Articles matching the ‘Policy’ Category

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February 10th, 2019

Six Musings Triggered by the Latest Measles Outbreak

In 2018, there were 372 cases of measles in the United States, the largest number since 2014. This year, we’ve already had 79 cases, many from a large outbreak in the Pacific Northwest — where anti-vaccine proponents recently protested efforts to restrict nonmedical vaccine exemptions. A few ruminations triggered by this outbreak. 1. The vaccine is extraordinarily […]


January 27th, 2019

For Our Stable HIV Patients, Why Are We Still Sending All These Lab Tests So Often?

Interesting query from a colleague recently: I’m a community ID doc in the trenches (the measles trenches at present) with an HIV question. Why do we still check CBCs & chem panels every 3-6 months in our HIV patients? Particularly our well-controlled, virologically-suppressed patients? This strikes me as a tremendous waste. I haven’t been in practice that long, […]


January 13th, 2019

Are We ID Doctors Really So Unhappy Outside of Work?

Medscape released their 2019 Physician Lifestyle & Happiness Report, and the results aren’t pretty for a certain cognitive specialty, one commonly abbreviated “ID.” Out of 29 medical and surgical specialties, infectious diseases physicians ranked second to last when responding to a 7-point scale rating on their happiness. Only neurologists were gloomier than we were during their off-hours. Rheumatologists […]


December 2nd, 2018

As A Strategy for HIV Prevention, Disabling the CCR5 Gene in Embryos Implanted in HIV-Negative Mothers Makes Zero Sense

One of the great joys of being an ID/HIV specialist is looking back at how far we’ve come in HIV prevention and treatment since the beginning of the epidemic. Here are a bunch of things we know about HIV prevention, listed roughly in order of when we learned them — and forgive me if this is an oversimplification […]


November 12th, 2018

Sharing Radiology Images Across EMRs Is Frustratingly Terrible — and It Doesn’t Have to Be This Way

In the United States, any person who has tried getting their own (or their patient’s) radiology images from another hospital or practice will find this brief anecdote painful: Today I spent my lunch hour walking a CD-Rom of x-ray images from one doctor’s office to another because it’s 2018 and that was the most efficient way […]


October 28th, 2018

New Flu Drug Offers Convenience, Fast Activity, and a Novel Mechanism — at a Price

Last week, the FDA approved a new drug for treatment of influenza, baloxavir marboxil (Xofluza). The drug is indicated for treatment of symptomatic influenza in patients 12 years of age or older. As with existing treatments, it should be started within 48 hours of symptom onset. In a comparative clinical trial in otherwise healthy outpatients, baloxavir and oseltamivir […]


September 16th, 2018

Supermarket Chain CEO Defends High Prices of Water, Salt, and Other Items as a “Moral” Requirement

Inspired by recent events in antibiotic pricing. SACRAMENTO, CA. The head of a national supermarket chain is defending a recent substantial increase in the price of water, salt, and other food and kitchen essentials, arguing that this change is the equivalent of a “moral” requirement. Last month, iFoods Plus Stores announced that common low-cost items such as […]


May 20th, 2018

Why the Dolutegravir Pregnancy Warning Is Important — and What We Should Do Now

Last week, in response to newly available surveillance data, multiple agencies issued a warning about the HIV integrase inhibitor dolutegravir (DTG) and pregnancy. The warnings cite an increased risk of neural tube defects in babies born to women who became pregnant while receiving the drug. From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: The concern stems from […]


April 16th, 2018

Hepatitis C Positive Organ Donors — Coming Soon to a Transplant Center Near You

There’s one immutable fact in solid organ transplantation — the number of patients awaiting transplant exceeds the number of available organs. This shortage means that ethical, medically safe strategies to increase the donor pool are always a high priority. One such strategy would be to allow transplants from people who have chronic hepatitis C. If the thought of […]


April 1st, 2018

News Flash — The World Isn’t Sterile

You might have missed this press release from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID): Bethesda, MD April 1, 2018 The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, at the National Institutes of Health, invites grant applications which propose research in the following 3 critical world health challenges: 1.  Development of an effective HIV […]


HIV Information: Author Paul Sax, M.D.

Paul E. Sax, MD

Contributing Editor

NEJM Journal Watch
Infectious Diseases

Biography | Disclosures | Summaries

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