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The Foreign Affairs Committee of the US House of Representatives has approved new legislation for the reauthorization of
PEPFAR, President Bush’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.
The legislation represents a compromise between Democrats and Republicans, and is expected to be passed by the House at a later date. The legislation will provide $ 50 billion over the next five years for AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, which is a significant increase from the $ 30 billion proposed for AIDS spending by President Bush, and will provide the necessary funds to increase and expand the PEPFAR program
The legislation amends the requirement that one third of HIV prevention funds be spent on abstinence program, a restriction that has been shown to reduce the effectiveness of HIV prevention efforts. The bill calls instead for a balanced prevention program that would promote every element of the Abstinence, “Be Faithful,” and Condoms (ABC) approach toward HIV prevention. Retained from the original 2003 mandate is the requirement that PEPFAR recipients pledge opposition to commercial sex work.
The increase in funding for PEPFAR will move it beyond an “emergency” intervention by helping to make the programmers that it supports more sustainable over the long term. The new legislation will also provide increased HIV prevention programmers for women and girls; will provide funding for improved food and nutrition, and education and health care programs; and will increase U.S. contributions to the Global Fund for HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
[April 6- 2008]
Richardson Releases HIV/AIDS Plan
Public Health & Education
Black MSM Twice as Likely as White MSM To Be Living With HIV, Researchers Say
[Dec 04, 2007]
Black men who have sex with men in the U.S. are twice as likely as white MSM to be living with HIV, federal researchers announced on Monday at a national HIV prevention conference, the Baltimore Sun reports. Kevin Fenton -- director of CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention -- said that MSM "account for almost half of all estimated to be living with HIV" in the U.S. and that black MSM are the "most heavily impacted." Researchers at the conference said they are somewhat unclear about why disparity exists, the Sun reports. A recent study found little differences in the rates of unprotected sex among black and white MSM. However, the practice was common among both groups, according to the Sun (Bor, Baltimore Sun, 12/4).
A recent study conducted by CDC examined data from 53 studies conducted from 1980 to 2006. The studies compared the safer sex practices of black and white MSM. "Across all studies, there were no overall differences (by race) in reported unprotected receptive sex or any unprotected anal intercourse," Gregorio Millet, a behavioral scientist at CDC, said, adding that "among young MSM -- those ages 15 to 29 -- African-Americans were one-third less likely than whites to report in engaging in unprotected anal intercourse." Blacks in Millet's study also were less likely to use recreational drugs, such as methamphetamine or cocaine, compared with whites, HealthDay News/Forbes reports (HealthDay News/Forbes, 12/3).
According to the Sun, one recent study suggests that the increased risk of HIV among black MSM is because they are more likely to be living with another sexually transmitted infection -- which makes them more likely to contract or transmit HIV. Other studies found that blacks were less likely to take antiretroviral drugs, which can lower the concentration of HIV in the bloodstream and the chance of transmitting the virus to others (Baltimore Sun, 12/4).
According to the researchers, all of the new statistics confirm that much more must be done. "This shows that prevention messages have to be continually refreshed, and responsive to those who are younger," Kenneth Mayer, medical research director at Fenway Community Health, said (HealthDay News/Forbes, 12/3).
Stigma, Discrimination Toward Haitians Could Increase Following Release of Study That Found HIV Arrived in U.S. From Haiti, Advocates Say
[Dec 04, 2007]
Some Haitian advocates, scientists, lawyers and health workers recently said a study that found a widespread subtype of HIV was spread to the U.S. from Haiti in the 1960s could increase discrimination against Haitians, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports (Morris, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 12/1).
For the study, which was published Oct. 30 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Michael Worobey, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Arizona, and colleagues analyzed five blood samples collected in 1982 and 1983 from Haitian HIV/AIDS patients in Miami that had been frozen and stored by CDC. In addition, the researches examined genetic data from 117 early HIV/AIDS patients worldwide. The researchers examined two viral genes and compared their sequences with viruses found worldwide, using HIV samples from Central Africa considered to be some of the earliest forms of HIV as a baseline.
