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Tuesday
Aug052008

PUBLIC HEALTH & EDUCATION | ACOG Releases New Recommendations on HIV Screening for Women

Physicians need to make an increased effort to encourage minority women to get tested for HIV because they are at greater risk of contracting the virus, according to new recommendations issued by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, HealthDay/U.S. News and World Report reports (HealthDay/U.S. News and World Report, 8/1). A separate recommendation by ACOG also says that ob-gyns should routinely screen all women ages 19 to 64 for HIV regardless of individual risk factors. Targeted screening is also recommended for women who are outside this age range but at high risk of HIV/AIDS.

The recommendations, issued by ACOG's Committee on Gynecology Practice, are published in the August issue of the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology. The committee also recommends "opt-out" testing, in which patients are told that HIV tests will be given as part of routine care, unless they decline. Neither specific signed consent nor HIV prevention counseling is required under opt-out testing. According to an ACOG release, some state and local laws are not consistent with the opt-out testing and might require additional counseling or informed consent requirements.

read_more: http://www.nationalpartnership.org/site/News2?JServSessionIdr010=vbm0fxg7c3.app5b&abbr=daily2_&page=NewsArticle&id=12114&security=1201&news_iv_ctrl=-1
Tuesday
Aug052008

Immigrants Facing Deportation by U.S. Hospitals

JOLOMCÚ, Guatemala — High in the hills of Guatemala, shut inside the one-room house where he spends day and night on a twin bed beneath a seriously outdated calendar, Luis Alberto Jiménez has no idea of the legal battle that swirls around him in the lowlands of Florida.

Shooing away flies and beaming at the tiny, toothless elderly mother who is his sole caregiver, Mr. Jiménez, a knit cap pulled tightly on his head, remains cheerily oblivious that he has come to represent the collision of two deeply flawed American systems, immigration and health care.

Eight years ago, Mr. Jiménez, 35, an illegal immigrant working as a gardener in Stuart, Fla., suffered devastating injuries in a car crash with a drunken Floridian. A community hospital saved his life, twice, and, after failing to find a rehabilitation center willing to accept an uninsured patient, kept him as a ward for years at a cost of $1.5 million.

read_more: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/03/us/03deport.html?ex=1218513600&en=1adecbc18bc73b2e&ei=5070&emc=eta1
Tuesday
Aug052008

Birth Trauma: Stress Disorder Afflicts Moms

Amid the debate over how to effectively manage maternal mental-health disorders, a new type of postpartum illness is gaining attention: post-traumatic-stress disorder due to childbirth.


PTSD is most commonly associated with combat veterans and victims of violent crime, but medical experts say it also can be brought on by a very painful or complicated labor and delivery in which a woman believes she or her baby might die. Symptoms can include anxiety, flashbacks and a numbness to daily life. Even as medical advances have resulted in many more lives saved during high-risk births, extreme medical interventions can leave a mother severely stressed -- especially if she feels powerless or mistreated by health providers.PTSD is much less common than postpartum depression, which has become better-understood by the public as celebrities like actress Brooke Shields and former CIA agent Valerie Plame have spoken out about their experiences. The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that postpartum depression affects 15% of mothers.

Tuesday
Aug052008

Report: Lack of health care can lead to homelessness

Providing better access to health care is a key part of helping the homeless in metro Atlanta, according to a report released today by the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta.
The report by the nonprofit charity said health issues can serve as a path into homelessness and that health care can help a person out of homelessness. Stressing that infection, poor nutrition, mental illness, addiction and disease are problems for many people who are homeless, the report focused on the work done by several metro programs."We don't believe that health is the only condition that affects the homeless in Atlanta, but we do believe that we can get more people off the streets and in more appropriate potential living situations by focusing on health issues," said Lesley Grady, vice president of the nonprofit's community partnerships.The report notes that estimates on the number of homeless in metro Atlanta range from 12,000 to 20,000 people on any given day.

read_more: http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/stories/2008/07/29/homeless_report.html
Tuesday
Aug052008

PUBLICLY FUNDED FAMILY PLANNING CLINICS PREVENT 1.4 MILLION UNINTENDED PREGNANCIES EACH YEAR, SAVE $4.3 BILLION IN PUBLIC FUNDS

Publicly funded family planning clinics provide contraceptive services to approximately seven million women each year. Without these services, the annual number of unintended pregnancies and abortions in the United States would be almost 50% higher. In other words, 1.4 million unintended pregnancies and 600,000 abortions are averted each year because of these services, according to a new Guttmacher Institute analysis.

Twenty percent of the pregnancies averted would occur among teenagers. In the absence of publicly funded services, there would be nearly 50% more teen pregnancies (or 290,000 more); these additional pregnancies would result in about 150,000 unplanned births and 100,000 abortions.

In addition to the clear benefits for individual women and their families in helping them avoid the pregnancies they do not want and plan the pregnancies they do, the analysis finds that these services save $4.3 billion in public funds. Nationally, for every $1.00 spent to provide services in the nationwide network of publicly funded family planning clinics, $4.02 in Medicaid expenses on births are averted.

read_more: http://www.guttmacher.org/media/nr/2008/07/31/index.html