Heather Boerner

Heather Boerner

Journalist and Author

Heather Boerner is an award-winning journalist who specializes in storytelling on healthcare issues. She's most interested in how people choose between equally important needs.

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Surmounting 'Confusing' HIV Conception Guidance

"The provider will not initiate the conversation. Women must demand these services. If U=U, then U=U and that's that."


HIV Rates Drop Across the US, but Especially in These States

"What we see is that it doesn't matter if you're in a southern or a northern state, in a state that expanded Medicaid or didn't, whether you're in a state that had access to [pre-exposure prophylaxis] or not," Millett told Medscape. "The number of new infections fell when you followed a small set of proven interventions."

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CDC Guidance on Safer Conception: Families Talk Back

What it didn't make clear is that either effective treatment for the partner living with HIV or pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for the negative partner is sufficient on its own to prevent transmission during baby making.

And HIV-affected families have noticed....

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The Tricky Chemistry of Gender Transition

Gender transitioning includes a combination of treatments. How does it work, and what are the potential side effects from the hormones involved?

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How CHCF's Leadership Program Reinvigorated Two Stellar Careers

"I went from being on the verge of quitting to having a pretty big state and national role,"

The Washington Monthly

An unconventional team of doctors figured out how to provide high-need university employees with better health care, for less money

What if you took the concept of an intensive care unit—a single location that pulls together all the personnel and technology needed to care for the sickest patients in a hospital—and applied it to patients who were well enough not to be in the hospital but a lot sicker than the average patient in a primary care doctor’s practice?


Harnessing Vaginal Microbiota to Protect Women From HIV: What We Know and Don't Know - TheBodyPRO.com

"I would love at some point in my career," Scott McClelland said, "to be able to say that we need to control asymptomatic BV."


'Stop Describing, Start Intervening': Can the CDC's New Viral Load Data Help Guide HIV Programs? - TheBodyPRO.com

"The main message here is that, overall, we saw improvements for the whole population, suggesting that the efforts to test [and] diagnose HIV infection sooner, start [antiretroviral] treatment earlier and help patients be retained in care and adherent to their treatment are working over time," Buchacz told TheBodyPRO.com. "I think that's good news."


Antibiotics After Sex Nearly Halves Incidence of STIs

On-demand postexposure prophylaxis with doxycycline might significantly reduce the incidence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), new research shows.

In fact, prophylaxis with doxycycline after sex resulted in a 47% drop in new infections, French researchers report.


Darunavir Linked to Heightened Heart Disease Risk

The analysis from the Data Collection on Adverse Events of Anti-HIV Drugs (D:A:D) study shows that ritonavir-boosted darunavir is associated with a 59% increase in risk, but researchers found no such association for ritonavir-boosted atazanavir. They did not have enough data to include cobicistat.

"I can't say to a patient that if you stay on this drug, you will develop a myocardial infarction. I can only say that it increases your risk this much," said investigator Lene Ryom, MD, PhD, from the Centre for Health and Infectious Disease Research at the University of Copenhagen.


Zika Can Persist in Semen for 3 Months

Zika RNA can linger in semen for up to 3 months, but clears from vaginal fluid almost immediately, according to interim results from the first prospective study of patients infected with the virus.

"These findings support the CDC recommendations for men to abstain from sex or use condoms for 6 months," said investigator Gabriela Paz-Bailey, MD, PhD, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


New, Better-Tolerated Antiretrovirals Emerging for HIV

Imagine starting a patient on antiretroviral therapy without having to individualize the regimen to take into account factors such as hepatitis B, renal function, sensitivity to abacavir, and drug resistance.

A phase 2 study of the new integrase strand transfer inhibitor bictegravir, used in combination with emtricitabine and tenofovir alafenamide, suggests that will be possible.


'Keeping the Foot on the Gas' of HIV Research at CROI 2017

"Now is not the time to take our foot off the gas," said Susan Buchbinder, MD, from the University of California, San Francisco, who is chair of the CROI conference committee. "We're at a critical juncture. We need to increase our efforts to realize the benefits of new testing technology, better therapies, and dissemination of treatment," she told Medscape Medical News.

To that end, presentations at the meeting will address the challenges that remain in the field of HIV, including how to reach vulnerable populations.

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Press Ban at National PrEP Summit Was a Bad Idea for HIV Community

Banning press is not just counterproductive to HIV efforts. It's also deeply troubling morally, ethically and politically. Especially as we enter a "post-truth" political environment in which leaders use accusations of "fake news" to avoid answering questions, organizations cannot be permitted to decide what can be quoted and what cannot.