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Evaluating the viability of a DNA-based chip targeted for C. trachomatis, N. gonorrhoeae, and other pathogens of interest

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Sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhea and chlamydia, standardly treated with antibiotics, produce over 1.2 million cases annually in the emergency department (Jenkins et al., 2013). To determine a need for

Sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhea and chlamydia, standardly treated with antibiotics, produce over 1.2 million cases annually in the emergency department (Jenkins et al., 2013). To determine a need for antibiotics, hospital labs utilize bacterial cultures to isolate and identify possible pathogens. Unfortunately, this technique can take up to 72 hours, leading to several physicians presumptively treating patients based solely on history and physical presentation. With vague standards for diagnosis and a high percentage of asymptomatic carriers, several patients undergo two scenarios; over- or under-treatment. These two scenarios can lead to consequences like unnecessary exposure to antibiotics and development of secondary conditions (for example: pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, etc.). This presents a need for a laboratory technique that can provide reliable results in an efficient matter. The viability of DNA-based chip targeted for C. trachomatis, N. gonorrhoeae, and other pathogens of interest were evaluated. The DNA-based chip presented several advantages as it can be easily integrated as a routine test given the process is already well-known, is customizable and able to target multiple pathogens within a single test and has the potential to return results within a few hours as opposed to days. As such, implementation of a DNA-based chip as a diagnostic tool is a timely and potentially impactful investigation.

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  • 2016-12

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Individual religious affiliation, religious community context and health in Mozambique

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This dissertation examines associations between religious affiliation, religious community context and health of women and their children in Mozambique focusing on the following issues: (1) attending prenatal consultations and delivering

This dissertation examines associations between religious affiliation, religious community context and health of women and their children in Mozambique focusing on the following issues: (1) attending prenatal consultations and delivering children in a health facility; (2) women's symptoms of STDs; and (3) under-five mortality. Estimation of random intercept Poisson regression for the outcome about attending prenatal consultations demonstrated a favorable effect of affiliation to Catholic or Mainline Protestant and Apostolic religious groups. The concentration of Zionist churches in the community had a negative influence. Random intercept logistic regression was used to estimate the relationship between religion and institutional child delivery. Affiliation to Catholic or Mainline Protestant denominations as well as concentration of Catholic or Mainline Protestant churches in the community had some beneficial effect on giving birth in health clinics. The presence of Zionist churches in the community had some negative effect and that of other groups no significant influence. Random intercept logistic regression was also employed for investigating the influence of religion on women's symptoms of STDs. Belonging to the Catholic or Mainline Protestant church had some protective effect on reporting symptoms of STDs. There was no effect of religious context, except that the concentration of Other Pentecostal churches had a positive effect on reporting symptoms of SDTs. Event-history analysis was conducted for examining relationships between maternal religious affiliation with under-five mortality. Affiliation to Catholic or Mainline Protestant churches and to Apostolic denominations increased the odds of child survival, although, the influence of having a mother belonging to Catholic or Mainline Protestant churches lost statistical significance after accounting particularly for the average level of education in the community, for the period of 5 years preceding the survey date. Taken together, the results in this dissertation show some protective effect of religion that varies primarily by denominational group to which women are affiliated. They also indicate that religious community context may have some negative effect on health of women and children. The nature of the effect of religious community context varies with the type of outcome considered and the type of religious mixture in the community.

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  • 2011

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The consequences of male seasonal migration for women left behind: the case of rural Armenia

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Despite the extensive research on the consequences of migration, little is known about the effects of seasonal migration on fertility, contraception and sexually transmitted diseases in the countries of former

Despite the extensive research on the consequences of migration, little is known about the effects of seasonal migration on fertility, contraception and sexually transmitted diseases in the countries of former Soviet Union, that have undergone vast demographic changes in the last two decades. Using cross-sectional data from two surveys conducted in Armenia in 2005 and 2007, this dissertation is exploring the effects of seasonal migration on reproductive behavior and outcomes, as well as sexual health among women left-behind. The dissertation is constructed of three independent studies that combined draw the broad picture of the consequences of seasonal migration in this part of the world. The first study, "Seasonal migration and fertility in low-fertility areas of origin" looks at the effect of seasonal migration on yearly pregnancy rates, lifetime fertility, and fertility preferences among women and their husbands. The models are fitted using discrete-time logistic regression, and random-intercept logistic regression for negative binomial and binary outcomes, correspondingly. The findings show that seasonal migration in low-fertility settings does not further disrupt fertility levels in a short-, or long-run, contradicting to the findings from high-fertility settings. However, the study provides some evidence that seasonal migration is associated with increased fertility preferences among migrant men. The second study, "Seasonal migration and contraception among women left-behind", examines the associations between migration and modern contraceptive use, by looking at current contraceptive use and the history of abortions. A series of random-intercept logistic regression models reveal that women with migrant partners are significantly less likely to use modern contraceptives, than women married to non-migrants. They also have higher rates of abortions; however this effect is moderated by the socioeconomic status of the household. The third study, "Seasonal migration and risks of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) among women left-behind", looks at the effects of seasonal migration on the diagnosed STDs in the last three years, and self reported STD-like symptoms in the last twelve months. The results of random-intercept logistic regression for negative binomial and binary outcomes provide strong evidence of increased STD risks among migrants' wives; however, this effect is also moderated by the household income.

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  • 2011

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Human Papillomavirus Education in Military Service Members

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The human papillomavirus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that is associated with several types of cancer and genital warts. No cure exists for those currently infected with HPV,

The human papillomavirus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that is associated with several types of cancer and genital warts. No cure exists for those currently infected with HPV, but a vaccine is available that can prevent the virus and development of cancers associated with HPV. Military servicemembers are at a high risk for contracting HPV; it is one of the most common STIs among active duty service members. The health consequences of HPV can impact a servicemember’s military readiness. The HPV vaccine is not required for military servicemembers, but it is offered free of charge. HPV vaccination rates among military service members remain relatively low.

The purpose of this evidence-based project was to increase the level of knowledge about HPV, improve health beliefs regarding HPV, increase HPV vaccine intention, recommendation, and uptake. Using the Health Belief Model as an organizing framework, a population targeted eight-minute education video on HPV and HPV vaccination was developed. It was implemented at an outpatient military treatment facility located in the southwest United States over a 6-week period, to newly reported service members. Participants included 116 military service members aged 18 to 45. A pretest and posttest questionnaire were used to assess the impact of the intervention. HPV level of knowledge increased significantly from pretest to posttest mean scores were 3.00 to 4.39 respectively (p < .001). HPV vaccine intention increased from 62% to 66% (p = .739). HPV vaccine recommendation increased from 62% to 85% (p < .001).

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  • 2020-04-28