A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘hiv/aids

[LINK] “Saskatchewan’s HIV epidemic”

Ken MacQueen of MacLean’s writes about the emergence of a serious HIV epidemic in Saskatchewan, concentrated in disadvantaged populations.\

Sometimes when Dr. Alex Wong wants to draw the attention of government policy-makers to the HIV epidemic in his home province of Saskatchewan, he entitles his statistical presentation “Africa on the Prairies.” Here in Vancouver, at the International AIDS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention, he took a more scholarly tone: “The Developing World in Our Own Backyard: Concentrated HIV Epidemics in High Income Settings.” He was sharing the stage with an AIDS worker from Ukraine and doctors from the hard-hit American regions of Appalachia and southeastern U.S., but the point was made. While Ukraine is coping with a tenuous economy and Russian incursion, the fact that regions of two of the world’s wealthiest countries are coping with Third World levels of HIV infection rates reflects, in his view, a sad failure of policy, planning and political will.

At its peak five years ago Saskatchewan had an infection rate of more than 19 people per 100,000 population, 2½ times the national average—by far the highest rate in Canada. While that provincial rate has since fallen to about twice the national average, those numbers don’t address the racial disparity or the potential disaster looming on the horizon, says Wong, an infectious diseases physician, researcher and a clinical director of the HIV provincial leadership team.

The infection rate for Saskatchewan’s non-Aboriginal population is below the national average. Yet, while First Nations and Metis account for about 16 per cent of Saskatchewan’s population, they represented about 80 per cent of all new cases of HIV diagnosed in 2011, Wong told a workshop attended by a few hundred of the 6,000 delegates here. “The incidence rate in our Aboriginal population is about 88 per 100,000 [population], which is 14 times the national average, on par with various African countries.”

The primary cause of the HIV and hepatitis C outbreak is an epidemic of injection-drug use in the urban centres like Regina and Saskatoon, and of injected prescription drugs in rural regions and isolated reserves.

But the blame itself runs deeper, including the legacy of colonialism, residential schools and discrimination, Margaret Poitras, a Cree and CEO of the All Nations Hope AIDS Network, told the panel.

Written by Randy McDonald

July 24, 2015 at 9:40 pm

[BLOG] Some Friday links

  • Centauri Dreams explores Pluto and its worlds.
  • Crooked Timber considers the question of how to organize vast quantities of data.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to two papers on exoplanet habitability, noting that the composition of exoplanets influences their habitability and suggests exomoons need to be relatively massive to be habitable.
  • Geocurrents notes the inequalities of Chile.
  • Joe. My. God. notes an article about New York City gay nightclub The Saint.
  • Language Hat links to a site on American English.
  • Language Log suggests that the Cantonese language is being squeezed out of education in Hong Kong.
  • Languages of the World notes a free online course on language revival.
  • Peter Watts of No Moods, Ads, or Cutesy Fucking Icons examines the flaws of a paper on a proto-Borg collective of rats.
  • Spacing Toronto looks at the Toronto connection to a notorious late 19th century American serial killer.
  • Towleroad notes a study suggesting that people with undetectable levels of HIV can’t transmit the virus.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy notes the issues of compliance with lawful orders.
  • Whatever’s John Scalzi likes the ASIS Chromebook flip.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the connection between the wars of Yugoslavia and eastern Ukraine, looks at Buryat-Cossack conflict, and notes disabled Russian veterans of the Ukrainian war.

[BLOG] Some Friday links

  • blogTO notes that John Tory supports the decriminalization of marijuana.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze considers if there might be a hot Jupiter orbiting a pulsating star.
  • The Dragon’s Tales wonders if multicellularity in cyanobacteria three billion years ago helped drive the Great Oxidation Event.
  • Far Outliers notes the 1878 introduction of football to Burma.
  • A Fistful of Euros notes that Europe is muddling through in the Mediterranean versus migrants and observes that even the optimistic scenarios for economic growth in Greece are dire.
  • The Frailest Thing considers the idea of a technological history of modernity.
  • Language Log notes an example of multiscript graffiti in Berlin.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes how the Confederate cause won the Civil War despite losing the battles.
  • Marginal Revolution argues that default will do nothing to make the underlying issues of Greece business-wise better.
  • The Planetary Society Blog looks at the intriguing geology of Ceres.
  • Peter Rukavina shows the Raspberry Pi computer he built into a Red Rocket tea tin.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog links to a paper studying Russian patriarchy and misogyny in public health.
  • Spacing Toronto looks at the genesis of the Bloor Viaduct’s Luminous Veil.
  • Towleroad examines the Texan pastor who threatened to set himself on fire over same-sex marriage.
  • Une heure de peine celebrates its eighth birthday.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy reacts to the Michael Oren controversy over American ties with Israel.
  • Window on Eurasia warns that Putin’s system in Chechnya is not viable, predicts a worsening of the Russian HIV/AIDS epidemic, and notes that Jewish emigration from Russia has taken off again.

