Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Girls aged 15-19 have highest incidence of Chlamydia and Gonorrhea

According to a recent CDC report, adolescent girls aged 15-19 have the largest reported number of Chlamydia and Gonorrhea cases (409,531) when compared to any other age group. More than 1.5 million cases of chlamydia and gonorrhea were reported in 2008. Even scarier than the reported numbers, these diseases may have no symptoms and often go untreated; however, they are the two most commonly reported in the U.S. African-American girls continue to be disproportionately affected by STDs than any other racial group.

Additionally, Syphilis, once on the verge of elimination, began re-emerging in 2001.

YIKES! What are we doing about this? Is abstinence the answer? Should we hand out condoms in schools?

What's your opinion?

Source: http://www.cdc.gov/nchhstp/newsroom/STDsurveillancepressrelease.html

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Mental Health Services for Immigrant and Refugee Students

Have you heard about the Caring Across Communities Initiative? The Robert Wood
Johnson Foundation awarded 15 projects a total of $4.5 million to address reducing emotional and behavioral health problems in immigrant and refugee families.

These students often have limited access to mental health benefits including cultural and linguistic barriers. If not treated, or identified, some of these conditions could develop into more serious problems in adulthood. Often times these problems are mis-identified as disinterested or unwilling to learn, and their schoolwork suffers as a result. Incidentally, the No Child Left Behind rules holds schools accountable for the academic achievement of these students.

Thoughts? Agree? Disagree?

Source: http://www.rwjf.org/vulnerablepopulations/product.jsp?id=52222

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Stupak Amendment

When the House health care bill passed last Saturday did it come at too high a price?

The Stupak Amendment makes insurance coverage for abortion almost impossible to obtain for millions of women buying insurance plans through the new exchange even if they are purchasing the coverage with their own money.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Gardasil Poll Results

I apologize for not keeping up with my blog! Life has been crazy, but I will try harder to post :-) Thanks for being patient....so much going on too with healthcare at this point; it's a great time to be in the field!

Thank you all (8 of you--and you are the important 8!) for voting on my poll on what you think about the Gardasil vaccine. The majority of you feel that you would like to see more information on the risks, benefits, and outcomes of the vaccine before deciding on whether it should be part of the regular immunization schedule.

Some news: According to the CDC, the HPV vaccine was monitored in 5 clinical trials with over 21,000 girls aged 9-26. As of September 1, 2009 more than 26 million doses were distributed in the U.S. There have been 15,037 reports of adverse reactions following the vaccine with 93% considered non-serious (fainting, pain, swelling, headache, fever) and 7% considered serious (requiring hospitalization). Additionally, there have been 44 U.S. deaths after receiving the vaccine.

So what about boys? Well, as of October 16, 2009 the FDA approved the Gardasil vaccine for boys as well. At this point, the vaccine is not listed as a required vaccine for children in the U.S., but it could be in the future. It's worth keeping an eye on the insurance industry around this issue as the vaccine is very expensive and at this point, is not covered by insurance companies. This could mean some potential divides among the "haves" and the "have nots" if we don't subsidize the vaccine. In any case, it's interesting, and worth taking a second, third, and fourth look at!

Source: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/Vaccines/HPV/gardasil.html