Disease Prevention

Project: Development of Sexual History and Examination for Gay Men and their Application to the Epidemiology and Vaccine Efficacy Studies of Hep B in Gay Men

Originally consulted to Drs. Curran, Thomas, Bill Darrow (at time the first and only behavioral scientist in the Venereal Disease Division of CDC), Thompson, and Jaffe in mid 70’s in the process of beginning epidemiological studies of Hepatitis B infection among gay men seen in Chicago and other US cities with concentrated numbers of gay/bisexual men being seen at Public Health Clinics and the first gay community-based clinic in the US, what is now the Howard Brown Health Center. Teaching them how to take a thorough sexual health history from homosexual men was an experience I will never forget and one which helped Dr. Curran et al. to quickly respond to the first reported cases of “Opportunistic Infections and Kaposi’s Sarcoma (chronicled in the “and the band played on..” Was then Principal Investigator for the Chicago components of the HBV epidemiological studies and the double blind trial of the first HB vaccine (Merck Heptavax) which was made from Hep B antigens associated with the non-infectious outer coat of the virus, purified, made immunogenic, and given in a series of 3 injections over a 3-6 month period. Both studies were completed early, due to the extremely high rates of HBV infection among gay/bisexual men in the 1970’s (which obviously also included infection with the virus that causes AIDS, HIV, that wouldn’t be discovered until ten years later) and the >95% efficacy rate for protection of men from HBV infection as compared to men receiving a placebo. The vaccine was approved for use in early 1991, just months before the reports of the first cases of OI-KS among young and previously healthy gay men in the CDC’s MMWR. Made from HepB isolated from the blood of gay men with acute infection, who may have been also carrying whatever was causing this invariably fatal and unexplained new disease syndrome, the vaccine was “dead on arrival” among healthcare workers who were to be vaccinated after occupational exposure to blood from HBV infected patients.


David_Ostrow_ConsultingTestimonials: Alpine Med

Please allow me to preface this reply with my sincere gratitude for your dedication to the efficacy and advancement of cannabinoid constituents as a viable curative, therapeutic and palliative medicine. Forward thinking MD’s and scientific researchers such as yourself truly are the real difference. Projects such as yours are the primary reason that our group is so intrigued by the continued developments of this space. You and your colleagues truly are the best among us. Thank you.

John @Alpine Med