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Hunt for HIV cure turns to cancer drugs

Image copyright SPL Image caption Antiretroviral drugs are currently used in HIV treatment to kill any active virus The outstanding progress in boosting the immune system to treat cancer may help unlock a cure for HIV, according to scientists meeting in Paris. The body’s normal defences struggle to clear the ...

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Tobacco firms ‘hamper anti-smoking push’

Image copyright Getty Images The tobacco industry is hampering efforts to introduce life-saving interventions in low and middle-income countries, according to a report by the World Health Organization. Countries covering two-thirds of the world’s population now have measures in place to encourage people to stop smoking. But tobacco still kills ...

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Births to foreign-born mothers hit 28% in England and Wales

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The average age women become mothers is just over 30 in England and Wales The number of foreign-born mothers having babies in England and Wales in 2016 reached 28% – the highest level on record, official statistics show. This figure has increased every year ...

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Aids deaths halve as more get drugs

Image copyright Getty Images Deaths linked to Aids have halved in a decade, official figures shows. The condition, which is caused by HIV, used to be one of the top 10 causes of death worldwide. A report by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/Aids (UNAids) showed deaths had fallen ...

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‘Too many’ patients locked in for mental health care

Image copyright Getty Images Too many patients are locked into mental health rehabilitation wards far from home, a review of England’s psychiatric services suggests. The Care Quality Commission said there were 3,500 beds in locked facilities across the country, but it believes more people could and should get care in ...

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Plan not to give HPV vaccine to boys causes concern

Image copyright DR P. MARAZZI/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY A decision not to vaccinate boys against a cancer-causing sexually transmitted infection has attracted fierce criticism. Reported cases of human papilloma virus (HPV) – thought to cause about 80% of cervical cancers – have fallen sharply since girls were given the vaccine. But ...

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NHS plans to scrap homeopathy treatments

Image copyright Getty Images NHS England has announced plans to stop doctors prescribing homeopathy, herbal and other “low value” treatments. It hopes to save almost £200m a year by ending what the head of the service called a “misuse of scarce” NHS funds. Prescriptions for conditions including diarrhoea, thrush, acne ...

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‘Mind-blowing’ cows hold clue to beating HIV

Image copyright Getty Images Cows have shown an “insane” and “mind-blowing” ability to tackle HIV which will help develop a vaccine, say US researchers. In a first for immunisation, the animals rapidly produced special types of antibody that can neutralise HIV. It is thought cows evolved a supreme immune defence ...

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Blood donation rules relaxed for gay men and sex workers

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption More people will be able to donate blood more easily under the new rules Blood donation rules for sex workers and gay men are being relaxed in England and Scotland after improvements in the accuracy of testing procedures. Men who have sex with men ...

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Pay row threatens overnight care for vulnerable

Image copyright SPL Vulnerable people with learning difficulties could lose overnight supervision, disability charity Mencap warns. The HMRC has ruled carers sleeping overnight to provide safety and reassurance should be be paid the national minimum wage for all hours. Mencap says the total bill for back pay – due by ...

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Helping hands

Image caption Refugee doctor Rouni Youssef with his mentor Dr Sue Jones and an elderly patient A pioneering scheme that aims to harness the skills of refugees fleeing conflict and unrest in their home countries could help boost health services in north-east England. Middlesbrough has the highest number of asylum ...

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England ‘on track’ to stamp out smoking

Image copyright solidcolours/Getty The government has set out an ambitious plan to make England effectively smoke-free in the next few decades. The new Tobacco Control Plan aims to slash smoking rates from 15.5% to 12% of the population by 2022, paving the way to a smoke-free generation. If national smoking ...

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