Elona Toska

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OBJECTIVES WHO guidelines recommend disclosure to HIV-positive children by school age in order to improve antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence. However, quantitative evidence remains limited for adolescents. This study examines associations between adolescent knowledge of HIV-positive status and ART-adherence in South Africa. DESIGN A cross-sectional(More)
Ninety percent of the 3.4 million HIV-infected children live in sub-Saharan Africa. Their psychosocial well being is fundamental to establishing and maintaining successful treatment outcomes and overall quality of life. With the increased roll-out of antiretroviral treatment, HIV infection is shifting from a life-threatening to a chronic disease. However,(More)
Low ART-adherence amongst adolescents is associated with morbidity, mortality and onward HIV transmission. Reviews find no effective adolescent adherence-promoting interventions. Social protection has demonstrated benefits for adolescents, and could potentially improve ART-adherence. This study examines associations of 10 social protection provisions with(More)
HIV-positive adolescents who engage in unsafe sex are at heightened risk for transmitting or re-acquiring HIV. Disclosure of HIV-status to sexual partners may impact on condom use, but no study has explored the effects of (i) adolescent knowledge of one's HIV-status, (ii) knowledge of partner status and (iii) disclosure to partners, on safer sex behaviour.(More)
Adolescents are the only age group with growing AIDS-related morbidity and mortality in Eastern and Southern Africa, making HIV prevention research among this population an urgent priority. Structural deprivations are key drivers of adolescent HIV infection in this region. Biomedical interventions must be combined with behavioural and social interventions(More)
The causal association between persistent human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and cervical cancer has lead to the development of a variety of molecular assays for HPV detection. The present study focused on the development of a simple, sensitive and cost-effective HPV genotyping method based on multiplex PCR methodology that could be easily performed in(More)
Long-term infection with high-risk HPV genotypes is the leading cause of cervical cancer. In the present study a Duplex Real-time PCR assay was developed in order to identify HPV types 16, 18, 31, 35, 51 and 66 in three reactions, through SYBR green I melting curve analysis. The method utilizes type-specific primer sets that allowed the amplification of(More)
Despite documented common use of traditional healers and efforts to scale up antiretroviral treatment (ART) in sub-Saharan Africa, evidence on whether medical pluralism predicts ART use is inconclusive and restricted to clinic settings. This study quantitatively assesses whether medical pluralism predicts ART use among parents in need of ART in South(More)
BACKGROUND Evidence on sexual risk-taking among HIV-positive adolescents and youth in sub-Saharan Africa is urgently needed. This systematic review synthesizes the extant research on prevalence, factors associated with, and interventions to reduce sexual risk-taking among HIV-positive adolescents and youth in sub-Saharan Africa. METHODS Studies were(More)
Social protection can reduce HIV-risk behavior in general adolescent populations, but evidence among HIV-positive adolescents is limited. This study quantitatively tests whether social protection is associated with reduced unprotected sex among 1060 ART-eligible adolescents from 53 government facilities in South Africa. Potential social protection included(More)