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Zika May Not Last in Semen as Long as Thought

Posted 3 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Aug. 18, 2017 – Zika virus might not remain in the semen of some infected men as long as previously thought, a small study suggests. The researchers said Zika may only be present in semen for about a month. Previous research had suggested that Zika virus can be found in semen for as long as 188 days after the onset of symptoms. The new study included 12 men in French Guiana who had Zika virus. Four of the men never had any detectable Zika in their semen. One excreted Zika virus in his semen for at least three days. And seven had Zika-laced semen for at least a month, the researchers reported. The maximum duration of detectable Zika in semen in the study was 45 days. "These data suggest that not all men who are symptomatically infected with Zika virus will have Zika virus RNA detectable in semen," Dr. Franck de Laval, of the Military Center for Epidemiology and Public Health in ... Read more

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Americans Injuring Themselves Grooming Pubic Hair

Posted 5 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 16, 2017 – Should you consider trimming or shaving "down there," proceed with care – a new study finds injuries tied to pubic hair grooming are more common than you might think. Cuts, burns and infections are reported more than a quarter of the time, according to the online survey of more than 7,500 U.S. adults. "In another study, we found that 3 percent of all adults who were seen in the emergency room for urinary injuries had injuries related to pubic hair grooming," said lead researcher Dr. Benjamin Breyer. He's an associate professor of urology and epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco. In this latest report, Breyer and his team found that nearly 67 percent of men and 85 percent of women said they groomed their pubic hair. Among those who did so, nearly 26 percent said they had injured themselves in the process. Injuries were ... Read more

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Only About One-Third of Americans Use Condoms: CDC

Posted 11 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 10, 2017 – Condoms can help prevent pregnancy and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), but only about a third of Americans use them, a new federal report shows. "The use of condoms is a public health issue," said report author Casey Copen, a statistician at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics. "STDs can lead to long-term consequences, such as infertility," she said. "Condoms, when used consistently and correctly, reduce the risk of HIV and STDs." About 20 million new cases of STDs are diagnosed each year in the United States, the CDC said. These infections include human papillomavirus (HPV), gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, hepatitis and HIV. The choice of whether to use a condom or not is influenced by a number of factors. These include: a woman's desire to get pregnant, one's experience using other ... Read more

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Teen Birth Rate Drops Again to All-Time Low: CDC

Posted 30 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, June 30, 2017 – Teen births in the United States dropped to a record low last year, falling 9 percent from 2015, U.S. health officials reported Friday. The overall birth rate declined, too, dropping 1 percent between 2015 and 2016, according to preliminary data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The total number of births in 2016 was 3,941,109. Moreover, the fertility rate declined to 62 births per 1,000 among women of childbearing age – a record low for the nation, researchers found. Births among 15-to 19-year-olds have declined dramatically since 2007 – more than 50 percent, said lead researcher Brady Hamilton, a statistician at CDC's National Center for Health Statistics. "It's really quite astounding for a demographic rate in an age group to decline that much," he added. The teen birth rate was 20.3 births per 1,000 female teens in 2016, compared to ... Read more

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Many U.S. Teens Still Denied 'Morning After' Pill at Pharmacies

Posted 30 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, June 30, 2017 – Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has lifted age restrictions on the use of the "morning after" pill, new research suggests that many teens may still have a tough time trying to get the emergency contraception. In the study, researchers posing as teenagers were often told erroneously by pharmacies that they needed a prescription for the over-the-counter pill or they were denied it altogether because of their age. "In 2013, the FDA lifted the age restrictions for emergency contraception, and a lot of people thought, 'Great, we won, it's over, and now it's available and acceptable to anyone without any identification,' " said study author Dr. Tracey Wilkinson, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine. "But knowing a little about what happens to my patients, and understanding that just because there were a lot ... Read more

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Most U.S. Teens Aren't 'Doing It'

Posted 22 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 22, 2017 – Sex is everywhere in the media, and so you may be convinced that today's teens are always looking to "hook-up." But new federal research says it's just not so. Instead, the study found that most teenagers in high school aren't sexually active. "The myth is that every kid in high school is having sex, and it's not true," noted Dr. Cora Breuner, a professor of pediatrics at Seattle Children's Hospital, who reviewed the findings. "It's less than half, and it's been less than half for more than 10 years," she said. The study found that only 42 percent of girls and 44 percent of boys aged 15 to 19 reported having sex at least once. And Breuner said that finding is nothing new. Going back to 2002, fewer than half of older teens told researchers that they are sexually active, federal data show. Further, most teens who choose to go all the way wind up losing their ... Read more

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U.S. Teen Births Hit Historic Low in 2014: CDC

Posted 30 May 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 30, 2017 – Teen births continue to decline in the United States, with health officials reporting a 9 percent drop from 2013 to 2014. Births to 15- to 19-year-olds fell to a historic low of 24 births per 1,000 women in 2014, said Sherry Murphy, a statistician at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics. At the same time, the proportion of births to women 30 and older increased, said Murphy, lead author of the report. Mothers 30 and older accounted for 30 percent of births in 2014 – up from 24 percent in 2000, the researchers found. There were other changes in U.S. birth patterns as well. "The number of overall births increased 1 percent in 2014 to about 4 million, compared with 2013," Murphy said. The infant mortality rate decreased slightly in 2014 to a historic low – about six infant deaths per 1,000 births, the ... Read more

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Government Funding Could Save Canadians $4 Billion on Medicines

