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Clinical Topics


HIV

Atazanavir’s Effects on CV Risks in HIV Infected Veterans

SALT LAKE CITY—Patients with HIV infection have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease compared with uninfected individuals. Oftentimes, they receive antiretroviral therapy with atazanavir (ATV), which delays progression of atherosclerosis markers. Whether the treatment also... View Article

HIV

HIV Infection Linked to 40% Increase in Veterans’ Risk of Developing Heart Failure

Antiretroviral therapy has extended the lives of veterans with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) by decades, but a new threat could cut back their longevity.

HIV

Infectious Disease Specialist Uses Telehealth for Rural Veterans With HIV

Veterans living in rural areas face a lot of challenges, the most common of which is having to travel long distances to access VA medical care.

HIV

Targeting Lung Cancer Prevention to Veterans With HIV

New veteran research is being touted as a way to better target lung-cancer prevention measures to high-risk groups.

HIV

Veterans with HIV Responsive to Standard Diabetes Therapy

With Type 2 diabetes increasingly common in HIV-infected individuals, are standard oral diabetes medications as effective in that population?

HIV

COPD Associated With Frailty in HIV-Infected Veterans

With chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) prevalence increasing among aging HIV-infected patients, a recent study sought to determine how that relates to frailty in veterans treated at the VA.

HIV

Timing of Flu in HIV Patients Vaccinated Early

SAN DIEGO – Past research has shown that patients with HIV infection vaccinated early in the flu season are generally more likely to contract influenza or influenza-like illness (ILI), compared with those receiving late vaccination.... View Article

HIV

When Should Physicians Recommend HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis to Patients?

ANN ARBOR, MI — Oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) gained Food and Drug Administration approval in 2012, and many commentators hailed the therapy as a “once-in-a-generation” advance.

HIV

Turning the Tide on Rising VA Hepatocellular Carcinoma Rates

HOUSTON — After a decade of dramatically rising rates of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) among veterans, aggressive treatment of hepatitis C infections (HCV) appears poised to turn the tide.

HIV

COPD: Risk Factor for HIV Lung Infections

SEATTLE — Pulmonary infections remain more common in patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), compared with those who are uninfected.Surmising that an increase in chronic lung diseases among aging HIV positive patients could contribute to... View Article

HIV

VA, DoD Adopting Earlier HIV Treatment to Dramatically Reduce AIDS Risk

Pre-infection Immunological Health Achieved in Some CasesBy Annette M. Boyle SAN ANTONIO — For years, clinicians have not recommended treating human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) patients with antiretroviral therapy (ART) before they saw a significant drop... View Article

HIV

For Treated Patients, HIV Status No Greater Risk for Surgery Than Older Age

Subhead: Post-operative Mortality Rates Low Among ART UsersBy Annette M. BoyleWEST HAVEN, CT — Historically, high post-operative mortality rates among HIV-infected patients caused many physicians and patients to defer or avoid surgery all together. For... View Article

HIV

Early HIV Researcher Continues Lifelong Battle Against Viruses

Raymond Schinazi, PhD, Hon DSc, still remembers how the patients lined the corridors. They were all too thin, too pale and much too weak.

HIV

Despite Outcry About Cost, New HCV Therapies Likely to Save Money at VA

Amid all the outcry over the high cost of new hepatitis C therapies, including congressional hearings, a simple fact has been overlooked: The VA expects to save money in the long run because of the... View Article

HIV

VA Tackles Obesity Paradox:

Why Do Overweight Patients Live Longer with Heart Failure? Now the leading cause of hospital admissions in the VA Health Care System, heart failure is associated with high mortality rates and poor quality of life.

