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עמוד בית
Sun, 03.03.24

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April 2017
Valeria Zhdanov MPH, Natalya Bilenko MD MPH PhD and Zohar Mor MD MPH MHA

Background: Recurrent tuberculosis (TB) is one of the indices used to assess the effectiveness of the Israeli National TB Programs (NTP).

Objectives: To estimate the incidence of recurrent TB in Israel and to identify the associated risk factors.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of all TB patients who were Israeli citizens and diagnosed between 1999 and 2011 with a treatment outcome recorded as “success." We compared those who had recurrent TB with those who did not. In addition, a nested case-control study included all those who had recurrent TB with a random sample from this cohort matched by age, gender, and year of TB diagnosis.

Results: Of 3515 TB patients diagnosed between 1999 and 2011, 37 (1.05%) had recurrent TB during the follow-up period, with an incidence rate of 1.55 cases per 1000 person-years (PY). Male gender [hazard ratio (HR) 3.2, 95% confidence interval (95%CI) 1.4–7.4], human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection (HR 3.9, 95%CI 1.5–10.4), positive sputum culture [odds ratios (OR) 2.7, 95%CI 1.1–6.9], and low adherence to anti-TB treatment (OR 3.2, 95%CI 1.0–10.3) were found to be risk factors for recurrent TB.

Conclusions: Male gender, HIV infection, positive sputum culture, and low adherence to anti-TB drugs during the initial TB episode were risk factors for developing recurrent TB.

Noam Oz MD, Danny Alon MD, Gideon Y Stein MD PhD and Dan Turner MD

Background: Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for populations at high risk for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is still not available in Israel.

Objectives: To analyze post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) treatment adherence rates among adult men in Tel Aviv, Israel, who have sex with men (MSM), and to obtain data on the demographics of PEP users, exposure types, timeline of exposure and PEP administration, incidence of side effects, number of treatments per individual, and satisfaction with selected elements of treatment provision.

Methods: The authors conducted an observational cohort study of adult MSM who requested PEP treatment in the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center. Information from patients receiving treatment between January 2013 and June 2014 was obtained through telephone interviews by means of a 30-item questionnaire.

Results: Of 336 individuals requesting PEP treatment, 255 (75.9%) were adult MSM, and 100 (39.2%) satisfactorily completed the interview. The average age of the study cohort was 32.4 years (standard deviation of 7.5). Ninety-one (91%) reported completing a full 28-day course of treatment, 84% reported side effects, and 20% underwent multiple courses. Satisfaction was high for interactions with the HIV specialists. Patient experience with PEP treatment in the emergency room setting, and follow-up were inadequate deficient.

Conclusions: PEP adherence rates in Tel Aviv were significantly higher than previously reported. PEP should be administered in designated community settings. PrEP as a general treatment policy might suit the MSM population in Tel Aviv.

 

March 2017
Danny Alon MD, Gideon Y. Stein MD PhD, Vered Hadas-Golan RN, Luba Tau MD, Tal Brosh MD and Dan Turner MD

Background: Guidelines recommend hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccination of all adults positive for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Immune responses to single-antigen HBV vaccine among HIV-positive patients are low when compared with HIV-negative adults. Sci-B-Vac™ is a recombinant third-generation HBV that may be advantageous in this population.

Objectives: To examine the immune responses to Sci-B-Vac among HIV-positive adults.

Methods: We conducted a prospective cohort study involving HIV-positive adults who had negative HBV serology (HBSAg, HBSAb, HBcoreAb). Sci-B-Vac at 10 µg/dose was administered intramuscularly upon recruitment and after 1 and 6 months. HBSAb levels were checked 1 month after each dose; a level > 10 mlU/ml was considered protective. Data regarding age, gender, CD4 level, and viral load were collected.

Results: The study group comprised 31 patients. Average CD4 count was 503 ± 281 cells/ml, and average viral load was 44 copies/ml. Median interquartile range (IQR) HBVAb titers after the first, second and third immunizations were 0 (0, 3.5), 30 (6, 126) and 253 (81, 408) mlU/ml. Significant titer elevations were found between the second and third immunizations (P = 0.0003). The rate of patients considered protected was 16% after the first, 65% after the second (P < 0.0001), and 84% after the third dose (P = 0.045). No adverse events were reported. More patients under the age of 40 years responded to the first immunization (28% vs. 0%, P = 0.038). CD4 level had no influence on immunization rates.

Conclusions: Sci-B-Vac might achieve better immunization rates among HIV-positive adults compared to the single-antigen vaccine and thus deserves further evaluation in a randomized, double-blind study in this population.

