30 March 2013
Please ignore their typo in this poster. After all, it is not a fundraiser for the Literacy Center...
29 March 2013
26 March 2013
18 March 2013
Parents increasingly concerned about potential side effects, study shows
A rising percentage of parents say they won't have their teen daughters vaccinated to protect against the human papilloma virus, even though physicians are increasingly recommending adolescent vaccinations, a study by Mayo Clinic and others shows. More than 2 in 5 parents surveyed believe the HPV vaccine is unnecessary, and a growing number worry about potential side effects, researchers found. The findings are published in the new issue of the journal Pediatrics.
In all, researchers looked at three vaccines routinely recommended for U.S. teens: a vaccine to protect against the sexually transmitted HPV; Tdap, for tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis; and the meningococcal conjugate vaccine, or MCV4 vaccine. While the up-to-date immunization rates rose for all three vaccines, the proportion of girls fully immunized against HPV (three doses over six months) was substantially lower than the proportion for the other two vaccines.
Five years ago, 40 percent of parents surveyed said they wouldn't vaccinate their girls against HPV. In 2009, that rose to 41 percent, and in 2010, to 44 percent.
"That's the opposite direction that rate should be going," says senior researcher Robert Jacobson, M.D., a pediatrician with the Mayo Clinic Children's Center.
Parents concerned about HPV vaccine safety rose from 5 percent in 2008 to 16 percent in 2010, while less than 1 percent worried about the safety of the Tdap and MCV4 vaccines, the study found.
During the same years, more and more studies showed how safe and effective the HPV vaccine is in this age group, says Dr. Jacobson, who has taken part in the safety review committees for two such studies. The vaccine prevents cervical cancer and other genital cancers by preventing the HPV infections that lead to those cancers, he says.
Researchers analyzed vaccination data for teens ages 13 to 17 in the 2008-10 National Immunization Survey of Teens. They found that as of 2010, 8 of 10 teens had the Tdap vaccine and roughly 63 percent had the MCV4 vaccine. Only about one-third of girls were immunized against HPV.
The HPV vaccination rate did rise; it was only 16 percent in 2008. But at the same time, more parents reported that they did not intend to have their daughters vaccinated for HPV. Among the reasons they gave: the vaccine was not recommended; lack of knowledge; it is unnecessary; the vaccine is inappropriate for the child's age; worry about safety/side effects; and the child isn't sexually active.
According to parents surveyed, more clinicians are recommending the HPV vaccine, but still, they are advising it only about half the time. The facts show the vaccine is necessary, Dr. Jacobson says.
"HPV causes essentially 100 percent of cervical cancer and 50 percent of all Americans get infected at least once with HPV. It's a silent infection. You cannot tell when you've been exposed or when you have it," he says. "While most HPV infections clear, a percentage linger and start the process of cancerous changes. The HPV vaccine is an anti-cancer vaccine."
Dr. Jacobson says the vaccine is more effective in younger adolescents than older teens. Mayo Clinic routinely starts the series at age 9.
"The vaccine works better the younger the child is, and it doesn't work after the child is grown up and is exposed to the virus, so our message should be: 'Give this vaccine now to your child while your child is young and responsive to it,'" says Dr. Jacobson, medical director of the Employee and Community Health Immunization Program at Mayo Clinic.
17 March 2013
16 March 2013
Staggeringly low uptake rates amongs females and males across a range of ages, socio-economic spectrum
Completion rates for the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine series across both genders continue to remain alarmingly low nearly seven years after its introduction, suggesting that better patient education and increased public vaccine financing programs are needed, according to new research from the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB).
The researchers report "startling" trends in a series of three separate studies published in Cancer, Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics and Vaccine.
Using data from the 2010 National Health Interview Survey, an annual cross-sectional survey tracking more than 27,000 adults in the US., researchers found:
More than three-quarters of nearly 2,000 women ages 18-26 did not receive the HPV vaccine; another 10% were incompletely vaccinated (three doses required); and two-thirds said they did not want the vaccine, an attitude the researchers attribute to inadequate knowledge, lack of physician recommendation or negative beliefs about vaccines.
Just two percent of nearly 3,000 males ages 9-17 initiated the vaccine and fewer than half of those (0.5%) completed the three-dose series during 2010, the first full year when the vaccine was formally recommended for boys.
