Fox & Friends Host: ‘More Testing Might Find More Positive Results, That A Good Thing?’

During this morning’s episode of Fox & Friends, co-host Pete Hegseth wondered aloud if more testing might find more positive results, and if that would be a ‘good thing?’

“Data is a pesky thing too. Because what if we start testing more and as a result of more testing we find more positives? Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

“And if the leaders say we have more positive tests, therefore, we need to delay even further — that doesn’t make sense to people. Maybe those are the same amount of people that had it before. We just weren’t testing.

“So data can be the type of thing that leaders can also manipulate as we try to get forward and past this.”

“Is that a good or a bad thing?” Well, Pete, adequate testing would help answer that question.

But what would be really bad is go just close our eyes and hope for the best.

Trump Promotes Anti-Malaria Drug Not Approved As Treatment For Coronavirus

Donald Trump continues to push the idea that anti-malaria drug chloroquine has been approved as treatment for COVID-19.

It has not.

Via Mediaite:

At a White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing Friday, Fox News reporter John Roberts asked Fauci about the anti-malaria drug chloroquine, which is being tested as a treatment for COVID-19 but has not been approved for that use, despite Trump’s claim to the contrary yesterday.

“It was explained yesterday there has been some promise with hydroxychloroquine, this potential therapy for people who are infected with coronavirus,” Roberts said, then asked, “Is there any evidence to suggest that as with malaria it might be used as a prophylaxis against COVID-19?”

“The answer is no, and the evidence that you’re talking about, John, is anecdotal evidence,” Dr. Fauci replied, adding “So as the commissioner of FDA and the president mentioned yesterday, we’re trying to strike a balance between making something with a potential of an effect to the American people, available, at the same time that we do it under the auspices of a protocol that would give us information to determine if it’s truly safe and truly effective.”

Trump tweeted about the drug again this morning:

Study: Having Older Brother Increases Odds Of Being Gay

Me with my older brother Gary

A new study shows having an older brother can increase the odds among men of being gay.

German and Canadian researchers compiled data from ten different studies on sexual orientation focusing on families with two sons giving them a dataset of 5,390 gay and straight men.

Crunching the numbers they found males with an older brother had a 38 percent higher likelihood of being gay than men who don’t have older male siblings.

The study was published Wednesday in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B journal.

Additionally, the data indicated the more older brothers a man had, the greater the odds he would be gay.

The New York Post reports the study also found “a correlation between mothers giving birth to homosexual males and having more children, as compared to moms of straight males having fewer children.”

In their paper, the researchers wrote, “[Mothers] of homosexual males produce more offspring than the mothers of heterosexual males.”

Professor David Spiegelhalter, of the University of Cambridge, told the Daily Mail, “The fascinating study estimates that having an older brother increases the odds of being gay by 38 percent, supporting the idea that a mother’s immune response to having a male child influences subsequent boys.”

The study’s authors hypothesize that immune systems of mothers who give birth to a male baby react to a specific protein that has been shown to be important for brain development in male fetuses. The antibodies developed in reaction to that protein impact the brain development of future male children.

The researchers noted that no correlation was found between the birth order for women and sexuality.

(source: NY Post)

Experts: HIV+/Undetectable People Aren’t At Greater Risk From COVID-19

From the beginning of the coronavirus threat, we’ve been told those most at-risk of infection are older adults, people with serious chronic medical conditions, and those with compromised immune systems.

Some people living with HIV have been confused, however, as to whether they are or are not in that high-risk pool.

Speaking with MetroWeekly, Dr. Sebastian Ruhs, the director of the Infectious Diseases Center of Excellence at Chase Brexton Health Care in Baltimore, said people who are HIV+ with an undetectable viral load thanks to taking antiretroviral medications on a regular basis are not at any greater risk than the general population.

“The current data that we have is that someone who has a normal CD4 and is on medication to maintain an undetectable viral load does not behave any different from someone who is HIV-negative,” said Ruhs. “So the risk for that population isn’t any higher. In that respect, corona appears to behave in a manner like other seasonal viruses do.”

Ruhs does recommend that people living with HIV who are not taking their medications on a regular basis resume care and get back to undetectable status if possible. Additionally, anyone with HIV is urged to be up-to-date with their vaccines.

