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New AIDS Guidelines Target Global Discrimination of Gays

The World Health Organization published Tuesday new global guidelines for expanding AIDS treatment, focusing for the first time on homosexuals, who face discrimination in many countries.

"If we do not pay major attention to the epidemic in key populations, we will not be able to eliminate HIV" -- the virus that can lead to AIDS, said Gottfried Hirnschall, WHO director of the HIV/AIDS department.

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High Dose of Anti-Cholesterol Drugs Linked to Diabetes

High doses of drugs aimed at lowering cholesterol are linked to increasing numbers of new diabetes cases in patients, said a review of multiple studies on the topic published Tuesday.

However, those same high doses helped dramatically lower the incidence of cardiovascular problems in patients, leaving doctors to balance the benefits and risks according to each individual patient.

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No-Fun fungus: Nasty Yeast Grows in Dishwashers

Scientists have found a possibly harmful fungus that grows in dishwashers, surviving high temperatures, aggressive doses of detergents and rinsing salts and both acid and alkaline types of water.

A black yeast called Exophiala dermatitidis was found with a cousin fungus, E. phaeomuriformis, in samples taken from dishwasters in 189 homes in 101 cities in six continents.

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U.S. Unveils Graphic Cigarette Warnings

The U.S. government on Tuesday unveiled a new set of cigarette warnings with graphic images of a lifeless body, a scarred mouth and a blackened lung in order to highlight the health risks of smoking.

"Beginning September 2012, FDA will require larger, more prominent cigarette health warnings on all cigarette packaging and advertisements in the United States," the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on its website.

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Hong Kong Declares Scarlet Fever Outbreak

Hong Kong has declared an outbreak of scarlet fever, an illness potentially fatal among children, after hundreds were infected in the teeming city, the government said Tuesday.

A seven-year-old girl in the southern Chinese city died late last month while there have been more than 400 cases so far this year, a Centre for Health Protection spokesman told Agence France Presse Tuesday.

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Scientists Study 'Hammock' Effect on Sleep

A team of Swiss and French scientists published a study on Monday that suggests the rocking motion of a hammock improves sleep quality and helps people get to sleep faster.

The study included 12 male volunteers who were not habitual nappers but who agreed to try an afternoon snooze on both a stationary bed and a rocking bed while machines scanned their brains, eye and muscle movements.

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Pfizer Anti-Smoking Drug Has Heart Risks

U.S. regulators said Thursday that the label on Pfizer's anti-smoking drug Chantix must be changed to warn of a slightly higher risk of heart problems in patients who already have cardiovascular disease.

The drug, also known as varenicline, was shown in a clinical trial of 700 smokers to be associated with an elevated risk of heart attack, angina, and clogged arteries in some patients when compared to a placebo.

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Health Board Says Denmark Sees Doubling of Chlamydia Cases

Denmark has registered a doubling of cases of the venereal disease chlamydia over the past decade, Danish health officials said Thursday, saying the rise was very worrying.

"In 2000 there were 15,000 registered cases (of chlamydia), and in 2009 the number had increased to 30,000," a report published by Denmark's National Board of Health said, adding that in addition, "we think that one in 10 sexually active young people have the disease without knowing."

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French Children Hospitalised by E. Coli Burgers

Six children were hospitalised in France with E. coli infections after eating meat that manufacturers said could come from Germany, where an outbreak of the bacteria has killed 38 people.

The children, the youngest of whom is 20 months old, had eaten defrosted hamburgers made by the French company SEB which said the meat was taken from animals slaughtered in three European countries and processed in France.

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Study Shows Olive Oil Could Lower Stroke Risk

Older people who eat olive oil have a lower risk of stroke than those who do not, suggested a study of more than 7,000 French people that was published Wednesday in the United States.

Researchers at the National Institute of Health and Medical Research in Bordeaux, France followed 7,625 people age 65 and older from three cities -- Bordeaux, Dijon and Montpellier -- for a period of five years.

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