month follow-up questionnaires (n=406), monitoring of contemporaneous events and qualitative interviews with 22 pharmacists, 5 SRH clinical staff and 36 study participants in three participating UK sites in Lothian, Tayside and London.

Results

The intervention was largely delivered as intended and was acceptable. Pharmacists’, SRH clinical staff and participants’ accounts highlighted that providing a supply of POP with EC from the pharmacy as routine practice may have positive impacts on contraceptive practices in the short term, and potentially longer term. Key mechanisms of change included ease of access, increased awareness of contraception and services, and greater motivation and perceptions of self-efficacy. Few participants took up the offer to attend an SRH service (rapid-access component), and existing barriers within the SRH context were apparent (eg, lack of staff). Participant accounts highlight persistent barriers to accessing and using routine effective contraception remain.

Conclusions

Implementation appeared to be acceptable and feasible, highlighting the potential for provision of POP within EC consultations as routine practice in community pharmacies. However, lack of engagement with the rapid access component of the intervention and existing barriers within the SRH context suggest that signposting to SRH services may be sufficient. Wider implementation should consider ways to address key implementation challenges to increase effectiveness and sustainability, and to overcome persistent barriers to accessing and using effective contraception.

Trial registration number

ISRCTN70616901.

Sexual health-seeking behaviour and associated factors in men with diabetes mellitus attending the northwest Amhara region hospitals, Ethiopia: a cross-sectional study

Por: Mekonnen · E. G. · Gonete · A. T. · Takele · W. W.
Objective

To assess the sexual health-seeking behaviour and identify the associated factors in men with diabetes mellitus attending in the northwest Amhara region hospitals, Ethiopia.

Design

Hopital-based cross-sectional study.

Setting

The study was conducted in the northwest Amhara region hospitals between 20 February and 30 April 2020.

Participants

A total of 389 men with diabetes were approached using a systematic random sampling technique. A face-to-face interviewer-administered questionnaire was used. The binary logistic regression was employed to identify factors contributing to sexual health-seeking behaviour. Odds Ratio with its corresponding 95% CI was used to measure the association. Factors with a p value 0.05 in multivariable logistic regression were deemed as significant factors.

Outcome measures

Participants were interviewed to respond whether they had sought sexual health service since they were notified to have diabetes mellitus.

Results

A quarter of men with diabetes (25%; 23.4%–27.6%) has sought sexual health service since they were diagnosed with diabetes mellitus. The odds of seeking sexual health service was reduced by 67% in participants who were not able to read and write (adjusted odds ratio (AOR)=0.33; 0.1–0.87) and 71% in participants who have attended primary/secondary education (AOR=0.29; 0.1–0.67) than those who have a diploma and above. Experiencing sexual dysfunction was also significantly associated with an increased odds of seeking sexual health service (AOR=7.1; 2.1–23).

Conclusions

The study remarks that just one-fourth of men with diabetes had sought sexual health services. Participants with lower educational status are less likely to seek sexual health services. Patients who have experienced sexual dysfunction sought the service well compared with their counterparts. Therefore, special emphasis should be given to men with lower educational status. Similarly, counselling patients to seek sexual health service before experiencing sexual dysfunction would help to improve sexual health-seeking behaviour.

Interdisciplinary, internet-based trans health care (i{superscript 2}TransHealth): study protocol for a randomised controlled trial

Por: Nieder · T. O. · Renner · J. · Zapf · A. · Sehner · S. · Hot · A. · König · H.-H. · Dams · J. · Grochtdreis · T. · Briken · P. · Dekker · A.
Introduction

Living in an area with no or deficient structures for trans health care is disadvantageous for trans people. By providing an internet-based health care programme, i²TransHealth aims at reducing structural disadvantages for trans people living in areas lacking specialised care. The e-health intervention consists of video consultations and a 1:1 chat with a study therapist. Additionally, the i²TransHealth network cooperates with physicians, who especially offer crisis intervention close to the participants’ place of residence. The aim of this study is to evaluate the (cost-)effectiveness of the internet-based health care programme for trans people compared with a control (waiting) group. The following research questions will be examined with a sample of 163 trans people: Does a 4-month treatment with the i²TransHealth internet-based health care programme improve patient-reported health-outcomes? Is i²TransHealth cost-effective compared with standard care from a societal or health care payers’ perspective? Does the participation in and support by i²TransHealth lead to an increase of trans-related expertise in the physician network?

