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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Recent Work

The Research Grants Program Office (RGPO) oversees a broad grantmaking portfolio of nearly $65 million a year to support research that is critical to California, the nation and the world. RGPO programs enhance UC’s research capacity and excellence, which helps attract top faculty, graduate students, government funding and companies to our state. These grants also enable researchers and community agencies to collaborate and solve the most pressing problems in the state. RGPO also provides grants for training undergraduates, graduate and postdoctoral researchers, whose work will benefit California communities. 

Cover page of Can changes to improve person-centred maternity care be spread across public health facilities in Uttar Pradesh, India?

Can changes to improve person-centred maternity care be spread across public health facilities in Uttar Pradesh, India?

(2021)

Poor quality person-centred maternity care (PCMC) leads to delays in care and adverse maternal and newborn outcomes. This study describes the impact of spreading a Change Package, or interventions that other health facilities had previously piloted and identified as successful, to improve PCMC in public health facilities in Uttar Pradesh, India. A quasi-experimental design was used including matched control-intervention facilities and pre-post data collection. This study took place in Uttar Pradesh, India in 2018-2019. Six large public health facilities participated in the evaluation of the spread study, including three intervention and three control facilities. Intervention facilities were introduced to a quality improvement (QI) Change Package to improve PCMC. In total, 1200 women participated in the study, including 600 women at baseline and 600 women at endline. Difference-in-difference estimators are used to examine the impact of spreading a QI Change Package across spread sites vs. control sites and at baseline and endline using a validated PCMC scale. Out of a 100-point scale, a 24.93 point improvement was observed in overall PCMC scores among spread facilities compared to control facilities from baseline to endline (95% CI: 22.29, 27.56). For the eight PCMC indicators that the Change Package targeted, spread facilities increased 33.86 points (95% CI: 30.91, 36.81) relative to control facilities across survey rounds. Findings suggest that spread of a PCMC Change Package results in improved experiences of care for women as well as secondary outcomes, including clinical quality, nurse and doctor visits, and decreases in delivery problems.Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT04208841..

Cover page of Correlates of e-cigarette use for smoking cessation among clients in residential substance use disorder treatment.

Correlates of e-cigarette use for smoking cessation among clients in residential substance use disorder treatment.

(2021)

Little is known about e-cigarette use among persons in substance use disorder (SUD) treatment, or their use of e-cigarettes for smoking cessation. Prevalence of e-cigarette use and correlates of e-cigarette use for smoking cessation were examined among clients in SUD treatment. Participants (n = 332) were current cigarette smokers recruited from 20 residential SUD programs in California. We used multivariable logistic regression to identify correlates of using e-cigarettes for quitting smoking. Almost half (45.2%) of the sample had ever used e-cigarettes for smoking cessation, and 34% had used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days. Smokers who had used e-cigarettes for smoking cessation, compared to those who had not, were younger (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 0.94, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.91, 0.96), had more than a high school education (AOR = 1.69, 95% CI = 1.07, 2.68), sought treatment for both SUD and mental health disorder (AOR = 2.62, 95% CI = 1.38, 5.00), wanted help quitting smoking (AOR = 1.90, 95% CI = 1.03, 3.50) and perceived e-cigarettes as equally harmful (AOR = 3.03, 95% CI = 1.10, 8.33) or less harmful than tobacco cigarettes (AOR = 2.82, 95% CI = 1.02, 7.77). Black/African American and Hispanic/Latino participants were less likely to use e-cigarettes for smoking cessation than participants who identify as White. E-cigarettes were favorably perceived by clients in residential SUD treatment as a quit smoking aid. Treatment programs should consider how to advise clients with respect to the use of e-cigarettes for smoking cessation.

Cover page of Multilevel Barriers to HIV PrEP Uptake and Adherence Among Black and Hispanic/Latinx Transgender Women in Southern California.

Multilevel Barriers to HIV PrEP Uptake and Adherence Among Black and Hispanic/Latinx Transgender Women in Southern California.

(2021)

Black and Hispanic/Latinx transgender women in the United States (U.S.) are disproportionately affected by HIV. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) reduces risk of HIV infection but PrEP uptake remains low among Black and Hispanic/Latinx transgender women. Between July 2018 and August 2019, we conducted individual interviews with 30 Black and Hispanic/Latinx transgender women who were prescribed PrEP through a PrEP demonstration project and 10 healthcare providers who provide PrEP services to transgender women in Los Angeles and San Diego, California. The interviews assessed general attitudes, experiences, and beliefs about PrEP as well as individual-, interpersonal-, community-, and structural-level barriers to PrEP uptake and adherence. PrEP adherence was assessed by collecting quantitative intracellular tenofovir-diphosphate (TFV-DP) levels in retrospect on batched, banked dried blood spot (DBS) samples. We utilized qualitative content analysis to identify themes from the interviews. Findings indicated the presence of individual-level barriers including cost concerns, mental health issues, substance use, and concerns about PrEP side effects including hormone interaction. Interpersonal-level barriers included the influence of intimate/romantic partners and the impact of patient-provider communication. Community-level barriers consisted of experiencing stigma and negative community opinions about PrEP use as well as having negative experiences in healthcare settings. Structural-level barriers included unreliable transportation, employment, and housing insecurity. Interventions aiming to increase PrEP uptake and adherence among Black and Hispanic/Latinx transgender women in the U.S. should employ a multilevel approach to addressing the needs of transgender women, especially the structural barriers that have greatly limited the use of PrEP.

