Las Vegas’ HIV prevention initiatives include installing syringe vending machines

FoxNews, 18 April 2017
Author: Andrew O’Reilly
“Inspired by successes in places like Europe and Australia, Trac-B Exchange, the Southern Nevada Health District and the Nevada AIDS Research and Education Society are set to begin a pilot program that will install three syringe-dispensing vending machines across Las Vegas in the hope of reducing drug users’ needle sharing. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention assert that needle exchange programs are effective in preventing the spread of disease.”
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Italy experiencing measles epidemic after fall-off in vaccinations

The Guardian, 20 April 2017
Source: Reuters
“Italy is experiencing a measles epidemic following a fall-off in vaccinations. The Italian health ministry said on Wednesday there had been almost 1,500 registered cases of measles so far this year against some 840 in all of 2016 and some 250 in 2015. The Higher Health Institute says only around 85% of two-year-olds are being vaccinated against measles at present, well below the 95% threshold recommended by the World Health Organisation to block the illness.”
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Labor to fight anti-vaccination child care centres

Daily Telegraph, 4 April 2017
Author: Kirstie Chlopicki
“NSW Labor will fight to put a stop to legal loopholes and ban anti-vaccination child care centres across the state. As part of the legislation introduced to the NSW Parliament this week, the opposition will seek to remove the “conscientious objector clause” from the Public Health Act, to prevent unvaccinated children being enrolled in childcare centres. The bill will retain the specialist provision for children who cannot be vaccinated due to a medical condition such as a specialised cancer treatment.”
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WHO issues ethics guidance to protect rights of TB patients

WHO, 22 March 2017
“New tuberculosis (TB) ethics guidance, launched today by the World Health Organization (WHO), aims to help ensure that countries implementing the End TB Strategy adhere to sound ethical standards to protect the rights of all those affected.”
Find news release here.

Treat HIV as a public health matter, not a criminal one

Sfchronicle, 20 March 2017
Author: The San Francisco Chronicle
“Treatment of HIV, the virus that leads to AIDS, has grown by leaps and bounds since the epidemic was at its height in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It’s time for our state law regarding the disease to evolve, too. A bill, SB239, has been introduced that would reduce these penalties to the status of a misdemeanor. The idea is to reduce the stigma and public health problems around HIV by treating it the same way, legally, as other communicable diseases.”
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California Lawmakers Hold LGBT Caucus Briefing on Bill that Would Decriminalize HIV

ECT, 10 March 2017
Source: ECT
“On Thursday, the LGBT Caucus held a briefing on the decriminalizing HIV and SB 239. The controversial bill, Senate Bill 239, introduced in early February, would repeal laws passed more than three-decades ago that Wiener and supporters say are discriminatory and not based in science. The proposed bill would treat HIV like other communicable diseases under California Law. According to the proposed bill, it would make it a misdemeanor instead of a felony to intentionally expose someone to HIV.”
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Banning unvaccinated kids from child care may have unforeseen consequences

The Conversation, 14 March 2017
Author: C Raina MacIntyre
“The federal government’s push for all state and territories to ban unvaccinated children from child care is a coercive measure that may disadvantage working parents and their children, and may have other unintended consequences. The much discussed “No Jab No Pay” policy makes vaccination a condition for receiving certain government benefits and subsidies. But there is no evidence that banning unvaccinated children from child care will be any better than excluding them temporarily during an outbreak, which already occurs.”
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Australians’ attitudes to vaccination are more complex than a simple ‘pro’ or ‘anti’ label

The Conversation, 9 March 2017
Authors: Julie Leask, Margie Danchin and Nina J Berry
“Reading the headlines, it would be easy to believe childhood vaccination rates are declining in Australia, due to an increasing trend towards distrust of vaccines among parents. In fact, vaccination rates in Australia have been high and stable, hovering between 91% and 93% since 2003. Among the 7% of children who are not or not fully vaccinated across Australia, more than half have been prevented from accessing vaccination by some practical barrier. Although the numbers are small, there are good reasons to be concerned about parents who don’t vaccinate their children, or who delay getting their children’s vaccinations.”
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Ethics panel blocks proposed Zika vaccine research

Statnews, 28 February 2017
Author: Helen Branswell
“A federally appointed ethics panel has rejected an application from a team of scientists to deliberately infect people with the Zika virus, a decision that threatens to further slow the search for an effective vaccine. The panel’s report said it would not currently be ethical to conduct the study because of the risk to potential volunteers and their sexual partners and because there are other possible study approaches.”
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How hospitals, nursing homes keep lethal ‘superbug’ outbreaks secret

Reuters, 22 December 2016
Authors: Deborah J. Nelson, David Rohde, Benjamin Lesser and Ryan McNeill
“Across the U.S., vague rules give healthcare providers lots of leeway in deciding when, or even whether, to report unusual clusters of infections. And when they do alert officials, that information is usually kept from the public. A patchwork of state laws and guidelines, inconsistently applied, tracks clusters of the deadly infections that the federal government 15 years ago labeled a grave threat to public health. As a result, the United States has no way to count the deadly spikes in infections that hit the nation.”
Find article here.