Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in HIV & AIDS for February 2010. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.
Antiretrovirals During TB Therapy Improve Survival
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with HIV and tuberculosis (TB), starting antiretroviral therapy during TB treatment is associated with better survival; and, in people with HIV, screening for TB should include questions about symptoms other than just chronic cough, according to the results of two studies in the Feb. 25 New England Journal of Medicine.
Physicians Working Fewer Hours for Lower Fees
TUESDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians in the United States have been working fewer hours for lower fees in the past decade, according to research published in the Feb. 24 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
FDA Reviewing Safety of HIV Antiretroviral Combination
TUESDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has alerted health care professionals and consumers that the HIV drug combination of saquinavir (Invirase) and ritonavir (Norvir) may increase the risk of potentially serious cardiac arrhythmias in a dose-dependent manner. This is an early communication from the FDA with ongoing review of the data.
Medical Checklists Needed to Improve Care and Outcomes
MONDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- The checklists so common in aviation and many professions are underused in medicine and, if more widely adopted, would provide powerful tools to standardize care and improve patient outcomes, according to an article published Dec. 31 in Critical Care.
New System Aims to Improve Blood Transfusion Safety
FRIDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has started a national surveillance system to monitor adverse events in patients who receive blood transfusions, the agency has announced.
Treating Herpes May Slow HIV in Co-Infected Patients
MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- In patients co-infected with HIV-1 and herpes simplex virus type 2, treating the herpes infection with acyclovir likely delays the progression of HIV, according to a study published online Feb. 15 in The Lancet.
2009 H1N1-Related Deaths and Hospitalizations Examined
MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has provided updated estimates of the 2009 H1N1 cases, related hospitalizations and deaths, with approximately 57 million cases occurring between April 2009 and January 2010.
AHRQ: U.S. Adults Seeing Big Barriers to Specialty Care
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- In 2007, about one in 13 of U.S. adults reported that access to specialist care was a "big problem," according to a December report issued by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).
FDA Initiative Aims to Cut Medical Radiation Exposure
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has launched a new initiative that aims to reduce exposure to radiation from computed tomography (CT), nuclear medicine studies and fluoroscopy, the three procedures that are the main sources of medically-related radiation exposure.
Impact of HIV Drug Adherence Programs Evaluated
TUESDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- In HIV patients treated with highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), the efficacy of interventions promoting adherence to the drug regimen appears linked to how well standard care is delivered, according to a review published in the Feb. 8 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.
H1N1 Vaccination Still Highly Recommended
MONDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Despite H1N1 virus levels stabilizing, transmission remains an issue and vaccination continues to be an effective option for prevention of this potentially serious condition, according to a Feb. 5 press briefing by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
Racial Disparities in Perinatal HIV Infections Decline Slightly
MONDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Racial disparities in perinatal HIV diagnoses have declined in recent years, although African-Americans and Hispanics still account for the majority of infections, according to research published in the Feb. 5 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Many American Adults Do Not Get Recommended Vaccines
MONDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Although most parents ensure their children are vaccinated, adults often do not receive recommended vaccinations themselves, according to a new report, Adult Immunization: Shots to Save Lives.
Coalition Launches Campaign to Limit Residents' Hours
FRIDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- To prevent medical errors caused by doctor fatigue, a coalition of public interest and patient safety groups is urging the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) to limit the amount of time residents must work without sleep to 16 hours and to increase resident supervision.
Health Care Spending Makes Record Leap in GDP Share
THURSDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- A growth in health spending in 2009, coupled with a sagging economy, created the largest one-year jump in health care's share of the nation's gross domestic product since 1960, according to an article published online Feb. 4 in Health Affairs.
Diversity Growth Incremental in the Medical Professions
THURSDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- One hundred years after the Flexner Report recommended closing five of the seven African-American medical schools then extant, African-Americans and other minorities remain grossly underrepresented in the medical professions, according to an article in the February issue of Academic Medicine.
The Lancet Retracts Study Linking MMR Vaccine, Autism
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- On Feb. 2, The Lancet retracted a controversial 1998 study that linked the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine to autism and gastrointestinal problems.
Advocating Abstinence May Reduce Teen Sexual Behavior
TUESDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Abstinence programs may help to prevent sexual involvement among adolescents, according to a study in the February issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.
President Proposes $911 Billion Budget for HHS
TUESDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- As part of his 2011 budget proposal, President Barack Obama has proposed $911 billion for the U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Department, according to a Feb. 1 announcement by the secretary of HHS, Kathleen Sebelius.
FDA Revises Label for the HIV Drug Didanosine
MONDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with HIV, use of Videx or Videx EC (didanosine) may increase the risk of non-cirrhotic portal hypertension, according to a Safety Announcement released Jan. 29 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which has revised the Warning and Precautions section of the didanosine drug label to assure safe use of the medication.
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