1:29 PM, Jun 9, 2015 • By JERYL BIER
The Centers for Disease Control recently announced the availability of $76 million in grants for the National HIV Behavioral Surveillance (NHBS) program. This program is designed to "monitor the HIV epidemic" and detect changes in HIV-risk behaviors among high-risk population groups with an eye towards improving HIV prevention measures. This round of grants includes an option, based on availability of funds, to extend the research into two additional groups not under regular surveillance: "young MSM (YMSM) [Young Men having Sex with Men] and transgender women." In this case, "young" is defined as 13-17 years old.
Grant recipients must obtain regulatory approval for all survey activities, including these two lesser studied groups. This includes approval by local Institutional Review Boards (IRB) that oversee the studies. According to the CDC, local IRB members are not affiliated with the CDC. Since CDC staff is not directly involved with research subjects, the local IRBs review/approve protocols for these projects instead of a CDC-led IRB.
Given that those in the YMSM group are minors, parental consent can be an issue. However, the IRBs may approve waivers for parental consent if "necessary for the protection of human subjects," according to the CDC. When asked how disclosures of sexual contact between minors and adults would be handled, the CDC replied that "[i]f a participant ... discloses sexual behavior with a non-minor, the awarded grantee must follow their local laws about reporting regulations."
To obtain the data for the survey, the CDC suggests grantees use "respondent-driven sampling (RDS), Facebook Sampling (FBS) or other CDC-approved strategies to recruit MSM [Young Men having Sex with Men]." Asked what "Facebook Sampling" entails, the CDC explained that this method "entails placing banner ads on Facebook visible only to potentially eligible participants. Clicking on the ads will take the respondent to a landing page that displays additional information about [survey] and invites them to participate if eligible." The CDC went on to say that "other CDC-approved strategies include recruiting participants from venues in which YMSM congregate (e.g. venue-based sampling)."
A CDC spokesperson justified this research, even among teen-agers as young as thirteen, saying:
[G]ay and bisexual men of all races continue to be the risk group most severely affected by HIV. According to the most recent national data, between 2008 and 2010, the number of new infections among men who have sex with men (MSM) increased 12 percent, and infections among the youngest MSM – those aged 13 to 24 increased 22 percent. CDC's National HIV Behavioral Surveillance System (NHBS), provides important behavioral context for trends seen in HIV surveillance data. Using these data on HIV testing, prevalence, risk behaviors, and access to prevention services among at-risk populations in U.S. cities with the highest HIV prevalence, we can better target our nation’s HIV prevention efforts.
Grantees must submit applications by August 3, 2015 to be eligible for consideration for a grant. The projected award date is January 1, 2016.
7:29 AM, Jun 4, 2015 • By JERYL BIER
The Obama administration has not been shy about partnering with religious leaders on issues such as poverty, HIV/AIDS prevention, Obamacare, and even climate change.
Environmentalism’s biggest clown and greatest monster.12:45 PM, Jun 2, 2015 • By JONATHAN V. LAST
Everyone is talking about the New York Times piece exposing how utterly wrong, willfully blind, and insanely dangerous Paul Ehrlich is, and has been, for the last forty-seven years. There’s video, too.
This is great, I guess.
10:04 PM, Apr 7, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
At an event today at Howard University in Washington, D.C., President Obama warned of the public health risks assocaited with global warming.
"[T]he discussion really centered around the fact that climate change is having a impact on our public health," Obama said at today's event.
5:40 PM, Mar 12, 2015 • By JERYL BIER
Secretary of State John Kerry spoke at the Atlantic Council Thursday morning as part of the Road to Paris Climate Series and he compared the certainty of human-caused climate change to the law of gravity and to the temperature at which water fre
6:30 PM, Feb 12, 2015 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Lisa Zyga writes at phys.org that
The universe may have existed forever, according to a new model that applies quantum correction terms to complement Einstein's theory of general relativity. The model may also account for dark matter and dark energy, resolving multiple problems at once.
While others were watching the Grammys or fretting over the fate of Brian Williams, physicists have had bigger fish to fry.
10:53 PM, Feb 2, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
Hillary Clinton has responded to questions about vaccines raised by Senator Rand Paul and Governor Chris Christie with a tweet saying unequivocally that vaccines works. "The science is clear: The earth is round, the sky is blue, and #vaccineswork. Let's protect all our kids. #GrandmothersKnowBest," Clinton tweeted.
3:21 PM, Jan 27, 2015 • By PETER ROFF
Keeping us safe from ourselves has become a multi-billion dollar industry. Consumer groups, environmental organizations, the trial bar, the medical establishment, university researchers, and the government are all working together, doing all they can to prevent us from making what they consider to be bad choices. They treat the pursuit of safety as a license to deprive us of our ability to make informed choices.
9:20 AM, Dec 23, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
The latest episode of Conversations With Bill Kristol features guest Jim Manzi:
12:26 PM, Nov 6, 2014 • By WINDSOR MANN
The warmongers are at it again. In case you haven’t heard, the Pentagon has declared a global war on global warming. It’s our armed forces vs. the forces of nature, and we are the enemy. Those entrusted with protecting us from suicide bombers are now trying to protect the environment from us.
3:02 PM, Oct 28, 2014 • By WHITNEY BLAKE
The Obama administration is suddenly a champion of states' rights when it comes to the Ebola quarantine controversy.
7:31 AM, Oct 15, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
While the rise of the barbarous Islamic State and the spread of the modern day plague of Ebola has many concerned about the state of civilization here on earth, some at the White House are turning their attention beyond our planet.
10:31 AM, Oct 10, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
A new video by the Environmental Policy Alliance mocks Hollywood celebrity Leonardo DiCaprio for being "just another celebrity hypocrite" when it comes to the topic of climate change: