Don Des Jarlais

Don Des Jarlais
Don Des Jarlais

Professor of Epidemiology

Professional overview

Dr. Don Des Jarlais is a leader in the fields of AIDS and injecting drug use, and has published extensively on these topics including articles in The New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, Science, and Nature.

He is active in international research, having collaborated on studies in many different countries.  He serves as a consultant to various institutions, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institute of Drug Abuse, the National Academy of Sciences, and the World Health Organization.

Dr. Des Jarlais’ research has received numerous awards, including a New York State Department of Health Commissioner’s award for promoting the health of persons who use drugs.  He formerly served as avcommissioner for the National Commission on AIDS; as a core group member of the UNAIDS Reference Group on HIV and Injecting Drug Use; and as a member of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) Scientific Advisory Board.

Dr. Des Jarlais is also an adjunct faculty of psychiatry and preventive medicine at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and guest investigator at Rockefeller University in New York.

Education

BA, Behavioral Science, Rice University, Houston, TX
PhD, Social Psychology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Areas of research and study

Epidemiology
HIV/AIDS
Psychology

Publications

Publications

Global, regional, and national burden of suicide mortality 1990 to 2016: Systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016

Orpana, H. M., Marczak, L. B., Arora, M., Abbasi, N., Abdulkader, R. S., Abebe, Z., Abraha, H. N., Afarideh, M., Afshari, M., Ahmadi, A., Aichour, A. N., Aichour, I., Aichour, M. T. E., Akseer, N., Al‐raddadi, R. M., Alahdab, F., Alkerwi, A., Allebeck, P., Alvis‐guzman, N., Anber, N. H., Anjomshoa, M., Antonio, C. A. T., Arora, A., Aryal, K. K., Asgedom, S. W., Awasthi, A., Quintanilla, B. P. A., Badali, H., Barker‐collo, S. L., Bärnighausen, T. W., Bazargan‐hejazi, S., Benjet, C., Bensenor, I. M., Berfeld, N., Beuran, M., Bhutta, Z. A., Biadgo, B., Bililign, N., Borges, G., Borschmann, R., Brazinova, A., Breitborde, N. J., Brugha, T., Butt, Z. A., Carrero, J. J., Carvalho, F., Malta, D. C., Castañeda‐orjuela, C. A., Catalá‐lópez, F., Ciobanu, L. G., Dachew, B. A., Dandona, L., Dandona, R., Dargan, P. I., Daryani, A., Davitoiu, D. V., Davletov, K., Degenhardt, L., Demoz, G. T., Des Jarlais, D., Dharmaratne, S. D., Djalalinia, S., Doan, L., Doku, D. T., Dubey, M., El‐khatib, Z., Eskandarieh, S., Esteghamati, A., Esteghamati, S., Faro, A., Farzadfar, F., Fekadu, W., Fernandes, E., Ferrari, A. J., Filip, I., Fischer, F., Foreman, K. J., Fukumoto, T., Gebre, A. K., Grosso, G., Gupta, R., Haagsma, J. A., Bidgoli, H. H., Haj‐mirzaian, A., Hamidi, S., Hankey, G. J., Haro, J. M., Hassen, H. Y., Hay, S. I., Heidari, B., Hendrie, D., Rad, E. H., Hosseini, S. M., Hostiuc, S., Irvani, S. S. N., Islam, S. M. S., Jakovljevic, M., James, S., Jayatilleke, A. U., Jha, R. P., Jonas, J. B., Jozwiak, J. J., Kadel, R., Kahsay, A., Kasaeian, A., Kassa, G. M., Kawakami, N., Kefale, A. T., Kemp, G. R., Khader, Y. S., Khafaie, M. A., Khalil, I. A., Khan, E. A., Khan, M. A., Khan, M. S., Khang, Y. H., Khubchandani, J., Kiadaliri, A. A., Kieling, C., Kim, Y. E., Kisa, A., Knudsen, A. K. S., Kokubo, Y., Koyanagi, A., Krish, V. S., Defo, B. K., Kumar, G. A., Kumar, M., Lamichhane, P., Lang, J. J., Latifi, A., Lee, P. H., Leung, J., Lim, L. L., Lopez, A. D., Lorkowski, S., Lotufo, P. A., Lozano, R., Lunevicius, R., Mahesh, P. A., Majdan, M., Majdzadeh, R., Malekzadeh, R., Manda, A. L., Mansournia, M. A., Mantovani, L. G., Maravilla, J. C., Martinez‐raga, J., Mathur, M. R., Maulik, P. K., McGrath, J. J., Mehrotra, R., Mekonen, T., Mendoza, W., Meretoja, T. J., Mestrovic, T., Miller, T. R., Mini, G. K., Mirrakhimov, E. M., Mitchell, P. B., Moazen, B., Mohammad, K. A., Mohammadi, M., Mohammed, S., Mokdad, A. H., Monasta, L., Moosazadeh, M., Moradi, G., Moradi‐lakeh, M., Moradinazar, M., Velásquez, I. M., Morisaki, N., Morrison, S. D., Moschos, M. M., Mousavi, S. M., Mustafa, G., Nagel, G., Naheed, A., Naik, G., Najafi, F., Negoi, I., Negoi, R. I., Nguyen, H. L. T., Nguyen, L. H., Nixon, M. R., Ofori‐asenso, R., Ogbo, F. A., Oh, I. H., Olagunju, A. T., Olagunju, T. O., Øverland, S., Owolabi, M. O., Panda‐jonas, S., Parry, C. D., Pati, S., Patten, S. B., Patton, G. C., Petzold, M., Phillips, M. R., Plana‐ripoll, O., Postma, M. J., Pourshams, A., Poustchi, H., Qorbani, M., Radfar, A., Rafay, A., Rafiei, A., Rahim, F., Rahimi‐movaghar, A., Rahimi‐movaghar, V., Rahman, M. A., Rai, R. K., Rezaeian, S., Roever, L., Ronfani, L., Roshandel, G., Rostami, A., Sachdev, P. S., Safari, H., Safiri, S., Salamati, P., Salimi, Y., Salomon, J. A., Samy, A. M., Santos, I. S., Santric‐milicevic, M. M., Sartorius, B., Sarvi, S., Satpathy, M., Sawhney, M., Schwebel, D. C., Sepanlou, S. G., Shaikh, M. A., Sharif, M., Shibuya, K., Shigematsu, M., Shiri, R., Shiue, I., Siabani, S., Siddiqi, T. J., Sigfusdottir, I. D., Silva, J. P., Singh, J. A., Filho, A. M. S., Sobhani, S., Stein, D. J., Stein, M. B., Sufiyan, M. B., Sunguya, B. F., Tabarés‐seisdedos, R., Tabb, K. M., Tavakkoli, M., Tehrani‐banihashemi, A., Temsah, M. H., Topor‐madry, R., Tran, B. X., Tran, K. B., Ullah, I., Unutzer, J., Usman, M. S., Uthman, O. A., Valdez, P. R., Vasankari, T. J., Vasconcelos, C., Vlassov, V., Vos, T., Vujcic, I. S., Waheed, Y., Wang, Y. P., Weiderpass, E., Werdecker, A., Westerman, R., Whiteford, H. A., Wyper, G. M., Yaseri, M., Yimer, E. M., Yisma, E., Yonemoto, N., Yoon, S. J., Yotebieng, M., Yousefifard, M., Yu, C., Zaidi, Z., Zamani, M., Murray, C. J., & Naghavi, M.

