Category Archives: HIV
The Weight of the Nation Conference, sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, begins today. The goal of the conference is to provide a forum to highlight progress in the prevention and control of obesity through policy and environmental strategies, and is framed around five intervention settings: early care and education; states, tribes and communities; medical care; schools; and workplaces. Several key resources on obesity are being released in connection with the conference:
- A new book, The Weight of the Nation: To Win We Have to Lose, co-authored by Judith Salerno, Executive Officer of the Institute of Medicine, which looks at the forces driving the obesity epidemic in the U.S. and offers practical tips on weight loss.
- The book is a companion to a new HBO documentary, The Weight of the Nation, on obesity in the US, which debuts May 14 and was produced in association with partners including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health.
- On May 8 the IOM will release a report, Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention, at the Weight of the Nation conference, which will recommend ways society can support individuals by making healthy choices easier.
A study published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine found that 80 percent of people using bike share programs in Boston and Washington, DC, did not use helmets. According to the researchers, from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, helmet use is associated with decreased rates of head injury and mortality and decreases the risk of head and brain injury by 65 to 88 percent. Helmet use in the two bike share programs studied, as well as others, is not required in order to rent the bikes.
Blacks with HIV are much less likely to adhere to drug therapy than others with the disease, according to a University of Michigan study. Additionally, untreated depression may interfere with HIV/AIDS treatment for all low-income, HIV-infected patients, regardless of race. The one year study found that less than 30 percent of African-American HIV patients in the one-year study had optimal compliance with their drug therapy, compared with 40 percent of other HIV patients.
More than 66 percent of the 7,034 HIV-infected patients in the study were African-American and nearly half of them reported depression. However, the study also found that antidepressant treatment nearly doubled the odds of drug compliance among HIV patients of all races who reported depression. The study appeared in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.
The U.S. is being outpaced by most other developed countries when it comes to improvements in health outcomes, according to a new analysis by a researcher at the University Of Washington School Of Public Health. The researcher, Dr. Stephen Bezruchka, a senior lecturer in global health, says the decline comes despite increased U.S. spending on health care services.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has announced nearly $33 million in grants to extremely low-income persons living with HIV/AIDS. The grants will provide housing and supportive services such as case management and employment training. Read more on health and housing.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has announced two grant programs totaling more than $24 million to help veterans enter the health profession workforce and increase the nation’s supply of advanced practice nurses and physician assistants. Read more on military health and opportunities.
Reuters is reporting that the Food and Drug Administration has denied a petition by the Natural Resources Defense Council to ban BPA, also known as bisphenol A, a chemical used in products such as water bottles, soup cans and other food and drink packaging that may cause harm to developing babies and young children.
The FDA says the petition did not provide the scientific evidence needed to change current regulations.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has launched “Take Charge. Take the Test.”—a new campaign to increase HIV testing and awareness among black women. The campaign is being launched in ten cities where black women are especially hard-hit by the disease.
Black women are far more heavily affected by HIV and AIDS than women of any other race or ethnicity in the United States. They account for nearly 60 percent of all new HIV infections among women (and 13 percent of new infections overall). The rate of new infections among black women is 15 times higher than among white women.
The campaign emphasizes the importance of HIV testing. Venues for messaging include outdoor and transit advertising; radio ads and posters and handouts distributed in salons and stores. Read more on HIV prevention.
Suicides among U.S. soldiers rose 80 percent from 2004 to 2008, according to a study in the journal Injury Prevention. While 40 percent of the suicides may have been linked to combat experience in Iraq, nearly a third of the soldiers who committed suicide were not in combat, according to the study. The researchers also found that rates of suicide among Army personnel from 1977 to 2003 were similar to trends in the general population, but in 2004 suicides started to increase quickly, outpacing the suicide rates among civilians by 2008. Read more on military health.
A new study funded by the National Institutes of Health finds that treating HIV in order to avoid brain impairment may have a window of just the first year of life. Treatment begun later than that may not have as significant results in avoiding cognitive impairment. Read more HIV news.
One-third of American families are having trouble paying for health care, according to a report from the National Center for Health Statistics. Data for the first six months of 2011 found that one in five families had difficulty paying medical bills, one in four pays bills over time and one in 10 can't pay medical bills at all. Read more on access to health care.
Deaths from hepatitis C have increased in the U.S. in the last few years, at least in part because many people don't know they have disease, according to a new study in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at data from 1999 to 2007 and found that deaths from hepatitis C (15,000) surpassed deaths from HIV (13,000) and that deaths from hepatitis C and B are mostly among people who are middle-aged.
Additional studies in the current issue of the journal found that the best treatment is expensive, about $60,000, but may be worth the cost because hepatitis C raises the risk of more expensive outcomes, including cancer and liver transplants; and that routine screening, not commonly done, may detect more cases of hepatitis C earlier, when treatment is most effective. Read more on infectious disease.
Counties with more dermatologists have lower rates of deaths from melanoma, according to a new study in the Archives of Dermatology. Researchers compared the number of dermatologists and melanoma deaths in 2,472 U.S. counties between January 2002 and December 2006. Their review found that that having 0.001 to one dermatologist per 100,000 people in a county was associated with a 35 percent lower rate of melanoma deaths. Having an even higher ratio of dermatologists, though, was not associated with a further decrease in melanoma death rates.
- Counties with hospitals that had oncology departments had slightly lower melanoma death rates.
