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Health

  • 6th February 2008

    HIV infections up 20% in Sweden 2

    Across the UK 1 in 20 gay and bisexual men are now living with HIV and estimates suggest this figure is as high as 1 in 10 in London.

    4:21 PM — 500 people were newly diagnosed as HIV positive in Sweden in 2007 according to data published by the Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control (SMI).That number represents a rise of 20% on 2006.There has been a 70% rise in the number of people infected within Sweden, though the majority of new HIV patients still come into contact with the virus abroad.

  • Condoms still vital in fight against HIV says UNAIDS 3

    UNAIDS recommend a comprehensive package of HIV prevention approaches, including the use of condoms.

    2:23 PM — A report that asserts that HIV positive people undergoing effective anti-retroviral treatments carry "no relevant risk of transmission" has been greeted with caution by UNAIDS.Last week the Swiss Federal Commission for HIV/AIDS announced that "an HIV-infected person on anti-retroviral therapy with completely suppressed viremia ("effective ART") is not sexually infectious, i.e. cannot propagate HIV through sexual contact."The commission said: "residual risk can not be scientifically excluded, but is ... negligibly small."

  • 4th February 2008

    NHS surrogates may be used by gay couples

    It is illegal to pay both surrogate mothers and egg donors in Britain.

    3:14 PM — A Primary Care Trust in England is considering an application for funds to pay for a surrogate mother to have a baby for an infertile couple.While it is illegal to pay both surrogate mothers and egg donors in Britain, North East Essex PCT is considering paying up to £15,000 in 'expenses' to carry a baby to full-term, which is allowed under the law.However, the option is at present only under consideration by one of the 152 PCTs in England.

  • Apology to gay community over MRSA story 1

    Though staph infections are treatable in many cases, MRSA can be serious enough to force amputation of infected limbs.

    12:10 PM — Over the last few weeks, the subject of Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) has hit the media, making a big impact in the gay community.Several reputable news agencies including the New York Times and the San Francisco Chronicle published detailed studies about the spread of the disease between men who have homosexual relations.The 'superbug' does have a higher rate of infection among men who have sex with men.

  • 31st January 2008

    Scientists create sperm from female stem cells 4

    The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill is currently before the House of Lords.

    10:26 AM — A research team at the University of Newcastle has created primitive sperm cells with female embryonic stem cells.The breakthrough could lead to same-sex couples producing children with both their genes.Karim Nayernia, Professor of Stem Cell Biology at Newcastle University, told New Scientist: "I think, in principle, it will be scientifically possible."

  • Footballers back cancer campaign aimed at young fans

    Portsmouth and England goalkeeper David James is telling fans to 'catch it early' in a new tongue-in-cheek advert.

    8:40 AM — An England footballer is backing a new campaign about testicular cancer.Portsmouth and England goalkeeper David James is telling fans to 'catch it early' in a new tongue-in-cheek advert to raise awareness of the disease for the Keep Your Eye On The Ball campaign.The advert will be screened to millions of fans at football grounds around the UK throughout the campaign's Focus Fortnight.

  • 28th January 2008

    Brazil to distribute millions of condoms to prevent AIDS spread 1

    Church officials in Brazil, which is home to the world's largest Roman Catholic population, have opposed the condom program.

    6:05 PM — Brazilian health officials on Sunday began distributing millions of condoms to fight the spread of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases during Brazil's five-day Carnival 2008.The government expects to hand out 19.5 million condoms by the end of the Carnival on February 6, state news service Agencia Brasil reported, under the program first launched several years ago.Church officials in Brazil, which is home to the world's largest Roman Catholic population, have opposed the condom programme.

  • New HIV drug becomes available for UK patients

    Patients with HIV are increasingly showing resistance to medication.

    12:40 PM — A new treatment for HIV positive people who have built up a resistance to other drugs has become available for use in the UK>Raltegravir is the first in a new class of HIV treatments called integrase inhibitors.It is available in tablet form and has been approved for use in combination with other antiretroviral drugs to treat HIV infection in adult patients whose current therapy is no longer controlling the virus.

  • Warnings over botox after 16 deaths

    Public Citizen has reviewed 180 reports submitted to the US Food and Drug Administration.

    10:10 AM — If you are one of the millions of people who has used Botox to help eliminate signs of aging, new reports my cause you to raise an eyebrow.The US Consumer group Public Citizen is calling for harsher warnings to be added to labels after 16 deaths related to the spread of botulinum toxin have been reported.Botox, created by Allergan Inc, is a is a form of injected poison primarily used to smooth out wrinkles in the face and neck.

  • 22nd January 2008

    Same-sex couples as committed as straight ones

    The study examined whether committed same-sex couples differed from engaged and married opposite-sex couples in how well they interacted and how satisfied they were with their partners.

    11:50 AM — Same-sex couples are just as committed in their romantic relationships as heterosexual couples, a new report has revealed.The finding disputes the stereotype that couples in same-sex relationships are not as committed as their heterosexual counterparts and therefore not as psychologically healthy.The study examined whether committed same-sex couples differed from engaged and married opposite-sex couples in how well they interacted and how satisfied they were with their partners.