Publication year

2019

Journal title

BMJ (Online)

Volume

364
Abstract
Objectives To use the estimates from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016 to describe patterns of suicide mortality globally, regionally, and for 195 countries and territories by age, sex, and Socio-demographic index, and to describe temporal trends between 1990 and 2016. Design Systematic analysis. Main outcome measures Crude and age standardised rates from suicide mortality and years of life lost were compared across regions and countries, and by age, sex, and Socio-demographic index (a composite measure of fertility, income, and education). Results The total number of deaths from suicide increased by 6.7% (95% uncertainty interval 0.4% to 15.6%) globally over the 27 year study period to 817 000 (762 000 to 884 000) deaths in 2016. However, the age standardised mortality rate for suicide decreased by 32.7% (27.2% to 36.6%) worldwide between 1990 and 2016, similar to the decline in the global age standardised mortality rate of 30.6%. Suicide was the leading cause of age standardised years of life lost in the Global Burden of Disease region of high income Asia Pacific and was among the top 10 leading causes in eastern Europe, central Europe, western Europe, central Asia, Australasia, southern Latin America, and high income North America. Rates for men were higher than for women across regions, countries, and age groups, except for the 15 to 19 age group. There was variation in the female to male ratio, with higher ratios at lower levels of Socio-demographic index. Women experienced greater decreases in mortality rates (49.0%, 95% uncertainty interval 42.6% to 54.6%) than men (23.8%, 15.6% to 32.7%). Conclusions Age standardised mortality rates for suicide have greatly reduced since 1990, but suicide remains an important contributor to mortality worldwide. Suicide mortality was variable across locations, between sexes, and between age groups. Suicide prevention strategies can be targeted towards vulnerable populations if they are informed by variations in mortality rates.

Implementing an Updated “Break the Cycle” Intervention to Reduce Initiating Persons into Injecting Drug Use in an Eastern European and a US “opioid epidemic” Setting

Des Jarlais, D., Uuskula, A., Talu, A., Barnes, D., Raag, M., Arasteh, K., Org, G., Demarest, D., Feelemyer, J., Berg, H., & Tross, S.

Publication year

2019

Journal title

AIDS and Behavior
Abstract
We tested the hypothesis that an updated “Break the Cycle” (BtC) intervention, based in social cognitive theory and motivational interviewing, would reduce the likelihood that current persons who inject drugs (PWID) would assist persons who do not inject drugs (non-PWID) with first injections in Tallinn, Estonia and Staten Island, New York City. 402 PWID were recruited, a baseline interview covering demographics, drug use, and assisting non-PWID with first drug injections was administered, followed by BtC intervention. 296 follow-up interviews were conducted 6 months post-intervention. Percentages assisting with first injections declined from 4.7 to 1.3% (73% reduction) in Tallinn (p < 0.02), and from 15 to 6% (60% reduction) in Staten Island (p < 0.05). Persons assisted with first injections declined from 11 to 3 in Tallinn (p = 0.02) and from 32 to 13 in Staten Island. (p = 0.024). Further implementation research on BtC interventions is urgently needed where injecting drug use is driving HIV/HCV epidemics and areas experiencing opioid epidemics.

Struggling to achieve a ‘normal life’: A qualitative study of Vietnamese methadone patients

Nguyen, T. T., Luong, A. N., Nham, T. T. T., Chauvin, C., Feelemyer, J., Nagot, N., Des Jarlais, D., Le, M. G., & Jauffret-Roustide, M.

Publication year

2019

Journal title

International Journal of Drug Policy

Volume

68

Page(s)

18-26
Abstract
Background: Methadone maintenance treatment, initially introduced in Vietnam for HIV harm reduction, has marked a significant switch in the country's drug policy – from addiction as a moral issue to addiction as a brain disease. After the some initial outstanding achievements, the programme is facing a high dropout rate that threatens both goals of HIV prevention and drug treatment. This sociological study, as part of an HIV intervention research project, explores the challenges and opportunities that individuals who use drugs are faced with in relation to addiction treatment. Methods: A qualitative study among drug users with and without methadone maintenance treatment experiences recruited by peer outreach workers. We conducted 58 in-depth interviews and 2 focus groups between 2016 and 2017. Results: The start of treatment brought about significant feelings of success as heroin use was no longer compulsive. However, being in treatment programmes is also challenging with respect to continuing the recovery process. Barriers to retention include a popular fear of methadone as another harmful drug, a feeling of dependence related to the current practices of methadone treatment programmes and a poor therapeutic relationship. In the face of such challenges, the two major motivations that keep patients in care come from the desire to completely break up with heroin and the pursuit of family happiness. Conclusion: The current practices of methadone programmes pose challenges to patients’ recovery efforts from addiction and threaten treatment retention. Prompt interventions are needed to help Vietnam attain its objective of providing better care for larger vulnerable populations.

A qualitative study of persons who inject drugs but who have never helped others with first injections: How their views on helping contrast with the views of persons who have helped with first injections, and implications for interventions

Barnes, D., Des Jarlais, D., Wolff, M., Feelemyer, J., & Tross, S.

Publication year

2018

Journal title

Harm Reduction Journal

Volume

15

Issue

1
Abstract
Background: Transitioning from non-injection to injection drug use dramatically escalates health risks. Evidence suggests that people who inject drugs (PWID) help in a majority of others' first injections, yet these helpers represent only a minority of experienced PWID. Recent research has provided insight into this helping process, as reported by helpers. PWID who have never helped, although the majority of PWID, have not previously been the focus of study. To address this gap, we give primary voice to non-helpers' perspectives on the helping process, while also comparing their views with persons in our sample who have helped with first injections. Finally, we consider how non-helpers' perspectives can inform harm reduction interventions to reduce, or make safer, initiation into injecting drug use. Methods: We conducted audio-recorded, qualitative interviews with 23 current opioid injectors on Staten Island, NY, where the opioid epidemic is pronounced. Seventeen had never helped with first injections and 6 had. Interviews were transcribed verbatim, and three coders used a consensus-developed codebook to code all interviews. Framework analysis was used to identify overarching themes. Results: We identified three key themes in non-helpers' discourse around not helping: altruistic motivations to prevent immediate and delayed harms to individuals injecting for the first time; inhibition due to negative assessments of their own injecting skills; and absolutist ethical convictions against helping. Non-helpers differed from helpers on each theme. Conclusions: Because most PWID have never helped with first injections, their perspectives on helping warrant consideration and can inform harm reduction interventions to reduce, or make safer, transitions to injection drug use. Their perspectives can be used to broaden the factors PWID consider around questions of promoting injection and helping with others' first injections, including considerations of the moral issues involved in choosing to help or not to help.

Adolescent health in the Eastern Mediterranean Region: findings from the global burden of disease 2015 study

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Publication year

2018

Journal title

International Journal of Public Health

Volume

63

Page(s)

79-96
Abstract
Objectives: The 22 countries of the East Mediterranean Region (EMR) have large populations of adolescents aged 10–24 years. These adolescents are central to assuring the health, development, and peace of this region. We described their health needs. Methods: Using data from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015 (GBD 2015), we report the leading causes of mortality and morbidity for adolescents in the EMR from 1990 to 2015. We also report the prevalence of key health risk behaviors and determinants. Results: Communicable diseases and the health consequences of natural disasters reduced substantially between 1990 and 2015. However, these gains have largely been offset by the health impacts of war and the emergence of non-communicable diseases (including mental health disorders), unintentional injury, and self-harm. Tobacco smoking and high body mass were common health risks amongst adolescents. Additionally, many EMR countries had high rates of adolescent pregnancy and unmet need for contraception. Conclusions: Even with the return of peace and security, adolescents will have a persisting poor health profile that will pose a barrier to socioeconomic growth and development of the EMR.

