The 15.11.08 edition of the Lancet discusses the risk of HIV in injecting drug users with prevalence estimates in 61 countries. There is an expert group who advice on global policies in this regards and who also advised on the systematic review. In the systematic review they estimated that 16 million people who inject drugs – 40% live in US, China and Russia. They also estimate that 3 million of these people have HIV although the proportion differs between countries which the author thinks is due to successful interventions in countries where the prevalence of HIV is lower (estimating 2% in Australia and 15% in USA as needle programs were apparently introduced into the latter relatively later). Reducing stigma of this marginalised group and developing prevention programs further are recommended as strategies of the group.
In the 8.11.08 edition of the Lancet podcast there is a discussion of social modifiers of illness. The surestart program for children in deprived areas found that children improved in 5/14 outcome measures. In another study in 18 OECD countries looking at parents working habits (one parent versus both parents working), If both parents work, then child mortality was reduced whilst in the Whitehall Study it was found that CHD risk can be reduced in high income (who tend to do better) and low income people. There was also another study showing that health inequalities were reduced in green space areas. Finally there is an interview with Professor Sir Michael Marmot who discusses global health inequalities and some of the contributing factors which need to be addressed including equal education opportunities for women.
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