The worldwide AIDS rate may be on the decline, but the U.S. is one of the exceptions, with a surge of new infections that has nearly 1.2 million Americans living with HIV/AIDS. That's an all-time high, says ABCNews.com, fueled by a rate of about 50,000 new infections per year. Washington, D.C. will play host to 25,000 global experts this week for the first International AIDS Conference in 22 years.
On a related note, USA Today reports that HIV rates in the black community are particularly "alarming," with nearly 6 percent of men younger than 30 becoming infected with AIDS every year. At that rate, more than half of young black gay men would be infected with HIV within a decade.
That's despite a new study which shows, according to HealthDay, that black gay couples tend to practice safe sex more often than white gay couples, regardless of HIV status.
Also according to HealthDay: It's important that kids have someone to talk to in the wake of the shooting that killed 12 in Colorado at a midnight showing of Batman last Friday. Mental health experts say the two most important things are for parents to 1) give children a place to share their feelings and 2) help their kids recognize this was a random event, and that traumatic and unpredictable events will happen in their lives and they need to be able to go on with their lives.
In the realm of law enforcement, a new study shows that cops who get less than six hours of sleep a day – that is to say, a whole lot of them – are at increased risk for chronic fatigue, obesity, diabetes and heart disease. HeathDay says the study also found that officers who work late shifts are 14 times less likely to get restful sleep than cops on the day shift.
From law enforcement to health enforcement: Upwards of 100 health organizations and public health departments, along dozens of scientists, are calling on the U.S. surgeon general to issue a report on sugar-sweetened soft drinks. The letter, according to Los Angeles Times, calls soda and other sugar drinks one of the major contributors to obesity, heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, some cancers and psychosocial problems. It adds that the average American drinks about 40 gallons of sugary drinks every year and that nearly half of 2- and 3-year-olds drink sugar drinks every day.
Finally, news from HealthDay to file under "Heartwarming": A new study says that 97 percent of parents with children who have trisomy 13 or trisomy 18 – conditions which severely disable a child – describe their child as "happy" and say that no matter how short the child's lifespan is, she or he enriched their family.