Analyzing private insurance claims from 2006-2009:
Of 514 privately insured males ages 9-26 who initiated the HPV vaccine series, only 21% completed the series on an off-label basis within the recommended 12 months, and rates decreased over the period – a surprising result, the researchers said, as they surmised that the patient and/or their parents were motivated to obtain the vaccine before the FDA approved it for male use.
"This is the first generation with the opportunity to be vaccinated against the devastating cancers associated with HPV, but the majority are missing the opportunity," said lead author Dr. Abbey Berenson, professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and director of UTMB's Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Women's Health (CIRWH). "We cannot overstate the public health importance of vaccinating girls and boys. The HPV vaccine is one of the few proven ways to quickly and dramatically decrease our cancer burden."
While cost was a barrier for completion, lack of awareness and understanding about the vaccine continue to be the biggest hindrances. These obstacles were especially pertinent for low-income and/or uninsured families and minority women. The researchers recommend better educational interventions; new physician-patient communication methods, including email and text message; increased physician recommendations; and public vaccine financing programs to increase uptake and completion rates across the board.
This latest research provides a broader picture of HPV vaccine acceptance and builds on a growing body of knowledge at UTMB in this area. Previous studies led by Berenson have focused on completion rates among females ages 9-27 and differences in parents' willingness to vaccinate their sons and daughters.
An estimated 20 million Americans ages 15-49 are currently infected with HPV, and at least 50% of sexually active men and women will contract it at some point in their lives. The virus is the cause of nearly all cases of cervical cancer and nearly 90% of genital warts. HPV is also associated with vulvar, vaginal, penile, anal, and oropharyngeal cancers.
"These results underscore the critical need for better educational interventions and improved communication methods – for patients, parents and physicians – about the importance of initiating and completing the HPV vaccine to save our children from serious disease," said Berenson. "It is especially important to reach parents, who need to understand that this vaccine will help them do what all parents want most – protect their children from harm."
A woman's health status before pregnancy is critical for the health and wellbeing of the fetus and mother-to-be. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has set Healthy People 2020 national objectives for women of reproductive age, and young women are making important gains toward achieving some of those health goals, while some trends are less encouraging, as reported in a study published in Journal of Women’s Health, a peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available on the Journal of Women’s Health website.
Pamela Xaverius, PhD and Joanne Salas, MPH, Saint Louis University School of Public Health and School of Medicine, MO, report substantial reductions in smoking and alcohol consumption (including drinking any alcohol and heavy drinking) among women in the U.S. ages 18-44 years. The authors analyzed data on preconception health indicators from over 500,000 women from all 50 states in the U.S. gathered between 2003-2010 from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.
In the article "Surveillance of Preconception Health Indicators in Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System: Emerging Trends in the 21st Century," they also describe positive preconception health trends related to moderate or vigorous physical activity and a 68% increase in women having an influenza shot within the previous year. Health trends that have worsened and pose a potential threat to maternal and fetal health included binge alcohol drinking and having a chronic medical condition (e.g., diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, or obesity).
“While the trends in smoking, alcohol use, and influenza prevention have improved, the worsening in binge drinking and chronic medical conditions among reproductive aged women are important concerns,” says Susan G. Kornstein, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Women’s Health, Executive Director of the Virginia Commonwealth University Institute for Women’s Health, Richmond, VA, and President of the Academy of Women’s Health.
About the Journal
Journal of Women’s Health, published monthly, is a core multidisciplinary journal dedicated to the diseases and conditions that hold greater risk for or are more prevalent among women, as well as diseases that present differently in women. The Journal covers the latest advances and clinical applications of new diagnostic procedures and therapeutic protocols for the prevention and management of women’s healthcare issues. Complete tables of content and a sample issue may be viewed on the Journal of Women’s Health website. Journal of Women’s Health is the Official Journal of the Academy of Women’s Health and the Society for Women’s Health Research.
About the Academy
Academy of Women’s Health is an interdisciplinary, international association of physicians, nurses, and other health professionals who work across the broad field of women’s health, providing its members with up-to-date advances and options in clinical care that will enable the best outcomes for their women patients. The Academy’s focus includes the dissemination of translational research and evidence-based practices for disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of women across the lifespan.