Methods and analysis

In a randomised controlled trial, the outcomes of an internet-based health care programme for trans people will be investigated. In the intervention group, participants are invited to use i²TransHealth for 4 months. Participants allocated to the control group will be able to start with their transition-related care after 4 months of study participation. The primary outcome measure is defined as the reduction of psychosomatic symptoms, as assessed by the Brief Symptom Inventory-18, 4 months after using the i²TransHealth programme. Participants in both groups will undergo an assessment at baseline and 4 months after using i²TransHealth.

Ethics and dissemination

Positive ethical approval was obtained from the Hamburg Medical Association (PV7131). The results will be disseminated to service users and their families via media, to health care professionals via professional training and meetings and to researchers via conferences and publications.

Trial registration number

NCT04290286.

Protocol version

22 December 2021 (V.1.0)

Photodiagnosis of genital herpes and warts within a specialist online sexual health service: an observational (mixed methods) study of user experience and clinical outcomes

Por: Engen · J. · Black · A. · Holdsworth · G. · Howroyd · C. · Courtenay · M. · Baraitser · P.
Objectives

To evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of a pilot, free, online photodiagnosis service for genital herpes and warts with postal treatment delivered by a specialist digital sexual health service.

Setting

An online sexual health service available free of charge in South East London, UK.

Participants

Routinely collected data from 237 users of the pilot service during the study period and qualitative interviews with a purposive sample of 15 users.

Intervention

A pilot, free, online photodiagnosis service for genital herpes and warts with postal treatment delivered by a specialist digital sexual health service.

Primary and secondary outcome measures

Proportion of users who successfully uploaded photographs and the proportion diagnosed, treated and referred to face-to-face clinical services. User experience of this service.

Results

The service was accessed by 237 users during the study period with assessment possible for 86% of users based on the photographs provided. A diagnosis of genital herpes or warts was made for 40.5% and 89.6% were subsequently treated through the service. Eighteen per cent were diagnosed as normal/not needing treatment and 42% were signposted to clinic for further clinical assessment.

Qualitative data showed that users felt able and willing to provide genital images for diagnosis. Those who were treated or reassured expressed high satisfaction with the service, valuing the convenience, discreetness and support provided. However, users, particularly those who required referral to other services requested more personal and detailed communication when a clinical diagnosis is given remotely.

Conclusions

Findings suggest that online photodiagnosis was feasible and acceptable. However, effective and acceptable management of those who require referral needs careful remote communication.

What can be learnt from a qualitative evaluation of implementing a rapid sexual health testing, diagnosis and treatment service?

Por: Lorenc · A. · Brangan · E. · Kesten · J. M. · Horner · P. J. · Clarke · M. · Crofts · M. · Steer · J. · Turner · J. · Muir · P. · Horwood · J.
Objectives

To investigate experiences of implementing a new rapid sexual health testing, diagnosis and treatment service.

Design

A theory-based qualitative evaluation with a focused ethnographic approach using non-participant observations and interviews with patient and clinic staff. Normalisation process theory was used to structure interview questions and thematic analysis.

Setting

A sexual health centre in Bristol, UK.

Participants

26 patients and 21 staff involved in the rapid sexually transmitted infection (STI) service were interviewed. Purposive sampling was aimed for a range of views and experiences and sociodemographics and STI results for patients, job grades and roles for staff. 40 hours of observations were conducted.

Results

Implementation of the new service required co-ordinated changes in practice across multiple staff teams. Patients also needed to make changes to how they accessed the service. Multiple small ‘pilots’ of process changes were necessary to find workable options. For example, the service was introduced in phases beginning with male patients. This responsive operating mode created challenges for delivering comprehensive training and communication in advance to all staff. However, staff worked together to adjust and improve the new service, and morale was buoyed through observing positive impacts on patient care. Patients valued faster results and avoiding unnecessary treatment. Patients reported that they were willing to drop-off self-samples and return for a follow-up appointment, enabling infection-specific treatment in accordance with test results, thus improving antimicrobial stewardship.

Conclusions

The new service was acceptable to staff and patients. Implementation of service changes to improve access and delivery of care in the context of stretched resources can pose challenges for staff at all levels. Early evaluation of pilots of process changes played an important role in the success of the service by rapidly feeding back issues for adjustment. Visibility to staff of positive impacts on patient care is important in maintaining morale.

Exploring linkages between climate change and sexual health: a scoping review protocol

Por: Logie · C. H. · Toccalino · D. · Reed · A. C. · Malama · K. · Newman · P. A. · Weiser · S. · Harris · O. · Berry · I. · Adedimeji · A.
Introduction

The effects of climate change and associated extreme weather events (EWEs) present substantial threats to well-being. EWEs hold the potential to harm sexual health through pathways including elevated exposure to HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), disrupted healthcare access, and increased sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). The WHO defines four components of sexual health: comprehensive sexuality education; HIV and STI prevention and care; SGBV prevention and care; and psychosexual counselling. Yet, knowledge gaps remain regarding climate change and its associations with these sexual health domains. This scoping review will therefore explore the linkages between climate change and sexual health.