Alcohol use and burden for 195 countries and territories, 1990–2016: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016

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Publication year

2018

Journal title

The Lancet

Volume

392

Issue

10152

Page(s)

1015-1035
Abstract
Background: Alcohol use is a leading risk factor for death and disability, but its overall association with health remains complex given the possible protective effects of moderate alcohol consumption on some conditions. With our comprehensive approach to health accounting within the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2016, we generated improved estimates of alcohol use and alcohol-attributable deaths and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) for 195 locations from 1990 to 2016, for both sexes and for 5-year age groups between the ages of 15 years and 95 years and older. Methods: Using 694 data sources of individual and population-level alcohol consumption, along with 592 prospective and retrospective studies on the risk of alcohol use, we produced estimates of the prevalence of current drinking, abstention, the distribution of alcohol consumption among current drinkers in standard drinks daily (defined as 10 g of pure ethyl alcohol), and alcohol-attributable deaths and DALYs. We made several methodological improvements compared with previous estimates: first, we adjusted alcohol sales estimates to take into account tourist and unrecorded consumption; second, we did a new meta-analysis of relative risks for 23 health outcomes associated with alcohol use; and third, we developed a new method to quantify the level of alcohol consumption that minimises the overall risk to individual health. Findings: Globally, alcohol use was the seventh leading risk factor for both deaths and DALYs in 2016, accounting for 2·2% (95% uncertainty interval [UI] 1·5–3·0) of age-standardised female deaths and 6·8% (5·8–8·0) of age-standardised male deaths. Among the population aged 15–49 years, alcohol use was the leading risk factor globally in 2016, with 3·8% (95% UI 3·2–4·3) of female deaths and 12·2% (10·8–13·6) of male deaths attributable to alcohol use. For the population aged 15–49 years, female attributable DALYs were 2·3% (95% UI 2·0–2·6) and male attributable DALYs were 8·9% (7·8–9·9). The three leading causes of attributable deaths in this age group were tuberculosis (1·4% [95% UI 1·0–1·7] of total deaths), road injuries (1·2% [0·7–1·9]), and self-harm (1·1% [0·6–1·5]). For populations aged 50 years and older, cancers accounted for a large proportion of total alcohol-attributable deaths in 2016, constituting 27·1% (95% UI 21·2–33·3) of total alcohol-attributable female deaths and 18·9% (15·3–22·6) of male deaths. The level of alcohol consumption that minimised harm across health outcomes was zero (95% UI 0·0–0·8) standard drinks per week. Interpretation: Alcohol use is a leading risk factor for global disease burden and causes substantial health loss. We found that the risk of all-cause mortality, and of cancers specifically, rises with increasing levels of consumption, and the level of consumption that minimises health loss is zero. These results suggest that alcohol control policies might need to be revised worldwide, refocusing on efforts to lower overall population-level consumption. Funding: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Alternative kinship structures, resilience and social support among immigrant trans Latinas in the USA

Hwahng, S. J., Allen, B., Zadoretzky, C., Barber, H., Mcknight, C., & Des Jarlais, D.

Publication year

2018

Journal title

Culture, Health and Sexuality

Page(s)

1-15
Abstract
Latinas comprise the largest racial/ethnic group of trans women (male-to-female transgender people) in New York City, where HIV seroprevalence among trans Latinas has been found to be as high as 49%. Despite this population’s high risk of HIV, little is known about resilience among trans Latinas that may provide protective health factors. Six focus groups and one in-depth interview were conducted with 34 low-income trans/gender-variant people of colour who attended transgender support groups at harm reduction programmes in New York City. This paper reports on data from 13 participants who identified as immigrant trans Latinas. Focus groups were coded and analysed using thematic qualitative methods. The majority of immigrants were undocumented but reported having robust social support. Unique characteristics of immigrant trans Latinas included alternative kinship structures and sources of income. Social creativity was used to develop achievable ways in which to improve their health outcomes. Resilience was evident in informal kinship dynamics, formal support groups, gender-transition, educational access and skills training and substance use reduction. Individual-level resilience increased as a result of strong community-level resilience.

Another frontier for harm reduction: Contraceptive needs of females who inject drugs in Estonia, a cross-sectional study

Uusküla, A., Raag, M., Vorobjov, S., & Des Jarlais, D.

Publication year

2018

Journal title

Harm Reduction Journal

Volume

15

Issue

1
Abstract
Background: Despite increasing contraceptive availability, unintended pregnancy remains a global problem. Developing strategies to reverse this trend and increasing occurrence of withdrawal syndrome among newborn children of females currently injecting drugs warrants special attention. The knowledge base on the uptake of effective contraception among females who inject drugs (FWID) is scant. We aimed to examine the prevalence of and factors associated with the use of non-condom contraceptives among sexually active FWID with the focus on effective contraception. Methods: In a series of cross-sectional studies (2007-2013), 265 current FWID were recruited through respondent-driven sampling (RDS), interviewed, and tested for HIV. RDS weights were used to estimate the prevalence of effective contraception (hormonal contraception, intrauterine device, sterilization) use in the last 6 months. Results: Of the sexually active women with main partners (n = 196) 4.8% (95% CI 2.3-9.7) were using effective contraception, 52.7% (95% CI 42.5-62.7) less-effective or no contraception. 42.5% (95% CI 32.7-52.9) relied on condoms for contraception. The odds for using effective contraception were higher among women with > 10 years of education (OR 7.29, 95% CI 1.4-38.8). None of the women lacking health insurance (n = 84) were using effective contraception. Conclusions: The very low coverage with effective contraception highlights the need to improve contraceptive services for FWID. Reproductive health service including contraception should be considered essential components of harm reduction and of comprehensive prevention and care for HIV among persons who use drugs.

Association of IFNλ4 rs12979860 polymorphism with the acquisition of HCV and HIV infections among people who inject drugs

Jõgeda, E. L., Avi, R., Pauskar, M., Kallas, E., Karki, T., Des Jarlais, D., Uusküla, A., Toompere, K., Lutsar, I., & Huik, K.

Publication year

2018

Journal title

Journal of Medical Virology

Volume

90

Issue

11

Page(s)

1779-1783
Abstract
We investigated the presence of a single-nucleotide polymorphism designated rs12979860 in the interferon λ4 (IFNλ4) gene among 345 people who inject drugs (PWID) and 495 blood donors to evaluate associations between the rs12979860 genotypes and human immunodeficiency virus/hepatitis C virus (HIV/HCV). The rs12979860 TT genotype was over-represented among HIV+ PWID than HIV− PWID and blood donors (16% vs 8% and 10%, P = 0.03, respectively). PWID with TT genotype had approximately twice the probability of being HIV+ (odds ratio [OR], 2.19; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.11 to 4.33) than PWID without TT. Every additional year of intravenous drug use (IVDU) decreased the OR 1.16 times (OR, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.75 to 0.98). This suggests that rs12979860 TT increases susceptibility to HIV and this impact decreases with increasing duration of IVDU.

