Stories: Health

  • Did antidepressants depress Japan?

    If you had lived in Japan for the last five years, you would know by now that your kokoro is at risk of coming down with a cold. Your kokoro is not part of your respiratory system. It is not a member of your family. Its treatment lies well beyond the bailiwick of your average ear, nose and throat doctor....

  • AIDS fight hurt by Egyptian men’s shunning of condoms

    Bob Preston, a gay American man who frequently works in Cairo, figures that getting Egyptian men to use condoms is an uphill battle for two reasons. First, in a conservative Muslim society where married couples rarely use condoms for contraception, he said, a purchaser is presumed to be gay "because you're not going to buy condoms to have sex with...

  • Refugees see HIV as pass to treatment

    There is one group in Cairo that is dealing more openly with HIV than others -- refugees from Sudan and other troubled African nations. And for some of them, being diagnosed with the infection might not seem all bad. If asylum-seekers who are accepted by the United Nations's refugee office test positive for HIV, they and their families stand an...

  • Egypt’s fearful gays shy from HIV testing

    CAIRO, Egypt -- In May 2001, police raided the Queen Boat, a floating nightclub moored on the Nile River, and arrested 52 gay men. Ultimately, judges sentenced one defendant to five years in prison for debauchery and deriding religion, another to three years for deriding Islam, and gave 21 others three-year prison terms to be followed by three years of probation for "habitual...

  • Iran tackles AIDS head-on

    It's hard not to be startled when you hear the name of the Middle Eastern nation that has been doing some of the most progressive HIV work in the region. Iran. Yes, Iran. Characterized as part of an "axis of evil" by the Bush administration, haughty in its disdain of American culture, and known for its repressive theocracy, the Islamic...

  • Needle-sharing by drug-users dangerous sign

    After 16 years of treating Cairo's drug addicts, Dr. Ehab El Kharrat thought he knew everything he needed to for helping his patients. He was wrong. Until he began talking with them about HIV, El Kharrat didn't know that many of his clients were sharing needles when they took drugs, a major factor in spreading the AIDS virus. Syringes and needles...

  • Egypt confronting HIV

    CAIRO, Egypt -- A quarter-century after the AIDS virus began its grim march across the world and nearly 20 years after discovering its first AIDS patient, the Egyptian government has begun to offer anonymous HIV testing. It's not doing so because of an alarming rise in the number of people infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Egypt and other...

  • New rotavirus vaccines on the horizon

    Angela Howard was concerned when her infant daughter stopped crying, despite repeated jabs with an IV needle. The child was dehydrated after three days of severe diarrhea and vomiting. A surgeon at the Philadelphia area hospital inserted an IV line into the child for fluid replenishment. Eight hours later, she was fully hydrated and almost back to normal. Five thousand...

  • Aid Group Believes Half of All North Korean Defectors Suffer Trauma Disorders

    The international aid group Doctors Without Borders says at least half of all North Korean asylum seekers have probably been psychologically damaged by their attempts to leave their homeland. Doctors Without Borders says the ordeal of fleeing North Korea causes widespread psychological damage to those who attempt it. The group, known by its French initials MSF, helps about one hundred...

  • Bush’s problematic AIDS plan: Wrong Dose

    TETE PROVINCE, MOZAMBIQUE - The boy is 10 years old, but he looks about five. For the past month, he has been taking antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) - medical cocktails that fight HIV - twice a day to keep the virus from attacking his body. He walks three miles on dirt or nonexistent roads to get to school and to pick up...