October 2016
Ilan Asher MD, Keren Mahlab-Guri MD, Daniel Elbirt MD, Shira Bezalel-Rosenberg MD and Zev Sthoeger MD
May 2016
Daniel Elbirt MD, Keren Mahlab-Guri MD, Shira Bezalel-Rosenberg MD, Ilan Asher MD and Zev Sthoeger MD
October 2015
Fruma Tzur MSc, Michal Chowers MD, Nancy Agmon-Levin MD, Yoseph A. Mekori MD and Alon Y. Hershko MD PhD

Background: Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a metabolic sequel in people infected with HIV, especially following the advent of HAART. This may be a particular concern in immigrants due to lifestyle changes. 

Objectives: To characterize the prevalence of DM in HIV-infected Ethiopians in Israel, and to define the risk factors.

Methods: We retrospectively screened the records of 173 HIV-infected Ethiopians and 69 HIV-infected non-Ethiopian HIV patients currently registered at the HIV Clinic of Meir Medical Center. Data were also retrieved from 1323 non-HIV Ethiopians treated in the hospital between 2007 and 2012. The presence of DM was determined by family physician diagnosis as recorded in the hospital database or by the presence of one or more of the following: fasting glucose > 127 mg/dl, hA1C > 6.5% (> 48 mmol/mol), or blood glucose > 200 mg/dl. Population data and risk factors for DM were analyzed by univariate and multivariate analyses. 

Results: Among HIV-infected Ethiopian subjects, the prevalence of DM was 31% (54/173) compared to 4% (3/69) in HIV-infected non-Ethiopians and 8% (102/1323) in non-HIV-infected Ethiopians (P < 0.0001). The relatively increased prevalence of DM was age independent, but most noticeable in those under the median age (< 42 years). Body mass index (BMI) was a predictor for DM (OR 1.263, CI 1.104–1.444, P = 0.001), although its values did not vary between the two ethnic groups. 

Conclusions: HIV-infected Ethiopians are more likely to develop DM at low BMI values compared to non-Ethiopians. This observation questions the relevance of accepted BMI values in this population and suggests that preventive measures against DM be routinely taken in these subjects. 

 

August 2015
January 2015
Daniel Elbirt MD, Keren Mahlab-Guri MD, Shira Bazalel-Rosenberg MD, Harpreet Gill BHSc, Malka Attali MD and Ilan Asher MD
July 2014
Karen Olshtain-Pops MD, Chen Stein-Zamir MD MPH, Nitza Abramson MD MPH, Hiwot Nagusa, Michele Haouzi-Bashan BA and Shlomo Maayan MD

Background: Ethiopian immigration to Israel was initiated in 1981. Most immigrants were rural dwellers who migrated first to Addis Ababa or Gondar, where they waited for eligibility status from Israel to leave Ethiopia. Soon after arriving in Israel, all immigrants were offered screening tests for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and syphilis.

Objectives: To evaluate the association of age, gender, marital status and length of time spent in urban areas in Ethiopia with the prevalence of HIV and syphilis seropositivity.

Methods: All adult Ethiopian immigrants who arrived at the Jerusalem immigration center between 1999 and 2002 and consented to HIV and syphilis screening tests were interviewed.

Results: Altogether, 678 immigrants (51% females) were screened; 39 (5.8 %) were seropositive for HIV and 33 (4.9%) for syphilis. The length of time the immigrants spent in Ethiopian cities before leaving for Israel was significantly associated with HIV: odds ratio (OR) 2.76, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.13–6.71, and syphilis seropositivity  OR 3.87, 95%CI  1.56–9.62.

Conclusions: The length of transit time Ethiopian immigrants from rural areas spend in Ethiopian cities is significantly associated with HIV and syphilis seropositivity. Efforts should be made to shorten this time in order to reduce the risk of infection

April 2014
Maitseo Kuno Nwako-Mohamadi MBChB BAO MSc, Vidushi Madan MD, Matthew N. Tanko MBBS FMCPath (Nig) and Sandro Vento MD
August 2013
M.W. Moloi, F. Zhou, K. Baliki, M.K. Kayembe, F. Cainelli and S. Vento
January 2013
A.J. Jacobs
 Infant circumcision has recently attracted controversy, with professional groups recommending it and various individuals trying to criminalize it. Circumcision is beneficial in the prevention of certain diseases, causing minimal tangible harm to those circumcised. This article argues that government should affirmatively adopt policies tolerating minority practices. Such activities should be banned only if they cause substantial damage to society or its members, or if they engender risks or injuries to which no reasonable person would consent. The benefits and risks of circumcision are outlined. Circumcision of male infants does not trigger cause for government to abolish it, and should be permitted if parents desire it. This article also summarizes common arguments against circumcision and attempts to refute them. These arguments are based on a desire for gender equality as well as a belief that minors should not undergo elective bodily alteration. If there are no unusual risks, parents can ethically authorize, and physicians ethically perform, elective infant circumcision for prophylaxis of disease, ritual purposes, or aesthetic reasons. Furthermore, the state should permit this.

 

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