• Russia HIV infection bucks trends as World Aids Day marked

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    MOSCOW (AP) — On a frigid evening on the outskirts of Moscow, two HIV-prevention activists unzip backpacks, pull out packs of hypodermic needles and start discretely approaching people leaving a nearby pharmacy with an offer that could save their lives. One man, cheeks sunken and behavior jittery, takes a plastic bag full of needles, a tube of ointment for sores and a pamphlet of material about disease prevention. "Thank you," he says, quickly making eye contact before hurrying away. While the rate of HIV infection is on a global decline as World AIDS Day is marked Tuesday, the number of new infections in Russia continues to rise. By 2016, the country's Federal AIDS Center estimates the total number of those diagnosed with

  • Rights groups say Nepal children at risk of disease, death

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — A shortage of medicine, fuel and other supplies has put millions of Nepalese children in danger of illness, malnourishment and even death, child rights groups warned. Yet the supply crisis — hitting some of the Himalayan country's most vulnerable — shows no signs of easing after more than two months of negotiations between the government and ethnic protesters who are blockading the southern border to demand constitutional change. With thousands of cargo trucks stalled at the Indian border, Nepalese gas stations say they've received only 15 percent of regular fuel supplies. Doctors say stockpiles of lifesaving drugs including antibiotics and medical supplies like saline solution are at critical lo

  • Russia AIDS

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    In this Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015 frame made from AP video Maxim Malyshev, 38, is an HIV-prevention activist who runs a clean needle distribution program with the Andrey Rylkov Foundation, in Moscow, Russia. Nearly every day, the foundation organizes outreach programs around Moscow to distribute clean needles, condoms and pamphlets about how to deal with drug addiction. Over half of new HIV cases in Russia are caused by dirty needles.

  • NYC proposes $23 million more in HIV health care

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and members of the City Council want to allocate an extra $23 million a year for AIDS prevention and health care programs. De Blasio plans to announce the plan on Tuesday, which is World AIDS Day. Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito also supports the funding that is expected to be part of the city budget for the fiscal year 2017. The plan is called the NYC Plan to End the Epidemic. It would benefit nearly 200,000 people a year while bringing down infections. In 2014, about 2,700 New York City residents were newly diagnosed with HIV, a historical low. That's a 35 percent decrease from more than 4,100 new HIV diagnoses in 2004.

  • Substance abuse task force panel to meet; finances on agenda

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A panel of lawmakers will meet in Concord as part of a legislative task force formed to address the state's growing heroin abuse crisis. The finance and appropriations panel of the task force is set to meet Tuesday at the State House. Heroin and opioid abuse has become a focal point of state leaders and Gov. Maggie Hassan has called for several measures to help fight the problem. Among other things, she wants to strengthen the state's prescription monitoring program, provide additional support to law enforcement, and streamline access to treatment and recovery services. Nearly 300 people have died this year from drug overdoses in New Hampshire.

  • Beijing air pollution reaches hazardous levels

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    BEIJING (AP) — Schools in the Chinese capital kept students indoors and parents brought their kids to hospitals with breathing ailments Tuesday as Beijing grappled with extremely severe air pollution for the fifth straight day. The heavy smog erased the capital's skylines with a monotonous gray and left buildings just a block or two away hardly discernable. Neon signs barely punctured the gloom, and many Beijingers wore masks of various kinds while walking the streets. "It's the worst day so far this year," said Liu Feifie, a 36-year-old mother and Internet company employee. "I feel my throat totally congested with phlegm and it feels very itchy. But I'm more concerned about the health of my 7-year-old kid." Readings

  • High court's election-year lineup rich in high-profile cases

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court's lineup of new cases is fit for an election year. Affirmative action, abortion and another look at the Obama health care law all are before the court, and they could well be joined by immigration, giving the justices a run of cases that reads like a campaign platform. Also coming; disputes involving public-sector labor unions, the death penalty and the way electoral districts are drawn. Decisions in these high-profile cases almost certainly will split the court along ideological lines, mirroring the country's stark partisan split. What's more, the most contentious issues won't be resolved until late June, barely four months before the 2016 presidential election.

  • 10 individuals convicted and sentenced in Medicaid fraud

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — Ten former employees of a counseling business have been convicted and sentenced for their roles in a scheme to defraud the Virginia Medicaid program. The Department of Justice tells media outlets the sentences of the 10 employees from Progressive Counseling Services, LLC range from 41 months to 108 months in prison. According to court records, the defendants submitted false claims for mental health support services in order to obtain reimbursement payments from the Virginia Medicaid Assistance Program in 2011 and 2012. Court records state the employees created fraudulent assessments of the business' clients to obtain authorization to bill Medicaid for mental health support services.

