U.S. urges daily pill for those at risk of AIDS

The recommendation could transform AIDS prevention from reliance on condoms to a regimen that relies on an antiretroviral drug. Meanwhile, a report analyzes the costs and benefits of treating prison inmates for hepatitis C and a study finds that nearly half of American adults take prescriptions.

The New York Times: Advocating Pill, U.S. Signals Shift To Prevent AIDS
Federal health officials recommended Wednesday that hundreds of thousands of Americans at risk for AIDS take a daily pill that has been shown to prevent infection with the virus that causes it (McNeil Jr., 5/14).

WBUR: Treat Hep C In Prisons? Could Cost $76B, But Break Epidemic
The hepatitis-C epidemic -- five times bigger than the HIV epidemic -- is finally getting the attention it needs, thanks to the sudden availability of costly new treatments that can cure almost everyone with this potentially deadly liver infection. But there's one big piece of the problem that almost no one talks about: the concentration of hepatitis C infections in the nation's prisons and jails. One out of six inmates has hepatitis C, compared to something like one in 100 in the general population ... The hep-C epidemic is a catastrophic cost burden for the nation's federal, state and local prisons. But it also represents a precious opportunity to get a jump on ending this insidious epidemic -; the leading cause of liver failure, liver transplantation and liver cancer (Knox, 5/14).

WBUR: Rx Nation: CDC Says Half Of American Adults Take Prescription Pills
Americans pop pills more than most other nations. We knew that. But the numbers are still striking: roughly a full half of Americans, when surveyed, had taken a prescription drug in the last 30 days. (And the concerns those numbers raise are manifold, including the report this week that 1 in 5 meds are prescribed off-label.) Our prescription drug use is up sharply over the last couple of decades, whether you're young or old. If you're over 65 and not taking any pills, you're quite an outlier, in a lonely 10 percent (Goldberg, 5/14).

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.


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