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Oakland, Calif., Conference Targets Black Women For HIV AIDS Awareness, Prevention

The Oakland, Calif., chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women on Saturday held a daylong conference, "Sistahs Getting Real About HIV/AIDS, " that addressed HIV/AIDS among black women, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The conference "focused on two issues that might seem contradictory: first, to convince women that they must take special precautions to protect themselves, and second, to let them know that an HIV diagnosis is not a death sentence, " according to the Chronicle. Keynote speaker of the conference Tony Wafford, director of health and wellness for the National Action Network, said black women need to be more vocal with their partners about practicing safe sex and getting tested for HIV.

House Rejects Amendment To HHS Bill To Limit Funding To Planned Parenthood Clinics

The House on Friday voted 264-153 to approve its fiscal year 2010 Labor-HHS-Education spending bill ( HB 3293 ) after voting on five amendments addressing price and policy issues, CQ Today reports. The bill would appropriate $730.5 billion. The Senate Appropriations Committee is scheduled to begin markup of its version of the bill on July 28. The House voted 183-247 to reject an amendment offered by Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) that would have prohibited family planning funding through the Title X program to Planned Parenthood clinics. The House also voted 211-218 to reject an amendment by Rep. Mark Souder (R-Ind.) that would have stripped language to lift the ban on federal funding for needle-exchange programs.

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We Need Better Tests For Ovarian Cancer Say Scientists

Scientists in the US suggest that current tests for diagnosing ovarian cancer are not good enough and we need to develop better ways of detecting the disease much earlier. The study is published on 28 July in the open access journal Public Library of Science and is the work of researchers from Stanford University School of Medicine and the non-profit Canary Foundation, an organization dedicated to the early detection of many types of cancer. The idea of ovarian cancer scares women and their doctors because it is so hard to detect in the early stages. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) suggests that estimates show that 21, 550 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer and 14, 600 women will die of the disease in 2009.

Three GOP Senators Say They Will Vote Against Sotomayor Confirmation

Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) -- along with committee members John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) -- recently said that they will oppose Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation to the Supreme Court, USA Today reports. The Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on Sotomayor's nomination on Tuesday. In an opinion piece published Monday in USA Today, Sessions wrote that he questions Sotomayor's "fidelity to the law, " adding, "I don't believe that Judge Sotomayor has the deep-rooted convictions necessary to resist the siren call of judicial activism. She has evoked its mantra too often." In reference to what Sessions said were discrepancies between her statements before the panel and her judicial record, he wrote, "Which Sotomayor will we get?

During Adolescence, Girls React Differently Than Boys To Peers' Judgments

Teenagers yearn to fit in and be accepted by their friends. A new study suggests that girls and boys think differently about being judged by their peers as they move through adolescence. The study, by researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and Georgia State University, appears in the July/August 2009 issue of the journal Child Development. The researchers looked at mostly White psychiatrically healthy Americans ages 9 to 17 to determine what happens in the brains of preteens and teens at a time of significant change in social behavior. The youths looked at photos of peers and rated their interest in interacting with each one.

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WHO Reviews Antiretroviral Recommendations For Pregnant, Breastfeeding Women With HIV

The World Health Organization is reviewing its 2006 guidelines on the use of antiretroviral drugs by HIV-positive pregnant and breastfeeding women because of new evidence that prolonged use can cut the risk of mother-to-child transmission, Reuters reports. Current guidelines recommend that these women receive a short-course antiretroviral regimen. However, a new study released at an international AIDS conference on Wednesday shows that a stronger regimen over a prolonged period significantly lowers the risk of mother-to-child transmission. The study examined 824 pregnant women in Burkina Faso, Kenya and South Africa who received either the standard antiretroviral regimen or a combination of three antiretrovirals.

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