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  • India risks backsliding on success against HIV-U.N. envoy

    J.V.R. Prasada Rao, United Nations special envoy for AIDS in Asia and the Pacific, poses inside his residence in Bengaluru, IndiaBy Aditya Kalra NEW DELHI (Reuters) - New HIV infections in India could rise for the first time in more than a decade because states are mismanaging a prevention program by delaying payments to health workers, the United Nations envoy for AIDS in Asia and the Pacific said. India's efforts to fight HIV have for years centered around community-based programs run for people at high risk of contracting the virus, such as sex workers and injecting drug users.

  • California to enact comprehensive medical marijuana regulations

    Brown speaks to reporters while proposing his 2015-16 state budget in SacramentoSACRAMENTO, Calif./LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - California Governor Jerry Brown on Friday signed into law the state's first comprehensive regulations of medical marijuana, two decades after legalization fueled a wild west of disparate local rules, a gray market in cultivation and concerns about the ease of obtaining the drug. The package of three laws, viewed by some as a possible framework for the eventual legalization of recreational marijuana in the most populous U.S. state, would establish a Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation and oversee such activities as cultivation and dispensary licensing. The bills, which take effect in 2018, "establish a long-overdue comprehensive regulatory framework for the production, transportation and sale of medical marijuana," Brown, a Democrat, said in a signing statement on Friday.

  • Rohingya trafficking victims endure stress of limbo, stranded in Thailand

    Hands of a Rohingya victim of trafficking are seen as he listens to questions during an interview with the Thomson Reuters Foundation at a temporary shelter in Hat Yai, Songkla, ThailandBy Alisa Tang RATTAPHUM, Thailand (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The strapping 23-year-old Rohingya Muslim was matter of fact as he described being forced onto a boat in Myanmar for a tortuous two-month-long journey, beaten and kicked by traffickers as he watched scores die of starvation and thirst along the way. On many evenings in this compound of cement buildings that has become home to 66 male Rohingya trafficking victims from Myanmar and 19 from Bangladesh, the man cried, homesick. Late last month, the shelter staff took pity on him, granting him a five-minute phone call to his home in Sittwe in western Myanmar's Rakhine state.

  • Sientra suspends sales of medical implants made by Brazilian contract partner

    A laboratory worker of Silimed factory checks silicone implants at a factory.(Reuters) - Breast implant maker Sientra Inc said it has placed a temporary hold on sales of medical implants made by a Brazilian contract manufacturer, sending its shares down 11 percent in extended trading. Sientra also said it recommends that plastic surgeons temporarily discontinue implanting all Sientra devices made by the Brazilian contractor, Silimed, until further notice. Sientra said its decision followed discussions with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regarding Brazilian regulatory inquiries into products manufactured by Silimed.

  • Exclusive: GE nears deal to sell over $30 billion of loans to Wells Fargo - source

    The logo of General Electric is pictured at the 26th World Gas Conference in ParisGeneral Electric Co is in advanced talks to sell a specialty finance portfolio, worth more than $30 billion, to Wells Fargo & Co , according to a person familiar with the matter, as the industrial conglomerate returns to its roots. Wells Fargo has so far outbid other parties for General Electric's vendor financing, commercial distribution finance and direct lending assets, the person with direct knowledge of the situation said on Friday. GE and Wells Fargo representatives declined to comment.

  • Rescued Chilean miners were 'battle scarred: author

    Mario Sepulveda celebrates his rescue in CopiapoPulitzer-Prize-winning writer Hector Tobar says the 33 Chilean miners trapped deep underground for 69 days in 2010 were left "battle scarred" from the ordeal, despite quickly becoming minor celebrities after their improbable rescue. "They were like guys who had been through war." The miners' rescue drew heavy international coverage, and Chile’s then-president Sebastian Pinera personally greeted the workers as they emerged from a freshly drilled shaft one-by-one in October 2010. Eventually, the miners chose Tobar to author the official account of their experience.

  • Arkansas judge halts scheduled executions of eight inmates

    An Arkansas judge issued an order on Friday that temporarily blocked the scheduled executions of eight convicted murderers after lawyers for the death row inmates challenged secrecy provisions in the state's lethal injection procedures. Arkansas, one of the 31 U.S. states with the death penalty, has not carried out an execution since 2005 but had planned to resume capital punishment on Oct. 21 with two executions. Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen took the action after lawyers for the inmates argued on Wednesday that provisions keeping secret the name of the vendors who provide the drugs used in lethal injections violated state law.

  • Tai chi can help build strength, relieve pain

    Johney Yu and Diana Yang, both immigrants from China, practice tai chi at a daily class in AlhambraBy Madeline Kennedy (Reuters Health) - For people with chronic illnesses ranging from cancer to arthritis, Tai chi exercises may improve walking, build strength and reduce pain, according to a new analysis of past research. The slow and gentle movements of Tai chi, a modified form of an ancient Chinese martial art, may be especially suitable for middle aged and older people with multiple health conditions, the authors write in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. “Given the fact that many middle-aged and older persons have more than one chronic condition, it is important to examine the benefits of treatment/exercise interventions across several co-existing conditions,” lead author Yi-Wen Chen, from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, told Reuters Health by email.

  • Fidgeting while you work might be good for you

    Previous research has linked long stretches of sedentary time – whether facing a computer or watching TV – with poor health outcomes even in people who get plenty of exercise, the researchers note in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

  • Cigna drops mail-order requirement for HIV drugs in settlement

    Health insurer Cigna Corp on Friday agreed to drop its requirement that patients with HIV/AIDS get some of their medications exclusively through its mail-order pharmacy, settling a consumer lawsuit. California-based advocacy group Consumer Watchdog, which announced the settlement on Friday, had sued Cigna in April in Florida federal court on behalf of a Fort Lauderdale man. When the settlement takes effect on Dec. 1, Cigna patients will be able to get their drugs at any in-network pharmacy.