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  1. 1

    Hepatitis B in St Petersburg, Russia (1994-1999): incidence, prevalence and force of infection.

    Beutels P; Shkedy Z; Mukomolov S; Aerts M; Shargorodskaya E

    Journal of Viral Hepatitis. 2003 Mar; 10(2):141-149.

    Hepatitis B (HB) is thought to be an expanding health problem in Russia. The incidence of infection was estimated from mandatorily reported HB cases in St Petersburg. The two-sided t-test for independent samples and the LOESS (locally-weighted regression) smoother were used to compare the age at infection for symptomatic, asymptomatic and chronic infections, by gender. The force of infection was estimated from seroprevalence data (907 sera taken in 1999) using a newly developed nonparametric method based on local polynomials, as well as an earlier method based on isotonic regression and kernel smoothers. With the local polynomial method, pointwise confidence intervals (95%) were constructed by bootstrapping. On average, men contracted HB infection at a significantly younger age than women (in 1999, 21.8 vs 22.7 years, respectively). The overall male to female ratio was 1.92. In 1999 the overall incidence almost doubled compared with the preceding years and tripled among the age groups with highest incidence (15–29-year olds: 85% of cases in 1999). The incidence increase was associated with a lower average age at infection (24.1 years in 1994 vs 22.1 years in 1999). The age and gender-specific force of infection estimates generally confirmed the incidence estimates and emphasized the usefulness of local polynomials to do this. Hence HB transmission in St Petersburg occurs mainly in young adults. The dramatic increase of infections in 1999 was probably due to injecting drug use. Without intervention, HB virus is expected to continue to spread rapidly with a greater proportion of female infections caused by sexual transmission. These trends may also provide an indication for HIV transmission. (author's)
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  2. 2

    AIDS update.


    The Global Program on Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), known as GPA, has established a new organization composed of several UN agencies (i.e., WHO, UNICEF, UNDP, UNESCO, UNDFP, and the World Bank). GPA estimates for human immunodeficiency infection (HIV) indicate an increase of 3 million over the last year. Over half of the new infections occurred in women. The sharpest rise has been in the number of AIDS cases; during the last 6 months, the estimated cumulative number has risen from 1 million to 4 million globally. Since the beginning of the pandemic, over 16 million men, women, and children have become infected with HIV. One in every 15 people infected is a child. Almost one-fourth of the total, about 4 million, have developed AIDS. The GPA Management Committee Meeting (GMC) in May released the following information: 1) every day 5000 more people are infected with HIV; 2) sub-Saharan Africa remains the most heavily affected with two-thirds of the total infections; 3) the epidemic is spreading most rapidly in India, Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia; 4) there has been an increase, from 30,000 to 250,000, in the number of AIDS cases in the past year in south and southeast Asia; and 5) prevalence rates as high as 25% among military recruits, and 8% among pregnant women, are being reported in parts of northern Thailand. Once the epidemics in African countries have matured, over two-thirds of the new infections occur in persons under 24 years of age; almost half of the new adult cases are women. Unless action is taken at least 30-40 million people will be infected by the end of the decade.
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