HIV/AIDS Crisis in Washington, as Pope Speaks on AIDS in Africa
This week, the Washington Post reported that the District of Columbia has an HIV/AIDS rate that is, according to one D.C. official, higher than that of West Africa. Meanwhile, Pope Benedict XVI is making a seven-day trip to Africa that will include visits to the AIDS-afflicted countries of Cameroon and Angola. The pope said today that distributing condoms is not the answer to fighting AIDS, the Associated Press reports. "You can't resolve it with the distribution of condoms," he told reporters on the plane as he flew to Africa. "On the contrary, it increases the problem." The Vatican favors abstinence for combating the spread of AIDS.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated last year that about 56,300 new HIV infections occurred in the United States in 2006—a figure 40 percent higher than the prior estimate of 40,000 annual infections. Black women are heavily affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Read about one woman's battle with HIV. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists last year recommended HIV testing for most adult women.
How to Control Peanut Allergy in Children
A peanut allergy is terrifying: Eating even a tiny bit of peanut can spark a fatal reaction, and up until now, the only way to avoid that fate was to never eat the legumes, which lurk in thousands of processed foods. Of the 150 deaths each year from food allergies, half are caused by peanuts, and most of those deaths happen in teenagers and young adults, Nancy Shute writes. That's why two new reports on an experimental treatment for peanut allergy are good news. They offer the possibility that some kids will be able to "outgrow" peanut allergy, as well as dangerous allergies to such foods as eggs, milk, tree nuts, and shellfish. But this research—which involved gradually increasing kids' tolerance to peanuts—is preliminary, so parents should not try the technique at home. It will take two to three more years before the method is tested enough to be used outside of an experiment, experts say.
If you're the parent of an allergic child, here is some advice for how to manage kids' food allergies. Exposing children to peanuts and other foods in the first year of life might reduce the risk of developing allergies, some research suggests.
Negative Body Image? Blame Photoshop
A YouTube video shows just how much Photoshop can do to turn an unattractive, obese woman into a size-4 stunner, Deborah Kotz reports. Trouble is, most of us don't see our bodies digitally doctored and spend way too much time staring at our real selves in the mirror, comparing how we look to those "perfect" bodies that grace magazine covers. As a result, far too many of us punish ourselves with brutal diets or self-loathing thoughts. In fact, 1 in 10 of us partakes in behaviors—bingeing and overexercising, skipping meals, abusing laxatives—that are indicative of an eating disorder.
Are you worried about your body image? Tell yourself these 5 things to improve your self-image.
—January W. Payne
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