1- 28 Jun 2007-First
U.S. Case of West Nile Reported This Season
June 30 -- According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the first U.S. case of West Nile virus this year was reported by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
Last year, there were 2,535 human cases of West Nile virus, and 98 deaths as a result of West Nile, reported to the CDC. The virus is carried by mosquitoes, which can transmit the disease to humans after feeding on infected birds. West Nile can be prevented by using mosquito repellents, draining standing water, and reporting dead birds to the local health authorities that monitor the disease.
Several National Academies reports explore the causes and prevention of infectious diseases, including zoonotic diseases, which spread from animals to humans.
Learning from SARS: Preparing for the Next Disease Outbreak (2004) is a collection of presentations from an Institute of Medicine workshop analyzing the public health response to SARS; quarantine law; the virus's biology; the economic and political fallout of the SARS epidemic; and the role of international organizations and scientific cooperation in halting the spread of the disease.
Microbial Threats to Health: Emergence, Detection and Response (2003) concludes that the United States should improve the public health system’s ability to deal with microbes that trigger infectious diseases such as influenza, West Nile encephalitis, AIDS, and tuberculosis. In addition, the federal government should play a significant role in building the capacity of developing countries to monitor, prevent, and respond to disease outbreaks.
The Emergence of Zoonotic Diseases: Understanding the Impact on Animal and Human Health -- Workshop Summary (2002) summarizes the current understanding of zoonotic diseases and discusses surveillance and response strategies to detect, prevent, and mitigate the impact of zoonotic diseases on human health.
2- 28 Jun 2007
Experts in the fields of surgery, oncology, pathology, radiology, and patient advocacy will gather in Paris this month, which marks the 10th anniversary of The Breast Journal, the first comprehensive, multidisciplinary source devoted exclusively to all facets of research, diagnosis, and treatment of breast disease, published by Blackwell Publishing.
All are coming together to celebrate this event at the 10th Annual Multidisciplinary Symposium on Breast Disease in Paris, France, June 30 - July 3, 2005 held at the Palais de Congres. Delegates present will also include clinicians, specialists, and scientists from across the globe involved in the care and treatment of patients with breast disease, as well as researchers and educators in this important field.
A program of the Department of Pathology at the University of Florida Health Science Center, College of Medicine, the Symposium's goal is to enhance breast health education among those who study and manage the spectrum of breast related diseases, with emphasis placed on the need for a multidisciplinary approach to breast cancer research, diagnosis, and treatment. The efforts for this meeting have been made possible in conjunction with the Institut Gustave-Roussy, the Institut Curie, and the Centre René Huguenin.
Shahla Masood, MD, Editor-in-Chief of the journal, course director, and world renowned pathologist, has gathered the most recognized authorities in Europe and the United States to present the latest scientific information about epidemiology, prevention, screening, diagnosis, and treatment of individuals with breast disease.
"We're proud of our breast health educational program, which includes The Breast Journal, the Symposium for the physicians, and the public forum for the community," states Dr. Masood.
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in women today (after lung cancer) and is the most common cancer among women, excluding non-melanoma skin cancers. According to the World Health Organization, more than 1.2 million people will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year worldwide.
The Symposium starts with the public forum, which is a unique educational experience for the exchange of the scientific information between the public and panel of experts in the field, then is closed with a gala dinner event, not-to-be missed. Dinner will be served in the majestic reception rooms of the magnificent Mairie de Paris (Paris City Hall) where the seat of the Paris City Council is held. Located on the site of the former city hall which burnt down in 1871 during the "Commune" of Paris, this exceptional site, which is only open to the public on special occasions, will be made available to attendees of this celebrated anniversary.
For more information on the Symposium, please contact Karen Earick at 1 904-244-3430 or Karen.Earick@jax.ufl.edu.
About The Breast Journal
The Breast Journal is the first comprehensive, multidisciplinary source devoted exclusively to all facets of research, diagnosis, and treatment of breast disease. The Breast Journal encompasses the latest news and technologies from the many medical specialties concerned with breast disease care in order to address the disease within the context of a woman's total health. This editorial philosophy recognizes the special social, sexual, and psychological considerations that distinguish cancer, and breast cancer in particular, from other serious diseases.
