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October 2009 Briefing - HIV & AIDS

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in HIV & AIDS for October 2009. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Male Foreskin Size Can Affect Risk of HIV Infection

THURSDAY, Oct. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Men with larger foreskins are at higher risk of being infected with HIV, according to a study in the Oct. 23 issue of AIDS.

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Post-Exposure Prophylaxis of HIV Transmission Spotlighted

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who have a one-time sexual encounter with a person who is highly likely to be HIV-positive should initiate post-exposure prophylaxis as soon as possible, according to a feature article published in the Oct. 29 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Medical School Enrollment Continues to Expand

MONDAY, Oct. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Almost 18,400 students enrolled in medical school in the United States in 2009, a 2 percent increase over the previous year, but even more expansion is needed to meet future demand, according to an Oct. 20 report from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).

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Far Fewer H1N1 Vaccine Doses Than Expected Are Available

MONDAY, Oct. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Because of production delays, far fewer than the goal of 40 million doses of H1N1 influenza vaccine will be available in the United States by the end of October, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued an emergency use authorization for the investigational antiviral drug peramivir intravenous in certain patients with suspected or confirmed H1N1 infection.

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Some Hospital Staff Predicted to Be Infection Superspreaders

THURSDAY, Oct. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Hospital staff such as therapists and radiologists who are in contact with all patients have the potential to be superspreaders of infection if they fail to wash their hands regularly, according to a study published online Oct. 19 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Most H1N1 Hospitalizations Are in Young Patients

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 21 (HealthDay News) -- More than half of hospitalizations for H1N1 influenza are occurring in people younger than 25 years of age, and very few are occurring in the elderly, according to information presented at the Oct. 20 press briefing by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Sources Find Different Numbers of Active Physicians

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Estimates from U.S. Census Bureau surveys find fewer older physicians remaining active compared with the American Medical Association Physician Masterfile data, according to research published in the Oct. 21 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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HIV Vaccine Regimen Shows Modest Benefits

TUESDAY, Oct. 20 (HealthDay News) -- A vaccine combination may decrease the risk of HIV infection in a community-based population that has a largely heterosexual risk, according to a study published online Oct. 20 in the New England Journal of Medicine to coincide with the AIDS Vaccine Conference, held from Oct. 19 to 22 in Paris.

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FDA Launches Drug Disposal Advice Web Page

FRIDAY, Oct. 16 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has launched a new Web page for consumers to educate them on the safe disposal of certain medicines that can be dangerous or even fatal if they end up in the wrong hands.

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Interleukin-2 Not Linked to Clinical Benefits in HIV

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 14 (HealthDay News) -- The use of interleukin-2 along with antiretroviral therapy in individuals with HIV is associated with greater CD4+ cell counts, but with no decrease in risk of opportunistic diseases or death compared to antiretroviral therapy alone, according to research published in the Oct. 15 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Racial Disparities Persist in Prevalence of HIV Infection

MONDAY, Oct. 12 (HealthDay News) -- More than 20 years after the identification of HIV, the racial disparity between African-Americans and Caucasians in HIV prevalence has persisted despite massive governmental and private efforts to contain the AIDS epidemic, according to a study published online Oct. 6 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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Risk of Cancers in HIV-Infected Patients Assessed

MONDAY, Oct. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Immunodeficiency greatly increases the risk of seven AIDS-defining and non-AIDS-defining cancers in HIV-infected patients, and combination treatment that increases CD4 counts can reduce this risk, according to a study published online Oct. 8 in The Lancet Oncology.

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Health Care Disparities Among States Found to Be Widening

FRIDAY, Oct. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Increasing health care costs and growing disparities in coverage among U.S. states point to the urgent need for national health care reform, according to an Oct. 8 state-by-state report card from the Commonwealth Fund Commission, a private foundation supporting research on the health care system.

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Roundtable Discussion Tackles Health Care Reform

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 7 (HealthDay News) -- The health care payment system, the role of consumers in responsible health care spending, and the use of comparative-effectiveness research were topics covered in a roundtable discussion with several health economics experts published in the Oct. 8 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Perspective - Cutler

Medical Students Want More Practice of Medicine Training

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Medical students in the United States perceive that they are not getting enough training in the practice of medicine, particularly in medical economics, according to a study in the September issue of Academic Medicine.

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Surgical Masks Found to Be Non-Inferior to Respirators

THURSDAY, Oct. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Surgical masks may be no less effective than N95 respirators in preventing influenza in health care workers, according to a study published online Oct. 1 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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CDC Says States Not Meeting Fruit and Veggie Objectives

THURSDAY, Oct. 1 (HealthDay News) -- In a Sept. 29 press release, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says no U.S. state is currently meeting the national Healthy People 2010 objectives for fruit and vegetable consumption.

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