Former surgeon general C. Everett Koop was a towering figure in the world of public health. A pediatric surgeon with deeply held religious convictions, Koop was an iconoclast willing to challenge the accepted wisdom of both major political parties when their platforms contradicted the evidence. What could public health officials today learn from Koop's example?
Everett Koop was a man of morals. A religious man who read the bible. He was also a man of science. He got his job through politics. Yet he knew how to keep these forces separate. Nowhere was this more apparent than in his pushback against political pressures to oppose abortion on health grounds and to educate the populace on AIDS and against tobacco use.
There are 14 new HIV infections in an outbreak that's hit homeless drug users in the Seattle area. These are the predictable consequences of a feckless public health policy, and one that lacks compassion.
In the years since AIDS became known to Americans in 1982, it's gone from a certain death sentence to a very manageable disease. And even as good as anti-HIV drugs are today, after nearly four decades of research HIV infection remains incurable. But thanks to two drugs and a bunch of rhesus monkeys, that may soon change.
African women have one of the highest rates of HIV infection in the world. Although some means of prevention exist, compliance has not been great. However, two large, random controlled trials of vaginal rings containing a viral inhibitor, and requiring changing only once every four weeks, suggest that there may be help on the horizon.
With 140 million citizens in Russia, there's an estimated 1.5 million who have been diagnosed with HIV or AIDS. And the rate of HIV infection is rising 10 to 15 percent each year. To demonstrate just how backward Russia's public health policy is, take a look at its HIV statistics as compared to those of the United States.
A recent study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, revealed that although expensive, the UNAIDS "90-90-90" program is well worth the price. The program's overall goal is to be able to achieve a 73 percent reduction in the viral load to undetectable levels worldwide by 2020.
Truvada has repeatedly been shown to prevent sexual transmission of HIV. Yet women require more of the drug than men for protection from infection, according to a new study published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.
In the course of a few hours, Charlie Sheen's disclosure of his HIV status did for HIV awareness what no public health measure would ever have accomplished. This is now known as the so-called "Charlie Sheen effect," and despite his publicly wacky way of disclosing his illness, we welcome it.
HIV drugs have performed in ways that are nothing short of miraculous. Of the 673 HIV-negative gay men in San Francisco who participated in a study of the prophylactic efficacy of Gilead's Truvada, all 673 remained uninfected two years later, despite lower condom use by gay men. Amazing. Gilead also came up with the first cure for hepatitis C. Yet, the company is routinely demonized.
A recent study shows that early treatment for HIV results in a significant decrease in early illness and death. "It's just more scientific evidence to back what we've been saying for a time now," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health which funded the
In March, we wrote about Indiana Governor Pence and his decision to finally allow for a clean needle exchange to stem the outbreak of IV-drug-induced HIV in Scott County, IN. Federal law currently