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[1] Sex: It Could Kill You. About a quarter of the 60 million premature deaths globally each year are due to unsafe sex, poor childhood nutrition, alcohol, inadequate sanitation and hygiene, and high blood pressure, the World Health Organization reported. In fact, global life expectancy could gain almost five years if these five problems were tackled. HIV is the world's sixth biggest killer. In 2004 unsafe sex was responsible for more than 99% of HIV infections in Africa, the only region where more women than men have HIV. Elsewhere, the proportion of HIV deaths due to risky sexual behaviors ranged from about 50% in low- and middle-income countries of the WHO's Western Pacific region to 90% in nations of the Americas with similar resources. [2] Drugmakers Unite to Create. GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer have launched a joint venture, Viiv Healthcare, to focus on the development of new anti-HIV treatments. Even though health advocates welcomed the link-up, they also stress it is essential that the dilution of competition does not drive up prices and lead to less drug development overall. An earlier partnership between two different pharma companies, Bristol Myers-Squibb and Gilead, led to the creation of Atripla in 2006. Keep your fingers crossed that this one will also be as successful. [3] Undaunted by Recession. Even though the recession may be affecting the way you spend your cash, the Obama administration is to be commended for assuring the head of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief that it is committed to the global HIV fight. In fact, Eric Goosby says, the U.S. government will increase the PEPFAR budget to fight HIV in South Africa, which in 2009 elected a new president, who has rejected the denialist policies of the nation's previous government. [4] Biting Terror. A neighborhood tussle in Michigan became an issue of "terror" when an HIV-positive man was charged with attempted bioterrorism for allegedly biting his neighbor while the two were fighting one another in the fall. But, wisely, the state's lawmakers are critical of the charges, especially since experts stepped up to say that it is a near impossibility to spread HIV through a human bite. [5] Hep C Being Transmitted Sexually. Researchers in New York City have reported uncovering a new epidemic of hepatitis C virus infection among men who have sex with men and who have HIV infection. Although it has long been thought that blood-borne transmission, like what happens when injection-drug users share needles, is how the virus is spread, the researchers were able to demonstrate that sexual transmission was the main route of infection in the New York cases.
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Michael W.E. Edwards

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