Viewpoints: Remove Harmful Health Policies If The End Of HIV Is The Goal; Change The Laws On Personal Exemptions For Vaccines
Editorial pages focus on these health issues and others.
To End AIDS, We Must Address The Forces Driving It
Recently, the CDC released data showing that declines in HIV rates have stalled in the U.S., after about five years of substantial declines. The new report — looking at trends from 2010-2016 — reveals what many of us working in the field already know: prevention efforts are not reaching all communities equally. (Chris Beyrer and Raniyah Copeland, 3/3)
The New York Times:
San Francisco Is Beating H.I.V. Why Can’t Houston?
In his State of the Union address, President Trump surprised Congress by asking for a “commitment to eliminate the H.I.V. epidemic in the United States within 10 years.” I’m a physician who specializes in H.I.V. and AIDS prevention in a city with one of the highest infection rates in the country, so that’s music to my ears. But the president needs to know that we’re going to fail if we don’t start working much harder. (Charlene Flash, 3/1)
End Philosophical Vaccine Exemption
Allowing parents to exempt their children from lifesaving vaccines for philosophical reasons puts others in danger and must end. Washington is one of just 18 states that lets parents opt out of vaccines because of personal, moral or other beliefs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. A measles epidemic centered in Clark County clearly illustrates why this law must be changed. (3/3)
The Wall Street Journal:
Leave Opioid Lawsuits To State Attorneys General
A critical mass of 36 state attorneys general have responded to the opioid crisis with investigations and litigation targeting manufacturers and distributors. But hundreds of private lawyers have also filed a barrage of opioid-related lawsuits on behalf of local governments, making it much harder for the state-led effort to convince the industry to agree to a comprehensive settlement. To resolve this logjam, attorneys general should structure state-centric deals under which localities can benefit if they drop their lawsuits. (George Jepsen and Perry Zinn Rowthorn, 3/3)
Los Angeles Times:
Is Gulping Soda As Bad As Smoking? California Seems To Think So
In California, soda is the new tobacco — at least from a public policy point of view.Adopting some of the same methods that have been employed to reduce smoking, California legislators have put together an ambitious package of bills aimed at curbing consumption of sodas, energy drinks and other beverages that have added sugar. (3/4)
Los Angeles Times:
Trump Hates Science. Sad!
As I’ve written about before in the Los Angeles Times, I underwent the standard healthcare regimen for my condition (surgery, chemo and radiation), but the cancer metastasized anyway and I was given a “yearish” to live. Then, in July of 2015, I became a human science project, a participant in clinical trials at UC San Francisco, one of the top cancer research centers in the world. Today, I’m well past my overdue date, as are many of the other Stage 4 cancer patients, thanks to breakthroughs in immunotherapy and cutting-edge treatments that arrived courtesy of tenacious researchers, the lives of many mice and the evidence-based, peer-reviewed work of medical science. All this is to explain my ever-increasing alarm at the level of scorn the findings of science now attract in the realm of public policy. (Melinda Welsh, 3/4)
I've Seen The Culture Of Sexual Harassment At NIH. It Needs To Do More
The National Institutes of Health apologized Thursday for failing to address sexual harassment within the influential and powerful organization. They also put forward a set of solutions. It’s about time — this harmful culture has affected scientists for decades. (Orly Nadell Farber, 3/1)
Legislature Must Commit To Miracle Drugs, Fight Rare Diseases
Around 30 million Americans, including nearly four million Californians, are affected by rare diseases. According to the National Organization for Rare Disorders, there are more than 7,000 of these conditions. Around half of rare disease patients are children. If you know a family facing a rare disease, you’ve seen what they go through. Fighting one of these conditions is like having a second full-time job with the sole purpose of keeping a loved one alive. It often starts with a diagnostic odyssey, during which no one can figure out why their child is sick. This can go on for months or years. (Rob Bonta, 2/28)