Computer Model: HCV, Associated Cancer Will Be Rare by 2036

Computer Model: HCV, Associated Cancer Will Be Rare by 2036

By Brenda L. Mooney PITTSBURGH – Will hepatitis C become a rare disease over the next two decades or so? The answer is yes, according to a computer simulation conducted by the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health… Read More

August 2014 Focus

In this Issue: Focus on Infectious Diseases HIV/HCV Co-Infected Patients Have No Safe Level of Alcohol Use VA’s Resistant Infection ‘Bundle’ Drives Down MRSA in Community Living Centers Pharmacy Update Milwaukee VA Develops Reversal Protocol for Novel Oral Anticoagulants Diabetes… Read More

Less Diabetes Control in Non-adherence HIV Patients

DURHAM, NC – Poor adherence to antiretroviral therapy in veterans with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) also is a good predictor of whether those same patients will achieve good control if they have diabetes. That’s according to a study from the… Read More

HIV/HCV Co-Infected Patients Have No Safe Level of Alcohol Use

HIV/HCV Co-Infected Patients Have No Safe Level of Alcohol Use

By Annette M. Boyle PHILADELPHIA – Otherwise “non-hazardous” levels of drinking pose a real danger for patients co-infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C virus. Drinking, even moderately, dramatically increases the risk of liver fibrosis, according to a… Read More

New Therapies Bring Rapid Changes to HCV Treatment

New Therapies Bring Rapid Changes to HCV Treatment

More than 6,000 veterans with HCV have been treated at the VA in the past two years with the triple therapy of boceprevir or telaprevir plus ribavirin and interferon. In addition, hundreds of veterans have started only in the past… Read More

New Biomarkers May Be More Accurate than HbA1c in Diabetes Screening

New Biomarkers May Be More Accurate than HbA1c in Diabetes Screening

Although widely used to monitor glucose control and — more recently — to diagnose diabetes, HbA1c screening lacks accuracy in a range of patients with hemoglobinopathies, kidney issues or HIV. A new study, supported by the VA, lays out the… Read More

VA Launches New Initiative to Recognize, Respond to Intimate Partner Violence

VA Launches New Initiative to Recognize, Respond to Intimate Partner Violence

Domestic Abuse Tied to Range of Health Issues By Annette M. Boyle BOSTON — Nearly 2 in 5 female veterans report experiencing intimate partner violence, as do up to 44% of active-duty women. The high rates of domestic abuse have… Read More

Military Medicine Also Benefits Civilians

Military Medicine Also Benefits Civilians

By Jonathan Woodson, MD, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Throughout every war, the Military Health System ( has made significant medical advancements to help protect our troops. Our innovations not only save the lives of our servicemembers but… Read More

Mandatory Vaccine Program Lowers Provider Sick Days

SAN FRANCISCO — A mandatory vaccine program could attenuate at least some of the effect of acute respiratory infection (ARI) exposures among providers, according to a report from the Respiratory Protection Effectiveness Clinical Trial (ResPECT).

Few HIV Patients at VA Reduce Risks by Achieving Undetectable Viral Loads

By Annette M. Boyle Jeffery McCombs, PhD LOS ANGELES — While achieving undetectable viral loads reduces the risk of death associated with hepatitis C by 45% and other adverse liver-related complications by 27%, only 4% of eligible patients in a… Read More

VA Clinicians Optimistic about Effectiveness of New HCV Drugs

By Annette M. Boyle David Ross, MD, PhD WASHINGTON — New therapies for hepatitis C (HCV) are pouring out of the pharmaceutical pipeline and promising effective treatment with fewer side effects for many of the 170,000 veterans with chronic HCV… Read More

With HIV Treated as Chronic Disease, Adherence Challenges Develop

By Annette M. Boyle Amy Justice, MD, Ph.D NEW HAVEN, CT — With human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) now being treated more like diabetes, hypertension and other chronic diseases, HIV patients face some of the same issues as other veterans dealing… Read More

Uniformed Pharmacists Take Half of Next Generation Pharmacist Awards

By Annette M. Boyle LAS VEGAS, NV — Of the 30 finalists in this year’s Next Generation Pharmacist awards, 30% worked in military or public health pharmacies, the strongest representation seen in the awards program. Even more telling, uniformed pharmacists… Read More

New ‘Roadmap’ Seeks Better Tools for PTSD, TBI, Suicide Research

By Sandra Basu FORT LAUDERDALE, FL — The newly released National Research Action Plan has created a “common roadmap” for federal agencies to tackle mental health research to include PTSD, TBI and suicide, DoD and VA officials said recently. “It… Read More

Novel Use of Technology Helps Decrease Impact of Wounds of War

By Stephen Spotswood SAN ANTONIO, TX – That soldiers come back from the battlefield bearing permanent reminders of their time there – scars they will live with for the rest of their lives – is taken as a heavy but… Read More

Careful Patient Management Essential for Mitigating Opioid Side Effects

By Annette M. Boyle Rollin M. “Mac” Gallagher, MD, MPH PHILADELPHIA – More than 50% of all VHA patients and more than 90% of those with polytrauma report experiencing chronic pain and, for many, only opioids provide significant relief. Unfortunately,… Read More

AIDS Research Pioneer Receives International Award

By Steve Lewis Ann Marie Nelson, MD, FASCP BETHESDA, MD – Ann Marie Nelson, MD, FASCP, a senior member of the Joint Pathology Center (JPC) in Bethesda, MD – the federal government’s premier pathology reference center supporting the Military Health… Read More

New Metric Can Track Prosthetic Arm Progress

PROVIDENCE, RI – A new, standardized measurement can help clinicians assess the effectiveness of teaching and learning for adults with prosthetics after upper-limb amputations. The tool, the Activities Measure for Upper-Limb Amputees (the AM-ULA), was described in an article published… Read More

Telemedicine Improves Management of Common Dermatologic Issues in Theater

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — While battlefield injury, musculoskeletal injury and mental disorders top the list of reasons troops are medically evacuated from military theaters of operation, a variety of other conditions can force the removal of patients from battle… Read More

Military Responds to High Rates of STIs in Active-Duty Female Servicemembers

PROVIDENCE, RI – Active-duty women have far higher rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) than their male colleagues or civilian counterparts, and the military services are trying to help young servicemembers avoid the types of behavior that can create medical… Read More

New Therapies, Programs Affect Hepatitis C Treatment within VA

By David Ross, MD, PhD, MBI, director, HIV, HCV and Public Health Pathogens Programs, Office of Public Health/Clinical Public Health Lorenzo L. McFarland, DHA, MSW, PMP, senior manager, Public Health Program, HIV, Hepatitis and Public Health Pathogens Programs/Clinical Public Health… Read More

Public Health Service Pharmacy: Accelerating Transformation

By Rear Adm. Scott F. Giberson, RPh, MPh, assistant Surgeon General and chief pharmacy officer, U.S. Public Health Service Rear Adm. Scott F. Giberson, RPh, MPh Pharmacists are the third-largest category (and second-largest professional discipline) of the U.S. Public Health… Read More