Availability of HIV and HCV On-Site Testing and Treatment at Syringe Service Programs in the United States

Behrends, C. N., Nugent, A. V., Des Jarlais, D., Frimpong, J. A., Perlman, D. C., & Schackman, B. R.

Publication year

2018

Journal title

Journal of acquired immune deficiency syndromes (1999)

Volume

79

Issue

2

Page(s)

e76-e78

Being “hooked up” during a sharp increase in the availability of illicitly manufactured fentanyl: Adaptations of drug using practices among people who use drugs (PWUD) in New York City

Mcknight, C., & Des Jarlais, D.

Publication year

2018

Journal title

International Journal of Drug Policy

Volume

60

Page(s)

82-88
Abstract
Illicitly manufactured fentanyl (IMF), a category of synthetic opioids 50–100 times more potent than morphine, is increasingly being added to heroin and other drugs in the United States (US). Persons who use drugs (PWUD) are frequently unaware of the presence of fentanyl in drugs. Use of heroin and other drugs containing fentanyl has been linked to sharp increases in opioid mortality. In New York City (NYC), opioid-related mortality increased from 8.2 per 100,000 residents in 2010 to 19.9 per 100,000 residents in 2016; and, in 2016, fentanyl accounted for 44% of NYC overdose deaths. Little is known about how PWUD are adapting to the increase in fentanyl and overdose mortality. This study explores PWUDs’ adaptations to drug using practices due to fentanyl. In-depth qualitative interviews were conducted with 55 PWUD at three NYC syringe services programs (SSP) about perceptions of fentanyl, overdose experiences and adaptations of drug using practices. PWUD utilized test shots, a consistent drug dealer, fentanyl test strips, naloxone, getting high with or near others and reducing drug use to protect from overdose. Consistent application of these methods was often negated by structural level factors such as stigma, poverty and homelessness. To address these, multi-level overdose prevention approaches should be implemented in order to reduce the continuing increase in opioid mortality.

Combination interventions for Hepatitis C and Cirrhosis reduction among people who inject drugs: An agent-based, networked population simulation experiment

Khan, B., Duncan, I., Saad, M., Schaefer, D., Jordan, A., Smith, D., Neaigus, A., Des Jarlais, D., Hagan, H., & Dombrowski, K.

Publication year

2018

Journal title

PLoS One

Volume

13

Issue

11
Abstract
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is endemic in people who inject drugs (PWID), with prevalence estimates above 60% for PWID in the United States. Previous modeling studies suggest that direct acting antiviral (DAA) treatment can lower overall prevalence in this population, but treatment is often delayed until the onset of advanced liver disease (fibrosis stage 3 or later) due to cost. Lower cost interventions featuring syringe access (SA) and medically assisted treatment (MAT) have shown mixed results in lowering HCV rates below current levels. However. little is known about the potential cumulative effects of combining DAA and MAT treatment. While simulation experiments can reveal likely long-term effects, most prior simulations have been performed on closed populations of model agents—a scenario quite different from the open, mobile populations known to most health agencies. This paper uses data from the Centers for Disease Control’s National HIV Behavioral Surveillance project, IDU round 3, collected in New York City in 2012 to parameterize simulations of open populations. To test the effect of combining DAA treatment with SA/MAT participation, multiple, scaled implementations of the two intervention strategies were simulated. Our results show that, in an open population, SA/MAT by itself has only small effects on HCV prevalence, while DAA treatment by itself can lower both HCV and HCV-related advanced liver disease prevalence. More importantly, the simulation experiments suggest that combinations of the two strategies can, when implemented together and at sufficient levels, dramatically reduce HCV incidence. We conclude that adopting SA/MAT implementations alongside DAA interventions can play a critical role in reducing the long-term consequences of ongoing HCV infection.

Commentary on Grebely et al. (2018): Ending HCV epidemics among people who inject drugs

Des Jarlais, D.

Publication year

2018

Journal title

Addiction

Frequency and factors associated with providing injection initiation assistance in Tallinn, Estonia

Uusküla, A., Barnes, D., Raag, M., Talu, A., Tross, S., & Des Jarlais, D.

Publication year

2018

Journal title

Drug and Alcohol Dependence

Volume

188

Page(s)

64-70
Abstract
Injection drug use is expanding in numerous regions in the world. Persons who inject drugs (PWID) play an important role encouraging new persons into injecting, by providing injection initiation assistance (“assisting” behaviors) and stimulating interest in injection (“promoting” behaviors). Objectives: To describe the prevalence of assisting and promoting behaviors, and to identify factors associated with assisting, among PWID in Tallinn, Estonia. Methods: In 2016, PWID were recruited through respondent-driven sampling (RDS), interviewed, and HIV tested. RDS weights were used to estimate the prevalence of assisting and promoting behaviors and, in multivariable regression modeling, to identify factors associated with assisting. Results: Among 299 PWID recruited, 13.7% had ever assisted a non-PWID with their first injection. Regarding past-six-month promoting behaviors: 9.4% talked positively about injecting to non-PWID, 16.2% injected in front of non-PWID, and 0.6% offered to help with a first injection. Significant predictors of ever assisting with a first injection included: gender (men: aOR 6.31, 95% CI 2.02—19.74); age (30 years or younger: aOR 3.89, 95% CI 1.40—10.16); receptive sharing of syringes or needles (aOR 4.73, 95% CI 1.32—16.98); ever testing for HIV (aOR 8.44, 95% CI 1.15—62.07); and having peers who helped someone with their first injection (aOR 3.44, 95% CI 1.31—9.03). Conclusion: Demographic and drug-use related factors are associated with having initiated someone into injecting. Interventions targeting PWID and non-PWID are needed to prevent injection initiation.

Global, regional, and national age-sex-specific mortality and life expectancy, 1950–2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017

Failed generating bibliography.

Publication year

2018

Journal title

The Lancet

Volume

392

Issue

10159

Page(s)

