MHIRT Poster Session 2019

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    MHIRT 2020_Abstract book
    ( 2020-08-14)
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    Minority Health and Health Disparities International Research Training (MHIRT) Program at the University of Hawaii
    (Scholar Space, 2019-11-05) Nerurkar, Vivek ; Nerurkar, Vivek
    The objective of the Minority Health International Research Training (MHIRT) program at the University of Hawaii at Manoa (UHM) is to encourage students from under represented (including minority) backgrounds to pursue careers in science; and expose students to biomedical, clinical, and behavioral health research and global health issues that relate to health disparities. The program also aims to enable collaborations between colleges/universities and international research programs. Funded by the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), National Institutes of Health (NIH), the UHM MHIRT program is in its sixth year. The MHIRT program is a short-term international research training opportunity offered to undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, and pre-doctoral students from under-represented backgrounds. MHIRT students are from various academic disciplines at UH and have diverse ethnic backgrounds. To date, the MHIRT program has trained six (6) cohorts of students totaling 60 students. Selected students learn to conduct research during the spring semester and spend 8-9 weeks during the summer at their international training sites under the guidance of their assigned in-country mentor and their UH mentor. In addition to life-changing research and cultural experiences program benefits include: up to10 credits of directed research courses in the spring and summer semesters and while abroad students are provided with a stipend, travel, and living expenses.
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    Investigation of PM 2.5 Concentration in the Wet Season of Bangkok, Thailand
    ( 2019-08-15) Pagkalinawan, Marie Frances ; Nerurkar, Vivek
    Background: Particulate Matter 2.5 (PM2.5) has been attributed to more health consequences compared to the prevalent concentrations of Particulate Matter 10 (PM10). Bangkok is known to have a high level of PM2.5 during dry seasonal haze episodes. Its prevalence had been further observed along PM10 and a smaller particulate matter, particulate matter 1 (PM1). Studies regarding the prevalence of PM2.5 during non-haze episodes are not available. The extent of various chemical molecules such as Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) and Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) as the triggering factor of PM2.5 are also unknown. Objective: To identify the PM concentrations and prevalence in the environment and to determine the chemical molecules concentration as the triggering factor of PM2.5 in Bangkok, Thailand during dry seasonal non-haze episodes. Methods and Materials: PM2.5, PM10, and PM1 concentrations were measured using AirBeam 2 and Aslung. Additionally, NO2, VOC, and PM2.5 concentrations were measured using Plume. Samples were collected in Bangkok during wet season from different locations and using various modes of transportation. AirBeam 2 and Aslung measured PM by direction, and modes of transportation were analyzed via descriptive statistics and illustrated with a bar graph to compare PM concentrations. Plume measurements were analyzed using linear correlation to determine the significance of NO2 and VOC to PM2.5. Results: Overall, NO2 and VOC were significant to the formation of PM2.5 with the correlation of 0.255 and 0.114 respectively (n=882). In the moving ferry-boat (Khlong Sansaep), surrounded by water, there is a higher prevalence of PM2.5. However, PM10 is still more prevalent in the moving ferry-boat (Khlong Sansaep) compared to PM2.5 and PM1.; average= 52 μ/m3 and 20 μ/m3, respectively. Conclusions: NO2 and VOC trigger the high concentration of PM2.5 in ferry-boat located in the west (Khlong Sansaep). We found lesser prevalence of PM2.5 than PM10 throughout Bangkok. Determining areas with the highest concentration of PM2.5 allows for monitoring increases in air pollution and ways to mitigate the occurrence of haze episodes. These data can be used as the baseline information for the comparison of haze episodes during dry season.
