MORE GOOD NEWS: Deaths related to H.I.V. in the United States fell by almost half from 2010 through 2017, regardless of sex, age, race or region. 1/4…
But as with all good news, there are caveats. Women, Black people and those of multiple races showed much smaller gains in survival rates. And death rate in the south is twice that in the northeast. 2/4
Also, how will the pandemic change these trends? And what about access to testing, preventive therapy, treatment and care? No one knows quite yet, but there are troubling signs of declines in all of those metrics. 3/4
Why are women hit so much harder? And why are deaths from HIV down so much more than deaths from indirect causes eg substance use and heart disease?

Please read the article. feat. @DrJeanneM @EileenScully9 @jbkrell and Karin Bosh of @CDCgov (!)…

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More from @apoorva_nyc

20 Nov
If anyone needed reminding that peer review is not proof of quality and preprint does not mean sketchy, just look at the two studies I wrote about this week.

I would rank the immunity preprint by @profshanecrotty and @SetteLab over the Danish mask study any day of the week
@profshanecrotty @SetteLab A better approach is to look at each study on its own merits. Read the paper, talk to experts, ask tough questions. I wish people would stop treating peer review like an infallible seal of approval
@profshanecrotty @SetteLab Over the course of my career, I've had to read thousands upon thousands of peer reviewed papers. And I would say maybe 400 were excellent. The rest... a waste of time, paper and effort
Read 5 tweets
19 Nov
You may have already moved on from yesterday's controversy over masks. But given the surge pretty much everywhere, it's important for us all to understand what we know about masks' usefulness, and what we don't.

Here we go: 1/7…
First of all, among public health experts, there is near-unanimous endorsement of universal mask mandates to shield people from the virus and slow the pandemic. That's not in question. 2/7
But let's be precise about what we mean by masks, because they're not all equal. N95s are best, surgical masks are great, but the avg person doesn't need either. In fact, in some studies, well-made cloth masks did as well as surgical. Plus cloth masks are green/recyclable 3/7
Read 7 tweets
17 Nov
THE GOOD NEWS: Immunity to the coronavirus might last years, maybe even decades, according to a new study — the most hopeful look yet at this issue. 1/x…
What this means: Most people have been infected (more than 90% or so) will be protected from reinfections for a very long time. And vaccines — which generally provide stronger, longer-lasting protection — may do even better. 2/x
What it also means: We probably will not need to vaccinate people every year as we had feared, giving us a fighting chance to contain this pandemic once vaccines are distributed. 3/x
Read 8 tweets
13 Nov
NEW: Have you been wondering if the CDC has, in recent weeks, seemed to reclaim some measure of its independence?

You weren't wrong.

The CDC has been sidelined and silenced almost since the beginning of the pandemic. But something changed in the fall: The big fight about the administration's meddling in the prestigious MMWR reports, the election, and the dangerously rising case numbers 2/x
“We couldn’t allow ourselves to be politicized at this moment in time,” one senior CDC scientist told me. “We weren’t going to spend time licking wounds and worrying about the past." 3/x
Read 5 tweets
10 Nov
BREAKING: A new type of test detects immune (T) cell response to the coronavirus, and may be a better indicator of prior infection with the virus than antibodies. 1/6…
As some studies recently suggested, antibody levels drop not long after the acute infection resolves. That doesn't mean immunity also wanes, but it does mean that antibody tests may not be the best indicator of exposure to the virus. 2/6…
It's been increasingly obvious meantime that T cells play an important role in Covid-19. But whither the T cell tests? We've heard about antibody tests since early in the pandemic because they are easy to make. Looking at T cells, OTOH, sounds like a nightmare. 3/6
Read 6 tweets
5 Nov
NEW: We know children rarely get sick from the coronavirus. A new study shows that they make a less diverse and weaker set of antibodies than adults do, suggesting that they clear the virus much faster. 1/10…
Why, you may ask, would weaker and narrower set of antibodies mean less severe infection? It seems counter-intuitive. But in fact, many studies have shown that the most severely infected people have much higher levels of antibodies. 2/10
In other words, a really strong immune response can be a sign that earlier immune defenses did not work, and can signal an immune system that is desperately trying to gain mastery over the virus — and sometimes failing. 3/10
Read 10 tweets

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