1684-1735
Abstract
Background: Assessments of age-specific mortality and life expectancy have been done by the UN Population Division, Department of Economics and Social Affairs (UNPOP), the United States Census Bureau, WHO, and as part of previous iterations of the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD). Previous iterations of the GBD used population estimates from UNPOP, which were not derived in a way that was internally consistent with the estimates of the numbers of deaths in the GBD. The present iteration of the GBD, GBD 2017, improves on previous assessments and provides timely estimates of the mortality experience of populations globally. Methods: The GBD uses all available data to produce estimates of mortality rates between 1950 and 2017 for 23 age groups, both sexes, and 918 locations, including 195 countries and territories and subnational locations for 16 countries. Data used include vital registration systems, sample registration systems, household surveys (complete birth histories, summary birth histories, sibling histories), censuses (summary birth histories, household deaths), and Demographic Surveillance Sites. In total, this analysis used 8259 data sources. Estimates of the probability of death between birth and the age of 5 years and between ages 15 and 60 years are generated and then input into a model life table system to produce complete life tables for all locations and years. Fatal discontinuities and mortality due to HIV/AIDS are analysed separately and then incorporated into the estimation. We analyse the relationship between age-specific mortality and development status using the Socio-demographic Index, a composite measure based on fertility under the age of 25 years, education, and income. There are four main methodological improvements in GBD 2017 compared with GBD 2016: 622 additional data sources have been incorporated; new estimates of population, generated by the GBD study, are used; statistical methods used in different components of the analysis have been further standardised and improved; and the analysis has been extended backwards in time by two decades to start in 1950. Findings: Globally, 18·7% (95% uncertainty interval 18·4–19·0) of deaths were registered in 1950 and that proportion has been steadily increasing since, with 58·8% (58·2–59·3) of all deaths being registered in 2015. At the global level, between 1950 and 2017, life expectancy increased from 48·1 years (46·5–49·6) to 70·5 years (70·1–70·8) for men and from 52·9 years (51·7–54·0) to 75·6 years (75·3–75·9) for women. Despite this overall progress, there remains substantial variation in life expectancy at birth in 2017, which ranges from 49·1 years (46·5–51·7) for men in the Central African Republic to 87·6 years (86·9–88·1) among women in Singapore. The greatest progress across age groups was for children younger than 5 years; under-5 mortality dropped from 216·0 deaths (196·3–238·1) per 1000 livebirths in 1950 to 38·9 deaths (35·6–42·83) per 1000 livebirths in 2017, with huge reductions across countries. Nevertheless, there were still 5·4 million (5·2–5·6) deaths among children younger than 5 years in the world in 2017. Progress has been less pronounced and more variable for adults, especially for adult males, who had stagnant or increasing mortality rates in several countries. The gap between male and female life expectancy between 1950 and 2017, while relatively stable at the global level, shows distinctive patterns across super-regions and has consistently been the largest in central Europe, eastern Europe, and central Asia, and smallest in south Asia. Performance was also variable across countries and time in observed mortality rates compared with those expected on the basis of development. Interpretation: This analysis of age-sex-specific mortality shows that there are remarkably complex patterns in population mortality across countries. The findings of this study highlight global successes, such as the large decline in under-5 mortality, which reflects significant local, national, and global commitment and investment over several decades. However, they also bring attention to mortality patterns that are a cause for concern, particularly among adult men and, to a lesser extent, women, whose mortality rates have stagnated in many countries over the time period of this study, and in some cases are increasing. Funding: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Global, regional, and national age-sex-specific mortality for 282 causes of death in 195 countries and territories, 1980–2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017

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Publication year

2018

Journal title

The Lancet

Volume

392

Issue

10159

Page(s)

1736-1788
Abstract
Background: Global development goals increasingly rely on country-specific estimates for benchmarking a nation's progress. To meet this need, the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD) 2016 estimated global, regional, national, and, for selected locations, subnational cause-specific mortality beginning in the year 1980. Here we report an update to that study, making use of newly available data and improved methods. GBD 2017 provides a comprehensive assessment of cause-specific mortality for 282 causes in 195 countries and territories from 1980 to 2017. Methods: The causes of death database is composed of vital registration (VR), verbal autopsy (VA), registry, survey, police, and surveillance data. GBD 2017 added ten VA studies, 127 country-years of VR data, 502 cancer-registry country-years, and an additional surveillance country-year. Expansions of the GBD cause of death hierarchy resulted in 18 additional causes estimated for GBD 2017. Newly available data led to subnational estimates for five additional countries—Ethiopia, Iran, New Zealand, Norway, and Russia. Deaths assigned International Classification of Diseases (ICD) codes for non-specific, implausible, or intermediate causes of death were reassigned to underlying causes by redistribution algorithms that were incorporated into uncertainty estimation. We used statistical modelling tools developed for GBD, including the Cause of Death Ensemble model (CODEm), to generate cause fractions and cause-specific death rates for each location, year, age, and sex. Instead of using UN estimates as in previous versions, GBD 2017 independently estimated population size and fertility rate for all locations. Years of life lost (YLLs) were then calculated as the sum of each death multiplied by the standard life expectancy at each age. All rates reported here are age-standardised. Findings: At the broadest grouping of causes of death (Level 1), non-communicable diseases (NCDs) comprised the greatest fraction of deaths, contributing to 73·4% (95% uncertainty interval [UI] 72·5–74·1) of total deaths in 2017, while communicable, maternal, neonatal, and nutritional (CMNN) causes accounted for 18·6% (17·9–19·6), and injuries 8·0% (7·7–8·2). Total numbers of deaths from NCD causes increased from 2007 to 2017 by 22·7% (21·5–23·9), representing an additional 7·61 million (7·20–8·01) deaths estimated in 2017 versus 2007. The death rate from NCDs decreased globally by 7·9% (7·0–8·8). The number of deaths for CMNN causes decreased by 22·2% (20·0–24·0) and the death rate by 31·8% (30·1–33·3). Total deaths from injuries increased by 2·3% (0·5–4·0) between 2007 and 2017, and the death rate from injuries decreased by 13·7% (12·2–15·1) to 57·9 deaths (55·9–59·2) per 100 000 in 2017. Deaths from substance use disorders also increased, rising from 284 000 deaths (268 000–289 000) globally in 2007 to 352 000 (334 000–363 000) in 2017. Between 2007 and 2017, total deaths from conflict and terrorism increased by 118·0% (88·8–148·6). A greater reduction in total deaths and death rates was observed for some CMNN causes among children younger than 5 years than for older adults, such as a 36·4% (32·2–40·6) reduction in deaths from lower respiratory infections for children younger than 5 years compared with a 33·6% (31·2–36·1) increase in adults older than 70 years. Globally, the number of deaths was greater for men than for women at most ages in 2017, except at ages older than 85 years. Trends in global YLLs reflect an epidemiological transition, with decreases in total YLLs from enteric infections, respiratory infections and tuberculosis, and maternal and neonatal disorders between 1990 and 2017; these were generally greater in magnitude at the lowest levels of the Socio-demographic Index (SDI). At the same time, there were large increases in YLLs from neoplasms and cardiovascular diseases. YLL rates decreased across the five leading Level 2 causes in all SDI quintiles. The leading causes of YLLs in 1990—neonatal disorders, lower respiratory infections, and diarrhoeal diseases—were ranked second, fourth, and fifth, in 2017. Meanwhile, estimated YLLs increased for ischaemic heart disease (ranked first in 2017) and stroke (ranked third), even though YLL rates decreased. Population growth contributed to increased total deaths across the 20 leading Level 2 causes of mortality between 2007 and 2017. Decreases in the cause-specific mortality rate reduced the effect of population growth for all but three causes: substance use disorders, neurological disorders, and skin and subcutaneous diseases. Interpretation: Improvements in global health have been unevenly distributed among populations. Deaths due to injuries, substance use disorders, armed conflict and terrorism, neoplasms, and cardiovascular disease are expanding threats to global health. For causes of death such as lower respiratory and enteric infections, more rapid progress occurred for children than for the oldest adults, and there is continuing disparity in mortality rates by sex across age groups. Reductions in the death rate of some common diseases are themselves slowing or have ceased, primarily for NCDs, and the death rate for selected causes has increased in the past decade. Funding: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Global, regional, and national comparative risk assessment of 84 behavioural, environmental and occupational, and metabolic risks or clusters of risks for 195 countries and territories, 1990-2017: A systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017

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Publication year

2018

Journal title

The Lancet

Page(s)

