Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Teen Dies After Drug Overdose at Electric Daisy Carnival

ALmost all my freidns go to EDC every year.. i have yet to go.. but im not going lie ive alwasy been curious i hear they hav THHEEE best time and they all rave about it for days before and after.i read this on facebook and i thought i would sahre it with you.. becasue i dont disagree with the article i do think there should be a certain age that kids should be allowed to enter.. 15 is a little young and i would not want my 15 yr old duaghter to go to a rave.

Teen Dies After Drug Overdose at Electric Daisy Carnival

15-year-old Sasha Rodriguez of Atwater was one of the over 100 people transported out of the Electric Daisy Carnival at the Coliseum this weekend to an area hospital. The teen was in respiratory arrest when she arrived, lapsed into a coma, and experienced organ failure.

Sasha "died shortly before 5:30 p.m. Tuesday," according to the LA Times. Her parents had to decide whether to remove her from life support.

Sasha had ecstasy in her system when she was brought to the hospital, doctors told the girl's parents. "A 16-year old friend who was with Sasha at the rave said Sasha was dancing, got hot and began quickly drinking cold water," which actually shocked her body, since the ecstasy had compromised her body's ability to replace her depleted sodium and electrolytes efficiently.

The teen collapsed and hit her head on the ground, say friends, adding that despite trying to shield Sasha's body, "the venue was so crowded, people stepped on them."

Yesterday, prior to Sasha's death, medical professionals spoke out with concerns about a rave and concert event like Electric Daisy Carnival being held at a venue like the Coliseum, which is on public land and operated by city, county, and state commission.
Now at issue is the fact that Sasha--and other attendees--were under age for the event; promoters had requested children under 16 be accompanied by adult. "I didn't see any ID being checked at the entry point," said Dr. Caitlin Reed, who was at the rave on assignment from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. "There were many, many younger teenagers present."

The Rodriguez family has just begun to face the loss of their daughter Sasha. Grace Rodriguez, Sasha's mother, told a television news outlet: "I was supposed to be planning her Sweet Sixteen party. Now I have to plan her funeral."

original article.
category:Health Concern
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Monday, June 21, 2010

Kenya Launches Safe Blood Collection Effort

The percentages still shock me when i hear of the ages these kids are living with HIV its terrible. but at least its known about and we are all working to try and take care of the growing problem.

The testing and screening of blood have become a big part of fighting HIV / AIDS in developing countries. The tests can determine the health of a person’s immune system by measuring the level of disease fighting CD4 cells. The lower the level, the more advanced the disease.

But local clinics don’t always have enough staff or training to keep up with demand -- or to ensure that the blood is collected safely.

However, Kenya is taking action Monday to change that with the launch of a new program. It has partnered with the U.S. medical technology firm BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) and PEPFAR, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS relief, to train clinicians how to safely collect and handle blood.

Big problem

Dr. Nicholas Muraguri, head of Kenya’s National AIDS / STD Control Program, describes the scope of Kenya’s HIV/AIDS problem.

“We estimate that HIV prevalence in Kenya is around 7 percent. That is looking at people between 15 years and 64 years old. And there’s a big difference between men and women. Women’s HIV prevalence is around 8.4 percent and men it’s 5.3 percent,” he says.

He says it means that out of a population of 40 million, about 1.4 million people in Kenya are living with HIV/AIDS.

Muraguri says Kenya has a new HIV strategic plan. “We have an ambitious program to eliminate potentially any risk of HIV transmission in our health care settings. We have around 650,000 people currently under care. These are people who are HIV positive.”

Caring for them involves blood tests, a minimum of about two per year per person. “We’re talking about 1.2 million samples being drawn,” says Dr. Muraguri.

Blood samples are drawn for other diseases as well.

“Now if that’s not done properly, there is an obvious risk to the health worker and also a risk to the patient as well,” he says. “Within a certain environment we can completely stop transmission.”


“We have picked 8 facilities in 4 regions. We are basically covering high prevalence regions. So we could have HIV prevalence as high as 15 percent in some of the regions,” he says.

He says the program builds on earlier efforts to ensure injection safety, which includes proper methods of using hypodermic needles and disposing of them safely. Safe blood collection also includes the quality of the specimen. He says, “If you don’t get a correct sample…you probably mismanage the patient as well.”

Initially, 20 Kenyan health care workers at the 8 clinics will be trained by BD. They in turn will train others.

BD says the goal is to “ultimately train thousands of health care workers in developing countries.” The firm, based in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, describes itself as one of PEPFAR’s “strongest collaborators.”

