28 March 2019

Unprotected sexual contact and intravenous drug use are important routes of infection for infectious diseases such as HIV, hepatitis B and C and syphilis. To reduce the chance of infections – in addition to knowledge transfer – improving impulse control plays an important role. This is the conclusion reached by researchers from the Radboud university medical center and their Indonesian colleagues through their research into female prisoners.

HIV, hepatitis B and C and syphilis are serious infectious diseases that are common worldwide and contribute to a higher mortality rate or significant health risks. These infectious diseases are transmitted through blood or unsafe sexual contact, among other means. People who inject drugs (intravenous drug use) or have unprotected sex are particularly at risk of these infections. In Asia, including Indonesia, this is a growing problem. Prevention programs attempt to increase knowledge about the risks, but this has only a limited effect, possibly because not only knowledge but also impulsive or reward-oriented behavior influences the spread of these infections.

Impulsivity stimulates risk behavior

In the scientific journal Plos One, scientists from Nijmegen and Indonesia, led by Arnt Schellekens, describe the relationship between impulsivity, risk behavior and infectious diseases (HIV, hepatitis, and syphilis) in a women's prison in Jakarta. Rachel Arends, first author of the study: “Indeed, we see that impulsivity among female prisoners increases the risk of these infections because it is linked to an increase in drug use and high-risk sexual behavior. Impulsivity, motivated by being sensitive to rewards, plays a major role in this.”

Prevention through impulse control

The research shows that efforts to reduce the spread of these infectious diseases should not only focus on knowledge transfer. Arnt Schellekens: “To prevent the spread of HIV, hepatitis and syphilis, we should pay more attention to the underlying causes of high-risk behavior. In particular, to the regulation of emotions and impulses in people with high-risk sexual behavior and intravenous drug users. The focus should not only be on knowledge transfer, but also on providing support to better deal with emotions and impulses.”
 
Publication:
Associations between impulsivity, risk behavior and HIV, HBV, HCV and syphilis seroprevalence among female prisoners in Indonesia: A cross-sectional study.
Rachel M. Arends, Erni J. Nelwan, Ratna Soediro, Reinout van Crevel, Bachti Alisjahbana, Herdiman T. Pohan, A. Katinka L. von Borries, Aart H. Schene, André J. A. M. van der Ven, Arnt F. A. Schellekens
 

Related news items


Bart van de Warrenburg appointed visiting professor at the UKM Medical Centre in Kuala Lumpur

11 November 2019

Neurologist and Principal Investigator at the Donders Institute Bart van de Warrenburg has been appointed visiting professor at the UKM Medical Centre in Kuala Lumpur.

read more

KNAW Van Leersum beurs for Mohammad Alsady

7 November 2019

Mohammad Alsady, theme Disorders of movement, received the “KNAW Van Leersum beurs”.

read more

3D breast ultrasound elastography to improve breast cancer detection

5 November 2019

One out of seven women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during their life. Early detection of breast cancer is important to increase the survival rate. Gijs Hendriks graduated recently on a new technique, 3D elastography, to detect breast cancer better.

read more

Self-management rehabilitation program improves participation in patients with neuromuscular disease

4 November 2019

Yvonne Veenhuizen, Alexander Geurts theme Neurorehabilitation, Baziel van Engelen, theme Disorders of movement, and colleagues, showed that Energetic improves participation in patients with neuromuscular disease. They have published their results in Neurology.

read more

New NFU eBROK® course open for registration

1 November 2019

This platform is not only for researchers who want to obtain their BROK® certificate, but also for researchers who already have a BROK® certificate and want to keep their certification (re-certification).

read more

Emily Klooster wins the NVZF incentive prize

31 October 2019

For the second year in a row, a PhD candidate from the Allied Health Sciences group of IQ Healthcare (RIHS), has won the "Dutch Association for Physiotherapists in the Hospital" incentive prize.

read more