WVU researcher: HIV epidemic partially fueled by national opioid crisis

Infectious diseases expert Sally Hodder, director of the West Virginia Clinical and Translational Science Institute and associate vice president for clinical and translational science at West Virginia University, was part of a national team that published “AIDS in America – Back in the Headlines at Long Last,” a perspective that provides detailed information about the ongoing HIV epidemic.

West Virginia University researchers want to up the game for nationwide physical education standards

Sacrificed by No Child Left Behind in favor of academic achievement, physical education requirements for public schools returned with the subsequent Every Student Succeeds Act in 2015, but that doesn’t mean that school systems have consistent—or adequate—standards for their students. That lack sends a critical message to the public and to stakeholders, according to West Virginia University researchers.

WVU researcher studies bystander behavior in sexual-assault prevention

Carry your keys; stick to well-lit streets; don’t go out alone after dark. People receive advice like this every day from friends and family members concerned for their safety. But WVU researcher Danielle Davidov is investigating bystander-intervention programs that engage the whole community, not just potential victims, in preventing sexual violence.

WVU research suggests conflicting drug laws may keep contaminated needles in circulation, contribute to hepatitis C infections

Acute hepatitis C infections rose 98 percent between 2010 and 2015 nationwide, largely because more people were injecting drugs. Using a new needle for every injection can slow the spread of hepatitis C, but getting those new needles isn’t always as simple as buying glucose-meter lancets at the pharmacy. And safely disposing of old needles presents a whole other set of problems.

Fentanyl deaths up 122 percent in West Virginia, say WVU researchers

West Virginia ranks first for fentanyl-related deaths, but it also leads the nation in a more optimistic way: its medical examiners pinpoint the cause of every drug-related death, and the relevant facts populate a unique statewide database. An interdisciplinary research team—involving the WVU School of Pharmacy, the WVU School of Public Health and the West Virginia Office of the Chief Medical Examiner—analyzed data and found that fentanyl deaths are up 122 percent in the state.

WVU researchers identify how light at night may harm outcomes in cardiac patients

Orange-lensed glasses may be a simple, affordable way to help cardiac patients recover better, suggests research by Randy Nelson, chair of the WVU Department of Neuroscience, and Courtney DeVries, the John T. and June R. Chambers Chair of Oncology Research at WVU. Using animal models, they found that exposure to white light at night triggered inflammation, killed brain cells and made death more likely in cardiac patients. Warm-toned light, however, had no effect. Now they are studying whether orange-lensed glasses improve outcomes in actual patients.