BD says it’s also underwriting the construction of two incinerators in Kenya that will be used to safely dispose of used blood-related devices.

original article.
category:Health Concern
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Monday, June 14, 2010

Federal ban continued against blood donations from sexually active gay men

Good morning all! hope everyone had a great weekend, summer is almost officially here and I'm loving it cant wait to hit the beach again.. California girls by Katy perry just came on and is not putting me in the mood of wanting to be outside. inside of cooped up in this place, anyways i had no idea they had banned gay males from donating! this was all new to me. enjoy the article.

Ignoring arguments that a ban on gay male blood donors is based on fear and discrimination rather than science, a key federal committee on Friday failed to overturn the controversial policy first implemented during the height of the AIDS crisis.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services decided to continue the 25-year-old blood donation ban on men who have had sex with other men since 1977. The members of the committee concluded that there was not enough scientific evidence to warrant a change to the policy.

The ban was implemented during the HIV/AIDS crisis of the 1980s as a way of containing the risk of spreading the disease. However, many gay-rights activists, scientists and federal and local government officials have called the ban unfair and unnecessary.

"I am completely disheartened that our federal government failed to lift this archaic ban," said Santa Clara County Supervisor Ken Yeager. "The American Red Cross and other respected organizations have long advocated that this policy is medically unnecessary. Today's decision is rooted in ignorance, not science."

In recent months, a group of senators led by Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., have called upon the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to lift the ban. In his testimony to the blood advisory committee, Kerry called the policy discriminatory.

"This lingering policy is responsible for turning away thousands of healthy donors from blood clinics across the country,

not because they have engaged in highly risky behavior, but because they are gay," Kerry said. "This is blood that could save lives."

The Blood Centers of the Pacific, the blood bank that serves the Bay Area, recommended that the blood advisory committee lift the lifetime ban and allow a man to donate blood 12 months after his last sexual contact with another man. According to blood bank policies, an individual who is considered "high risk," such as those who have traveled to a foreign country or received a tattoo, must wait at least 12 months before donating blood. The Blood Centers noted that applying the same policies for high-risk individuals to men who have sex with men would have been sufficient.

"The science has shown that a 12-month wait period should be sufficient and so anything like what we currently have, to us that appears discriminatory. You don't need that," said Lisa Bloch, director of communications for Blood Centers of the Pacific.

The FDA reports that the prevalence of HIV among those designated as "men who have sex with men" is 60 times higher than that of the general population. Rates of hepatitis and other STDs also are higher among that group, according to the FDA.

Despite the elevated risks in that group and the conclusion reached by the blood advisory committee, blood banks ensure that their donations go through rigorous testing. Each donation collected by the Blood Centers of the Pacific undergoes 13 tests, seven of which test for HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, syphilis and other STDs. For the HIV/AIDS test, technology used by the blood bank can detect HIV up to seven days after the individual has been infected. Data also shows that the error rate for these tests is low.

"We and other blood centers are at the forefront of research in terms of transmitted infectious agents including among demographics such as men who have sex with men," said Dr. Kim Anh Nguyen, the medical director at the Blood Centers of the Pacific. "So far we have not found other emerging viruses like HIV."

Because of the ban, the Blood Centers of the Pacific estimates a loss of more than 1,000 pints of potential blood donations each year. Companies and universities, including San Jose State, will not allow organizations to solicit blood donations on their property because of their "discriminatory" practices. Moreover, blood centers from around the United States experience year-round shortages of blood, leaving the Bay Area to import 20 percent of its blood from outside the state.

"I'm disappointed because I'm afraid that student groups and other groups are going to blame the blood banks," said Nguyen. "Blood centers hope that groups that are disappointed and angered by this don't take it out on patients and continue to support blood donations."

The Bay Area's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community also has been a longtime advocate of lifting the ban, and many say the policy will continue to ostracize gay men.

"On the face of it, it just seems to be discriminatory. It's obviously targeted toward gay men," said Chris Flood, the board of directors at San Jose's Billy De Frank LGBT Community Center. "If the concern really is about people who are promiscuous giving blood, then there should be a question about people sleeping with multiple sex partners, not just gay men."

original article.
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Monday, June 7, 2010

Aids and HIV warning to South Africa World Cup fans

Goooddd morrning all! how was every ones weekend? great i hope, summers almost here and the world cup is about 4 days away. i found this article in google news under the health category and obviously we are all aware of the high rate for aids in Africa, so tourist are being encourage to bring condoms and have safe sex. enjoy the article.

Sexual health charities are warning England football fans heading to South Africa - which has one of the worst Aids and HIV rates in the world - to take care.

With its new football stadiums, expensive hotels and sandy beaches, South Africa may look like any other tourist hotspot welcoming visitors this summer.

