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What We're Reading: Ending NY HIV Epidemic; Vaping-Related Lung Damage; Judge Clears Supervised Injection Drug Site

AJMC Staff
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said that the state is on track to meet its goal of ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic in New York by 2020; lung damage exhibited by some patients as a result of vaping resembles the damage on lungs exposed to chemical spills or harmful gases; a federal judge has ruled that a Philadelphia nonprofit’s plan to open a supervised injection drug site for drug users does not break federal law.

NY Foresees End to HIV/AIDS Epidemic

On Wednesday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said that the state is on track to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic in New York by 2020, reported The New York Times. In 2018, the state had 2481 new HIV diagnoses, which was down 11% from the year prior and a nearly 30% from 2014, the year Cuomo implemented a 3-pronged plan to combat the epidemic. The plan focuses on identifying, tracking, and treating people with HIV, including using pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to reduce the risk of infection among those at high risk. According to Cuomo, approximately 32,000 New Yorkers are taking PrEP, which is a 32% increase from 2017.

 

Vaping-Related Lung Damage Resembles Chemical Burns

The lung damage exhibited by some patients as a result of vaping resembles the damage on lungs exposed to chemical spills or harmful gases, according to researchers. While the study, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, didn’t offer information as to the kind of chemicals that may be causing the damage, the authors noted that the signs of damage were consistent. The report also did not find evidence to back theories that lipids inhaled through vaping might be a possible contributor. According to STAT, the findings could offer a potential new approach to identifying new cases.



Judge Rules in Favor of Supervised Injection Drug Site

A federal judge has ruled that a Philadelphia nonprofit’s plan to open a supervised injection drug site for drug users does not break federal law, a victory for advocates trying to combat the opioids crisis and a blow to law enforcement. US Attorney William McSwain had argued that the site would violate the “crack house statute,” which is part of a 1986 antidrug law that made it illegal to knowingly host illicit drug use and drug-related activity. However, the judge said that the goal of the site is to reduce drug use, not facilitate it. The ruling could help lift a cloud that has hung over these sites, according to The Wall Street Journal.

 
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