The matter-of-fact display on prostitution was startling enough. Then, a large remote-controlled condom floated above the conference hall. Kay Warren, wife of pastor Rick Warren, wondered, ''What had I gotten myself into?''
A nine-year ban on city funding for needle-exchange programs in the District of Columbia has been lifted, a move city officials say is key to reducing the soaring rate of AIDS and HIV infections in the U.S. capital. President George W. Bush on Wednesday signed a $555 billion federal spending bill that includes a provision allowing the city to spend its own money on programs that provide clean hypodermic needles to drug users. Federal spending packages dating back to 1998 had blocked such programs.
The BBC reports that while plain chocolate is rich in the heart-healthy plant chemical known as flavanols, an editorial in The Lancet indicates that many dark chocolate manufacturers actually remove the flavanols because of their bitter taste.
Syphilis is back: The sexually transmitted disease long associated with 19th-century bohemian life is making an alarming resurgence in Europe. ''Syphilis used to be a very rare disease,'' said Marita van de Laar, MD, an expert in sexually transmitted diseases at the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. ''I'm not sure we can say that anymore.'' Most cases of syphilis are in men, and experts point to more risky sex among gay men as the chief cause for the resurgence. But more cases are being seen among heterosexuals, both men and women, too.
Lesbians tend to be more stressed and depressed during the holidays than straight women, according to a survey conducted by market research firm Harris Interactive and Witeck-Combs Communications. The survey found that 80% of lesbian adults felt more stress around the holidays, compared with 64% of heterosexual women. And while 51% of lesbians said they tend to feel more depressed around the holidays, only 36% of straight women did.
Legislation was introduced Friday that would repeal provisions in the Immigration and Nationality Act that bar HIV-positive people from entering the United States, senators John Kerry of Massachusetts and Gordon Smith of Oregon announced.
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