15 March 2013
The incidence of genital warts, or condylomata, declined by 93 per cent in girls given the HPV vaccine before the age of 14, according to a Swedish national registry study. The study was carried out by researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, and published in Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
Using a selection of population-based registries, the researchers at Karolinska Institutet studied 124,000 girls and women in Sweden between 10 and 44 years old who had received the HPV vaccine against condyloma and cervical cancer at some time between 2006 and 2010. The researchers examined their registry data over an average of 4.4 years in order to study the effect of the vaccine and who chose to receive it.
The research team has not yet studied the results of cervical cancer, which takes longer to develop. The effect on condyloma was, however, clear: subjects who were vaccinated before the age of 14 showed a 93 per cent decrease in condyloma. It is already known that the vaccine has to be taken before an infection with HPV (human papillomavirus) for it to work, and the researchers noted a level of protection below 50 per cent for those who vaccinated themselves after the age of 20.
The researchers also found that it was 15 times more common for daughters of academically educated parents to vaccinate themselves than for the daughters of less-educated parents. The educational level of the mother had most impact; it was eight times more common for a girl to be vaccinated if her mother was academically educated, as opposed to four times more common if her father was.
Opportunistic HPV vaccination was introduced in 2007 in Sweden offering girls between 13 and 17 (only) the possibility to vaccinate at a reduced price. Since 2012, the vaccine is part of the general vaccination programme and is thus offered free of charge to all girls between 10 and 12 along with a catch-up vaccination for girls and young women between 13 and 18.
"Our study supports the notion that the vaccine should be given at young age," says Dr Lisen Arnheim-Dahlström, Research Associate at the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Statistics at Karolinska Institutet. "When the vaccine was offered at a reduced price, the distribution was very unequal. Now that the vaccine is free and offered through the schools, it will be more evenly distributed in the population."
13 March 2013
Fellows receive a living expenses stipend of $500 per week. The Fellowship runs for 10 weeks, from Monday, June 10, 2013 through Friday, August 16, 2013. This year potential placement cities are New York City, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Portland, Oregon and Washington DC.
"The Task Force Academy Fellowship taught me that I was capable of doing things I never imagined I could do. I learned I had the power to help other people realize their own potential to be leaders. If you want to learn how to build a big team of people, develop leaders, and are serious about building the power of the LGBT movement, this Fellowship is for you!"
– Anj Chaudhry, 2012 Task Force Organizing Fellow (now Lead Organizer, OutFront Minnesota)
This isn’t your average fellowship — this is your chance to create change! The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s Academy Fellowship provides the first-hand real-world experience, mentoring from long-time movement organizers and leaders and the support you need to become a professional organizer.
Fellows receive a living expenses stipend of $500 per week. This summer’s Fellowship runs from June 10, 2013 through Friday, August 16, 2013. Application must be submitted by Friday April 19, 2013 — APPLY TODAY! __________________________________________________________________
The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force builds the power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community from the ground up. The Task Force is the country's premier social justice organization fighting to improve the lives of LGBT people, and working to create positive, lasting change and opportunity for all. The Task Force is a 501(c)(3) corporation incorporated in Washington, D.C. Contributions to the Task Force are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law. (C) 2013 National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. 1325 Massachusetts Ave NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20005. Phone 202.393.5177. Fax 202.393.2241. TTY 202.393.2284. theTaskForce@theTaskForce.org.
03 March 2013
- a Be-In,
- a Sit-In,
- a Walk-Out (racist depictions in murals at George Washington High School, San Francisco, CA),
Unlike when a soul attaches itself to a human host or quickie clinic visit for a splinter removal - a Walk-In is a supportive action when those on strike are able to return to work.
As a few snowflakes fell, and a small crowd clutched take-out coffee cups, at 6:45 am on Sunday March 3, 2013, the proud workers of SEIU 1199 returned to work at West River Healthcare after a long and difficult strike.
It has been a hard time, even with all the court rulings against bad management and in favor of the employees rights to a fair contract. Off and on since December of 2011 the workers have been suffering, walking a line, camping out and rallying, and all along I kept hearing about their overarching concern for their patients. You can't fake that. It is the Care part of Healthcare.
Today there are three shifts returning to work.
Next two Walk-Ins are at 2:30 - 3pm today and then again at 10:30 - 11pm tonight.
See you there!