Posted 27 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 27, 2017 – A new report suggests that Canada would reap savings of more than $4 billion a year if the government funded nearly 120 types of "essential" medications. "Adding an essential medicines list is a pragmatic step toward universal pharmacare," said Steven Morgan, in a news release from the Canadian Medical Association. "It would ensure all Canadians have access to the most commonly required medicines while saving patients and private drug plan sponsors over $4 billion per year," Morgan said. He's a professor at the University of British Columbia. The report authors listed 117 drugs as essential medications. This list included antibiotics, insulin, birth control and antidepressants. These drugs made up 44 percent of all prescriptions filled at Canadian retail pharmacies in 2015. When "therapeutically similar" drugs were included in the list, that figure was as high ... Read more

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Pediatricians Revise Guidelines for Teen Victims of Sexual Assault

Posted 27 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 27, 2017 – Pediatricians should be comfortable with treating and screening for sexual assault – and they should know where to send their teenage patients for any additional help they might need. Those are some of the major points in updated recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) on helping teens who've been sexually victimized. The last time the group published guidelines on the issue was 2008. Since then, the problem of sexual assault – particularly on college campuses – has gained more public attention, explained Dr. Elizabeth Alderman, lead author of the new recommendations. In 2014, she noted, a White House task force issued a report calling on colleges to ramp up efforts to combat sexual assaults. Of course, sexual assault is not limited to college campuses, said Alderman, who is an adolescent medicine specialist at Children's Hospital at ... Read more

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For a Fun and Safe Tropical Getaway, Plan Ahead

Posted 17 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Feb. 17, 2017 – If you're planning a tropical getaway, be sure to pack old standbys like bug spray and sunscreen – and maybe a lot more, a doctor advises. "In places like the Caribbean and South and Central America, where it is already summertime, people can potentially be exposed to health risks that they may not have at home," said infectious disease specialist Dr. Christopher Ohl. He is head of the International Travel Clinic at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C. In the Caribbean and Central America, you can get sunburned in as little as 10 minutes. Wear sunscreen and a T-shirt or cover-up during the middle of the day when the sun is strongest, Ohl advised in a center news release. Be especially careful on the beach or at poolside where the water reflects sunlight. Also, be careful about what you eat and drink to reduce the risk of diarrhea. Safest ... Read more

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HRT Won't Lower Women's Alzheimer's Risk, Study Finds

Posted 16 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Feb. 16, 2017 – Women who use hormone therapy after menopause may not have a lower risk of developing Alzheimer's, a new study suggests. However, there was some evidence that long-term use – over a decade – might be tied to a lower risk of the memory-robbing brain disease. But the results were far from definitive, the researchers added. The study is the latest to delve into the question of whether menopausal hormone therapy can benefit women's brains. Research so far has yielded conflicting findings. On one hand, a number of trials have found no brain benefits for women using hormone therapy, said Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton, executive director of the North American Menopause Society. On the other hand, small trials have found that when hormone therapy is given after surgical menopause, women can see "cognitive benefits," said Pinkerton, who was not involved in the new study. On ... Read more

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When Cocaine's in the Mix, Safe Sex May Not Be

Posted 16 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Feb. 16, 2017 – The long list of health woes linked to cocaine abuse includes risky sexual behavior, a small, new study suggests. The drug not only increases sexual arousal but also makes people impatient and more likely to have sex without a condom. This could increase their risk for sexually transmitted infections, according to researchers from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. "Our study affirms and may help explain why people who regularly use cocaine are more willing to partake in risky sex when under the influence of cocaine," said study author Matthew Johnson in a university news release. He's an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences. Public health officials and physicians should be ensuring that cocaine users are supplied with condoms to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted disease, Johnson said. Cocaine is a ... Read more

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Gay Men Less Likely to Have Safe Sex Now: Survey

Posted 13 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 13, 2017 – In a sign that powerful new ways to treat and prevent HIV are relaxing attitudes about safer sex, a new survey finds that gay and bisexual men are much less likely to use condoms than they were two decades ago. Men questioned at a Atlanta gay pride event in 2015 – including HIV-positive men – were more likely to say they'd recently had anal sex without a condom compared to men who were questioned at the same event in 2006 and 1997. Although there are signs that the rates of other sexually transmitted infections have increased and the possibility of a drug-resistant strain of the once-deadly virus looms, HIV experts said the condom-less trend may not be as troubling as it appears. "There has been an increase in the understanding that condom-less anal sex is not risky" if men take a drug to prevent HIV infection or take medication if they are already infected, ... Read more

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A Plug Instead of a Snip for Male Birth Control?

Posted 7 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Feb. 7, 2017 – A new gel-based vasectomy has proven effective in a group of monkeys, raising hopes it could one day provide a permanent but easily reversible male contraceptive option in humans. Vasalgel works by plugging the vas deferens, the two tiny tubes that convey sperm into a male's semen, researchers said. The gel "doesn't break down. It just sets up a little more, and sticks where you inject it," said lead researcher Catherine VandeVoort. She's a professor of obstetrics and gynecology with the University of California, Davis School of Medicine. Sixteen male rhesus macaque monkeys injected with the non-hormonal gel have proven incapable of reproduction, according to the study findings. No females have become pregnant in the males' presence, even though they were housed together for at least one breeding season – about 6 months. "We're over two years in a lot of these ... Read more

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Obese Couples May Take Longer to Conceive

Posted 3 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Feb. 3, 2017 – It's not just a woman's weight that matters when couples are trying to conceive, a new study suggests. When a woman and her partner are both obese, their chances for pregnancy during any menstrual cycle are about half that of a normal-weight couple, according to the analysis from the U.S. National Institutes of Health. "It translates to maybe a longer time to get pregnant," said lead study author Rajeshwari Sundaram. She is a senior investigator at the U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, a unit of NIH. Prior studies show an association between female obesity and reduced odds for pregnancy in a single menstrual cycle, as well as a link between men's increased body weight and lower sperm count, the researchers noted. This study breaks new ground because it enrolled couples hoping to get pregnant, not couples undergoing fertility ... Read more

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