1923-1994
Abstract
Background The Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD) 2017 comparative risk assessment (CRA) is a comprehensive approach to risk factor quantification that offers a useful tool for synthesising evidence on risks and risk-outcome associations. With each annual GBD study, we update the GBD CRA to incorporate improved methods, new risks and risk-outcome pairs, and new data on risk exposure levels and risk- outcome associations. Methods We used the CRA framework developed for previous iterations of GBD to estimate levels and trends in exposure, attributable deaths, and attributable disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs), by age group, sex, year, and location for 84 behavioural, environmental and occupational, and metabolic risks or groups of risks from 1990 to 2017. This study included 476 risk-outcome pairs that met the GBD study criteria for convincing or probable evidence of causation. We extracted relative risk and exposure estimates from 46 749 randomised controlled trials, cohort studies, household surveys, census data, satellite data, and other sources. We used statistical models to pool data, adjust for bias, and incorporate covariates. Using the counterfactual scenario of theoretical minimum risk exposure level (TMREL), we estimated the portion of deaths and DALYs that could be attributed to a given risk. We explored the relationship between development and risk exposure by modelling the relationship between the Socio-demographic Index (SDI) and risk-weighted exposure prevalence and estimated expected levels of exposure and risk-attributable burden by SDI. Finally, we explored temporal changes in risk-attributable DALYs by decomposing those changes into six main component drivers of change as follows: (1) population growth; (2) changes in population age structures; (3) changes in exposure to environmental and occupational risks; (4) changes in exposure to behavioural risks; (5) changes in exposure to metabolic risks; and (6) changes due to all other factors, approximated as the risk-deleted death and DALY rates, where the risk-deleted rate is the rate that would be observed had we reduced the exposure levels to the TMREL for all risk factors included in GBD 2017.

Global, regional, and national disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) for 359 diseases and injuries and healthy life expectancy (HALE) for 195 countries and territories, 1990–2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017

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Publication year

2018

Journal title

The Lancet

Volume

392

Issue

10159

Page(s)

1859-1922
Abstract
Background: How long one lives, how many years of life are spent in good and poor health, and how the population's state of health and leading causes of disability change over time all have implications for policy, planning, and provision of services. We comparatively assessed the patterns and trends of healthy life expectancy (HALE), which quantifies the number of years of life expected to be lived in good health, and the complementary measure of disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs), a composite measure of disease burden capturing both premature mortality and prevalence and severity of ill health, for 359 diseases and injuries for 195 countries and territories over the past 28 years. Methods: We used data for age-specific mortality rates, years of life lost (YLLs) due to premature mortality, and years lived with disability (YLDs) from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD) 2017 to calculate HALE and DALYs from 1990 to 2017. We calculated HALE using age-specific mortality rates and YLDs per capita for each location, age, sex, and year. We calculated DALYs for 359 causes as the sum of YLLs and YLDs. We assessed how observed HALE and DALYs differed by country and sex from expected trends based on Socio-demographic Index (SDI). We also analysed HALE by decomposing years of life gained into years spent in good health and in poor health, between 1990 and 2017, and extra years lived by females compared with males. Findings: Globally, from 1990 to 2017, life expectancy at birth increased by 7·4 years (95% uncertainty interval 7·1–7·8), from 65·6 years (65·3–65·8) in 1990 to 73·0 years (72·7–73·3) in 2017. The increase in years of life varied from 5·1 years (5·0–5·3) in high SDI countries to 12·0 years (11·3–12·8) in low SDI countries. Of the additional years of life expected at birth, 26·3% (20·1–33·1) were expected to be spent in poor health in high SDI countries compared with 11·7% (8·8–15·1) in low-middle SDI countries. HALE at birth increased by 6·3 years (5·9–6·7), from 57·0 years (54·6–59·1) in 1990 to 63·3 years (60·5–65·7) in 2017. The increase varied from 3·8 years (3·4–4·1) in high SDI countries to 10·5 years (9·8–11·2) in low SDI countries. Even larger variations in HALE than these were observed between countries, ranging from 1·0 year (0·4–1·7) in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (62·4 years [59·9–64·7] in 1990 to 63·5 years [60·9–65·8] in 2017) to 23·7 years (21·9–25·6) in Eritrea (30·7 years [28·9–32·2] in 1990 to 54·4 years [51·5–57·1] in 2017). In most countries, the increase in HALE was smaller than the increase in overall life expectancy, indicating more years lived in poor health. In 180 of 195 countries and territories, females were expected to live longer than males in 2017, with extra years lived varying from 1·4 years (0·6–2·3) in Algeria to 11·9 years (10·9–12·9) in Ukraine. Of the extra years gained, the proportion spent in poor health varied largely across countries, with less than 20% of additional years spent in poor health in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burundi, and Slovakia, whereas in Bahrain all the extra years were spent in poor health. In 2017, the highest estimate of HALE at birth was in Singapore for both females (75·8 years [72·4–78·7]) and males (72·6 years [69·8–75·0]) and the lowest estimates were in Central African Republic (47·0 years [43·7–50·2] for females and 42·8 years [40·1–45·6] for males). Globally, in 2017, the five leading causes of DALYs were neonatal disorders, ischaemic heart disease, stroke, lower respiratory infections, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Between 1990 and 2017, age-standardised DALY rates decreased by 41·3% (38·8–43·5) for communicable diseases and by 49·8% (47·9–51·6) for neonatal disorders. For non-communicable diseases, global DALYs increased by 40·1% (36·8–43·0), although age-standardised DALY rates decreased by 18·1% (16·0–20·2). Interpretation: With increasing life expectancy in most countries, the question of whether the additional years of life gained are spent in good health or poor health has been increasingly relevant because of the potential policy implications, such as health-care provisions and extending retirement ages. In some locations, a large proportion of those additional years are spent in poor health. Large inequalities in HALE and disease burden exist across countries in different SDI quintiles and between sexes. The burden of disabling conditions has serious implications for health system planning and health-related expenditures. Despite the progress made in reducing the burden of communicable diseases and neonatal disorders in low SDI countries, the speed of this progress could be increased by scaling up proven interventions. The global trends among non-communicable diseases indicate that more effort is needed to maximise HALE, such as risk prevention and attention to upstream determinants of health. Funding: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Global, regional, and national incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability for 354 diseases and injuries for 195 countries and territories, 1990–2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017

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Publication year

2018

Journal title

The Lancet

Volume

392

Issue

10159

Page(s)

