Suddenly, It Looks Like We’re in a Golden Age for Medicine We may be on the cusp of an era of astonishing innovation — the limits of which aren’t even clear yet.
DW Wells, New York Times. June 23, 2023
And although the very first person to receive Crispr gene therapy in the United States received it just four years ago, for sickle-cell disease, it has since been rolled out for testing on congenital blindness, heart disease, diabetes, cancer and H.I.V. So far only two applications for such treatments have been submitted to the F.D.A., but all told, some 400 million people worldwide are afflicted by one or more diseases arising from single-gene mutations that would be theoretically simple for Crispr to fix.
WHO Introduces Worldwide Pathogen Surveillance Network
E Harris, JAMA, June 20, 2023
A global collaboration, known as the International Pathogen Surveillance Network, will harness pathogen genomics to improve disease surveillance and identify and respond to disease-causing agents before they become pandemics or epidemics, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced. The Network will connect members of different countries to improve sample collection and analysis and facilitate public health decision-making, among other goals.
Pathogen genomics—which involves analyzing the genomes of viruses, bacteria, and other contagions to understand their infectivity, deadliness, and transmission—has played a key role in the world’s ability to respond to diseases, from COVID-19 to HIV.
Use of mobile phone data in HIV epidemic control.
Valdano Eugenio et al. The lancet. HIV 2022 12 (12) e820-e821
Mobile phone data can be used to identify circular travel patterns and to reveal hidden spatial structures in populations: to detect meta-communities. A metacommunity is a subset of communities that are more tightly linked to each other (due to individuals travelling among them) than to other communities; metacommunities are loosely linked (through travel) to other meta-communities. We propose that a metacommunity be considered as a single social-sexual community (ie, a group of individuals who have the majority of their social and sexual contacts within the group), and that a linked network of social-sexual communities can be used to design geographical targeting strategies for controlling HIV.
HIV Prevention: Digital Health Interventions to Improve Adherence to HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis
The Community Guide, October 2022
The Community Preventive Services Task Force (CPSTF) recommends digital health interventions to increase adherence to HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). Systematic review evidence shows interventions improve both daily-use pill taking and retention in PrEP care. This improves health for population groups who are not infected with HIV and engage in behaviors that may increase their chances of getting HIV.