Injectable contraceptives double HIV risk
The World Health Organisation is calling a meeting to consider whether to advise women against using injectable contraceptives after a study conducted in seven African countries found that they doubled a woman's chances of contracting HIV/AIDS. Women using such methods also had increased risk of transferring the virus to their partners. The results of the study are particularly significant for women in African countries where the use of injectable contraception is popular because it can be kept secret from husbands and partners. http://allafrica.com/stories/201110051206.html .
Breast cancer rise
Asian women in the UK, who have historically had lower breast cancer rates than other UK women, have seen a surge in cases in the last year according to a Manchester hospital. http://menmedia.co.uk/asiannews/news/health/s/1460769_surge-in-breast-cancer-cases-in-asian-women-say-manchester-experts?rss=yes. The BBC suggests it is a failure on the part of the women themselves to spot signs and attend clinics that is causing the rise: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-11598498, while other sources point to cultural reasons, including misunderstandings about screening procedures and lack of information for Asian women that leads to later treatment. A new help group is being set up: http://www.garstangcourier.co.uk/news/regional/breast_cancer_help_for_asian_women_1_3846392.
Dr Cynthia Maung, "Burma's most famous doctor" is in exile in Thailand where despite threats and attacks by the Burmese government she treats Burmese refugees from camps across the border and helps send teams of medics into Burma to treat those in isolated and inaccessible areas. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/sep/16/doctor-cynthia-burma-political-refugee?INTCMP=SRCH .
A third of UK women have taken anti-depressants with 24% of those on them for more than 10 years, and half being offered no alternative treatments. This petition calls for a review of the use and prescription of anti-depressants, especially among women, and for a better approach to mental health issues: http://campaign.publicaffairsbriefing.co.uk/petition.aspx?cid=d82d6619-bcb3-4f23-a35c-791be1f87f11. Briefing paper on the issues here: http://www.platform51.org/downloads/resources/briefings/antidepressants.pdf