Scott County public health nurse Brittany Combs distributes clean syringes from the back of a van in June 2015
Seth Herald

When an outbreak of HIV among injection drug users was declared in rural Scott County, Indiana, in February, it made national headlines. HIV was supposed to be an urban problem, and AIDS had been in steady decline among IV drug users since the early 90s. 

Daniel Raymond, policy director at the national Harm Reduction Coalition, says the Scott County outbreak, which infected 181 people, was a “wake up call” for communities around the country who are dealing with rising rates of hepatitis C, ongoing prescription opioid addiction, and increasing abuse of heroin.

A look at public health news from around the web. 

A new rule from the Obama Administration aims to further reduce the main ingredient in smog. That might sound like good news if you live in a city where smog is a problem. But after the rule was announced, there were plenty of complaints about it.

angry chicken
erica dot net via Fickr

If you’re struck by an orca, sucked into a jet engine, or having relationship problems with your in-laws, fear not: Your doctor now has a medical diagnosis code for that.

On Thursday U.S. doctors, hospitals and health insurers were required to start using the ICD-10, a vast new set of alphanumeric codes for describing diseases and injuries in unprecedented detail.

Rebecca Smith / KBIA/Side Effects Public Media

Medical abortion services at the Columbia, Missouri Planned Parenthood clinic are under threat, due, in part, to political pressure from the Missouri legislature. This clinic is one of only two places in the state where a woman can get an abortion, but following an announcement made by the University of Missouri Health Care system last Thursday, they may not be available for much longer.

Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards testified before the House Oversight Committee Tuesday, in the wake of the release of a series of undercover videos this summer that showed high-level staffers discussing the harvesting of fetal tissue. 

When a woman has endometriosis, lesions are often found on the surface of the female reproductive organs.

Endometriosis affects one in ten American women, often causing debilitating pain that keeps them from work or school, yet little is known about the disease. Endometriosis is a condition in which pieces of tissue similar to the lining of the uterus--the endometrium--grow outside of the womb. When a woman menstruates, endometriosis tissue sheds as well, but without having a way out of the body, it forms scar tissue, cysts and adhesions in the abdomen.  A recent article in The Guardian argues that despite its prevalence, research for endometriosis is drastically underfunded: 

IU Health

When Brandy Gibson was 17 and pregnant with her daughter, Calie, something strange started happening when she opened the freezer door.

There’s a serious doctor shortage in the United States and the problem is set to get worse if medical schools don't increase the number of physicians they train.

According to a 2015 report prepared for the ​Association of American Medical Colleges, the demand for physicians-- especially primary care doctors--is growing faster than the supply. The analysis projects there will be a shortage of 46,100 to 90,400 physicians by 2025. 

Prisons And Jails Forcing Inmates To Cover Some Medical Care Costs

Sep 29, 2015

Correctional facilities are responsible for providing health services to people who are jailed, but that doesn’t mean that prisoners don’t face financial charges for care. In most states they may be on the hook for copayments ranging from a few dollars to as much as $100 for medical care, according to a recent study.


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