Archive for December, 2008


December 31st, 2008

Free Antibiotics!!!

Yes, the northeast supermarket/pharmacy chain Stop & Shop will now offer antibiotics — for free.  (And they are not the first.  Take a look at this amazing advertisement.) Says Stop & Shop’s “consumer advisor” Andrea Astrachan: Stop & Shop pharmacies are committed to improving the health and wellness in our communities during the winter season when families are susceptible to coughs, […]

December 29th, 2008

Required Reading: Introducing the “iPatient”

Many HIV/ID specialists first heard of Abraham Verghese from his book My Own Country: A Doctor’s Story, which was published in 1994.  He told us what it was like to be a newly-minted ID doctor, thrust into treating the first cases of HIV/AIDS in a remote town in Tennessee during the mid-1980s. Compelling stuff — I […]

December 23rd, 2008

Flu Resistance to Oseltamivir: The Bugs Win Again

I must admit, the recent report that 49 of the 50 H1N1 flu viruses tested by the CDC are resistant to oseltamivir caught me by surprise.  For the non-math majors among the readership, that’s a 98% resistance rate.  Yikes. Actually, the rate of resistance is so high that at first I didn’t believe it when my wife […]

December 19th, 2008

Infectious Disease in the ICU: Help Please? Part I

I am currently attending on the inpatient service, which means I spend a good chunk of my day seeing new ID consults and rounding on follow-ups.  As I’m sure is true in most hospitals, many of these consults are from the intensive care units (ICUs).  After 18 years in this ID business, I confess I still find myself quite challenged […]

December 10th, 2008

Unintended Consequences of ART “Rollout”

According to this BBC article, teenagers in South Africa are grinding up antiretrovirals and then smoking them for their “hallucinogenic and relaxing effect”.  (Apologies for the pun on the title.) It’s impossible to tell with a report like this how widespread the practice is, but it’s potentially worrisome.  And no mention in the article which antivirals are being used, […]

December 5th, 2008

New Case Definition for HIV Infection? Yawn …

The CDC has revised its case definition for HIV infection and AIDS, so that now laboratory evidence — a positive antibody test, or detectable HIV RNA or DNA – is required for the diagnosis. It’s not intended to guide clinical practice, but still — what took them so long?  A clinical diagnosis of AIDS was only necessary […]

December 4th, 2008

More Support for HIV Screening

On Monday December 1 — World AIDS Day, if you’re keeping track — the American College of Physicians released a position paper supporting routine HIV screening for adolescents and adults in the United States.  (If you don’t want to read the whole thing, we’ll have a perfectly-executed summary by the inimitable Abbie Zuger on our AIDS Clinical […]

HIV Information: Author Paul Sax, M.D.

Paul E. Sax, MD

Contributing Editor

NEJM Journal Watch
Infectious Diseases

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