Publications

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the effect of vaginal lavage with diluted chlorhexidine on mother-to child transmission of HIV (MTCT) in a breastfeeding population. METHODS: This prospective clinical trial was conducted in a governmental hospital in Mombasa, Kenya. On alternating weeks, women were allocated to non-intervention or to intervention consisting of vaginal lavage with 120 ml 0.2% chlorhexidine, later increased to 0.4%, repeated every 3 h from admission to delivery. Infants were tested for HIV by DNA polymerase chain reaction within 48 h and at 6 and 14 weeks of life.

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Our objectives were to describe the baseline findings of a trial of antibiotic prophylaxis to prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV-1 in a cohort of Nairobi female sex workers (FSWs). A questionnaire was administered and a medical examination was performed. HIV-negative women were randomly assigned to either one gram azithromycin or placebo monthly. Mean age of the 318 women was 32 years, mean duration of sex work 7 years and mean number of clients was 4 per day.

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BACKGROUND: The correlation between the presence of HIV-1 in maternal cervicovaginal secretions and in the infant's oro-pharyngal secretions at birth, and mother-to-child HIV transmission (MTCT) were examined to obtain a better understanding of its mechanism. METHODS: Women without medical and obstetrical complications, living within a reasonable distance of the government hospital in Mombasa, Kenya, were recruited after informed consent. Maternal and infant characteristics were collected. Polymerase chain reaction was used to detect HIV-1 in cervico-vaginal and oro-pharyngal secretions.

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BACKGROUND: In Kenya, sexually transmitted disease (STD) clinics care for large numbers of patients with STD-related signs and symptoms. Yet, the etiologic fraction of the different STD pathogens remains to be determined, particularly in women. GOAL: The aim of the study was to determine the prevalence of STDs and of cervical dysplasia and their risk markers among women attending the STD clinic in Nairobi. STUDY DESIGN: A cross-section of women were interviewed and examined; samples were taken.

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HIV infection has now been consistently identified as the major cause of death in young Africans in both urban and rural areas. In Africa, several studies have defined the clinical presentation of HIV disease but there have only been a limited number of autopsy studies.

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OBJECTIVES: To assess the impact of a syphilis control programme of pregnant women on pregnancy outcome in Kenya. METHOD: Women who came to deliver to Pumwani Maternity Hospital (PMH) between April 1997 and March 1998 were tested for syphilis. Reactive rapid plasma reagin (RPR) tests were titrated and confirmed with treponema haemagglutination test (TPHA). Equal numbers of RPR and TPHA negative women were enrolled. Antenatal syphilis screening and treatment history were examined from the antenatal cards. RESULTS: Of 22,466 women giving birth, 12,414 (55%) were tested for syphilis.

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We examined partner notification among syphilitic pregnant women in Nairobi. At delivery, 377 women were found to be rapid plasma reagin (RPR) reactive. Data were available for 94% of the partners of women who were tested during pregnancy; over 67% of the partners had received syphilis treatment while 23% had not sought treatment mainly because they felt healthy. Six per cent of the women had not informed their partners as they feared blame and/or violence.

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