Methods and analysis

Five electronic databases (MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, Web of Science, CINAHL) will be searched using text words and subject headings (eg, Medical Subject Headings (MeSH), Emtree) related to sexual health and climate change from the inception of each database to May 2021. Grey literature and unpublished reports will be searched using a comprehensive search strategy, including from the WHO, World Bank eLibrary, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The scoping review will consider studies that explore: (a) climate change and EWEs including droughts, heat waves, wildfires, dust storms, hurricanes, flooding rains, coastal flooding and storm surges; alongside (b) sexual health, including: comprehensive sexual health education, sexual health counselling, and HIV/STI acquisition, prevention and/or care, and/or SGBV, including intimate partner violence, sexual assault and rape. Searches will not be limited by language, publication year or geographical location. We will consider quantitative, qualitative, mixed-methods and review articles for inclusion. We will conduct thematic analysis of findings. Data will be presented in narrative and tabular forms.

Ethics and dissemination

There are no formal ethics requirements as we are not collecting primary data. Results will be published in a peer-reviewed journal and shared at international conferences.

Relationship between hormonal contraceptives and sleep among women of reproductive age: a systematic review protocol

Por: Ma · J. · Cheng · M. · Thabane · L. · Ma · C. · Zhang · N. · Wang · Q. · Kim · H. · Reza · H. · Wang · C. · Yao · X.
Introduction

The aetiology of sleep disruptions is unknown, but hormonal fluctuations during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy and menopause have been shown to potentially affect how well a woman sleeps. The aim of this systematic review was to investigate whether hormonal contraceptives are associated with a decreased quality of sleep and increased sleep duration in women of reproductive age.

Methods

This review will analyse data from randomised controlled trials or non-randomised comparative studies investigating the association between hormonal contraceptives and sleep outcomes among women of reproductive age. Reviews addressing the same research question with similar eligibility criteria will be included. A literature search will be performed using the MEDLINE, Embase and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials databases from inception to 7 March 2021. The Cochrane Collaboration’s Risk of Bias for Randomised Trials V.2.0 and The Risk of Bias for Non-randomised Studies of Interventions tool will be used to assess risk of bias for each outcome in eligible studies. Two reviewers will independently assess eligibility of studies and risk of bias and extract the data. All extracted data will be presented in tables and narrative form. For sleep measures investigated by two or more studies with low heterogeneity, we will conduct random-effects meta-analysis to estimate the magnitude of the overall effect of hormonal contraceptives. If studies included in this systematic review form a connected network, a network meta-analysis will be conducted to estimate the comparative effect of different contraceptives. The Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation approach will be used to summarise the quality of evidence. Our protocol follows the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses for Protocols 2015 guidelines.

Ethics and dissemination

Ethics approval is not required as data were sourced from previously reported studies. The findings of this review will be published in a peer-reviewed journal and presented at relevant conferences.

PROSPERO registration number

CRD42020199958.

Potential effect of antiseptic mouthwash on the incidence of Neisseria gonorrhoeae among men who have sex with men: a mathematical modelling study

Por: Xu · X. · Chow · E. P. F. · Shen · M. · Zou · Z. · Wang · C. · Ong · J. J. · Fairley · C. K. · Zhang · L.
Objectives

The incidence of Neisseria gonorrhoeae and its antimicrobial resistance is increasing in many countries. Antibacterial mouthwash may reduce gonorrhoea transmission without using antibiotics. We modelled the effect that antiseptic mouthwash may have on the incidence of gonorrhoea.

Design

We developed a mathematical model of the transmission of gonorrhoea between each anatomical site (oropharynx, urethra and anorectum) in men who have sex with men (MSM). We constructed four scenarios: (1) mouthwash had no effect; (2) mouthwash increased the susceptibility of the oropharynx; (3) mouthwash reduced the transmissibility from the oropharynx; (4) the combined effect of mouthwash from scenarios 2 and 3.

Setting

We used data at three anatomical sites from 4873 MSM attending Melbourne Sexual Health Centre in 2018 and 2019 to calibrate our models and data from the USA, Netherlands and Thailand for sensitivity analyses.

Participants

Published available data on MSM with multisite infections of gonorrhoea.

Primary and secondary outcome measures

Incidence of gonorrhoea.

