BackgroundSyphilis has made a dramatic resurgence in China during the past two decades and become the third most prevalent notifiable infectious disease in China. Female sex workers (FSWs) have become one of key populations for the epidemic. In order to investigate syphilis infection among different tiers of FSWs, a cross-sectional study was conducted in 8 sites in China.MethodsSerum specimens (n = 7,118) were collected to test for syphilis and questionnaire interviews were conducted to obtain socio-demographic and behavioral information among FSWs recruited from different types of venues. FSWs were categorized into three tiers (high-, middle- and low-tier FSWs) based on the venues where they solicited clients. Serum specimens were screened with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for treponemal antibody followed by confirmation with non-treponemal toluidine red unheated serum test (TRUST) for positive ELISA specimens to determine syphilis infection. A logistic regression model was used to determine factors associated with syphilis infection.ResultsOverall syphilis prevalence was 5.0% (95%CI, 4.5-5.5%). Low-tier FSWs had the highest prevalence (9.7%; 95%CI, 8.3-11.1%), followed by middle-tier (4.3%; 95%CI, 3.6-5.0%, P < 0.001) and high-tier FSWs (2.2%; 95%CI, 1.6-2.9%, P < 0.001). Factors independently associated with syphilis infection included older age, lower education level, geographic location, lower tier of typology, and injection drug use.ConclusionsThis multi-site survey showed a high prevalence of syphilis infection among FSWs and substantial disparities in syphilis prevalence by the tier of FSWs. The difference in syphilis prevalence is substantial between different tiers of FSWs, with the highest rate among low-tier FSWs. Thus, current surveillance and intervention activities, which have low coverage in low-tier FSWs in China, should be further examined.
Answering conjunctive queries over ontology-enriched datasets is a core reasoning task for many applications. Query answering is, however, computationally very expensive, which has led to the development of query answering procedures that sacrifice either expressive power of the ontology language, or the completeness of query answers in order to improve scalability. In this paper, we describe a hybrid approach to query answering over OWL 2 ontologies that combines a datalog reasoner with a fully-fledged OWL 2 reasoner in order to provide scalable `pay-as-you-go' performance. The key feature of our approach is that it delegates the bulk of the computation to the datalog reasoner and resorts to expensive OWL 2 reasoning only as necessary to fully answer the query. Furthermore, although our main goal is to efficiently answer queries over OWL 2 ontologies and data, our technical results are very general and our approach is applicable to first-order knowledge representation languages that can be captured by rules allowing for existential quantification and disjunction in the head; our only assumption is the availability of a datalog reasoner and a fully-fledged reasoner for the language of interest, both of which are used as `black boxes'. We have implemented our techniques in the PAGOdA system, which combines the datalog reasoner RDFox and the OWL 2 reasoner HermiT. Our extensive evaluation shows that PAGOdA succeeds in providing scalable pay-as-you-go query answering for a wide range of OWL 2 ontologies, datasets and queries.
We conducted a cross-sectional study on prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and syphilis among female sex workers (FSWs) recruited from different types of venues in 6 cities in China. Among 5322 FSWs (1379 were from high-tier venues, 2482 from middle-tier venues, and 1461 from low-tier venues, respectively), overall HIV prevalence was 0.54% (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.37%- 0.76%). By typology of venues where FSWs solicited clients, the prevalence was 1.37% (95% CI, 0.89%-2.11%) in low-tier venues, 0.28% (95% CI, 0.14%- 0.58%) in middle-tier venues, and 0.07% (95% CI, 0.01%-0.41%) in high-tier venues. The final logistic regression model showed an association of having had HIV infection with working in low-tier venues (adjusted odds ratio 2.73; 95% CI, 1.12-6.67) and coming from Guangxi Province (adjusted odds ratio, 7.89; 95% CI, 1.65-37.64). It can be concluded that FSWs working in low-tier venues (on the streets or public outdoor places) had higher risk of HIV infection than other venues. Such subgroup of FSWs should be efficiently covered by the current HIV/STD surveillance and intervention programs in China.
BackgroundSexually transmitted infections (STIs) have become a major public health problem among female sex workers (FSWs) in China. There have been many studies on prevalences of HIV and syphilis but the data about Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG) and Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) infections are limited in this population in China.MethodsA cross-sectional study was performed among FSWs recruited from different types of venues in 8 cities in China. An interview with questionnaire was conducted, followed by collection of a blood and cervical swab specimens for tests of HIV, syphilis, NG and CT infections.ResultsA total of 3,099 FSWs were included in the study. The overall prevalence rates of HIV, syphilis, NG and CT were 0.26%, 6.45%, 5.91% and 17.30%, respectively. Being a FSW from low-tier venue (adjusted odds ratios [AOR]=1.39) had higher risk and being age of ≥ 21 years (AOR=0.60 for 21–25 years; AOR=0.29 for 26–30 years; AOR=0.35 for 31 years or above) had lower risk for CT infection; and having CT infection was significantly associated with NG infection.ConclusionsThe high STI prevalence rates found among FSWs, especially among FSWs in low-tier sex work venues, suggest that the comprehensive prevention and control programs including not only behavioral interventions but also screening and medical care are needed to meet the needs of this population.
