- Experts Worried Over Rising HIV Rates Among U.S. Hispanics
- Millions Sought for AIDS Care in Africa
- Study Probes High Cancer Incidence in Southern U.S.
- Plant-Based Cancer Vaccine Shows Promise
- New Drug Seems Effective Against Aggressive Prostate Cancer
- South Korea Begins Year-Round Bird Flu Monitoring
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by editors of HealthDay:
Experts Worried Over Rising HIV Rates Among U.S. Hispanics
Increasing rates of HIV/AIDS among Hispanics in the United States point to a simmering public health crisis, experts tell the Washington Post.
Hispanics make up about 14 percent of the U.S. population, but they accounted for 22 percent of new HIV/AIDS diagnoses in 2006. In major American cities, as many as one in four gay Hispanic men have HIV, a rate similar to that in sub-Saharan Africa, the Post reported.
Hispanics in Washington, D.C. have the highest rate of new AIDS cases in the United States, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey.
Language and cultural barriers are among the issues that pose a challenge to dealing with HIV/AIDS in the Hispanic community, the Post reported. Legal status is another issue. For illegal Hispanic immigrants, fear of arrest and deportation is a major obstacle to seeking diagnosis and treatment.
Millions Sought for AIDS Treatment in Africa
A campaign to raise $21 million to fund an AIDS treatment program in five African countries has been launched by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).
The money would be used for a three-year program in Burkina Faso, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea and Nigeria. The program would reach 950,000 vulnerable people, including 49,000 people living with AIDS, 13,000 sex workers and 10,000 orphans, Agence France-Presse reported.
According to the IFRC, nearly 4.5 million people, including about 400,000 children younger than 14, are living with HIV in the five countries. In 2006, AIDS claimed the lives of 350,000 people in these countries, which form the Sahel region of west and central Africa.
"Even though the impact may vary from one country to another, HIV is a major obstacle to development as it affects all key sectors: the economy, health, education and even food security," said Abdourahmane Ndiaye, IFRC's HIV program officer for the region, AFP reported.
Study Examining High Cancer Incidence in U.S. South
Researchers plan to recruit 90,000 people in 12 Southern states in an effort to learn why the South has become the cancer belt of the United States and why blacks have higher rates of several kinds of cancer, United Press International reported.
Brain cancer and lung cancer are among those that disproportionately affect people living in the South.
"When you look at a map of brain cancer incidence in the United States the Southeast just lights up in red," Dr. Reid Thompson, of Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center in Nashville said in a news release.
The researchers will look at study participants' lifestyles, family medical histories and risk factors for cancer and other serious diseases, UPI reported.
"We're asking patients about their diets, possible job-related exposure to cancer causing chemicals, and we're collecting DNA samples," Thompson said.
Plant-Based Cancer Vaccine Shows Promise
A plant-based cancer vaccine that kick-starts the immune system and can be tailored to target specific tumor types shows promise, according to U.S. researchers who tested the vaccine on 16 people with incurable follicular B-cell lymphoma.
More than 70 percent of the patients developed an immune response and none of them showed any significant side effects, Agence France-Presse reported. The study appears in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
"The idea is to marshal the body's own immune system to fight cancer," said study senior author Ronald Levy of the Stanford Medical Center. "We know that if you get the immune system revved up, it can attack and kill cancer."