Results

The overall incidence of gonorrhoea was 44 (95% CI 37 to 50)/100 person-years (PY) in scenario 1. Under scenario 2 (20%–80% mouthwash coverage), the total incidence increased (47–60/100 PY) and at all three anatomical sites by between 7.4% (5.9%–60.8%) and 136.6% (108.1%–177.5%). Under scenario 3, with the same coverage, the total incidence decreased (20–39/100 PY) and at all anatomical sites by between 11.6% (10.2%–13.5%) and 99.8% (99.2%–100%). Under scenario 4, changes in the incidence depended on the efficacy of mouthwash on the susceptibility or transmissibility. The effect on the total incidence varied (22–55/100 PY), and at all anatomical sites, there were increases of nearly 130% and large declines of almost 100%.

Conclusions

The effect of mouthwash on gonorrhoea incidence is largely predictable depending on whether it increases susceptibility to or reduces the transmissibility of gonorrhoea.

Barriers to follow-up after an abnormal cervical cancer screening result and the role of male partners: a qualitative study

Por: Chapola · J. · Lee · F. · Bula · A. · Mapanje · C. · Phiri · B. R. · Kamtuwange · N. · Tsidya · M. · Tang · J. H. · Chinula · L.
Introduction

Cervical cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths among women in Malawi, but preventable through screening. Malawi primarily uses visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA) for screening, however, a follow-up for positive screening results remains a major barrier, in rural areas. We interviewed women who underwent a community-based screen-and-treat campaign that offered same-day treatment with thermocoagulation, a heat-based ablative procedure for VIA-positive lesions, to understand the barriers in accessing post-treatment follow-up and the role of male partners in contributing to, or overcoming these barriers.

Methods

We conducted in-depths interviews with 17 women recruited in a pilot study that evaluated the safety and acceptability of community-based screen-and-treat programme using VIA and thermocoagulation for cervical cancer prevention in rural Lilongwe, Malawi. Ten of the women interviewed presented for post-treatment follow-up at the healthcare facility and seven did not. The interviews were analysed for thematic content surrounding barriers for attending for follow-up and role of male partners in screening.

Results

Transportation was identified as a major barrier to post-thermocoagulation follow-up appointment, given long distances to the healthcare facility. Male partners were perceived as both a barrier for some, that is, not supportive of 6-week post-thermocoagulation abstinence recommendation, and as an important source of support for others, that is, encouraging follow-up attendance, providing emotional support to maintaining post-treatment abstinence and as a resource in overcoming transportation barriers. Regardless, the majority of women desired more male partner involvement in cervical cancer screening.

Conclusion

Despite access to same-day treatment, long travel distances to health facilities for post-treatment follow-up visits remained a major barrier for women in rural Lilongwe. Male partners were identified both as a barrier to, and an important source of support for accessing and completing the screen-and-treat programme. To successfully eliminate cervical cancer in Malawi, it is imperative to understand the day-to-day barriers women face in accessing preventative care.

Examining LGBTI+ inclusive sexual health education from the perspective of both youth and facilitators: a systematic review

Por: O'Farrell · M. · Corcoran · P. · Davoren · M. P.
Objectives

To critically appraise and synthesise the evidence in relation to both the receipt and delivery of LGBTI+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex) inclusive sexual health education.

Design

A systematic review and narrative synthesis.

Data sources

A systematic search of three online databases (EMBASE, PsychINFO and SocINDEX) from January 1990 to May 2021 was conducted.

Eligibility criteria

Studies included were (1) peer-reviewed; (2) English; (3) quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods; that evaluated (4) inclusive sexual health in an educational or online setting and (5) focused on training or educating. Studies were excluded if (1) the population was not LGBTI+ inclusive; (2) the studies did not focus on original data or (3) the study was not available in full text.

Data extraction and synthesis

The studies that met the inclusion criteria were assessed using the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme tool. A narrative synthesis was then completed employing content analysis focusing on the results section of each article.

Results

Of the 5656 records retrieved, 24 studies met the inclusion criteria. The majority of studies noted that both LGBTI+ youth and those who facilitate sexual health education are turning to online sources of information. Current sexual health education programmes operate mainly from a heterosexual perspective, creating a sense of exclusion for LGBTI+ youth. This is compounded by a lack of training, or provision of an inclusive curricula, resulting in facilitators feeling ill equipped or inhibited by their personal biases.

Conclusions

LGBTI+ youth are not experiencing inclusive and comprehensive sexual health education. In parallel, educators report poor access to information, training and resources remain the primary reasons. There is a need to standardise sexual health curricula, making them LGBTI+ inclusive and incorporate holistic aspects of health such as pleasure and healthy relationships. Online approaches should be considered in the future, as they represent equality of access for both sexual health education professionals and LGBTI+ youth alike.

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