On June 19, 1998, Alaskan governor Tony Knowles vetoed legislation that would have made it a felony to knowingly expose a person to HIV. Senate Bill 17 would have made criminal transmission of HIV a Class B felony, carrying a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $50,000. The legislation would have applied to those who knowingly expose others to HIV through sex or needle-sharing without informing their partners. The bill also would have made it illegal for people who know they are HIV positive to donate organs, semen, or ova.
The Alaska mental health program is endowed with a 1-million-acre trust fund. A coalition of groups that make up the mental health constituency of the state united in a lawsuit to establish the trust. The history of this legacy, the struggle to realize its benefits, its current status, and some of its psychopolitical significance are discussed.
The state of Alaska is unique because it is one of a small number of states with a surveillance system that collects trauma information from every hospital in the state. The Alaska Trauma Registry (ATR) collects up to 144 data elements for every injured patient. Information from the ATR is useful as an injury surveillance tool for federal, state, and local governments and other agencies and organizations when planning and evaluating injury prevention programs. Combining trauma registry data with Bureau of Vital Statistics cause of death data provides complete, statewide, population-based data on all injuries serious enough to result in death or hospitalization.
Stronger alcohol policies predict decreased alcohol consumption and binge drinking in the United States. We examined the relationship between the strength of states' alcohol policies and alcoholic cirrhosis mortality rates.
We used the Alcohol Policy Scale (APS), a validated assessment of policies of the 50 US states and Washington DC, to quantify the efficacy and implementation of 29 policies. State APS scores (theoretical range, 0-100) for each year from 1999 through 2008 were compared with age-adjusted alcoholic cirrhosis death rates that occurred 3 years later. We used Poisson regression accounting for state-level clustering and adjusting for race/ethnicity, college education, insurance status, household income, religiosity, policing rates, and urbanization.
Age-adjusted alcoholic cirrhosis mortality rates varied significantly across states; they were highest among males, among residents in states in the West census region, and in states with a high proportion of American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/ANs). Higher APS scores were associated with lower mortality rates among females (adjusted incidence rate ratio [IRR], 0.91 per 10-point increase in APS score; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 0.84-0.99) but not among males (adjusted IRR, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.90-1.04). Among non-AI/AN decedents, higher APS scores were also associated with lower alcoholic cirrhosis mortality rates among both sexes combined (adjusted IRR, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.82-0.97). Policies were more strongly associated with lower mortality rates among those living in the Northeast and West census regions than in other regions.
Stronger alcohol policy environments are associated with lower alcoholic cirrhosis mortality rates. Future studies should identify underlying reasons for racial/ethnic and regional differences in this relationship.
Cites: Addiction. 2003 Sep;98(9):1267-7612930214
Cites: Am J Public Health. 2015 Apr;105(4):816-2225122017