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Health Highlights: Aug. 30, 2011

Health Highlights: Aug. 30, 2011


Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

HIV Diagnosis Closes Southern California Porn Industry

News that a porn star has tested positive for HIV has led to a voluntary shutdown of Southern California's adult movie industry.

Tests were being conducted on the performer to confirm the diagnosis, Diane Duke, executive director of the adult film trade association Free Speech Coalition, told CBS and the Associated Press.

Duke would not reveal the gender, name or age of the performer, who was initially diagnosed in an out-of-state clinic that doesn't report to California health officials.

If the HIV diagnosis is confirmed, Duke's group will request tests for people who had sex with the performer and the sex partners of those people, CBS/AP reported.


Researchers Call for More Studies of Acne Treatments

More research on acne treatments is needed to help patients decide which are the best to use, researchers say.

The U.S. and U.K. researchers looked at current acne treatments and discovered a scarcity of studies and conflicting guidelines for the products. They also found that few recommendations for the treatments' use are based on clinical evidence, the Los Angeles Times reported.

In their paper published online in The Lancet, the researchers called for more studies to establish a suitable plan for initial treatment of acne as well as maintenance treatment of the condition.

They also noted the need for long-term studies to look at risk factors for persistent cases of acne, studies that compare various treatments, and studies that examine the cost-effectiveness of the treatments, the Times reported.


Papaya-Linked Salmonella Outbreak Over: CDC

A salmonella outbreak linked to fresh papayas from Mexico appears to be over, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday.

Between Jan. 1 and Aug. 25 of this year, 106 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Agona were reported in 25 states.

The outbreak was traced to fresh, whole papayas imported from Mexico by Agromod Produce Inc. of Texas, which announced a recall on July 23. The recall includes all Blondie, Yaya, Mananita and Tastylicious brand papayas sold prior to July 23, the CDC said.

On Aug. 25, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced an import ban on papayas from nearly all the major papaya producing regions in Mexico, unless the importer can prove the papayas are not contaminated with salmonella.


New Details About U.S. Medical Experiments in Guatemala

Chilling new facts about medical experiments conducted by U.S. researchers in Guatemala in the 1940s were revealed Monday by the presidential panel investigating the matter.

The tests involved deliberately exposing 1,300 people to sexually transmitted diseases in order to determine if penicillin -- which was relatively new at the time -- could prevent infection, the Associated Press reported.

Only about 700 of the people received some sort of treatment and 83 of them died, although it's not clear if those deaths were directly caused by the experiments, the commission said.

Specific cases disclosed Monday included one involving a women with syphilis who had an undisclosed terminal illness. The researchers wanted to assess the impact of an additional infection and infected the woman with gonorrhea. She died six months later.

In another experiment, seven women with epilepsy received syphilis injections at the base of the skull in order to find out if syphilis infection might cure epilepsy. All of the women developed bacterial meningitis, likely because the injections were unsterile, but received treatment, the AP reported.

After the Guatemala experiments came to light last year, President Obama called the Guatemala president to apologize and ordered the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues to review the matter. The commission's final report is due next month.


Blood Shortages Along U.S. East Coast: Red Cross

Blood donations are urgently needed to ease blood shortages along the U.S. East Coast in the wake of Hurricane Irene, the American Red Cross says.

"Supplies before the storm were already tight, as they are every summer, and Irene caused the cancellation of 60 blood drives along the East Coast, resulting in a shortfall of more than 2,100 units of blood," President and CEO Gail McGovern said in a Red Cross news release.

"We're expecting these numbers to go up due to storm damage in many locations, which will cause more canceled blood drives," she added.

The Red Cross is asking people in areas not affected by the storm to make immediate blood and platelet donations. People in areas hit by the storm are encouraged to make donations once it is safe to go out.

Copyright © 2011 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.


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