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Articles matching the ‘Policy’ Category

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April 22nd, 2015

Seriously — How Much Would You Pay for a Curbside Consult?

Yes, seriously. Let me start with an email exchange I had with a PCP recently: Hi, Paul, quick question This lady, 49 YO woman from Haiti, asymptomatic, totally healthy. Got TSpot done for immigration purposes, it’s positive with negative chest Xray. Treated with INH 6 months in 2001. She travels to Haiti annually so could had been reexposed, […]


April 15th, 2015

Does Scientific Language Come Across as Wishy-Washy?

I had the opportunity to interview author Seth Mnookin recently for a podcast on Open Forum Infectious Diseases, and it was a real treat. He’s Associate Director of the graduate program in Scientific Writing at MIT, and the author of the The Panic Virus: The True Story Behind the Vaccine-Autism Controversy. Not surprisingly given his […]


April 8th, 2015

New HIV Treatment Guidelines, and the End of an Era

The new Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) HIV treatment guidelines are out, and thanks to skillful direction by Alice Pau, it’s as usual a must-read document — all 288 pages, of course! There are several major changes, so a good place to start is the all-important “What’s New in the Guidelines” summary page. Some of […]


April 3rd, 2015

Melting Snow ID Link-o-Rama

A few ID/HIV tidbits to contemplate as we go from slipping on ice and snow to dodging the mud: Beta-lactam therapy alone is non-inferior to regimens that also cover “atypicals” for hospitalized patients with pneumonia. These results challenge a dogma that has been present for a couple of decades — namely, that all patients admitted with community-acquired pneumonia should get […]


March 28th, 2015

Quick Question: Should HIV-Negative People in Serodiscordant Relationships All Get PrEP?

From a very thoughtful and experienced primary care provider came this query: Hey Paul, quick question – One of my patients, an HIV-negative gay man, is in a long-term relationship with one of your HIV-positive patients — my patient says his partner has been on successful HIV treatment for years. Obviously I can’t check his […]


March 8th, 2015

Measles Vaccine Videos and the Challenge of Changing Someone’s Mind

I suspect most of you have already been treated to this highly amusing video about the measles outbreak from Jimmy Kimmel — a comedy segment featuring real-life doctors, imagine that. Not your typical late-night comedy show performers, but they forcefully (and obscenely) get their message across. If you have just returned from a tropical island where the internet connection was iffy, […]


February 15th, 2015

Should Antibiotics be Part of End-of-Life Care?

There’s been some truly outstanding work done recently on end-of-life care, and how we deal with it — or more accurately, how we typically don’t deal with it until the very last moment, at which time often many unfortunate decisions and events occur. Here are three I can strongly recommend: Roz Chast’s Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? is probably […]


January 28th, 2015

Quick Question: Should We Still Be Recommending This Year’s Flu Vaccine?

From a football-obsessed primary care provider, written to me on one very snowy day in New England: Hi Paul, I’ve been reading about this year’s flu vaccine, and how ineffective it is. Not surprisingly, my patients have been hearing this too, and it has only increased their reluctance to go through with it. Should I […]


January 7th, 2015

Are the STI Screening Guidelines for Gay Men Overkill? (And Pedro Video.)

Our “healthcare system” recently distributed a set of guidelines entitled, Primary care for gay men: screening and treatment recommendations. It included, among other things, recommendations for screening for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and anal cancer. The former it adopted from CDC guidelines, which are this this: Screening at least once a year for syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea […]


December 20th, 2014

New HCV Option Effective, Safe, Well-Tolerated — And Use Will Likely Be Driven by Payors

As expected, the FDA approved the next treatment option for HCV on Friday — “Viekira Pak”, a (sometimes complete) regimen consisting of ritonavir-booted parataprevir and ombitasvir given as a two pills once a day, plus one pill of of dasabuvir given twice daily. It is indicated for treatment of HCV genotype 1. For those of you mechanistically inclined, […]


HIV Information: Author Paul Sax, M.D.

Paul E. Sax, MD

Contributing Editor

NEJM Journal Watch
Infectious Diseases

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