HIV Self-testing – Questions and Answers
WHO are launching new HIV self-testing and partner notification guidelines for World AIDS Day 2016. In preparation for the launch a short video on HIV self-testing has been produced, watch it here
Inaugural Lecture – Professor Helen Weiss
Professor Weiss recently gave her inaugural lecture “Global Adolescent Health: Reducing Storm and Stress”. Watch it here.
The HIV Self-Testing Africa (STAR) Project’s Research website has now been launched
The STAR project is the largest evaluation of HIV self-testing in Africa to date, the results of which will inform WHO normative guidance, support the establishment of appropriate policy, and encourage new manufacturers to enter the self-test market. The STAR Research website contains information about the STAR team, articles and blogs sharing the latest news from members of the STAR research consortium, details of STAR project and other international HIV events, as well as information on STAR publications and other resources relating to HIV self-testing research.
What Will It Take To End HIV?
Comments on Sharing Clinical Trial Data – a Proposal from the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors
Comments from members of the Tropical Epidemiology Group and Collaborators on the ICMJE’s proposals for sharing clinical trial data. Read the full letter here – Response to ICMJE
The Friendship Bench – Tackling Zimbabwe’s Mental Health Crisis
Dr Dixon Chabanda, founder, Principal Investigator and our collaborator on the Friendship Bench, is interviewed by the BBC on using talking therapy to help thousands of people who would otherwise have been left untreated.
Trial of convalescent plasma to treat Ebola shows it is safe but needs more data to determine benefits
Results of the EU funded Ebola-Tx trial, where Ebola patients were treated with plasma from survivors has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine with further information on the design and analysis in Clinical Trials. The trial showed that the treatment was safe to use, however, it did not significantly improve the survival chances of Ebola patients. Tansy Edwards, Peter Smith and Neal Alexander of the Tropical Epidemiology Group worked closely with the lead collaborators at the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp to design the Ebola_Tx trial and analyse the data.
“Ebola-Tx is the largest controlled trial to be carried out to investigate convalescent plasma from survivors as a therapeutic treatment for Ebola. This study demonstrates that it is possible to rapidly form a Consortium of national and international research partners and to conduct a treatment trial to a high standard in the emergency setting of an Ebola outbreak. The nature of the unprecedented outbreak meant that we had to design a trial that could be adapted to the evolving epidemic and address analytical challenges in the face of many uncertainties” Tansy Edwards
“While it was not possible to conduct a randomised trial in the circumstances of the Ebola epidemic in Guinea, the results of this important study indicate that treatment with convalescent plasma from unselected Ebola survivors is unlikely to markedly improve Ebola survival rates. This treatment was relatively complicated treatment to set up and administer and it is very disappointing that, despite these efforts, there was no significant impact on survival. We cannot exclude the possibility that selecting plasma donors with high levels of antibodies against the Ebola virus might be more effective, and this is a direction for future research” Peter Smith
Unpicking statistics – the stories behind the numbers
For World Statistics Day, Dr Vicky Simms and Dr Andrea Rehman from TEG visited a school in Camden and challenged Year 10 students to answer the question “How can we make the world a better place?” Read about their visit here.
12th AIDSImpact conference, July 2015
Field Trials of Health Interventions: A Toolbox (3rd Edition)
The 3rd Edition of Peter Smith, Dick Morrow and David Ross’ edited book: Field Trials of Health Interventions: A Toolbox is now available to download here. The toolbox is a practical guide covering the design, conduct & analysis of trials in low- and middle-income countries. It has been completely updated and expanded to include chapters on aspects such as questionnaire design, ethics, trial governance and grant applications.
Publication of the month
We have two publications we’d like to highlight this month, from the Journal of AIDS supplement on VMMC. Considering both risk of bias and power, the 2 studies with the strongest positive results are the Zimbabwe soccer-based intervention and the Kenya financial compensation (food voucher) intervention. In addition to financial compensation interventions there is also evidence that programs using peer influence can be effective, although so far only sports-based programs [Make The Cut] demonstrate a strong effect.
A Sport-Based Intervention to Increase Uptake of Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision Among Adolescent Male Students: Results From the MCUTS 2 Cluster-Randomized Trial in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe Kaufman, Zachary A. MSc, PhD; DeCelles, Jeff EdM; Bhauti, Kenneth MBA; Hershow, Rebecca B. BA; Weiss, Helen A. BSc, MSc, DPhil; Chaibva, Cynthia PhD; Moyo, Netsai; Mantula, Fennie MBA; Hatzold, Karin MD, MPH; Ross, David A. MA, MSc, BMBCh, PhD
Process Evaluation of a Sport-Based Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision Demand-Creation Intervention in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe DeCelles, Jeff EdM; Hershow, Rebecca B.; Kaufman, Zachary A. MSc, PhD; Gannett, Katherine R. MSc; Kombandeya, Thandanani; Chaibva, Cynthia PhD; Ross, David A. MA, MSc, BMBCh, PhD; Harrison, Abigail PhD