About Blackwell Publishing
Blackwell Publishing is the world's leading society publisher, partnering with more than 600 academic and professional societies. Blackwell publishes over 750 journals and 600 text and reference books annually, across a wide range of academic, medical, and professional subjects.
3- 28 Jun 2005- Dark chocolate could protect the cardiovascular system- ( This is Written in UK English )Far from being an unhealthy treat, the scientific evidence is support of the health benefits of eating dark chocolate are stacking up. The latest research indicates that the flavonoid-rich substance could have a protective effect on the cardiovascular system, at least in the three hours immediately following consumption, writes Jess Halliday.
Researchers in Athens set out to investigate the effect of eating dark chocolate on three determinants of cardiovascular performance: endothelial function (lining of blood vessels, lymphatics, and serous cavities), arterial stiffness, and wave reflections. All three are predictors of cardiovascular risk.
Their interest was driven by previous research that has shown studies suggest that high intake of flavonoids, powerful antioxidants, delivers benefits to the cardiovascular system – and dark chocolate contains almost five times the flavonol content of apples.
“Our study shows for the first time that consumption of dark chocolate acutely decreases wave reflections, that it does not affect aortic stiffness, and that it may exert a beneficial effect on endothelial function in healthy adults,” wrote the researchers in the American Journal of Hypertension (vol 18; issue 6; pp785-791).
For the latest randomized, single-blind, sham procedure–controlled, cross-over study, lead researcher Charalambos Vlachopoulos of Athens Medical School recruited 17 healthy young volunteers.
Over a three-hour period following the administration of 100g of commercially available dark chocolate, Vlachopoulos and colleagues measured the participants’ endothelial function by flow-mediated dilation of the brachial artery (FMD), their wave reflections through the aortic augmentation index (AIx) and their aortic stiffness through carotid–femoral pulse wave velocity (PWD). Plasma oxidant status was evaluated with measurement of plasma malondialdehyde (MDA) and total antioxidant capacity (TAC).
They found that the chocolate led to a significant increase in resting and hyperemic brachial artery diameter throughout the three-hour period (by up to 0.15 mm and 0.18 mm, respectively).
At the one-hour mark, FMD was seen to increase significantly, with an absolute increase 1.43 percent. The AIx significantly decreased throughout the study (maximum absolute decrease 7.8 percent), indicating a decrease in wave reflections. PWV did not change significantly.
Plasma MDA and TAC did not change after the chocolate was eaten either – an interesting observation as it indicates that the benefits might not be attributed to the anti-oxidant effect of the flavonoids.
Instead, the researchers believe that the dilatory effect of chocolate under resting conditions might be attributable to one of four factors: improved nitric oxide bioavailability; prostacyclin increase; direct effect of chocolate in smooth muscle cells; or activation of central mechanisms.
Whatever the cause of the perceived benefits, they concluded: “Chocolate consumption may exert a protective effect on the cardiovascular system.”
However the study was conducted over a very short period, which meant that it could not measure the longer-term effects of chocolate consumption – whether positive or negative. The researchers recommended that further studies be carried out to assess any long-term effects.
Other recent lines of inquiry into the health benefits of chocolate include a small study published in the March issue of American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggesting that consumption of dark chocolate could improve glucose metabolism and decreases blood pressure.
In April a team from the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University revealed in Molecular Cancer Therapeutics that they had identified a compound in chocolate called pentameric procyanidin which is believed to activate a number of proteins responsible for the continual division of cancer cells, thereby thwarting the progression of breast cancer.
Nonetheless, despite the evidence of its health benefits, however, it is recommended that consumers do not rely on chocolate in place of other anti-oxidant containing foods, such as fruit vegetables and nuts, which also confer other health benefits.
The vast majority of chocolate on the market at present is sweetened confectionary with a low cocoa content, and is therefore more likely to be detrimental to good health than beneficial.
Last up dated -October-7-2007. More edits will come with better up dates shortly.
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