Trending News Today: Maryland Reports Lowest Number of New HIV Cases in More Than 30 Years

Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.

Maryland has recorded the lowest number of new HIV cases in more than 30 years, with fewer than 1000 new cases in 2018, The Washington Post reported. According to the article, on Tuesday, the state Department of Health announced that 997 new cases of HIV were recorded last year, making that the lowest since 1986 when 947 cases were recorded. Peter DeMartino, the state’s director of infectious disease prevention, credited the drop in infection to many of the state’s efforts to protect individuals from acquiring the virus and improve treatment through achieving viral suppression for those diagnosed, the article reported.

A new report adds evidence that vitamin E acetate may play a role in the vaping-related illnesses and vaping-associated lung injury (EVALI) that have affected some e-cigarette users, STAT reported. According to the article, Minnesota health officials tested 10 THC-containing vaping products seized by law enforcement in 2018, before the EVALI outbreak began, and 20 seized from a raid in 2019. The analysis found that none of the product from 2018 tested positive for vitamin E acetate, but all of the products in 2019 did, the article reported. The report’s authors noted that there’s a need for more research to determine whether inhaled vitamin E acetate is directly causing cases of EVALI.

Long-term data demonstrated better outcomes for certain patients with lung cancer treated with brigatinib (Alunbrig, Takeda) compared with crizotinib (Xalkori, Pfizer), Reuters reported. According to the article, the results, which were released at the European Society for Medical Oncology Asia Congress in Singapore, were a 25-month follow up to a phase 3 trial which focused on patients with advanced anaplastic lymphoma kinase-positive (ALK+) non-small cell lung cancer who had not received a prior ALK inhibitor. Overall, the data showed that brigatinib reduced the risk of disease progression by 76% in patients whose cancer had spread to the brain and by 57% in all patients compared with crizotinib, the article reported.