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Author Topic: Shock horror, superbug fears greatly exaggerated  (Read 1625 times)

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Offline vokz

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  • efavirenz junkie
Shock horror, superbug fears greatly exaggerated
« on: January 17, 2008, 08:04:01 AM »
From NAM's HIV Weekly (January 16th 2008)

Shock horror, superbug fears greatly exaggerated



"Strain of Superbug 'may be new HIV'" was a headline in Metro newspaper that grabbed the attention of commuters across the UK yesterday.

A study finding a high prevalence in gay men in San Francisco of a strain of community-acquired MRSA with resistance to many types of antibiotics received widespread media attention. Many of the men with this strain of MRSA were HIV-positive.

It isn't the first study to find that HIV-positive gay men have a high prevalence of community-acquired MRSA and there's some evidence that transmission is occurring during the close physical contact that happens during sex.

People with HIV may be more vulnerable because of their high use of antibiotics and their risk of suppressed immunity.

But gay men and people with HIV aren't the only groups affected by community-acquired MRSA. Heterosexual transmission has been reported. What's more, there's good evidence that the infection occurs more frequently in groups the media often likes to praise - such as athletes and military personnel.

And a lot of what was said about the new strain of MRSA was misleading or inaccurate.

It isn't the "new HIV."

MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) can cause very unpleasant symptoms, such as skin boils, and can in extreme cases cause a fatal form of pneumonia, but there are, in fact, antibiotics that can cure it.

Simple washing with soap and water after close physical contact (even after sex between men!) is enough to prevent infection in most cases.

And although the infection occurred more frequently in gay men in an area of San Francisco, it occurs in the general population.

It is important that people are told about potential health concerns. But the information provided needs to be accurate and measured. Much of the reporting in this case was alarmist and homophobic. And the wording of the press release that went out to the media wasn't helpful, a reminder to investigators and publicity departments of the importance of sticking to the facts and avoiding sensation when presenting findings to the media and public.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2008, 08:58:01 AM by vokz »

Offline Dachshund

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Re: Shock horror, superbug fears greatly exaggerated
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2008, 08:59:29 AM »
And the wording of the press release that went out to the media wasn't helpful, a reminder to investigators and publicity departments of the importance of sticking to the facts and avoiding sensation when presenting findings to the media and public.

Boy, I can just see that happening. Surprised they couldn't figure out a terrorist angle to make it extra scary. The "new" Aids. Is that supposed to be an improvement?

Offline pozguy75

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Re: Shock horror, superbug fears greatly exaggerated
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2008, 01:57:06 PM »
Well if it isn't Al Queda, blame the fags!
Dx 2005
ATRIPLA

Offline vokz

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  • Posts: 391
  • efavirenz junkie
Re: Shock horror, superbug fears greatly exaggerated
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2008, 02:02:21 PM »
Surprised they couldn't figure out a terrorist angle to make it extra scary

You really donít know how true that is about a rag that is part of the Associated Newspapers stable (which also includes The Daily HateMail - at one time the mouthpiece for British Fascism and still the most notoriously rightwing, bigoted and phobic of everything that isnít conservative, white, Anglo-Saxon and straight newspaper in the UK).

Offline Dachshund

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Re: Shock horror, superbug fears greatly exaggerated
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2008, 03:29:50 PM »
It might not be us after all:


http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2008/01/17/staph/

When it comes to spreading the bacteria, it is not homosexuals we have to worry about. It is that much wider swath of the male population examined in the New England Journal of Medicine. In the journal, the medical researchers were not studying gays, they were studying the St. Louis Rams. That is correct: football players; in particular, linebackers.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2008, 03:32:04 PM by Dachshund »

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Shock horror, superbug fears greatly exaggerated
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2008, 04:14:12 PM »
...yet another example of ignorant media. It's the rare exception when an article is published or a story covered on tv which reflects careful investigation and thoughtful consideration of the issues.

Generally it's just one more attention grabbing, not well thought out headline or story line that jumps out for some sound bytes before the whole subject of HIV/AIDS sinks back into being ignored.

Ugh.
Andy Velez

Offline Tim Horn

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  • Posts: 799
Re: Shock horror, superbug fears greatly exaggerated
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2008, 05:42:27 PM »

Offline komnaes

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Re: Shock horror, superbug fears greatly exaggerated
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2008, 01:42:28 AM »
UCSF has issued an "apology" regarding the publicity surrounding this widely published study written by a Dr. Binh Diep.

18 January 2008

Statement from UCSF Dept of Public Affairs regarding study on emergence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus clone USA300 in men who have sex with men

We regret that our recent news report (1-14-08) about an important population-based study on MRSA USA300 with public health implications contained some information that could be interpreted as misleading. We deplore negative targeting of specific populations in association with MRSA infections or other public health concerns, and we will be working to ensure that accurate information about the research is disseminated to the health community and the general public.

Strictly my own speculation, Dr. Diep doesn't look very unlike any regulars you would bump into in Club Dragon on any given friday..

[attachment deleted by admin]
Aug 07 Diagnosed
Oct 07 CD4=446(19%) Feb 08 CD4=421(19%)
Jun 08 CD4=325(22%) Jul 08 CD4=301(18%)
Sep 08 CD4=257/VL=75,000 Oct 08 CD4=347(16%)
Dec 08 CD4=270(16%)
Jan 09 CD4=246(13%)/VL=10,000
Feb 09 CD4=233(15%)/VL=13,000
Started meds Sustiva/Epzicom
May 09 CD4=333(24%)/VL=650
Aug 09 CD4=346(24%)/VL=UD
Nov 09 CD4=437(26%)/VL=UD
Feb 10 CD4=471(31%)/VL=UD
June 10 CD4=517 (28%)/VL=UD
Sept 10 CD4=687 (31%)/VL=UD
Jan 11 CD4=557 (30%)/VL=UD
April 11 CD4=569 (32%)/VL=UD
Switched to Epizcom, Reyataz and Norvir
(Interrupted for 2 months with only Epizcom & Reyataz)
July 11 CD=520 (28%)/VL=UD
Oct 11 CD=771 (31%)/VL=UD(<30)
April 12 CD=609 (28%)/VL=UD(<20)
Aug 12 CD=657 (29%)/VL=UD(<20)
Dec 12 CD=532 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
May 13 CD=567 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
Jan 14 CD=521 (21%)/VL=UD(<50)

 


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