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International Family Planning Perspectives. 2008 Jun; 34(2):98.Physical and sexual intimate partner violence may have lasting effects on a woman's health, according to a recent multicountry study by the World Health Organization. Compared with women who had never been abused, those who had suffered intimate partner violence had 60% greater odds of being in poor or very poor health, and about twice the odds of having had various health problems, such as memory loss and difficulty walking, in the past four weeks. (excerpt)
ARCHIVES OF GENERAL PSYCHIATRY. 1994 Jan; 51(1):39-49.The WHO Neuropsychiatric AIDS Study project was to assess the prevalence and natural history of HIV-1-associated psychiatric, neuropsychological, and neurological abnormalities in representative subject samples enrolled in the five geographic areas predominantly affected by the HIV-1 epidemic (Sub-Saharan Africa, North America, Latin America, western Europe, and southeast Asia). Assessment was made by a data collection instrument including six modules. The study consisted of a cross-sectional phase and a longitudinal follow-up. The results of psychiatric assessment revealed that the prevalence of current mental disorders was significantly higher in symptomatic (but not in asymptomatic) HIV-1-seropositive subjects, compared with seronegative controls, in Bangkok and Sao Paulo. This difference remained significant when the analysis was restricted to IV drug users in the former center (21.4% vs 2.1%, P <.01) and to homosexuals/bisexuals in the latter (33.3% vs 5.7%, P <.01). Symptomatic HIV-1-seropositive subjects had consistently higher mean scores on the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) compared with those of seronegative controls, and the mean global score was always significantly increased in the former. Only two significant differences on individual items (both in Bangkok) were observed between physically asymptomatic HIV-1-seropositive subjects and controls. The mean MADRS global score was significantly higher in women than in men among symptomatic HIV-1 seropositive subjects who were assessed in Kinshasa (p <.05) and in Munich (p <.001). However, no significant sex difference was found among either HIV-1 seronegative or asymptomatic HIV-1-seropositive persons in any center. The effect of the sex-serogroup interaction on the MADRS global score was found to be significant in Munich (F=10.6, df=2, P <.0001), but the effect of the interaction risk group-serogroup did not reach statistical significance. The correlation between the MADRS global score and the CD4 count was significant only in symptomatic seropositive subjects assessed in Kinshasa and Munich (p <.01).
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 1992. vii, 107 p.WHO has compiled tables and graphs in a book reflecting various components of the health of women worldwide. These tables and graphs demonstrate that women continue to be denied their right to health--the most basic of human rights. Gender-related factors account, for the most part, for women's vulnerability, resulting in poorer health for females than males. They reveal the social discrimination women who experience. The book covers women's lifespan to illustrate not only inequity and discrimination throughout the years, but also the intergenerational effects, importance of adolescence, the broader context of women's reproduction, and the importance of elderly women. It first examines socioeconomic determinants of women's health, such as women's status, female literacy, income level, labor force participation, mother's education, and female-headed household. Next, it looks at infancy and childhood, specifically sex preference, breast feeding and weaning, child nutrition, sex-specific mortality, and sex-specific incidence rates for respiratory infections. It then moves on to explore adolescence. It covers the adult years prior to age 65 by focusing on women at work, pregnancy and childbirth, infections and chronic diseases (e.g., HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases, malaria, cancer, and smoking-related diseases), and violence and mental disorders (e.g., domestic violence, homicide, rape, depression, and drug and alcohol abuse). It concludes with tables and graphs on elderly women. They show life expectancy, disability-free life expectancy, widowhood, distribution of the elderly, elderly living in rural and urban areas, cardiovascular disease death rates, osteoarthritis, and a definite rheumatoid arthritis.
BULLETIN OF THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION. 1990; 68(5):671-3.A consultation on the neuropsychiatric aspects of HIV-1 infection was held at the World Health Organization (WHO) headquarters January 11-13, 1990. Of topics discussed, participants concluded that a group of conditions characterized by cognitive and motor impairment can be described. New terminology was suggested accordingly. Participants found that otherwise health HIV-1 seropositive patients were no more likely than HIV-1 seronegative patients to manifest clinically significant cognitive impairment. The serological screening of asymptomatic patients for HIV-1 in attempts to protect public safety was therefore deemed unnecessary. Hallucinations and delusions being not infrequent in AIDS and ARC patients, they may be indicative of cognitive impairment or later accompanied by symptoms pointing to diagnosis of delirium or dementia. Acute psychotic disorders outside of evidence of cognitive impairment may result as anomalies described within the text. Depressive syndrome may result outside of severe depressive episode or major depression due to recent diagnosis as HIV-1 positive and/or as the first stage of HIV-1 dementia. DIstinguishing between ARC and the above-mentioned states as the cause of this syndrome may be difficult. Consultation participants cited stress associated with HIV-1 infection or disease to be conditioned by several factors. Finally, neuropsychiatric disorders due to HIV-1 opportunistic processes were discussed. Country-level recommendations included preparing health workers for a wide range of neuropsychiatric conditions in the HIV-1 positive patient, and notifying then that otherwise healthy HIV-1 positive patients may not show clinically significant signs of cognitive impairment. Recommendations followed in urging health services to prepare for a large burden of neuropsychiatric illness in AIDS and ARC patients; governments should support services and train health workers accordingly. Pre- and post-serological testing counseling was stressed, with facility for and understanding of the special needs of HIV-1 positive patients' families and involved health staff. Research on the neurological and mental health needs of patients should be given high priority with attention given to the immediate policy and care implications. Final qualification of the difficulty involved in generalizing research findings to apply across sociocultural and geographical contexts was provided with mention in the text of a WHO multicenter study addressing this concern in its pilot phase at the time of publication. Neurological tests were designed for use in this study to be culturally nonspecific.