Research Report Summaries from the March 2022 Issue

JPHMP Research Summaries for March 2022

Summaries of select research articles published in the March 2022 issue of the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice.

Detection of Recurrent Hepatitis C Viremia Using Surveillance Data, New York City by Guerra, Kevin MPH; Bocour, Angelica MPH; Moore, Miranda S. MPH; Winters, Ann MD

This articles summarizes the work done to identify HCV recurrence (ie, the reemergence of virus following treatment and cure) using data collected as part of routine public health surveillance for hepatitis C. Despite recent advances in HCV treatment regimens, the threat of HCV recurrence following cure remains for a subset of the population (eg, people who inject drugs). For health departments attempting to make sense of data that is reported, detection and characterization of HCV recurrence as HCV reinfection, viral relapse, or viral breakthrough (ie, rebound after treatment failure) can prove challenging, especially in the absence of contextual information such as patient-specific risk factors or advanced molecular testing. Gaining an understanding of HCV recurrence in data will allow us to better understand the factors that drive reinfection, and guide resource allocation and prevention efforts.

Estimating the HIV Effective Reproduction Number in the United States and Evaluating HIV Elimination Strategies by Chen, Yao-Hsuan PhD; Farnham, Paul G. PhD; Hicks, Katherine A. MS; Sansom, Stephanie L. PhD

This study used an HIV compartmental model and the next generation matrix (NGM) method to estimate the HIV effective reproduction number (Re) for the United States. The analysis showed that Re remained slightly below 1.0 in 2017. This result indicates that current national levels of HIV prevention and treatment efforts may not be sufficient to move the country toward HIV elimination. The authors also evaluated different strategies to reduce Re substantially below 1.0 by 2020. The further analysis showed that achieving this goal will require an ongoing focus on early diagnosis, linkage to care, and, especially, sustained viral suppression. The study estimates the reproduction number, a fundamental epidemiologic concept used to assess the potential spread of infectious disease. The study also provides critical and timely information for policy makers to make informed decisions in developing national HIV prevention strategies.

Reducing HIV Disparities: A Virtual Quality Improvement Collaborative Resulted in Better Health Outcomes for 4 Disproportionately Affected HIV Subpopulations by Steinbock, Clemens M. MBA; Chung, Rakkoo PhD; Lee, Jennifer E. PhD, MPH; Leung, Shu-Yin John MA; Kolesar, Charles MPH, RN; Tesoriero, James PhD

This article demonstrates that an end+disparities virtual collaborative framework proved to be successful in engaging a large-scale community of practice to address HIV-related health disparities, by increasing the average viral suppression rates for agency-selected subpopulations (79.2% to 82.3% – a 3.9% increase). This is significant because cost-effective, virtual technologies and platforms have become even more important during COVID-19 and creating virtual communities of practice and learning have new opportunities to connect providers across the nation to affect national ending the HIV epidemic goals. This model and framework guide the implementation of population-based health programs (eg, subpopulation specific affinity groups) to promote increasing viral suppression rates by reducing HIV-related health disparities.

Trends in Condomless Sex Among MSM Who Participated in CDC-Funded HIV Risk-Reduction Interventions in the United States, 2012–2017 by Zhang Kudon, Hui MPH; Mulatu, Mesfin S. PhD; Song, Wei PhD; Heitgerd, Janet PhD; Rao, Shubha MBBS, MPH

This article reports on trends in condomless sex among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) who participated in CDC-funded HIV interventions in 51 local and state health departments in the United States, 2012–2017. This is significant because condomless sex among MSM has steadily increased in recent years. Our analyses showed that condomless sex increased not only among HIV-negative MSM, but more alarmingly it also increased among HIV-positive MSM. The paper should be of interest to readers in the fields of HIV and STD preventions, as well as readers in general population who are concerned about risk of HIV/STD infections.

Combating Stigma through HIV Self-Testing: New York’s Statewide HIV Home Test Giveaway Program for Sexual Minorities by Johnson, Megan C. MPH; Chung, Rakkoo PhD; Leung, Shu-Yin J. MA; Edelstein, Zoe PhD, MS; Yuan, Yingchao MA; Flavin, Susan M.

This article is based on the complete data from the three rounds of New York State HIV Home Test Giveaway (HHTG) programs in 2016-2018. This paper shows how we recruited individuals from the priority populations (ie, gay and bisexual men, MSM, transgender and genderqueer/gender non-conforming individuals who have sex with men) through popular social media and mobile applications and distributed HIV self-test kits to them. This paper further demonstrates how effective the methods were to reach out to individuals engaging in behaviors that put themselves at risk of HIV acquisition, suggests
how to implement a similar program in other jurisdictions, and discusses its implications for public health.

Public Health Surveillance

Other Research Articles in the March Issue:

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