A temporary needle exchange program is set up at a Community Outreach Center in Austin, Ind.
Barbara Harrington / WFIU/WTIU

Indiana Politicians and Communities At Odds Over How To Combat Spreading HIV Outbreak

More than 130 people have tested positive since December, and the outbreak is no longer contained to just Scott County. As the number of people living with HIV in Indiana increases, health officials, politicians and everyday people remain at odds over how to stop the disease from spreading.
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Thomas8047 via Flickr/ https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Speaking of Loss

Sound Medicine Radio Hour Is Ending Its Run

After fifteen years on the air, the Sound Medicine Radio Hour will broadcast and podcast its final new show on the last weekend in April (check your local listings for broadcast times). The Sound Medicine team, our home station 90.1 WFYI Indianapolis, Indiana University and the IU School of Medicine are proud of the program’s long run and of its mission - educating public radio listeners about timely health and medicine topics in a lively and engaging format. The talented members of that team—host Barbara Lewis-West, senior producer Nora Hiatt, associate producer Eric Metcalf, reporter Jill Ditmire, and engineer Chris Lieber—brought in top physicians and researchers and highlighted medical innovations from here in Indiana and around the world.
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Antionette Salifou is a school bus driver in Indianapolis. She recently went to a dentist because of a pain in her mouth. She was told she needed a root canal, and along with the other care she needed, it was going to cost $2000 -- way more than she can afford, since she doesn't have insurance to cover it. 

“It’s just hard to fit in there with paying bills and everything," she said.

Salifou’s problem is not uncommon. About one in three Americans lacks dental insurance, and those that have it still may not be getting the care they need.

Mary LeBus plays for colon cancer patient Sherry Parks at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas
Lauren Silverman / KERA

Usually its IV poles being wheeled down hospital hallways. Today, it’s a harp.

In the palliative care program at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, music is used, along with medicine, to help patients manage chronic illness.


Speaking of Loss

9 hours ago
Thomas8047 via Flickr/ https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

I knew that a child had died in the way that she paused and glanced at her husband when I asked “how many children do you have?” She was eighty-four years old and had been referred for a low platelet count. Her husband’s wide tie imprinted with schooners reminded me of the tie I wore to my sister Sarah’s wedding when I was seventeen. He stared straight ahead, his well-worn three piece suit bunched at his waist. And then she said, “four but our oldest, Margaret, we called her Maggie, died when she was ten.” A car had struck her while riding a bicycle more than fifty years before. But I knew it felt like yesterday.

Americans Are Drinking More Heavily, Especially Women

11 hours ago

Whether quaffing artisanal cocktails at hipster bars or knocking back no-name beers on the couch, more Americans are drinking heavily – and engaging in episodes of binge-drinking, concludes a major study of alcohol use.

Heavy drinking among Americans rose 17.2 percent between 2005 and 2012, largely due to rising rates among women, according to the study by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, published Thursday in the American Journal of Public Health.

If you like the idea of zero or low-calorie sodas, but you're turned off by the artificial sweetener aspartame, you're not alone.

Sales of diet soda have fallen off significantly in the U.S. And when PepsiCo started asking consumers what they didn't like, aspartame was at the top of the list.

"It's literally the number-one complaint we've heard from diet-cola consumers as to why they're drinking less and less diet cola, " Seth Kaufman, a senior vice president for PepsiCo, tells The Salt.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that the U.S. epidemic of opioid abuse could lead to more severe outbreaks of HIV and hepatitis C nationally, much like the outbreak now seen in Indiana. A health advisory the agency released Friday outlines steps that state health departments and medical providers should take to minimize the risk of that happening.

Poor old Dr. Krebs. His painstaking Nobel-winning work on cellular metabolism, called the Krebs cycle, has made him the symbol for what's ailing medical education.

"Why do I need to know this stuff?" medical students ask me.

"How many times have you used the Krebs Cycle lately?" senior doctors jokingly reminisce.

In this final episode of the Sound Medicine Radio Hour: We tailor glasses to your eyes and blood transfusions to your blood type, so why isn't more of medicine specific to the patient receiving treatment? We hear from Eric Green, director of the National Human Genome Research Institute on how the new Precision Medicine Initiative plans to use the power of genetic sequencing to develop innovative treatments for cancer and other diseases. We check in with the director of a VA hospital to learn what progress has been made in the past year, and we learn about how a study on breast cancer in dogs can help human women. We'll also hear about a program in Dallas that brings music to palliative care patients, and hear a final essay from palliative oncologist Larry Cripe. 


Think back to the last time you got negative feedback — like when your doctor suggested you lay off the cigarettes or when your mother advised you to get rid of that ridiculous goatee.

Though we all understand the value of constructive criticism, we don't like hearing that we've done something wrong. And the knee-jerk reaction is to act defensive.

But if you focus on the big picture and future goals, you may be able to trick your mind into being a bit more receptive.

The simple act of thinking can accelerate the growth of many brain tumors.

That's the conclusion of a paper in Cell published Thursday that showed how activity in the cerebral cortex affected high-grade gliomas, which represent about 80 percent of all malignant brain tumors in people.

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