1789-1858
Abstract
Background: The Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2017 (GBD 2017) includes a comprehensive assessment of incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability (YLDs) for 354 causes in 195 countries and territories from 1990 to 2017. Previous GBD studies have shown how the decline of mortality rates from 1990 to 2016 has led to an increase in life expectancy, an ageing global population, and an expansion of the non-fatal burden of disease and injury. These studies have also shown how a substantial portion of the world's population experiences non-fatal health loss with considerable heterogeneity among different causes, locations, ages, and sexes. Ongoing objectives of the GBD study include increasing the level of estimation detail, improving analytical strategies, and increasing the amount of high-quality data. Methods: We estimated incidence and prevalence for 354 diseases and injuries and 3484 sequelae. We used an updated and extensive body of literature studies, survey data, surveillance data, inpatient admission records, outpatient visit records, and health insurance claims, and additionally used results from cause of death models to inform estimates using a total of 68 781 data sources. Newly available clinical data from India, Iran, Japan, Jordan, Nepal, China, Brazil, Norway, and Italy were incorporated, as well as updated claims data from the USA and new claims data from Taiwan (province of China) and Singapore. We used DisMod-MR 2.1, a Bayesian meta-regression tool, as the main method of estimation, ensuring consistency between rates of incidence, prevalence, remission, and cause of death for each condition. YLDs were estimated as the product of a prevalence estimate and a disability weight for health states of each mutually exclusive sequela, adjusted for comorbidity. We updated the Socio-demographic Index (SDI), a summary development indicator of income per capita, years of schooling, and total fertility rate. Additionally, we calculated differences between male and female YLDs to identify divergent trends across sexes. GBD 2017 complies with the Guidelines for Accurate and Transparent Health Estimates Reporting. Findings: Globally, for females, the causes with the greatest age-standardised prevalence were oral disorders, headache disorders, and haemoglobinopathies and haemolytic anaemias in both 1990 and 2017. For males, the causes with the greatest age-standardised prevalence were oral disorders, headache disorders, and tuberculosis including latent tuberculosis infection in both 1990 and 2017. In terms of YLDs, low back pain, headache disorders, and dietary iron deficiency were the leading Level 3 causes of YLD counts in 1990, whereas low back pain, headache disorders, and depressive disorders were the leading causes in 2017 for both sexes combined. All-cause age-standardised YLD rates decreased by 3·9% (95% uncertainty interval [UI] 3·1–4·6) from 1990 to 2017; however, the all-age YLD rate increased by 7·2% (6·0–8·4) while the total sum of global YLDs increased from 562 million (421–723) to 853 million (642–1100). The increases for males and females were similar, with increases in all-age YLD rates of 7·9% (6·6–9·2) for males and 6·5% (5·4–7·7) for females. We found significant differences between males and females in terms of age-standardised prevalence estimates for multiple causes. The causes with the greatest relative differences between sexes in 2017 included substance use disorders (3018 cases [95% UI 2782–3252] per 100 000 in males vs s1400 [1279–1524] per 100 000 in females), transport injuries (3322 [3082–3583] vs 2336 [2154–2535]), and self-harm and interpersonal violence (3265 [2943–3630] vs 5643 [5057–6302]). Interpretation: Global all-cause age-standardised YLD rates have improved only slightly over a period spanning nearly three decades. However, the magnitude of the non-fatal disease burden has expanded globally, with increasing numbers of people who have a wide spectrum of conditions. A subset of conditions has remained globally pervasive since 1990, whereas other conditions have displayed more dynamic trends, with different ages, sexes, and geographies across the globe experiencing varying burdens and trends of health loss. This study emphasises how global improvements in premature mortality for select conditions have led to older populations with complex and potentially expensive diseases, yet also highlights global achievements in certain domains of disease and injury. Funding: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Hepatitis C virus prevalence and estimated incidence among new injectors during the opioid epidemic in New York City, 2000–2017: Protective effects of non-injecting drug use

Des Jarlais, D., Arasteh, K., Feelemyer, J., Mcknight, C., Barnes, D., Perlman, D. C., Uuskula, A., Cooper, H. L., & Tross, S.

Publication year

2018

Journal title

Drug and Alcohol Dependence

Volume

192

Page(s)

74-79
Abstract
Objective: Assess hepatitis C virus (HCV) prevalence and incidence among person who began injecting drugs during the opioid epidemic in New York City (NYC) and identify possible new directions for reducing HCV infection among persons who inject drugs. Methods: 846 persons who began injecting drugs between 2000 and 2017 were recruited from persons entering Mount Sinai Beth Israel substance use treatment programs. A structured interview was administered and HCV antibody testing conducted. Protective effects of non-injecting drug use were examined among persons who “reversed transitioned” to non-injecting drug use and persons who used non-injected heroin in addition to injecting. Results: Participants were 79% male, 41% White, 15% African-American, 40% Latinx, with a mean age of 35. Of those who began injecting in 2000 or later, 97 persons (11%) “reverse transitioned” back to non-injecting drug use. Reverse transitioning was strongly associated with lower HCV seroprevalence (30% versus 47% among those who continued injecting, p < 0.005). Among those who continued injecting, HCV seropositivity was inversely associated with current non-injecting heroin use (AOR = 0.72, 95%CI 0.52-0.99). HCV incidence among persons continuing to inject was estimated as 13/100 person-years. HCV seropositive persons currently injecting cocaine were particularly likely to report behavior likely to transmit HCV. Conclusions: Similar to other locations in the US, NYC is experiencing high rates of HCV infection among persons who have begun injecting since 2000. New interventions that facilitate substitution of non-injecting for injecting drug use and that reduce transmission behavior among HCV seropositives may provide additional methods for reducing HCV transmission.

Heterosexual male and female disparities in HIV infection at the end of an epidemic: HIV infection among persons who inject drugs in New York City, 2001–2005 and 2011–2015

Des Jarlais, D., Mcknight, C., Feelemyer, J., Arasteh, K., Tross, S., Campbell, A. N., Cooper, H. L., & Perlman, D. C.

Publication year

2018

Journal title

Drug and Alcohol Dependence

Volume

185

Page(s)

391-397
Abstract
Background: We examined whether sex disparities (heterosexual male:female) in HIV infection continue to persist at the “end of the HIV epidemic” among persons who inject drugs (PWID) in New York City (NYC). An “end of the epidemic” was operationally defined as 1) prevalence of untreated HIV infection <5%, and 2) estimated HIV incidence <0.5/100 person-years. Methods: PWID were recruited from persons entering substance use treatment programs at Mount Sinai Beth Israel in 2001–2005 and 2011–2015. A structured interview was administered, and HIV and HSV-2 testing was conducted. Incidence was estimated using newly diagnosed cases of HIV. Disparity analyses compared prevalence of HIV, of untreated HIV, HIV risk behaviors, and estimated HIV incidence. Results: By 2011–2015, both heterosexual male and female PWID met the two criteria for an “end of the epidemic,” and there were no significant differences in the prevalence of untreated HIV infection. A large sex difference remained in estimated HIV incidence. In 2013–2015, estimated HIV incidence was 2.8/10,000 PY for males and 7.1/10,000 PY for females. Females had greater risk for HIV on several factors. Conclusion: While NYC has reached an “end of the epidemic” for both heterosexual male and female PWID, sex disparities persist, particularly differences in HIV incidence. Eliminating the sex disparities may require a greater focus on factors associated with sexual transmission.

Identifying Which Place Characteristics are Associated with the Odds of Recent HIV Testing in a Large Sample of People Who Inject Drugs in 19 US Metropolitan Areas

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Publication year

2018

Journal title

AIDS and Behavior

Page(s)

1-18
Abstract
This exploratory analysis investigates relationships of place characteristics to HIV testing among people who inject drugs (PWID). We used CDC’s 2012 National HIV Behavioral Surveillance (NHBS) data among PWID from 19 US metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs); we restricted the analytic sample to PWID self-reporting being HIV negative (N = 7477). Administrative data were analyzed to describe the 1. Sociodemographic Composition; 2. Economic disadvantage; 3. Healthcare Service/Law enforcement; and 4. HIV burden of the ZIP codes, counties, and MSAs where PWID lived. Multilevel models tested associations of place characteristics with HIV testing. Fifty-eight percent of PWID reported past-year testing. MSA-level per capita correctional expenditures were positively associated with recent HIV testing among black PWID, but not white PWID. Higher MSA-level household income and imbalanced sex ratios (more women than men) in the MSA were associated with higher odds of testing. HIV screening for PWID is suboptimal (58%) and needs improvement. Identifying place characteristics associated with testing among PWID can strengthen service allocation and interventions in areas of need to increase access to HIV testing.