Cover page of The COVID-19 epidemic in Madagascar: clinical description and laboratory results of the first wave, march-september 2020.

The COVID-19 epidemic in Madagascar: clinical description and laboratory results of the first wave, march-september 2020.

(2021)

Background

Following the first detection of SARS-CoV-2 in passengers arriving from Europe on 19 March 2020, Madagascar took several mitigation measures to limit the spread of the virus in the country.

Methods

Nasopharyngeal and/or oropharyngeal swabs were collected from travellers to Madagascar, suspected SARS-CoV-2 cases and contact of confirmed cases. Swabs were tested at the national reference laboratory using real-time RT-PCR. Data collected from patients were entered in an electronic database for subsequent statistical analysis. All distribution of laboratory-confirmed cases were mapped, and six genomes of viruses were fully sequenced.

Results

Overall, 26,415 individuals were tested for SARS-CoV-2 between 18 March and 18 September 2020, of whom 21.0% (5,553/26,145) returned positive. Among laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2-positive patients, the median age was 39 years (IQR: 28-52), and 56.6% (3,311/5,553) were asymptomatic at the time of sampling. The probability of testing positive increased with age with the highest adjusted odds ratio of 2.2 [95% CI: 1.9-2.5] for individuals aged 49 years and more. Viral strains sequenced belong to clades 19A, 20A and 20B indicative of several independent introduction of viruses.

Conclusions

Our study describes the first wave of the COVID-19 in Madagascar. Despite early strategies in place Madagascar could not avoid the introduction and spread of the virus. More studies are needed to estimate the true burden of disease and make public health recommendations for a better preparation to another wave.

Cover page of Diaboloidal mirrors: algebraic solution and surface shape approximations

Diaboloidal mirrors: algebraic solution and surface shape approximations

(2021)

A new type of optical element that can focus a cylindrical wave to a point focus (or vice versa) is analytically described. Such waves are, for example, produced in a beamline where light is collimated in one direction and then doubly focused by a single optic. A classical example in X-ray optics is the collimated two-crystal monochromator, with toroidal mirror refocusing. The element here replaces the toroid, and in such a system provides completely aberration free, point-to-point imaging of rays from the on-axis source point. We present an analytic solution for the mirror shape in its laboratory coordinate system with zero slope at the centre, and approximate solutions, based on bending an oblique circular cone and a bent right circular cylinder, that may facilitate fabrication and metrology.

Cover page of The Synergistic Relationship Between Climate Change and the HIV/AIDS Epidemic: A Conceptual Framework.

The Synergistic Relationship Between Climate Change and the HIV/AIDS Epidemic: A Conceptual Framework.

(2021)

Climate change and HIV/AIDS represent two of the greatest threats to human health in the 21st century. However, limitations in understanding the complex relationship between these syndemics continue to constrain advancements in the prevention and management of HIV/AIDS in the context of a rapidly changing climate. Here, we present a conceptual framework that identifies four pathways linking climate change with HIV/AIDS transmission and health outcomes: increased food insecurity, increased prevalence of other infectious diseases, increased human migration, and erosion of public health infrastructure. This framework is based on an in-depth literature review in PubMed and Google Scholar from June 6 to June 27, 2019. The pathways linking climate change with HIV transmission and health outcomes are complex with multiple interacting factors. Food insecurity emerged as a particularly important mediator by driving sexual risk-taking behaviours and migration, as well as by increasing susceptibility to infections that are common among people living with HIV (PLWHIV). Future interventions should focus on decreasing carbon dioxide emissions globally and increasing education and investment in adaptation strategies, particularly in those areas of sub-Saharan Africa and southeast Asia heavily impacted by both HIV and climate change. Environmentally sustainable interventions such as urban gardening and investing in sustainable agriculture technologies also have significant health co-benefits that may help PLWHIV adapt to the environmental consequences of climate change.

Cover page of Evidence for the Model of Gender Affirmation: The Role of Gender Affirmation and Healthcare Empowerment in Viral Suppression Among Transgender Women of Color Living with HIV.

Evidence for the Model of Gender Affirmation: The Role of Gender Affirmation and Healthcare Empowerment in Viral Suppression Among Transgender Women of Color Living with HIV.

(2021)

Transgender women of color are disproportionately impacted by HIV, poor health outcomes, and transgender-related discrimination (TD). We tested the Model of Gender Affirmation (GA) to identify intervention-amenable targets to enhance viral suppression (VS) using data from 858 transgender women of color living with HIV (49% Latina, 42% Black; 36% virally suppressed) in a serial mediation model. Global fit statistics demonstrated good model fit; statistically significant (p ≤ 0.05) direct pathways were between TD and GA, GA and healthcare empowerment (HCE), and HCE and VS. Significant indirect pathways were from TD to VS via GA and HCE (p = 0.036) and GA to VS via HCE (p = 0.028). Gender affirmation and healthcare empowerment significantly and fully mediated the total effect of transgender-related discrimination on viral suppression. These data provide empirical evidence for the Model of Gender Affirmation. Interventions that boost gender affirmation and healthcare empowerment may improve viral suppression among transgender women of color living with HIV.