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Injectable contraceptive use found to double HIV risk in Africa
October 4th, 2011
05:22 PM ET

Injectable contraceptive use found to double HIV risk in Africa

Women in Africa who used injectable contraceptives doubled their risk of  becoming HIV-infected and passing the virus on to their male partners, according to a new study published Monday.

"Among couples in which there was an HIV positive man and an HIV negative woman, if she was using hormonal contraceptive, her risk of getting HIV was doubled," said study author Jared Baeten of the University of Washington in Seattle. "Similarly, in couples where there was an HIV infected woman and an HIV negative man, if the woman was using hormonal contraceptives her chances of passing the virus to her partner were doubled."

Almost  3,800 couples with one HIV-infected partner from the African countries of Botswana, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe participated in the study. The majority were in their mid-30s and  they were followed for up to two years. FULL POST


CDC: Men, binge drinkers drive drunk most often
October 4th, 2011
04:02 PM ET

CDC: Men, binge drinkers drive drunk most often

Four million adults drove drunk last year, says a nationwide survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The study estimates this population was responsible for 112 million separate alcohol-impaired driving episodes in 2010.

Of those incidents, four out of five drivers were men and 85% involved binge drinkers. In addition, young men under age 34 accounted for nearly a third of them. States in the Midwest had the highest numbers, including North Dakota, Nebraska, Missouri and Michigan.

"[They] put everyone on the road at risk," said CDC Director Dr. Thomas R. Frieden. "In fact, nearly 11,000 people are killed every year in crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver." FULL POST


Why end-of-life planning saves money
October 4th, 2011
04:00 PM ET

Why end-of-life planning saves money

It's something no one wants to think about, but a reality if worst happens: What do you want to happen if you are on the brink of death and can't communicate?

A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association finds that advance directives are linked to less Medicare spending, lower likelihood of dying in a hospital, and higher usage of hospice care in areas of the U.S. that tend to spend the most on end of life care generally.  Advance directives, also called living wills, are documents that specify what kind of treatment you do or don't want to be given in various situations when your life is on the line.

FULL POST


October 4th, 2011
02:57 PM ET

Is there a wrong way to detox off Xanax?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Tuesdays, it's Dr. Charles Raison, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University, and an expert in the mind-body connection for health.

Question asked by D. Epps from Georgia:

Is there a wrong way to detox off Xanax?

Expert answer:

Sadly, there are probably more wrong ways to detox off Xanax than right ones. Lots of people have a very hard time getting off Xanax if they’ve been on it for awhile no matter what approach they take. This is one of the reasons Xanax has fallen from favor in the last decade.
FULL POST


Study supporting gay conversion challenged
October 4th, 2011
07:35 AM ET

Study supporting gay conversion challenged

A study designed by professors from two religious universities says that some people can change their sexual orientation after undergoing years of a ministry program.

“Evidence from the study suggested that change of homosexual orientation appears possible for some and that psychological distress did not increase on average as a result of the involvement in the change process,” wrote the authors of a study published in The Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy.

The authors are both psychologists who work at religious universities. Stanton Jones is a psychology professor and provost at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, and Mark Yarhouse is a professor of mental health at Regent University, in Virginia Beach, which was founded by televangelist Pat Robertson. FULL POST


October 4th, 2011
07:35 AM ET

Human Factor: TLC's T-boz on sickle-cell anemia, brain tumor

In the Human Factor, we profile survivors who have overcome the odds. Confronting a life obstacle - injury, illness or other hardship - they tapped their inner strength and found resilience they didn't know they possessed. This week, Grammy award-winning singer Tionne "T-boz" Watkins,  lead singer of the best-selling female hip/hop group TLC, shares her story about her struggles with sickle-cell anemia and a brain tumor. 

Most people know me as an actress, singer or member of the '90s musical group TLC. What many people don’t know is that through all of this, I quietly battled sickle-cell disease. Since the age of 7, I have been in and out of hospitals. Then, in 2006, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Many physicians refused to remove the tumor due to my sickle-cell related complications.

These experiences have taught me, and I want everyone to know, that you can be a survivor, even when it looks like you’re against all odds. When I went to the first doctor to talk about my brain tumor, he wasn’t getting into my livelihood, my life. The decisions about how to treat the tumor were not what would happen to me and my quality of life. You need to learn about yourself, research and take notes. Know the questions to ask. When you’re stressed and going through something, it can be hard to do, so it’s important to learn what you can and prepare.

FULL POST


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About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

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