Increased Methamphetamine Use among Persons Who Inject Drugs in Hai Phong, Vietnam, and the Association with Injection and Sexual Risk Behaviors

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Publication year

2018

Journal title

Journal of Psychoactive Drugs

Volume

50

Issue

5

Page(s)

382-389
Abstract
Methamphetamine use has increased significantly in Southeast Asia in the last 5–10 years, but there is little research on risk behaviors associated with the increase in this region. We evaluate injection and sexual risk behaviors associated with current methamphetamine use among heterosexual persons who inject drugs (PWID) in Hai Phong, Vietnam. We recruited 1336 PWID and assessed associations between methamphetamine use, injection and sexual risk behaviors, stratified by HIV serostatus. There were several statistically significant associations between methamphetamine use and sexual risk behaviors among HIV-positive PWID, but we did not find any associations between methamphetamine use and injection risk behaviors. Methamphetamine may increase the likelihood of PWID transmitting HIV to non-injecting primary sexual partners, as it can reduce ART adherence and can lead to weakening of the immune system and increased HIV viral loads. All participants were injecting heroin, and methamphetamine use may interfere with opiate use treatment. Public health efforts should focus on the large increase in methamphetamine use and the associated sexual risk behaviors. Emphasis on sexual risk behavior, particularly among those who are HIV-positive, in conjunction with continued monitoring of ART adherence and HIV viral loads, is critical.

Measuring performance on the Healthcare Access and Quality Index for 195 countries and territories and selected subnational locations: A systematic analysis from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016

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Publication year

2018

Journal title

The Lancet

Volume

391

Issue

10136

Page(s)

2236-2271
Abstract
Background A key component of achieving universal health coverage is ensuring that all populations have access to quality health care. Examining where gains have occurred or progress has faltered across and within countries is crucial to guiding decisions and strategies for future improvement. We used the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2016 (GBD 2016) to assess personal health-care access and quality with the Healthcare Access and Quality (HAQ) Index for 195 countries and territories, as well as subnational locations in seven countries, from 1990 to 2016. Methods Drawing from established methods and updated estimates from GBD 2016, we used 32 causes from which death should not occur in the presence of effective care to approximate personal health-care access and quality by location and over time. To better isolate potential effects of personal health-care access and quality from underlying risk factor patterns, we risk-standardised cause-specific deaths due to non-cancers by location-year, replacing the local joint exposure of environmental and behavioural risks with the global level of exposure. Supported by the expansion of cancer registry data in GBD 2016, we used mortality-to-incidence ratios for cancers instead of risk-standardised death rates to provide a stronger signal of the effects of personal health care and access on cancer survival. We transformed each cause to a scale of 0-100, with 0 as the first percentile (worst) observed between 1990 and 2016, and 100 as the 99th percentile (best); we set these thresholds at the country level, and then applied them to subnational locations. We applied a principal components analysis to construct the HAQ Index using all scaled cause values, providing an overall score of 0-100 of personal health-care access and quality by location over time. We then compared HAQ Index levels and trends by quintiles on the Socio-demographic Index (SDI), a summary measure of overall development. As derived from the broader GBD study and other data sources, we examined relationships between national HAQ Index scores and potential correlates of performance, such as total health spending per capita. Findings In 2016, HAQ Index performance spanned from a high of 97·1 (95% UI 95·8-98·1) in Iceland, followed by 96·6 (94·9-97·9) in Norway and 96·1 (94·5-97·3) in the Netherlands, to values as low as 18·6 (13·1-24·4) in the Central African Republic, 19·0 (14·3-23·7) in Somalia, and 23·4 (20·2-26·8) in Guinea-Bissau. The pace of progress achieved between 1990 and 2016 varied, with markedly faster improvements occurring between 2000 and 2016 for many countries in sub-Saharan Africa and southeast Asia, whereas several countries in Latin America and elsewhere saw progress stagnate after experiencing considerable advances in the HAQ Index between 1990 and 2000. Striking subnational disparities emerged in personal health-care access and quality, with China and India having particularly large gaps between locations with the highest and lowest scores in 2016. In China, performance ranged from 91·5 (89·1-93·6) in Beijing to 48·0 (43·4-53·2) in Tibet (a 43·5-point difference), while India saw a 30·8-point disparity, from 64·8 (59·6-68·8) in Goa to 34·0 (30·3-38·1) in Assam. Japan recorded the smallest range in subnational HAQ performance in 2016 (a 4·8-point difference), whereas differences between subnational locations with the highest and lowest HAQ Index values were more than two times as high for the USA and three times as high for England. State-level gaps in the HAQ Index in Mexico somewhat narrowed from 1990 to 2016 (from a 20·9-point to 17·0-point difference), whereas in Brazil, disparities slightly increased across states during this time (a 17·2-point to 20·4-point difference). Performance on the HAQ Index showed strong linkages to overall development, with high and high-middle SDI countries generally having higher scores and faster gains for non-communicable diseases. Nonetheless, countries across the development spectrum saw substantial gains in some key health service areas from 2000 to 2016, most notably vaccine-preventable diseases. Overall, national performance on the HAQ Index was positively associated with higher levels of total health spending per capita, as well as health systems inputs, but these relationships were quite heterogeneous, particularly among low-to-middle SDI countries. Interpretation GBD 2016 provides a more detailed understanding of past success and current challenges in improving personal health-care access and quality worldwide. Despite substantial gains since 2000, many low-SDI and middle- SDI countries face considerable challenges unless heightened policy action and investments focus on advancing access to and quality of health care across key health services, especially non-communicable diseases. Stagnating or minimal improvements experienced by several low-middle to high-middle SDI countries could reflect the complexities of re-orienting both primary and secondary health-care services beyond the more limited foci of the Millennium Development Goals. Alongside initiatives to strengthen public health programmes, the pursuit of universal health coverage hinges upon improving both access and quality worldwide, and thus requires adopting a more comprehensive view - and subsequent provision - of quality health care for all populations.

Molecular investigation of HIV-1 cross-group transmissions during an outbreak among people who inject drugs (2011–2014) in Athens, Greece

Paraskevis, D., ΝikolopoulosG. K., Sypsa, V., Psichogiou, M., Pantavou, K., Kostaki, E., Karamitros, T., Paraskeva, D., Schneider, J., Malliori, M., Friedman, S. R., Des Jarlais, D., Daikos, G. L., & Hatzakis, A.

Publication year

2018

Journal title

Infection, Genetics and Evolution

Volume

62

Page(s)

11-16
Abstract
New diagnoses of HIV-1 infection among people who inject drugs (PWID) rocketed in Athens, Greece between 2011 and 2014 (HIV-1 outbreak). Our aim was to identify, during that period, potential cross-group transmissions between the within-Greece PWID and other risk or national groups using molecular methods. Sequences from 33 PWID were outside the PWID-outbreak networks in Greece (PWID-imported transmissions). Phylogenetic analyses on 28 of these sequences (subtypes A and B) showed that 11 subtype B infections originated from Greece, whereas 8 and 7 subtype A strains were from former Soviet Union countries (AFSU) and Greece, respectively. The putative source in half of the PWID-imported transmissions with Greek origin was an individual who acquired HIV via sexual contact. During four years of an HIV-1 outbreak among PWID in Athens, Greece, 33 individuals in this group (4.6% of all diagnoses with phylogenetic analyses) are likely to represent infections, sexually or injection-acquired, outside the within-Greece-PWID-outbreak networks. Combined molecular and traditional HIV surveillance to monitor introductions of new strains, and interventions that aim at reducing the rate of both injection and sexual risky practices are needed during drug injection-related HIV outbreaks.

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