LSTM receives grant to help improve health of people living in informal settlements

The Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) has been awarded £11.8 million by the UK government's Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) for a grant to help improve the health of people living in informal settlements in low and middle-income countries. The UKRI GCRF Accountability for Informal Urban Equity Hub, or ARISE, will support precarious and marginalised people claim their rights to health and build accountability and capacity to provide them with security and services. LSTM's Professor Sally Theobald is Principle Investigator for the ARISE Hub, she said: "More than half of the world's people live in cities, with one in three of those living in low and middle-income countries doing so in informal settlements, sometimes known colloquially as slums, with inadequate access to services and opportunities to shape decisions about their environment. Our research will support the people in our focal communities to claim their rights to health and well-being. We are…

What to know about HIV false-positives ?

A false-positive HIV test occurs when a test incorrectly indicates that a person has contracted the  virus. Receiving a false positive can inspire conflicting feelings. People may wonder what they can  or  should do next. In this article, we suggest some next steps for people who have had false-positive HIV test results. We also provide detailed information about the HIV testing process. A person knows that they have had a false positive when an initial test indicated that they had HIV but a follow-up test was negative. A false positive typically results from the test incorrectly identifying non-HIV antibodies as HIV antibodies.
What to do after a false-positive result
After receiving the initial result, the healthcare provider will perform an additional test to ensure that the result is accurate. If the second result is also positive, it confirms the presence of HIV. In this case, a healthcare provider will provide support and information about treatment options. If the follow-up test is neg…

Doctors Aren’t Sure How This Even Came Out of a Patient

The New England Journal of Medicine tweeted the most recent addition to its photo series of the most visually arresting medical anomalies. The image is of a mysterious, branchlike structure that, posted elsewhere, would probably pass for a cherry-red chunk of some underground root system or a piece of bright reef coral. But this is no creature of the deep. It’s a completely intact, six-inch-wide clot of human blood in the exact shape of the right bronchial tree, one of the two key tubular networks that ferry air to and from the lungs. And it was coughed up in one piece.

The clot is beautiful, and it’s also kind of gross. The tweet received a slew of replies from those frightened that the photo showed an actual coughed-up lung, which is about as likely to happen as your brain falling out of your butt. But even the doctors who treated the 36-year-old man who produced the clot aren’t entirely sure how it could have emerged without breaking.
Georg Wieselthaler, a transplant and pulmonary su…

New method could improve outcome of leukemia patients receiving stem-cell transplants

Stem-cell transplantation is an effective form of therapy to fight leukemia. In many cases, however, the transferred immune cells of the donor also attack the recipients' healthy tissue - often with fatal consequences. Researchers at the University of Zurich have now identified a molecule that plays a key role in this process. Blocking this molecule could significantly improve the outcome of patients receiving stem-cell transplants.

Stem-cell therapy offers people suffering from leukemia or bone-marrow cancer the chance of full recovery. This requires eliminating the affected cells using chemo or radiation therapy and then replacing them with the blood stem cells from a healthy donor. The donor cells not only produce new blood cells, but also attack the other cancer cells in the patient's body and prevent them from suffering a relapse.
However, this form of therapy is not without its risks: In 30% to 60% of cases, the donor cells also attack the recipients' healthy tissue - …

Surgery and addictions counseling associated with reduced mortality in injection drug users with endocarditis

Cases of endocarditis - infection of the heart valves - have risen dramatically in recent years as a result of the opioid crisis. In London, Ontario 55 per cent of people who experience heart valve infections are injection drug users. They are particularly vulnerable to the disease and a third die as a result.
In an effort to improve outcomes, researchers at Lawson Health Research Institute and Western University are studying which clinical factors are associated with improved survival in this patient population. In a new study, they showed that both surgery and in-hospital addictions counseling are linked to significantly reduced mortality in injection drug users with first-episode endocarditis. Surgery was associated with a 56 per cent reduction in mortality, while in-hospital addictions counseling was associated with a 72 per cent reduction. The project was a retrospective cohort study that examined anonymous patient data from 2007 to 2016 at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) a…

UMN researchers focus on improving dermatologic care for sexual and gender minority patients

Researchers say knowledge of patient's sexual orientation and gender identity is important for every provider, even sub specialists University of Minnesota researchers recently published an opinion piece in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) Dermatology focused on standardizing collection of sexual orientation and gender identity in dermatology clinical settings.
This is one of the first published articles that advocates for standardizing SOGI ( Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity), or sexual orientation and gender identity, data collection in a sub specialty clinical setting (i.e. outside of primary care settings such as general internal medicine, family medicine, or pediatrics). "These data collection efforts acknowledge the fact that a patient's many identities are really important to all providers because they empower physicians and other healthcare staff to provide higher quality care that is both evidence-based and culturally sensitive," said le…