The Lancet done screwed up

Chelsea Polis and Kathryn Curtis wrote a paper that asked whether hormonal contraceptives affected your likelihood of being infected with HIV, Use of hormonal contraceptives and HIV acquisition in women: a systematic review of the epidemiological evidence. Here’s the abstract:

Whether or not the use of hormonal contraception affects risk of HIV acquisition is an important question for public health. We did a systematic review, searching PubMed and Embase, aiming to explore the possibility of an association between various forms of hormonal contraception and risk of HIV acquisition. We identified 20 relevant prospective studies, eight of which met our minimum quality criteria. Of these eight, all reported findings for progestin-only injectables, and seven also reported findings for oral contraceptive pills. Most of the studies that assessed the use of oral contraceptive pills showed no significant association with HIV acquisition. None of the three studies that assessed the use of injectable norethisterone enanthate showed a significant association with HIV acquisition. Studies that assessed the use of depot-medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) or non-specified injectable contraceptives had heterogeneous methods and mixed results, with some investigators noting a 1·5—2·2 times increased risk of HIV acquisition, and others reporting no association. Thus, some, but not all, observational data raise concern about a potential association between use of DMPA and risk of HIV acquisition. More definitive evidence for the existence and size of any potential effect could inform appropriate counselling and policy responses in countries with varied profiles of HIV risk, maternal mortality, and access to contraceptive services.

In short, hormonal contraceptives don’t affect your chances of getting AIDS, with the possible exception of DMPA (better known as Depo-Provera), which a few studies with different methods found to elevate the risk. So, basically, it’s saying that there’s not a problem with contraception endangering women in this regard, but that inconsistent results with Depo-Provera warrant further investigation (later, they would publish an update (pdf) that suggests women ought to be warned about the uncertainty of this side effect of Depo-Provera). It seems reasonable. So they sent it off to The Lancet for review and publication, and that’s where the mess began.

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Smug and stupid

Jebus. Sometimes I forget how freakin’ obnoxious creationists can be. Below is a video made by Megan Fox, about her visit to Chicago’s Field Museum. Who is Megan Fox, you ask? Not that Megan Fox, this one:

Megan Fox is a homeschooling, Tea Partying, conservative mother of two (with another on the way!) out and about in the suburbs who is also a popular columnist for PJ Media.

You can already guess what she’s going to think of the Field Museum, one of the best museums in the country, and its “Evolving Earth” exhibit. But what you won’t know yet is how goddamn smug, arrogant, and ignorant she can be. Watch the video and learn.

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