The country has poured 33bn rand (£2.9bn) into preparations for the 2010 World Cup, but behind the glistening new buildings lies the other side of South Africa - deprived townships, high levels of crime and health problems.

According to Avert, an Aids charity based in Horsham, West Sussex, an estimated 5.7 million people were living with HIV and Aids in South Africa in 2009 - a higher number than in any other country.

Charities are warning football fans travelling to South Africa to make sure they do not put their own sexual health at risk.

Continue reading the main story We are urging people to take condoms with them - have fun but look after yourself
Jason Warriner

Terrence Higgins Trust
The London-based Terrence Higgins Trust surveyed 454 British 18 to 34 year olds and found one in ten admitted drinking so much alcohol while watching sporting events that they could not remember what they did afterwards.

The sexual health charity has published a World Cup guide to football fans on its website to help prevent the spread of infections both abroad and in the UK during the tournament.

Jason Warriner, clinical director at the trust, said: "When people go on holiday their behaviour pattern is very different to back home.

"People sometimes drink more than usual or use social drugs - opportunities may arise and they may not make the judgement call like they usually do.

"We are urging people to take condoms with them - have fun but look after yourself."

Earlier this year, the UK government donated £1m to South Africa to buy 42m condoms as the nation prepared for the World Cup and the influx of visitors.

New football stadiums have been built to host World Cup matches The UK's All Party Parliamentary Group on Aids, HIVsport, which raises awareness of sexual health during sporting events, and the Foreign Office has launched advice website Keep a Clean Sheet.

It warns that large sporting events often lead to an increase in sexually transmitted infections.

Veronica Oakeshott, policy advisor to the group, said: "We are concerned that there will be fans going out there who are going to get drunk, be very over-excited and be approached by very lovely-looking women who do not look like prostitutes and may take risks that they will later regret."

Making money

With the world's spotlight on South Africa throughout the tournament and with some 450,000 tourists expected to pile into the country, there is money to be made.

All industries in the country will be looking forward to profiting from the event - and prostitutes will be no exception.

"A lot of these women will be infected (with HIV or Aids)," said Annabel Kanabus, director of Avert. "They will have other things as well.

"A lot of these people are not particularly choosing to live that sort of life - they are living it because they have to live it.

"It's an opportunity to make money."

There are fears that prostitution, which is illegal in South Africa, will thrive during the World Cup, with prostitutes flocking to the country from elsewhere in the world.

But Marlise Richter, a member of the women's sector of the South African National Aids Council, said she did not expect a significant increase in sex workers on the streets.

"There has been a lot of sensationalism about the increase in sex workers and trafficking," she said, adding that she was more concerned about how police will deal with prostitutes during the tournament.

She said the demand and supply of sex workers would be monitored and added that a lot of work had been done in the run-up to the World Cup to educate people in South Africa about safe sex.

original article.
category:Health Concern
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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Vaccine appears to prevent breast cancer in mice

An experimental vaccine prevented breast cancer in genetically engineered mice, according to a preliminary study in the June 10 issue of Nature Medicine. The vaccine has not been tested in humans.
Though the approach is intriguing, it is far too early to know whether a vaccine could also help women avoid breast cancer, says Massimo Cristofanilli, chair of medical oncology at Philadelphia's Fox Chase Cancer Center, who wasn't involved in the experiment.

Many drugs appear promising in mice, but very few succeed in humans, Cristofanilli says.

On average, only one out of every 250 drugs in lab studies or animal models get approved, according to Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.

In the new experiment, immunologist Vincent Tuohy at the Cleveland Clinic's Lerner Research Institute tested the vaccine against a protein, called alpha-lactalbumin, found on many breast cancer cells. Mice in the experiment had been genetically modified to lead them to develop breast cancer.

Though none of the 50 vaccinated mice developed cancer, all of the others did.

The protein is not found on normal breast cells, except when women are breast-feeding, the study says. That gives researchers hope that the vaccine would not harm ordinary cells.

But Cristofanilli says testing such a vaccine in humans would be difficult, largely because women at high risk of breast cancer already have several proven options for prevention.

Women who inherit genetic mutations in the BRCA genes — which give women a very high risk of breast cancer — can virtually eliminate their risk through a preventive mastectomy.

BRCA: Christina Applegate, other women with the gene act fast
RALOXIFENE: Bone drug lowers breast cancer risk 38% in high-risk women
ON THE WEB: Estimate your breast cancer risk

Other high-risk women, such as those with a close relative with breast cancer, also can take the drugs tamoxifen or raloxifene to sharply cut their risk.

original article.
category:Health Concern
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