- Metropolitan counties had about 30 percent lower melanoma death rates than rural counties.
The researchers say it’s not clear whether density of dermatologist’s impacts prevention, diagnosis, treatment or a combination of those factors. Read more cancer news.
Concussions have been the sports injury most frequently in the news, but as the calendar turns toward baseball season, a new study in the American Journal of Sports Medicine finds that lack of stretching and training too often results in abdominal strains—known as side strains—for professional baseball players. The researchers say that their study suggests that there may be too much focus during training on building strength, and not enough on stretching and flexibility.
The injuries typically occur with twisting or pivoting, such as a pitcher's throwing motion or a batter's swing. The researchers looked at 20 years of records from Major League Baseball's disabled list, from 1991 to 2010, and found that of 8,136 players on the disabled list during that time; five percent of injuries were abdominal strains. The researchers say the injuries were most likely to happen in March and April when weather is colder and it’s harder to loosen muscles, or before the players are as in as good physical condition as they are later in the season. Read more on injury prevention and safety.
February 7, 2012 marks the 12th annual National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, a national community mobilization initiative to boost HIV awareness and advance HIV prevention, testing, and treatment among blacks in the United States.
Among all racial and ethnic groups in the U.S., African Americans have the greatest burden of HIV. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that one in 16 black men and one in 32 black women will be diagnosed with HIV infection during their lifetimes. In 2009, blacks made up 14 percent of the U.S. population but accounted for nearly half (44 percent) of all new HIV infections. Recent CDC data shows an alarming 48 percent increase in new HIV infections from 2006 to 2009 among young, black men who have sex with men aged 13 to 29 years. Black women, according to the CDC, are far more affected by HIV than women of other races. The rate of new HIV infections for black women is more than 15 times as high as that of white women, and more than 3 times as high as that of Latino women.
The theme for 2012 is I Am My Brother's/Sister's Keeper: Fight HIV/AIDS! and is focused on making sure that all black men, women, and young adults, regardless of sexual orientation, economic class, or educational level, see themselves as part of the solution to the HIV epidemic in black communities.
- To find a testing site call 1-800-CDC-INFO (232-4636), visit HIVtest.org, or, on your cell phone, text your zip code to KNOW IT (566948).
- Listen to a podcast from Dr. Kevin Fenton of CDC, talking about the HIV epidemic in the African American community and steps everyone can take to stop the spread of HIV.
- Get CDC information and resources on HIV and AIDS in African American and other black communities.
- Learn about HIV and AIDS, how it is and is not transmitted, the risk factors for HIV transmission, preventing transmission, and the symptoms of HIV infection.
- Join Testing Makes Us Stronger on Facebook.
- Follow TalkHIV on Twitter.
- Visit AIDS.gov for federal HIV and AIDS resources.
>>Read more about efforts to create health equity.
Lawrence Gostin wrote two of the founding books on public health law and developed some of the most influential public health model policies of our time. NewPublicHealth spoke with Lawrence Gostin, JD, Linda D. and Timothy J. O’Neill Professor of Global Health Law at the Georgetown University Law Center and director of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, about his keynote address at this week’s Public Health Law Research (PHLR) Annual Meeting and emerging trends in public health law.
>>NewPublicHealth will be covering the PHLR Annual Meeting all week, including Q&As with some of the top researchers and influencers who are presenting. Follow our coverage here.
NewPublicHealth: What do you plan to speak about at the PHLR meeting?
Lawrence Gostin: I’m going to speak about global health law and global health governance. The idea is to talk about something that’s innovative and exciting and I have a proposal for a Framework Convention on Global Health, which is a global health treaty that the UN Secretary General has endorsed and many countries now are on board. So it’s an exciting, fascinating and vital time for global health. We’re really expanding the horizons beyond America to how we can make sure that all the world’s people have good health, and particularly those who are poor and vulnerable.
NPH: That’s very interesting. What is the treaty about?
Public Health Law Research (PHLR), a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation program at Temple University, recently held its annual meeting in New Orleans. The theme of this year’s meeting, the first such conferences open to non-grantees of the program, was "Public Health Law Targets of Opportunities." The conference offered an opportunity to highlight research about how law can be used to improve population health. Read full NewPublicHealth coverage of the PHLR conference here.
NewPublicHealth spoke with Scott Burris, JD, director of the Public Health Law Research program.
NewPublicHealth: What’s key about this year’s conference?
Scott Burris: This is a transitional conference for us. We have been planting the orchard for the last two and a half years since we started the program. Now we are starting lot get some fruit. Our grantees are reporting on their results. And we’re getting as many paying people coming to the conference as we have new grantees coming to the conference.
NPH: Needle exchange is a key topic at the conference this year. Why is that?
A new scientific statement from the American Heart Association says that more people will survive sudden cardiac arrest if 9-1-1 dispatchers help bystanders assess victims and begin CPR immediately. Read more heart health news.
Treating municipal wastewater and reusing it for drinking water, irrigation, industry, and other applications could significantly increase the nation's total available water resources, particularly in coastal areas facing water shortages, according to a new report from the National Research Council. Get moreenvironmental health news.
Vitamin D may help prevent hormonal changes that can lead to bone loss among those being treated for HIV with the drug tenofovir, according to the results of a National Institutes of Health-funded study published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases. Get more HIV news.
Older women who have lost more than two inches in height face an increased risk of breaking bones and dying, according to a new study published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research. Read more on the health of older adults.