  • 21st January 2008

    Gay nursing home opens in Germany 2

    “When you are old, the last thing that you want to do is to have to hide. And you certainly don't want to give up your identity and live in some hostile environment, possibly sharing a room with someone who despises you.“

    1:05 PM — Europe's first gay nursing home has opened in Berlin.Berlin's gay mayor Klaus Wowereit is publicly supporting the ground-breaking project, which culminates years of planning and fund-raising.The newly built, four-storey nursing facility in the Pankow district of the German capital can accommodate 28 patients in state-of-the-art rooms with private bathrooms and enough space for some of their own furnishings.

  • 17th January 2008

    21% not aware of HIV risk from unprotected sex 1

    In the NAT survey 71% agreed more needs to be done to tackle prejudice against people living with HIV.

    1:12 PM — New figures from the National AIDS Trust's Public Attitudes Towards HIV Survey released today show that the UK population is becoming more ignorant about HIV.6% of those surveyed were able to correctly identify all of the ways HIV is transmitted, without any false responses.21% did not identify unprotected sex between a man and a woman as a way of contracting HIV. In 2000 just 9% did not identify this route.

  • 16th January 2008

    Samaritans claim 80% have been bullied at work

    Occupation has a major influence on stress, with over 40% of IT workers, retailers, caterers and engineers feeling unsupported at work.

    2:55 PM — New research from emotional support charity Samaritans has revealed that one in four people it is a weekly or even daily stress caused by workplace bullying.More than 80% of workers have been bullied during their careers and a third of people are so stressed they have dreamed of quitting for a life abroad.Over half say their jobs are getting more stressful and that work is overtaking their home lives.

  • 15th January 2008

    US gay men hit by MRSA strain 3

    Sexually active gay men in San Francisco are 13 times more likely to be infected with USA300 than the general population.

    12:05 PM — In the UK the superbug MRSA is associated with hospital infections, but doctors in America have discovered a super-resistant strain is plaguing gay men in San Francsico.Known as USA300, the strain is carried by one in every 588 people in the city's Castro district, thought to be the area with the highest proportion of gay men in the country.Dr Binh Diep, from San Francisco General Hospital Medical Centre is one of the authors of the report, which was published online in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

  • 14th January 2008

    Comment: Canada’s ban on gay organ donation 1

    Dr Gary A Levy, one of Canada's leading transplant experts, speaks out against the policy which seeks to exclude donors on the grounds of their sexual orientation.

    1:10 PM — As Prime Minister Gordon Brown announces plans to rapidly expand the organ donation scheme in the UK by effectively making everyone a donor unless they choose to opt out, Canadian health authorities are under fire for appearing to exclude sexually active gay men.Dr Gary A Levy, one of Canada's leading transplant experts speaks out against the policy which seeks to exclude donors on the grounds of their sexual orientation. As the Medical Director of Canada's largest multi-organ transplant programme, I see people when they are at their most vulnerable.

  • 11th January 2008

    Researchers pinpoint human proteins HIV needs to survive 2

    When the virus didn't spread effectively in some of the genes, researchers could pin point which proteins it needed to survive.

    4:55 PM — Researchers at Harvard Medical school have discovered 273 of the human proteins that the HIV virus preys on to damage the body.Experts have always known the virus depended on human proteins to attack the body, but only knew what 36 of these proteins were before last Thursday.The new research was published online by the journal Science. Scientists used a type of genetic screen to discover these new human proteins, which the virus needs to survive in human cells.

  • 10th January 2008

    Will the NHS cut HIV prevention funding or not? 15

    The London NHS is spending over 200 times more on HIV treatment than on HIV prevention.

    6:26 PM — A 36% cut in the funding for HIV prevention for gay and bisexual men is to go ahead, claims human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell.Last month charity Gay Men Fighting AIDS (GMFA) announced the NHS cuts had been averted.A reduction of £650,000 spending on the London Gay Men's HIV Prevention Programme was proposed by London's Primary Care Trusts.

  • 9th January 2008

    Canada bans organ donation from gay men 1

    An estimated 4,000 Canadians are on the waiting list for organ transplants.

    12:50 PM — Men who have sex with men in the last five years of their life will no longer be accepted as organ donors under new rules from Health Canada.Families will also be interviewed about potential donors' exposure in increased risk, such as travel or time spent in jail, under new rules that came into force in December.Gary Levy, head of Toronto University's transplant programme, told CBC News that he had not been informed about the new rules.

  • 8th January 2008

    Students protest against gay blood donor ban 18

    On their donation form, the Canadian Blood Services (CBS) bar any man who has had sex with another man since 1977, even if only once.

    11:40 AM — Student activists are putting pressure on the Canadian Blood Services to put a stop to its blood donor ban on sexually active gay men, despite the company having recently said it would not lift the ban.On their donation form, the Canadian Blood Services (CBS) bar any man who has had sex with another man since 1977, even if only once.The Canadian Federation of Students began to put pressure on CBS last year and the cause has been taken up by many universities across the country.

  • 3rd January 2008

    New York HIV infections up 32% among young gay men

    The New York Times reports rates of new infection of HIV rose 32 percent in the five-year period from 2001-2006 among young gay men of all demographics.

    10:02 AM — It has been over two decades since the HIV/AIDS epidemic became a national concern, and although in most communities the annual infection rate has been falling, New York City's young gay population doesn't seem to be part of the trend.The NY State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has released new statistics about HIV/AIDS demographics, and the news is alarming for the gay population.The New York Times reports rates of new infection of HIV rose 32 percent in the five-year period from 2001-2006 among young gay men.

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