MMWR News Synopsis for Friday, May 31, 2019

Hurricane-Associated Mold Exposures Among Patients at Risk for Invasive Mold Infections After Hurricane Harvey — Houston, Texas, 2017

CDC Media Relations

After natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods, people with weakened immune systems should stay out of buildings with water damage or mold contamination and should not clean up mold. Natural disasters that involve flooding and indoor mold growth may increase the risk of developing a serious, frequently fatal mold infection in people with severely weakened immune systems. CDC and other federal agencies recommend that people with weakened immune systems avoid mold-contaminated sites. When it is difficult to avoid mold-contaminated sites, such as after a hurricane that has damaged most homes in a community, wearing appropriate respirators and other personal protective equipment might reduce mold exposure. CDC and health officials from Texas interviewed immunocompromised people in Houston affected by Hurricane Harvey to evaluate their mold exposures. Many reported entering buildings with mold damage, with nearly half cleaning up homes with water damage and mold contamination. Fewer than 25 percent of those cleaning up homes reported respirator use.


Scaling Up Testing for Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection Among Contacts of Index Patients — 20 Countries, 2016–2018

CDC Media Relations

Index testing is an HIV case-finding strategy targeting the exposed contacts of HIV-positive people for HIV testing. With an HIV positive rate that is more than twice that of all HIV testing approaches combined, index testing was found to be a more efficient approach to HIV case finding. A new report summarizes data on the index testing approach in 20 countries supported by CDC through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief during October 1, 2016–March 31, 2018. During this period, the index testing approach led to more than 1.7 million HIV tests. The positivity rate for index testing was 9.8% among adults aged 15 and older and 1.5% among children younger than 15. Scale-up of index testing could help increase the number of HIV-positive people who know their status and receive antiretroviral treatment, and as a result, reduce the number of people who can transmit the virus.


Using Social Media To Increase HIV Testing Among Men Who Have Sex with Men — Beijing, China, 2013–2017

CDC Media Relations

Online technology such as social media platforms may be an effective way to promote HIV testing among hard-to-reach populations such as men who have sex with men (MSM), particularly in settings in which this population faces high levels of stigma. In China, MSM bear a disproportionate burden of HIV infection, and stigmatization of same-sex behaviors presents challenges for HIV prevention and treatment efforts. Effective HIV testing in communities with a high risk of HIV infection is an entry point for an HIV response. “Blued” is a popular gay dating app with over 27 million Chinese registered users. Between 2015 and December 2017, to encourage HIV testing among MSM in Beijing, Blued launched an HIV testing campaign through its online promotion functionality and geolocation capabilities.. A sharp increase in HIV testing followed the campaign, indicating that leveraging social media platforms might be useful in increasing HIV testing among MSM, particularly young adult MSM.


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Page last reviewed: May 29, 2019