Related: Health Officials Warn Of Specific Vulnerabilities Of LGBTQs To Coronavirus

During a special session of the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections on March 10, Dr. John Brooks, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, underscored that position saying that HIV-positive people who have a low CD4 count or do not have full viral suppression on antiretrovirals could be at greater risk.

Additionally, as I recently reported, the LGBTQ community does have its own unique risk factors during health crises thanks to higher rates of smoking, certain types of cancer, and difficulties accessing healthcare either due to discrimination or lack of insurance coverage.

For now, make sure you wash your hands regularly with soap and water, practice good ‘social distancing,’ and if you aren’t feeling well, stay home, rest and hydrate.

Also, in this time of great uncertainty, remember to support each other and ensure we do all that we can to help and empower the most vulnerable.

(source: MetroWeekly)

HIV Study Halted After Vaccine Shown To Be Ineffective

The clinical trial of a possible HIV vaccine has been abandoned after an interim review of the vaccine showed no effective protection from HIV.

The HVTN 702 study, begun in 2016, was being led by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). Over 5,400 HIV-negative individuals whose ages ranged from 18-35 took part in the study across 15 sites in Africa.

After showing modest levels of protection in an earlier trial in Thailand, the testing proceeded with a modified version of the vaccine meant to target the strains of HIV most prevalent in South Africa.

For the study, 2,694 individuals received the investigational vaccine regimen while 2,689 volunteers received a placebo.

An interim review of the study by an independent data and safety monitoring board in January showed 129 HIV infections occurred among the vaccine recipients, and 123 HIV infections occurred among the placebo recipients.

“An HIV vaccine is essential to end the global pandemic, and we hoped this vaccine candidate would work. Regrettably, it does not,” said NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci in a statement. “Research continues on other approaches to a safe and effective HIV vaccine, which I still believe can be achieved.”

While the HVTN 702 study will be halted, there are two other HIV vaccines – Imbokodo and Mosaico – currently in late-stage trials.

Launched in 2017 in South Africa, human trials of Imbokodo (like Mosaico) attempt to invoke an immune response to a variety of HIV strains using a “mosaic” of immunogens via six injections over four sessions.

Mosaico began trials in November of 2019 in South Africa as well but also across 57 sites in the United States, Latin America, and Europe.

(source: NIAID)

New Study Finds Not One But Several Genes Have Effect On Sexuality

A new study published in the journal Science found there’s not a single gene that determines human sexuality but several genes that contribute to whether someone is LGBT or not.

The study, the largest ever to explore the connection between genetic makeup and sexual orientation, involved over 470,000 participants from Sweden, the US, and the UK.

DNA data was accessed from the UK Biobank study and from 23andMe, a private genetics company. 26,000 participants reported at least one same-sex sexual encounter.

Researchers found a strong connection between homosexuality and five autosomal loci (areas of DNA not on sex chromosomes).

The researchers acknowledged that the presence of the genes does not in itself determine someone’s sexual orientation.

But, the scientists found that a range of 8% to 25% of the variance in sexuality could be explained by the genes.

Some of the genes were more impactful on men, some on women, and some on both.

And so, the authors wrote in the study, “Same-sex sexual behavior is influenced by not one or a few genes but many.”

Eric Vilain, director of the Center for Genetic Medicine Research at Children’s National Health System, said that the study could have been more specific had the scientists focused on only gay and bi people instead of just asking if people have ever had a same-sex sexual experience and lumping them all together.

Vilain added that the study should be replicated with more diverse participants.

Interestingly, media outlets have spun the study in several ways.

For instance, the headline in Science read, “There’s no evidence that a ‘gay gene’ exists.”

Over at Bloomberg, they wrote, “Science Hasn’t Found A ‘Gay’ Gene – So What?” That seems vague to me.

But the New York Times headlined more accurately, “Many Genes Influence Same-Sex Sexuality, Not a Single ‘Gay Gene.’”

And the Washington Post – “There’s no one ‘gay gene,’ but genetics are linked to same-sex behavior,” new study says.”

Considering how many – MANY – people read headlines and think they read ‘the news,’ you can see how a few words make a big difference.