School of public health

YSPH honors AIDS researcher

Anthony S. Fauci predicts the AIDS virus will be defeated. “It’s almost inevitable that it will happen, if we do a few things,” he said in an October lecture where he received the Winslow Medal, the School of Public Health’s highest honor. The award is named after Charles-Edward Amory Winslow, who founded public health at Yale in 1915. Fauci, a prominent HIV/AIDS researcher and a key adviser to the White House on the disease, cited progress against HIV/AIDS, but said more needs to be done if new infections are to end. A “toolbox of prevention,” including counseling for people at high risk of infection and pre-exposure prophylaxis to lessen the chances of becoming infected, are among the tools available. He was the second Winslow recipient of 2015, YSPH’s centennial year. The final recipient will be Judith Rodin, former Yale provost and president of the Rockefeller Foundation.

Younger patients lack heart attack information

Before having a heart attack, only half of younger patients believed they were at risk and even fewer discussed health risks with their doctors, a trend that was more common among women than men. YSPH researchers examined 3,501 heart attack survivors and found that women were 11 percent less likely than men to be told by their doctors that they were at risk for a heart attack. They were 16 percent less likely to have a health-care provider discuss heart disease and how to reduce their risk. “Many younger women and men, even those with multiple cardiac risk factors, are not receiving adequate counseling on heart disease,” said Erica Leifheit-Limson ’10PhD, the study’s lead author. Each year in the United States more than 15,000 women under the age of 55 die from heart disease, making it a leading cause of death for this age group. 

Boosting the benefits of breastfeeding

Despite well-documented health benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and child, less than 40 percent of the world’s infants under six months old are breastfed exclusively. YSPH professor Rafael Perez-Escamilla is leading a project to measure the effectiveness of breastfeeding programs around the world. Funded with a grant from the Family Larsson-Rosenquist Foundation, the Breastfeeding-Friendly Country Index will also help identify measures to increase breastfeeding rates.   

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