Global Health Research

Adolescent Health Evidence Synthesis
Mental Health
Aging & Gerontology Global Health
Maternal & Child Health
Cancer Health Disparities & Culture
Physical Activity & Obesity
Drugs & Alcohol Healthcare Policy
Environmental Health  HIV/AIDS

Conditional Economic Incentives Reduce Sexually Transmitted Infection Risks in Mexico

Conditional economic incentives (CEIs), previously used for poverty alleviation and economic development, are now being utilized as an intervention strategy specifically targeted to people who are highly vulnerable to HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. CEIs involve reinforcing positive behavioral change through using cash or other material incentives in exchange for meeting specific behavioral goals or conditions. There is growing evidence from numerous studies that suggests CEIs can reduce HIV/STI risks, however researchers have not yet investigated whether incentives are a feasible and acceptable intervention strategy for men who have sex with men, a key population at risk for HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infections. This study, led by Omar Galarraga and published in AIDS and Behavior, associate professor of health services, policy, and practice, tested the feasibility and acceptability of a conditional economic incentive intervention for male sex workers in Mexico City. READ MORE

Unconditional Government Cash Transfers in Support of Orphaned and Vulnerable Adolescents in Western Kenya: Is there an Association with Psychological Well-being?

Sub-Saharan Africa is home to approximately 53.6 million orphaned children, a majority of whom live in extreme poverty, often with relatives or guardians of limited means, and in households with many other dependent children. Children who live in poor households often do not have access to basic necessities such as shelter, food, clean water, health care, and education. To address poverty and its adverse child health and developmental consequences, economic incentives are increasingly used in African countries.  This study, supported by grants from the NIH Fogarty International Center and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and led by Sylvia Shangani, doctoral candidate in behavioral and social health sciences, assessed the association between living in a household that received monthly unconditional government CTs and psychological wellbeing. READ MORE

Curbing alcohol to fight HIV could save money in Kenya

Public health research shows that alcohol may be a factor in more than 13 percent of deaths due to infectious diseases, including HIV. Drinking undermines the fight against the virus in two main ways, researchers have found: it makes transmission through risky sex more likely and undermines health by relaxing the rigor with which infected people take virus-suppressing medicine. READ MORE

Study suggests reduced drug costs led to lowered hospitalizations

A new study finds that in regions where indigenous Australians most readily accepted a government incentive to lower drug copayments, hospitalizations to treat the population’s chronic conditions declined by 40 percent in just two years.

The study doesn’t definitively prove that the lower copays caused the reduced hospitalizations, but the government’s goal with the program was to chip away at the enormous health disparities affecting indigenous people, and the data suggests that’s what happened, said lead author Dr. Amal Trivedi, professor of health services, policy and practice. There are several lines of evidence in the study, published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, that suggest the reduction in copays may deserve at least some credit.  READ MORE

Study finds low levels of physical activity in Brazil

A new paper in the Journal of the American Heart Association reports that many Brazilian citizens are not taking enough advantage of the health benefits of exercise. The analysis of data from the Brazilian Longitudinal Study of Adult Health finds that in a sample of more than 10,500 adults (civil servants aged 35 to 74 free of cardiovascular diseases), only 21 percent of women and 29 percent of men were active in their leisure time by international standards. In the U.S., for comparison, more than 50 percent of people in 2014 were active by those standards, which call for 150 minutes of moderate weekly physical activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous activity.  READ MORE

Newly found, ‘thrifty’ genetic variant influences Samoan obesity

The Samoas’ world-leading rate of obesity is a recent phenomenon, heavily influenced by the globe’s rapid shift to calorie-rich, processed foods and more sedentary lifestyles. A new study, however, led by Stephen McGarvey, professor of epidemiology, suggests nearly half of Samoans have a newly identified and significant genetic variant that contributes to obesity risk; a variant that had remained undiscovered until researchers focused on the islands’ populations. In cell models in the lab, this “thrifty” variant promoted more efficient storage of more fat.  READ MORE

The South African Social Science and HIV Programme (SASH)

Established in 2013, SASH is a joint project of the University of Cape Town (UCT) and Brown University funded by the NIH, and it is a model of global health scholarship and collaboration.  SASH leverages the expertise at UCT and Brown to promote integration of the social sciences into teaching, mentoring, and research around HIV/AIDS at UCT’s School of Public Health and Family Medicine.  SASH organizes its academic and research initiatives into three thematic areas:  Gender in HIV/AIDS Risk and Response, Antiretroviral Therapy Adherence and Expansion, and HIV Prevention for Women, Youth and Families. READ MORE