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Other Infections

Ezetimibe Did Not Reduce Liver Fat in NASH Trial, New Therapies Under Study

Ezetimibe (Zetia) did not perform significantly better than placebo in reducing liver fat among people with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), according to a report in the December 6 edition of Hepatology. In related news, the FDA has designated Tobira's cenicriviroc -- also active against HIV -- as a fast-track therapy for NASH and Gilead Sciences announced a partnership to enter the NASH arena.

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12. New Human Papillomavirus Vaccine Protects Against 9 Strains

In December the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new "9-valent" human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine from Merck that protects against more 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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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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13. Ebola Death Toll Tops 8000, Stigma Recalls Early AIDS Epidemic

Outside the HIV and hepatitis fields, the major health topic in 2014 was the emergence of an Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa. While only a small number of cases have been seen in the U.S. and Europe, the resulting stigma and panic reminded many of the early AIDS epidemic.

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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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14. Delegates Killed in Plane Crash Going to International AIDS Conference

The 2014 International AIDS Conference in Melbourne got off to a somber start in July after several HIV researchers and advocates en route to the meeting were killed on Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, which crashed after being hit by a missile near the Russia-Ukraine border.

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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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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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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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