Mobile Version - September - October 2016

From the Director Dr. Jonathan Mermin

On August 11, CDC released an MMWR, Sexual Identity, Sex of Sexual Contacts, and Health-Related Behaviors Among Students in Grades 9-12 - United States and Selected Sites, that provides the first nationally representative data on the health and behavioral risks faced by lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) high school students. Findings from the report show that LGB students experienced physical and sexual violence and bullying, and attempted suicide, at levels 2-3 times higher than that of their heterosexual peers. Although YRBS data do not tell us why we see these disparities between LGB and heterosexual students, other research suggests a number of factors that may put these youth at risk including social isolation, less parental or caregiver support, and bullying. There is no simple solution to address the risks shown in the report, but these new data highlight the need for accelerated action to protect the health and well-being of all of the nation´s youth.

New Release: Treatment of Drug-Susceptible Tuberculosis Guidelines

In August, the American Thoracic Society (ATS), CDC, and the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) released the Treatment of Drug-Susceptible Tuberculosis guidelines. The guidelines provide recommendations on the clinical and public health management of TB in children and adults in well-resourced settings. The current guidelines provide evidence-based recommendations that were developed with the GRADE (Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation) methodology, a measure that was not used in the previous guidelines. Among the nine recommendations for the treatment of drug-susceptible TB, the current guidelines provide key recommendations on the management of patients who are co-infected with TB disease and HIV. They also include sections on TB disease in special situations, which is not available in the prior guidelines.

Kentucky Hepatitis Town Hall Meeting

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) joined Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) and the Kentucky Department of Public Health (KDPH) for a Town Hall at the Hazard Community and Technical College in Hazard, Kentucky. In the latest year for which statistics are available, Kentucky had the highest rate of acute hepatitis C infections in the nation - 4 per 100,000 people in 2014, compared with a national average of 0.7 per 100,000 people. A recent CDC study showed that opioid use strongly contributed to these increases in hepatitis C diagnoses in Kentucky in recent years. Beginning this fall, Kentucky plans to require reporting of all hepatitis C lab test results, positive or negative. Kentucky is taking steps to address this rise in hepatitis C cases. CDC recommends a comprehensive approach to preventing drug-related hepatitis C transmission, providing people who inject drugs with regular testing for hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV; rapid links to medical care for those infected; and access to substance abuse treatment, risk reduction counseling, and sterile injection equipment.