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    The Prevalence of High-Risk Oral HPV Among Rural/Tribal Women In Mysore Who Are Chronic Smokeless Tobacco Users
    ( 2019-08-15) Nguyen, Kim Yen ; Nerurkar, Vivek
    Background: Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted virus. Low-risk HPV can cause warts, and the virus often clears on its own. High-risk HPV can persist and can cause cervical, anogenital, and head and neck cancer, primarily of the oropharynx. Not all oral cancers are caused by HPV alone. Additional independent risk factors include alcohol, smoking, and smokeless tobacco consumption. Tobacco use, including cigarette smoking and tobacco chewing, is the primary cause of oral cancer worldwide. India has high prevalence of tobacco consumption and 60% of smokeless tobacco users are women. Tobacco users have a fifteen-fold increased risk of oral cancer compared to non-tobacco users. There may be interactions between smokeless tobacco use, oral HPV infection and oral cancer. Objective: The goal of this project is to examine the prevalence of oral HPV among women who are chronic tobacco users, and determine factors associated with HPV infection. The long-term objective is to inform oral cancer prevention strategies such as tobacco cessation and HPV vaccination within these communities. Materials and Methods: In June and July 2019, 50 chronic smokeless tobacco users and 50 non-users from rural areas of Mysore were consented to participate in this study. Interviewer administered questionnaires were used to assess demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, tobacco and alcohol use history, and oral health behaviors. Oral samples were collected using an all-collection swab to collect oral cells of the center of tongue, below the tongue, hard palate, buccal mucosa, and upper front gums and placed into a sterile Qiagen collection tube. The brush in the collection kit was used on these regions and placed in the same collection tube as the swab. Lastly, 10 mL saline was given to participants to gargle before spitting out into a separate sample container. The samples were tested with the digeneHC2 High Risk HPV DNA test kit (Qiagen) using microplate chemiluminescence for the qualitative detection of 13 high-risk types of HPV DNA. Results: The results show that the prevalence of high-risk oral HPV within these communities was very low (2%). Conclusions: This study shows that the prevalence of oral-HPV among chronic smokeless tobacco using women of the rural/tribal community in Mysore, India, is similar to the prevalence of oral-HPV for women in the United States.
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    Reasons For Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis Discontinuation Among Men Who Have Sex With Men and Transgender Women At Risk for HIV Infection
    ( 2019-08-15) Poti, Jordan ; Nerurkar, Vivek
    Background: HIV is transmitted by body fluids. As of 2017, 36.9 million people worldwide live with HIV. In Thailand, about 440,000 people live with HIV, accounting for 9% of the region’s total population of people living with HIV. Thus Thailand has high HIV prevalence in the Asia Pacific region. Prevention strategies are effective in the transmission and acquisition of HIV. Oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is the most effective HIV prevention option with an HIV prevention efficacy of 92% when the virus is detected in the blood. When taken in tandem with condoms and adherence to the PrEP regimen, these preventive measures can result in 100% efficacy of preventing the transmission and acquisition of HIV, and sexually transmitted infections (STI). PrEP is offered to anyone who is at risk of HIV infection such as men who have sex with men (MSM), sex workers, transgender women (TGW), and people who inject drugs (PWID). More than half of new HIV infections occur in MSM and TGW in Thailand. In order to provide prevention assistance for these key populations, PrEP is offered to them free of charge through the Princess PrEP Program. Objective: To assess reasons behind discontinuation of PrEP offered free of charge among high-risk populations in Bangkok, Thailand. Materials and Methods: The reasons for discontinuation was explored using a behavior and risk factor survey to better explore why clients discontinue PrEP. Surveys were sent through online messenger, email, and mail, in which 120 surveys were returned. Results: 92 out of 120 respondents (70%) discontinued PrEP. Among TGW and MSM, the main reason for discontinuing PrEP was the fact that clients felt that they were no longer at risk. Over 30% respondents reported that they were no longer at risk, and 60% said they would restart PrEP when their risk increases. Self reported risk behaviors were that of the clients who reported to not be at risk, 43% may not be using condoms, and more than 50% did not return for testing. Conclusion: At-risk clients misperceive their HIV risk. These results will help in further promoting PrEP services to provide knowledge and discussions for clients about HIV risks, and how to lower risk.