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Latest CDC Sexually Transmitted Disease Report Shows Gonorrhea Stable, Syphilis Rising

The number of cases of chlamydia declined slightly from 2012 to 2013, while cases of gonorrhea remained nearly stable and syphilis increased by 10%, according the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) annual STD surveillance report. These broad trends, however, mask some notable differences between population groups, including high STD rates among gay men.

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WHO Recommends 2-Dose Vaccine, HPV Screening for Cervical Cancer Prevention

The World Health Organization (WHO) last week released new guidance for preventing and controlling cervical cancer, which causes more than 270,000 deaths annually worldwide. The guidelines call for girls to receive 2 rather than 3 doses of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine and for women to be screened using less frequent HPV tests rather than Pap smears.

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New WHO Report Finds Tuberculosis More Common than Previously Estimated

The global burden of tuberculosis (TB) may encompass nearly half a million more cases than previously thought, due to better data reporting, according to the World Health Organization's Global Tuberculosis Report 2014, released last week. According to the new report, 9 million people developed TB in 2013 and 1.5 million died from the disease, but new cases and mortality continue to decline. The report will be presented at the Union World Conference on Lung Health taking place this week in Barcelona.

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FDA Approves New Vaccine Effective Against 9 Types of Human Papillomavirus

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration this week approved a new "9-valent" human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine from Merck that protects against infection with more high-risk or cancer-causing strains. The new Gardasil 9 vaccine is expected to prevent about 90% of cervical, anal, and genital cancers. The vaccine is approved for young women ages 9-26 and young men ages 9-15.

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IDWeek 2014: Syphilis Cases Increase Among Men with HIV Despite Risk Reduction Counseling

There has been a substantial increase in the number of syphilis cases among men living with HIV -- particularly men who have sex with men (MSM) -- despite systematic risk reduction counseling in this population since 2008, according to a study conducted at a clinic in rural Pennsylvania presented at IDWeek 2014 earlier this month.

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Hospitalizations Due to Hepatitis A Declining in the U.S., CDC Study Finds

Rates of hospitalization related to hepatitis A virus (HAV) infection decreased in the U.S. from 2002 to 2011, possibly attributable to changing demographics and wider use of the hepatitis A vaccine, researchers reported in the September 29 edition of Hepatology.

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Coffee Linked to Reduced Liver Inflammation, Lower Liver Cancer Risk

People who drank more coffee -- both regular and decaffeinated -- had lower levels of liver inflammation enzymes in a large population survey, while another recent study found that coffee consumption was associated with a lower risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), a type of liver cancer.

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Health Officials, Infectious Disease Experts, AIDS Activists Oppose Ebola Quarantine

Public health officials and medical professionals spoke out this week against newly instituted policies in New York and New Jersey -- later joined by Illinois and Florida -- calling for 21-day quarantine of people arriving in the states after being in contact with Ebola patients in West Africa. AIDS activists were among those spearheading the opposition, stressing that increasing stigma and discouraging medical providers from volunteering in Africa would only worsen the growing epidemic. 

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CDC Issues Stricter Ebola Virus Protection Guidance for Healthcare Workers

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) this week issued new, expanded guidelines to help healthcare workers protect themselves against Ebola virus infection. The guidance details procedures for use of personal protective equipment (PPE), including how to take it off without contamination.

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