Daily Rounds: HIV Drug Backed; NH Hospitals Encroach; Bake Sale Ban; Tanorexics

FDA panel recommends approval of drug to prevent HIV (The Washington Post) – “For the first time in the 30-year battle against the HIV epidemic, a panel of experts has recommended that the Food and Drug Administration approve a drug to give to healthy people to protect against the infection. The panel recommended Thursday that the agency approve the drug Truvada for preventing HIV in men who have sex with men, HIV-negative partners of HIV-postive people and ‘other individuals at risk for acquiring HIV through sexual activity.'”

NH wants hospitals near Mass. border, hopes specialties will lure patients (The Boston Globe) – “New Hampshire lawmakers are pushing incentives for so-called destination hospitals to open along the state’s southern border, hoping to build a specialty health care hub that draws patients from Massachusetts. The effort initially aims to attract a national for-profit hospital chain, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, by eliminating a state review process and exempting it from a tax nonprofit hospitals pay. Sponsors hope to eventually add kidney care, spine surgery, and other specialized services – all drawing business from out of state. That possibility does not sit well with Massachusetts health care leaders.”

Governor Patrick orders ban on school bake sales to be overturned (The Boston Globe) – “Facing a rising clamor against the state’s controversial ban on bake sales in school, the Patrick administration Thursday directed public health officials to do an about-face and exclude classroom and fund-raising events from the new rules that were to take effect August 1. The state Department of Public Health announced Thursday afternoon that it will pass emergency amendments to its regulations last year that curtailed the sale of sweets in school cafeterias and vending machines.”

Use of tanning beds common despite cancer risks (NPR-Shots) – “Who’s really hooked on tanning beds? Odds are she’s young, white and lives in the Midwest. Figures just published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report paint a detailed picture of indoor tanning habits across the country. Overall, in 2010 about 5.6 percent of adults used a tanning bed, or other device that blasts UV rays at skin to darken it. But the most likely adult users, as you might have guessed, are women between 18 and 25. Around 30 percent of white women in that age group had used an indoor tanning machine of some sort in 2010.”

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