HIV

December 2014 Focus

In this Issue: Focus on HIV-HCV New Treatments Offer More Options, Fewer Side Effects for HIV-Infected Veterans Despite High Costs, VA Makes Sure Veterans Have Access to Newest HCV Drugs Pharmacy Update Partnerships, Drive-Throughs Seek... View Article

HIV

Murtha Center, USU Join NCI to Battle Common Foe: Cancer

Alliance Research Not Limited by Private-Sector Restraints By Annette M. Boyle  BETHESDA, MD – In celebration of its second anniversary, the John P. Murtha Cancer Center at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, announced... View Article

HIV

Senate Committee Chairman Decries High Costs for Potential HCV Cure

VA Suggests High Price Could Be Offset Future Savings

HIV

VA Fails to Follow Guidelines on Hepatitis B Follow-Up Testing Rates, Treatment

By Brenda L. Mooney BOSTON – Rates of serologic testing for hepatitis B (HBV) at the VA fail to meet levels recommended by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) practice guideline,... View Article

HIV

New Treatments Offer More Options, Fewer Side Effects for HIV-Infected Veterans

Clinicians Find Advances ‘Mind-Boggling’ By Annette M. Boyle ATLANTA – Therapeutic options for patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) continue to expand, enabling more veterans to begin treatment with fewer adverse side effects and far... View Article

HIV

Despite High Costs, VA Makes Sure Veterans Have Access to Newest HCV Drugs

By Annette M. Boyle WASHINGTON – While commercial insurers responded to the approval of the breakthrough drug sofosbuvir for hepatitis C (HCV) by implementing prescribing restrictions, limiting use to the sickest patients and charging higher... View Article

HIV

Consensus Report Touts Lasers for Scar Treatment

BOSTON – Patients with disfiguring and debilitating scars suffer poor cosmetic outcomes, restricted motion, pain and itching, despite traditional therapy such as expert wound care. A consensus report published earlier this year in JAMA Dermatology... View Article

HIV

We fear things in proportion to our ignorance of them.

We fear things in proportion to our ignorance of them. Christian Nestell Bovee (1820-1904) I had the honor of being invited recently to speak at the 39th annual Garland Lecture series at the Boston Medical... View Article

HIV

Federal Healthcare Timeline

  1964 S. Medicine publishes its first issue. The new Naval Station Hospital Saigon receives the first American combat casualties directly from the Vietnam War. 1965 A U.S. Marine Corps Hawk air defense missile battalion... View Article

HIV

Evolution of Pioneer DCVAMC Clinic Tracks AIDS/HIV Treatment Through the Years

By Stephen Spotswood WASHINGTON – When the first Infectious Disease Clinic took place at the Washington, DC, VAMC in 1985, only a handful of HIV-infected patients took advantage. In fact, the disease hadn’t even been... View Article

HIV

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... View Article

HIV

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... View Article

HIV

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... View Article

HIV

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... View Article

HIV

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... View Article

HIV

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... View Article

HIV

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... View Article

HIV

Military Medicine Also Benefits Civilians

By Jonathan Woodson, MD, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Throughout every war, the Military Health System (www.health.mil) has made significant medical advancements to help protect our troops. Our innovations not only save the... View Article

HIV

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).

HIV

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%... View Article

HIV

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... View Article

HIV

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... View Article

HIV

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.... View Article

HIV

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... View Article

HIV

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... View Article

HIV

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... View Article

HIV

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... View Article

HIV

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... View Article

HIV

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... View Article

HIV

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... View Article

HIV

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... View Article

HIV

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)... View Article

HIV

Military Pain Management’s Future: Less Invasive, More Data-Driven Techniques

By Col. Chester “Trip” Buckenmaier III, MD, program director, Defense and Veterans Center for Integrative Pain Management Col. Chester “Trip” Buckenmaier III, MD In August 2009, the Pain Management Task Force (PMTF) was chartered by... View Article

HIV

Amygdala Volume Associated with Combat Veterans’ PTSD

Amygdala Volume Associated with Combat Veterans’ PTSD DURHAM, NC — Combat veterans with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) tend to have significantly smaller volume in an area of the brain critical for regulating fear and... View Article

HIV

Longer Treatment of Male UTI Doesn’t Decrease Recurrence Rates

By Brenda L. Mooney MINNEAPOLIS – In a rare study that looked at optimal treatment of urinary tract infections (UTI) in men, researchers from the Minneapolis Veterans Health Care System found that treating the condition... View Article

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