IntroductionIn China, the prevalence and incidence of HIV among men who have sex with men (MSM) in large-sized cities have drawn much attention. In contrast, there has been a paucity of research focussing on the sexual health of MSM of medium-sized cities. This study fills this important gap in the knowledge by investigating the sexual health of MSM in a medium-sized city (Yangzhou) and a large-sized city (Guangzhou).MethodsA baseline survey and a prospective cohort study were conducted among MSM in Yangzhou and Guangzhou from July 2009 to September 2010. A total of 622 MSM (317 from Yangzhou and 305 from Guangzhou) were screened for eligibility. Prevalence and incidence of HIV infection, as well as its risk factors, were investigated.ResultsBaseline HIV prevalence was 14.5%, and overall HIV incidence density was 6.78 per 100 person-years (PY) among Yangzhou MSM. Risk factors for HIV prevalence that were significant in multivariate models were older age, married status, unprotected sex with female partners, sexually transmitted disease (STD)-associated symptoms and syphilis positivity. Risk factors for HIV incidence that were significant in multivariate models were STD-associated symptom and syphilis positivity. Compared to Yangzhou MSM, Guangzhou MSM had a lower HIV prevalence (6.2%; p<0.05) and lower overall HIV incidence density (5.77 per 100 PY). Risk factors for HIV prevalence that were significant in multivariate models were married status, unprotected anal sex with men and syphilis positivity. The single risk factor for HIV incidence that was significant in multivariate models was unprotected anal sex with men.ConclusionsThis study showed a high prevalence and incidence of HIV among Yangzhou MSM, which suggest a more serious HIV epidemic than that in large-sized cities. Further investigation targeting MSM in medium-sized cites is urgently needed to prevent the spread of the HIV epidemic in China.
BackgroundPrevious studies suggested a high prevalence of STDs including HIV among female sex workers and men who have sex with men in China, but little was known about the prevalence in male patients attending public STD clinics. The aim of this study was to investigate STD patterns and HIV prevalence among male STD clinic attendees in different areas in China and the associated risk factors. The feasibility of Provider-initiated HIV testing and counseling (PITC) was evaluated as well.MethodsA cross-sectional study was conducted at 46 public STD clinics in 4 provinces in China. Between July 2009 and September 2009, a total of 3243 eligible subjects were invited to participate in an interview with a structured-questionnaire for collecting socio-demographic characteristics and sexual behavioral information. They also were asked to provide venous blood samples for serological determinations of HIV and syphilis infection, and first void urine specimens for detecting Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae infections,ResultsOut of the 3243 eligible patients, 2951(91%) men agreed to take part in the HIV and syphilis testing. The overall prevalence rate of HIV infection was 0.7% while the rates of syphilis, N. gonorrhoeae, C. trachomatis infections were 10.7%, 4.3% and 6.9%, respectively, with the highest syphilis and N. gonorrhoeae rates in Jiangsu Province. Patients from Guangxi province, homosexual/bisexual practices and intravenous drug use were significantly associated with HIV infection in multivariate logistic regression analyses. Provider-initiated HIV testing and counseling (PITC) was well accepted by attendees, with 91% of eligible attendees agreeing to undergo HIV testing and counseling. All HIV positive patients were properly managed accordingly.ConclusionsA modest prevalence of HIV infection and substantial prevalence of other STD infections were found among male patients attending public STD clinics in China. The findings further support the introduction of HIV and syphilis PITC strategy into this important setting.
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection remains a global public health problem. Nearly 257 million people worldwide have been infected with HBV, resulting in 887,000 people dying of cirrhosis or liver cancer caused by chronic hepatitis B (CHB) annually. Therefore, identification of new targets against HBV is urgently needed. Long noncoding RNAs (LncRNAs) have gained widespread attention in recent years due to their function in cancer, inflammation and other diseases. Notably, a growing number of lncRNAs have been found to play a role in HBV development. In this study, we first identified a famous lncRNA, HOTAIR, which was significantly upregulated in HBV-infected cells and PBMCs from CHB patients. Furthermore, we evaluated the clinical relevance of HOTAIR in 20 CHB patients and found that higher levels of HOTAIR expression were associated with higher ALT/AST levels and were positively correlated with HBsAg and HBV DNA levels. In addition, functional analysis showed that HOTAIR promoted HBV transcription and replication by elevating the activities of HBV promoters via modulation of the levels of cccDNA-bound SP1. In conclusion, our study reveals that HOTAIR expression is correlated with the clinicopathological and physiological characteristics of HBV. Thus, HOTAIR may serve as a novel HBV diagnostic and therapeutic biomarker based on its ability to facilitate HBV transcription and replication.
The aim of the present study was to investigate the association between genetic variants in 17 tagSNPs of the NLRP3 gene and the susceptibility to primary gouty arthritis. A genotype-phenotype analysis of 480 primary gout and 480 control patients was performed. Samples from all the patients were collected from The Affiliated Hospital of Medical College (Qingdao, China). Seventeen tagSNPs of the NLRP3 gene were amplified using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and MassARRAY technology was used for single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping. The genetic frequency of rs7512998 was significantly different between the gout and control patients (P<0.05), whereas no significant differences were identified for the remaining SNPs. The 17 SNPs conformed to the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (HWE) in the control group (P>0.05). The haplotype association among the 17 SNPs of the NLRP3 gene indicated that no individual SNP was significantly associated with primary gouty arthritis. CTATCAGCGCCCAGTGC was the most common haplotype in the case and control groups, with a frequency of 0.224 and 0.243, respectively. However, the odds ratios (ORs) of the 8 haplotypes were not identified to be significantly associated with gouty arthritis (P>0.05 for all the 8 haplotypes). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to investigate the association between SNPs of the NLRP3 gene and the risk of primary gouty arthritis, although no significant association was identified. Further clinical studies and functional analysis are required to explore the potential associations between NLRP3 gene polymorphisms and the risk of primary gouty arthritis.
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