[PHOTO] Roses at the AIDS Vigil, Barbara Hall Park

Roses at the AIDS Vigil #toronto #pride #aidsvigil #flowers #roses #aidsmemorial #barbarahallpark

Daily Xtra has more about this year’s event.

Written by Randy McDonald

June 29, 2015 at 2:47 pm

[BLOG] Some Monday links

  • blogTO notes that a men’s rights group that lied to get into the Pride parade last year has been kept out this year.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly reflects on the transformation of a Hudson Valley landscape dear to her.
  • Centauri Dreams analyzes the latest images of Pluto.
  • The Dragon’s Tales has a cheering report on the potential habitability of the oceans of Europa and suggests some flood landscapes on Mars might be recent.
  • Languages of the World reflects on the phenomenon of the primate city, examining the decline of St. Petersburg relative to Moscow.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes how in the aftermath of the Rohingya affair, Aung San Suu Kyi can no longer be a Western liberal hero, at least not an uncomplicated one.
  • Marginal Revolution praises Portugal’s second city of Porto and argues Iceland did go through austerity.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw looks at Australian models for social housing.
  • Towleroad notes that Los Angeles County will now be providing people who want it with PrEP.
  • Window on Eurasia looks at Putin’s misreading of the West, and notesthe hostility of a Russian scholar to multiculturalism.

[BLOG} Some social science links

  • The Cranky Sociologists consider a series of controversial videos examining issues of racism and discrimination in Auckland.
  • Crooked Timber’s Chris Bertram argues that European countries are responsible for migrant deaths in the Mediterranean.
  • The Everyday Sociology Blog considers the international market in surrogate mothers.
  • The Frailest Thing considers desire in the world of things, and examines the connections between machine work and the value of people.
  • Kieran Healy notes the often wild guesses made by Americans at the population size of the United States.
  • Language Hat notes the dislike of Russian aristocrats for the Russian language, and maps London’s different languages.
  • Language Log takes issue with a map of the languages of the world in regards to China, and looks at Cantonese usage in Hong Kong.
  • Languages of the World considers Google Translate.
  • Marginal Revolution examines China’s ideological spectrum and notes a New Zealand database that can predict outcomes for young people.
  • The New APPS Blog argues in favour of citing unpublished papers and praises the bravery of migrants.
  • pollotenchegg maps the distribution of refugees in the Ukrainian government-controlled Donbas.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer looks at recent fertility increases in post-graduate American women.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog examined the changing nature of migration to and from Russia, looks at the demographic experiences over Belarus, considers the Russian HIV epidemic, and examines the link between fertility and economic shocks in the United States.
  • Savage Minds examines a new book on the Bougainville conflict, looks at racism in Baltimore, and reacts to the earthquake in Nepal.
  • Towleroad and the Volokh Conspiracy note that, properly analyzed, the data of Regnerus actually contradicts his claims about same-sex parents.
  • Zero Geography looks at the hidden biases of geodata.

[LINK] “Why HIV Patients Should Start Treatment Right Away”

Bloomberg’s John Tozzi reports on a very important, and cheering, news report. Also featured at Joe. My. God., this goes to illustrate the point that the treatment of HIV/AIDS has advanced hugely.

People with HIV benefit from treatment with antiretroviral drugs as soon as they’re diagnosed, rather than waiting until damage to their immune system is evident, researchers reported May 27. The findings, from a major global trial of HIV care, were so clear and compelling that scientists released them before the trial was complete. That almost never happens in medical research, and it’s a sign that the evidence is overwhelming.

Current U.S. guidelines call for offering treatment to everyone at diagnosis. Unfortunately, the U.S. does a terrible job of getting people with HIV into treatment. Less than half the 1.2 million Americans with HIV are in care and have been prescribed antiretroviral therapy, according to CDC data[.]

The 35-country trial, funded largely by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, confirmed the benefits of early treatment. Researchers have been tracking 4,685 HIV-positive adults since 2011, all with apparently healthy immune systems. Half were randomly assigned to begin treatment immediately. The other half deferred treatment until a level of immune health, measured by a count of cells known as CD4+ or T cells, deteriorated.

After three years, the results were clear: Those who started treatment earlier did better. Their risk of serious illness or death was 53 percent lower than the group that waited. That’s a big benefit by the standards of medical interventions, which are sometimes considered successful if they improve outcomes by just a few percentage points.

Antiretroviral medications also greatly reduce the odds that people with HIV will transmit the virus to others. That benefit is well established—medication that controls viral loads can virtually eliminate the chance of infecting a partner. That’s why that big group of people in the U.S. who are diagnosed with HIV but not getting care account for a disproportionate share of new HIV infections[.]

More at the links.

Written by Randy McDonald

May 29, 2015 at 10:43 pm

Posted in Assorted

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