Global burden of tuberculosis particularly acute among people with HIV/AIDS; homeless shelters in D.C. struggle to keep up with demands; gun violence can have lasting effect on doctors who treat victims. Those stories and more topping public health headlines today, Friday, March 22, 2013.
Washington Post -Senate Democrats on track to pass budget protecting safety net and raising taxes
Democrats controlling the Senate appear on track to pass their first budget in four years, promising a second, almost $1 trillion round of tax increases on top of more than $600 billion in higher taxes on the wealthy enacted in January. The nonbinding but politically symbolic measure would protect safety-net programs for the poor and popular domestic priorities like education, health research and federal law enforcement agencies from cuts sought by House Republicans, who adopted a far more austere plan on Thursday morning.
The Atlantic – How Health Research Misdirects Us
Mark Twain famously decried three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics. While Twain himself was no statistician, he did hit upon an important idea. Physicians, scientists, and the general public should be cautious about accepting many research reports at face value. The mere fact that biomedical researchers can find a statistically significant relationship between good health and a particular drug, nutritional supplement, dietary modification, or medical device does not in fact establish that it is healthful. Depending who is analyzing the statistics and how, numbers can lie, and in some cases, they can lure us to perdition.
blog.AIDS.gov – Addressing the needs of individuals coinfected with HIV and TB
This weekend, we observe World Tuberculosis (TB) Day (Sunday, March 24), a day to remember that the global burden of TB remains enormous, particularly among people with HIV/AIDS, among whom TB is the leading cause of death, worldwide. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2011, 1.4 million people died from TB, including 430,000 deaths among people who were HIV-positive. TB is also one of the top killers of women around the globe, with 300,000 deaths among HIV-negative women and 200,000 deaths among HIV-positive women in 2011. TB is also a health threat among people living with HIV in the United States. In 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 6% of all TB cases in the U.S. and 10% of TB cases among people aged 25–44 occurred among people who are living with HIV.
Washington Post – Scores of youth turned away from shelter after city cuts
Counselors at one of the city’s largest shelters for homeless youths have had to turn away more than 80 unaccompanied children — some as young as 12 or 13 — who came to them for help in the past six weeks after the city cut more than $700,000 from the shelter’s budget. Even as the number of homeless youths in the area continues to rise, the shelter had to turn away three to four teens a day since the city cut homeless prevention and family counseling grants this year, said Deborah Shore, executive director of Sasha Bruce Youthwork in Northeast Washington. The total amounts to about 7 percent of its $9 million annual budget.
Kaiser Health News – In The Emergency Department, Gunshot Fatalities Often ‘Hard To Forget’
In Colorado, where more people die from gunshots than car crashes, the victims have a profound effect on the physicians who treat them. For some of the doctors on the front lines, the experiences lead to a strong opposition to guns, questions about gun laws and even activism. Dr. Chris Colwell, an emergency department physician in Denver, says he sees gun-violence victims on a weekly basis. And when those cases are fatal, they are hard to forget.