New LSHTM–led research finds that sex workers who experience repressive policing, including arrest and imprisonment, are three times more likely to go on to experience sexual and physical violence and twice as likely to have HIV and/or other STIs. Co-author Pippa Grenfell said: “Decriminalisation of sex work is urgently needed, but other areas must also be addressed. Wider political action is required to tackle the inequalities, stigma and exclusion that sex workers face, not only within criminal justice systems but also in health, domestic violence, housing, welfare, employment, education and immigration sectors.”
Heather Wardle is quoted in the Independent on news that members of the Remote Gaming Association, including William Hill, Ladbrokes and Bet365, have committed to stop advertising during live sports broadcasts. Heather said: “Gambling is heavily advertised and marketed online, through social media and through sponsorship – where it is very difficult to control who receives these messages. The system needs to be considered as a whole, but suggestions to stop adverts around football matches is a good starting place.”
Reuters cover LSHTM research which finds that breast cancer survivors are more likely to experience anxiety, depression, sleeping troubles and other mental health issues, compared with those who have not been diagnosed with the disease. Lead author Helena Carreira said: “We already knew that women experience substantial psychological distress around the breast cancer diagnosis and during the main treatment period. There is a need for greater awareness that anxiety, depression and cognitive and sexual dysfunctions are common after breast cancer, and that treatments are available.”
Will Nutland speaks to the Evening Standard about PrEP, which has led to big falls in diagnoses of HIV in current trials. Activists say the drug should be widely available and NHS funding provided for it; currently it is only available to those enrolled in the national trial. Will said: “What PrEP does is offer something new on an individual level as well as having a public health benefit. Individually it removes that fear and anxiety of getting HIV, and on a public health level it has had a dramatic effect on HIV acquisition.”
Liam Smeeth provides expert comment to The Times (£) on new research which concludes that patients should be given higher doses of statins to make up for the fact that they do not often take their medicines as prescribed. Researchers say the approach could prevent thousands of heart attacks and deaths. Liam said: “The study highlights the importance of people taking their statins reliably over the long term, and the benefits of using the higher doses of statins now widely recommended in clinical guidelines.” Liam’s comments are also covered in the Daily Mail.
Hana Rohan is quoted in Scroll.in, an independent Indian news website, for an article health and technology and why sometimes, behavioural changes and putting patients first is more effective. Hana said: “Workers provide the magic of human interaction. They’re also a bridge between patients and the health system. Healthcare staff provide a two-way flow of information for those who struggle to reach a facility.”
On social media
This week’s social media highlight comes from the LSHTM Twitter page promoting LSHTM’s latest Research in Action feature – Gambling with our health: why the stakes don’t get any higher. The feature explores the world of gambling, how has it changed over time and how has it become a modern public health issue? We delve into the cost of gambling, looking at who is harmed the most and how smartphones and apps are contributing to the disturbing rise in gambling – particularly among young people.