Bone Marrow Transplants as a Cure for HIV ?
Doctors in Berlin say they used transplanted blood stem cells—taken from the bone marrow of someone resistant to the AIDS virus—to cure a man with AIDS, the New York Times reports. But some American experts say they don't see immediate practical use for this method. The procedure may not be within reach for patients with health insurance being treated in prominent research hospitals, much less for the millions of Africans with HIV, the Times reports. The Berlin patient is a 42-year-old American living in Germany. The man also had leukemia, which served as justification for the stem-cell transplant.
Last month, Lindsay Lyon discussed how people can use an E-card to inform sexual partners of STD exposure. U.S. News recently described the epidemic of HIV among black women and told how one young woman battles the virus. Earlier this year, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommended HIV testing for most adult women.
Study: HPV Vaccine Protects Against Genital Warts in Boys and Men
Males may benefit from receiving Gardasil, a vaccine intended to protect against infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV), according to a new study released by vaccine maker Merck. The vaccine protects against two types of HPV believed to cause about 70 percent of all cervical cancers and two other types thought to cause most cases of genital warts, which are sexually transmitted. Gardasil is currently approved for women ages 9 to 26 only. The new study showed that the vaccine was 90 percent effective in preventing genital warts in about 4,000 male participants ages 16 to 26, the Associated Press reports. Merck says it intends to ask the Food and Drug Administration for approval to market the vaccine to males. Gardasil is administered in three doses during a six-month period and costs about $375.
What to Do About Vitamin D
Don't throw away your vitamin D tablets based on the latest news on the supplement's failure to prevent breast cancer in postmenopausal women, Bernadine Healy advises in her Heart to Heart blog. The Women's Health Initiative study published this week shows that, after seven years of calcium and vitamin D supplementation, there was no reduction in breast cancer risk. In retrospect, Healy says, this is what one would have expected: The vitamin D dose of 400 IU seemed more than enough when the study began in the early 1990s, but science has moved on. In fact, that level is barely sufficient to alleviate what is a major deficiency common to most Americans and Europeans. In addition, many of the participants in the study's placebo group, or control arm, diligently continued taking their calcium and vitamin D supplements, limiting the effectiveness of a randomized trial.
—January W. Payne
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