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As a trained gynaecologist with more than twenty years of service in Africa and other resource-poor
settings, I have seen first hand the urgent need to expand access to sexual and reproductive health services.
In 1994, I founded the International Centre for Reproductive Health (ICRH) in Ghent, Belgium
and Kenya to respond to the devastating impacts of HIV and AIDS. As a multidisciplinary centre of
excellence, we have been tackling the mutually interdependent challenges of preventing HIV and
sexually transmitted diseases, improving maternal and child health, reducing sexual and gender-based
violence, and supporting the fight for better sexual and reproductive health.

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Background: Infection and inflammation are important mechanisms leading to preterm birth. Soluble triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells-1 (sTREM-1) belongs to a family of cell surface receptors that seems to play an important role in fine-tuning the immune response. It has been demonstrated that sTREM-1 is involved in bacterial infection as well as in noninfectious inflammatory conditions. Few studies have investigated serum sTREM-1 expression during preterm labor. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to assess sTREM-1 concentrations in maternal serum during term and preterm labor.

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Background: Efficient HIV prevention requires accurate identification of individuals with risky sexual behaviour. However, self-reported data from sexual behaviour surveys are prone to social desirability bias (SDB). Audio Computer-Assisted Self-Interviewing (ACASI) has been suggested as an alternative to face-to-face interviewing (FTFI), because it may promote interview privacy and reduce SDB. However, little is known about the suitability and accuracy of ACASI in urban communities with high HIV prevalence in South Africa. To test this, we conducted a sexual behaviour survey in Cape Town, South Africa, using ACASI methods.

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Pregnancy offers an opportunity for midwives to recognise and respond to women experiencing intimate partner violence (IPV). However, most antenatal care interventions have been conducted in private specialist services in high-income countries and do not address the structural and cultural realities of developing country settings.

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Background : Adolescents in Latin America are at high risk for unwanted and unplanned pregnancies, which often result in unsafe abortions or poor maternal health outcomes. Both young men and women in the region face an increased risk of sexually transmitted infections due to inadequate sexual and reproductive health information, services and counselling. To date, many adolescent health programmes have targeted a single determinant of sexual and reproductive health. However, recent evidence suggests that the complexity of sexual and reproductive health issues demands an equally multi-layered and comprehensive approach

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Objective: To investigate self-report of heterosexual anal intercourse among male sex workers who sell sex to men, and to identify the socio-demographic characteristics associated with practice of the behavior. Design: Two cross-sectional surveys of male sex workers who sell sex to men in Mombasa, Kenya.

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ABSTRACT Mozambique continues to face many challenges in HIV and maternal and child health care (MCH). Community-based antiretroviral treatment groups (CAG) enhance retention to care among members, but whether such benets extend to their families and to MCH remains unclear. In we studied utilization of HIV and MCH services among CAG members and their family aggregates in Changara, Mozambique, through a mixed-method assessment.

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Pregnancy offers an opportunity for midwives to recognise and respond to women experiencing intimate partner violence (IPV). However, most antenatal care interventions have been conducted in private specialist services in high-income countries and do not address the structural and cultural realities of developing country settings. We report on an exploratory qualitative study conducted in antenatal public health facilities in Harare, Zimbabwe, involving six in-depth interviews with midwives and seven FGDs with 64 pregnant and postpartum women. Recorded interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed using thematic content analysis. We found that identifying and responding to IPV in antenatal care is hampered by inadequate human, financial and infrastructural resources as well as poor support of gender-based violence training for midwives. Midwives had divergent views of their role, with some perceiving IPV as a non-clinical, social and domestic problem that does not require their attention, while others who had been sensitised to the problem felt that it could easily overwhelm them. A comprehensive response to IPV by midwives would be difficult to achieve in this setting but sensitised midwives could respond to cues to violence and ultimately assist abused women in culturally sensitive and appropriate ways.

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Background: About 40% of Kenyan women of reproductive age are currently using contraception. However, the existing contraceptive method mix does not fully address the needs of women, many of whom have an unmet need for family planning and for protection against HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STI).

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