MMWR News Synopsis for February 11, 2016

No MMWR telebriefing scheduled for
February 11, 2016

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Influenza-Related Hospitalizations and Poverty Levels — United States, 2010–2012

James Hadler, MD, MPH, Clinical Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health Connecticut Emerging Infections Program
Yale School of Public Health
hadlerepi@gmail.com
203-507-0911

Severe influenza complications are more common among those living in poor compared to wealthier neighborhoods. Enhanced vaccination and early antiviral treatment efforts in those neighborhoods could help to reduce this health disparity. Some people are more at risk for severe influenza than others but few studies have looked at whether there are differences by socioeconomic status. An examination of data collected over two influenza seasons in 14 states representing 27 million people found that those living in census tracts with ≥ 20% of residents living below the federal poverty level had double the rate of influenza hospitalization compared to those where <5% lived below the poverty level. This relationship was present in all age and race/ethnic groups and for those needing intensive care and/or who died. People living in high-poverty census tracts represent a demographic group at higher risk for severe influenza outcomes and should be a focus for enhanced influenza vaccination and antiviral treatment efforts.

HIV-Related Risk Behaviors Among Male High School Students Who Had Sexual Contact with Males — 17 Large Urban School Districts, United States, 2009–2013

National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
404-639-8895
NCHHSTPMediaTeam@cdc.gov

Black young males who have sex with males (YMSM), aged 13-24, face significant disparities in new HIV diagnoses and accounted for the largest number of new HIV diagnoses in 2014. Analysis from a new CDC study reveals that black male high school students who have had sexual contact with males often had a lower rate of HIV-related risk behaviors than white or Hispanic male high school students who had sexual contact with males. For example, compared with their white and Hispanic counterparts, black male students who had sexual contact with males had a lower rate of binge drinking, ever using inhalants, and ever using ecstasy. Black male students who had sexual contact with males also had a higher rate of condom use (47.4 percent) than white male students who had sexual contact with males (25.2 percent) and a similar rate as Hispanic male students who had sexual contact with males (48.8 percent). These findings provide evidence that HIV-related risk behaviors do not drive the higher number of HIV diagnoses among black YMSM compared with Hispanic and white YMSM. The differences in HIV diagnoses by race/ethnicity may be explained by the higher rate of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections among black YMSM compared with other MSM. Social determinants of health may compound the risk further. Overall, this study recognizes the need for increased access to effective HIV prevention strategies that specifically address black YMSM and MSM of all races/ethnicities.

Occupational HIV Transmission Among Male Adult Film Performers — Multiple States, 2014

Matt Conens, Information Officer
California Department of Public Health, Office of Public Affairs
(916) 445-6350 or (916) 440-7259
Matt.Conens@cdph.ca.gov

HIV transmission via condomless sex, including between adult film performers, is possible during the interval between negative and positive HIV tests. A male adult film performer obtained an HIV test that was negative, though he had, unknown to him, recently been infected. Very early in an HIV infection, even the most sensitive tests available can be negative. During the two weeks after his negative test, the performer was directed by two production companies to engage in condomless sex with other male performers, and public health and laboratory results provide strong evidence that he infected another performer during a film production. Adult film performers can be protected from HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) by a combination of correct and consistent use of condoms, regular testing for HIV and other STIs, HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis, and regulatory interventions by occupational safety and health programs.

Progress Toward Strengthening National Blood Transfusion Services — 14 Countries, 2011–2014

CDC Media Relations
404-639-3286

As countries control other drivers of new HIV infections, continued prevention of transfusion-associated HIV infections through the implementation of international safety standards and quality management systems will become increasingly important. Sustained progress in blood transfusion safety in lower-income countries will depend on reliable country-based funding models, especially as external-donor funding for blood safety declines.
Countries supported by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) have made substantial progress toward safer and more adequate national blood supplies. Reducing the prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) among blood donors has likely contributed to fewer transfusion-associated HIV infections. During 2011–2014 blood collections in these countries increased by 19%. Despite high national HIV/AIDS prevalence rates, 12 of 14 countries reported an overall decrease in HIV prevalence among donated blood units. Still, the risk of HIV transmission via transfusion remains higher in middle- and low-income countries. To reach the WHO’s 2020 goals for blood safety and adequacy, blood banking standards, accreditation and quality management systems, and continued surveillance are still needed in lower-income countries. 

Notes from the Field:

  • Circulating Vaccine-Derived Poliovirus Outbreaks — Five Countries, 2014–2015

QuickStats:

  • Age-Adjusted Percentage of Adults with Chronic Joint Symptoms, by Sex and Race/Ethnicity — National Health Interview Survey, United States 2013–2014

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Page last reviewed: February 11, 2016