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On ‘Sound Medicine’: Universal HIV testing, the power of positivity, and the Oregon Medicaid study


INDIANAPOLIS — The award-winning “Sound Medicine” announces its program for June 23, featuring segments on HIV testing and research, the Oregon Medicaid study, and itchy pets.

Does Medicaid hurt or improve recipients’ health?  “Sound Medicine” contributor Aaron Carroll, M.D., M.S., speaks with host Barbara Lewis about the results of the Oregon Medicaid study. Several years ago, Oregon decided to expand its Medicaid program. But with more people than funding for coverage, Oregon selected the recipients through a lottery system, giving researchers the opportunity to do a randomized controlled study of how people use health insurance.  In later analysis, researchers found that Medicaid didn’t improve blood pressure or rates of diabetes, but it did improve quality of life and depression. However, Dr. Carroll said the study may have been too small to detect statistically significant differences in overall health. Dr. Carroll is an associate professor of pediatrics and the associate director of the Children’s Health Services Research at Indiana University School of Medicine. He is also the director of the Center for Health Policy and Professionalism Research.

How can HIV testing become universal? In 2006, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called for universal testing of the human immunodeficiency virus between the ages of 13 and 64, because over 25 percent of the HIV population was unknowingly living with the virus. Lee Wilbur, M.D., talks about the highly successful program at Wishard Hospital and how his team identifies those who need to be tested. Dr. Wilbur’s goal is to decrease the stigma of being tested for HIV and normalize HIV testing. Dr. Wilbur is an associate professor of clinical emergency medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine and the medical director of the HIV rapid testing team at Wishard.

What does it mean for HIV carriers to be ‘functionally’ cured? David Crabb, M.D., joins “Sound Medicine” to discuss the recent news coverage regarding an infant who was functionally cured of HIV. A functional cure means the level of HIV in the blood is at a very low level without taking prescription medication. According to Dr. Crabb, most of the functional cures that have been reported were from people diagnosed in the early stages of HIV. A functional cure doesn’t mean that the HIV is gone, but it does provide hope for those infected with the virus. Dr. Crabb is the chair of the Department of Medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine.

Are there benefits to thinking positively? In the final segment of the two-part installment on outsmarting anger, Joe Shrand, M.D., focuses on emotions such as peace and anger.  Humans are able to influence others by channeling peace and harmony. Humans mirror other humans; by channeling positive emotions, we are actually able to promote peace. Dr. Shrand is an instructor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the director of the Clean and Sober Teens Living Empowered, or CASTLE, program at the High Point Treatment Center in Brockton, Mass. He is the author of “Outsmarting  Anger.”

Is scratching dangerous for pets? Last week, regular ‘Sound Medicine’ guest Elizabeth Murphy, DVM, discussed the side effects of allergies in pets, which include itchy skin. This week, she explains how itchy skin can lead to scratching and infections.  According to Dr. Murphy, itching leads to scratching, which can be a vicious cycle for many pets with allergies. In the process of itching and scratching, pets can actually tear off the outer layer of skin, which leads to skin infections. To treat allergies and reduce skin inflammation, veterinarians recommend antihistamines, fatty acid supplements and, in extreme cases, cortisone.

“Sound Medicine” covers controversial ethics topics, breakthrough research studies and the day-to-day application of recent advancements in medicine. It’s also available via podcast and Stitcher Radio for mobile phones and iPads and posts updates on Facebook and Twitter.

Co-produced by the IU School of Medicine and WFYI Public Radio (90.1 FM) and underwritten in part by Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, “Sound Medicine ” airs on the following Indiana public radio stations: WBSB (Anderson, 89.5 FM), WFIU (Bloomington, 103.7 FM; Columbus, 100.7 FM; Kokomo, 106.1 FM; Terre Haute, 95.1 FM), WNDY (Crawfordsville, 91.3 FM), WVPE (Elkhart/South Bend, 88.1 FM), WNIN (Evansville, 88.3 FM), WBOI (Fort Wayne, 89.1 FM), WFCI (Franklin, 89.5 FM), WBSH (Hagerstown/New Castle, 91.1 FM), WFYI (Indianapolis), WBSW (Marion, 90.9 FM), WBST (Muncie, 92.1 FM), WBSJ (Portland, 91.7 FM), WLPR (Lake County, 89.1 FM) and WBAA (West Lafayette, 101.3 FM).

“Sound Medicine” is also broadcast on these public radio stations across the country: KSKA (Anchorage, Alaska), KTNA (Talkeetna, Alaska), KUHB (Pribilof Islands, Alaska), KUAF (Fayetteville and Fort Smith, Ark.), KIDE (Hoopa Valley, Calif.), KRCC (Colorado Springs, Colo.), KEDM (Monroe, La.), WCMU (Mount Pleasant, Mich.),  KMHA (Four Bears, N.D.), WYSU (Youngstown, Ohio), KPOV (Bend, Ore.) and KEOS (College Station, Texas).

Please check local listings for broadcast dates and times.