  • Maryland heroin task force to release final recommendations

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — A Maryland task force on fighting heroin addiction is scheduled to release its final recommendations. The report is set to be released Tuesday. The task force was created by Gov. Larry Hogan in February. It is comprised of 11 members with expertise in substance abuse, treatment and law enforcement. The panel has been working to improve public awareness, access to treatment and quality of care. It also has been looking at alternatives to incarceration for nonviolent drug abusers and law enforcement coordination. Hogan, a Republican, formed the task force soon after entering office after hearing repeated concerns from residents during his campaign throughout the state about heroin addiction.

  • AP News Guide: Summit opens debate on ethics of gene editing

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Designer babies or an end to intractable illnesses: A revolutionary technology is letting scientists learn to rewrite the genetic code, aiming to alter DNA in ways that, among other things, could erase disease-causing genes. How far should these experiments try to go — fix only the sick, or make changes that future generations could inherit? Hundreds of scientists and ethicists from around the world gather in Washington this week to debate the boundaries of human genome editing, sort of a biological cut-and-paste tool that allows researchers to spot a gene defect inside living cells and swap it out. It's all experimental so far, but the promise for new treatments is huge.

  • Group funded by Coke to fight obesity disbanding

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — A group funded by the Coca-Cola Co. to combat obesity says it is disbanding following revelations about the beverage maker's involvement with the nonprofit. The Global Energy Balance Network says on its website Monday night that it is "discontinuing operations due to resource limitations." The decision was effective immediately. The group had previously said that it received an "unrestricted gift" from Coke and that the Atlanta-based soft drink giant had "no input" into its activities. Last week, The Associated Press reported on emails showing that Coke helped with the selection of group leaders and suggested content for its website. And Coke CEO Muhtar Kent acknowledged there wasn't enough transparenc

  • Colorado Springs funeral home to host community session on grief and loss

    Updated: 14 hr ago

    Springs Funeral Services is sponsoring a free community-wide seminar on grief and loss 7-9 p.m. Tuesday at the Rockrimmon Marriott, 5580 Tech Center Drive. The presenter is Dr. Alan Wolfelt, founder of the Center for Loss in Fort Collins. He has written several best-selling books and other resources on grief and healing. He advocates a model of "companioning" instead of "treating" grieving people and is a frequent speaker and lecturer worldwide. "He's currently one of the biggest grief and loss experts we have," said Terri Flores-Brown, president and funeral director at Springs Funeral Services.

  • Bono, Clooney, Kardashian part of all-star campaign for AIDS

    Updated: 15 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Would you like to spend quality time with George Clooney as he showers you with compliments? How about walk a red carpet with Meryl Streep or visit the set of "Game of Thrones"? They are all possible: Bono is a launching an all-star campaign featuring "once-in-a-lifetime experiences" that can be won after donating at least $10 to his organization (RED), which raises funds to fight AIDS. The campaign kicks off Tuesday to coincide with World AIDS Day, which is Dec. 1. And Bono isn't just the face for the movement: The U2 frontman will go on a bike ride with one donor — a year after he was seriously injured in a bike accident in New York's Central Park that forced him into surgery.

  • Hawaii officials ask public to help stop dengue fever spread

    Updated: 16 hr ago

    HONOLULU (AP) — The number of people in Hawaii infected by dengue fever continued to rise, and officials asked the public to help limit the spread of the virus. The state Department of Health reported Monday that 112 people have been infected on Hawaii's Big Island since Sept. 11, including 14 visitors to the Aloha State. There have been no cases of dengue fever so far on Oahu, Maui or Kauai, said Virginia Pressler, director of the state Department of Health. "Although there is no dengue on Oahu, Kauai and Maui, we all feel for our brothers and sisters," Pressler said. "My family all lives on Hawaii Island. We are doing everything we can collectively.

  • Montana woman sues Costco, supplier in E. coli outbreak

    Updated: 16 hr ago

    SEATTLE (AP) — A Montana woman is suing Costco and its California vegetable supplier because of the E. coli illness she contracted after eating chicken salad she bought at the company's Bozeman store. The lawsuit filed was Monday in the Butte division of U.S. District Court by Minneapolis law firm Pritzker Olsen and its associates at Bozeman law firm Beck & Amsden. Kelsey Lee Thielbahr, a 30-year-old physical therapy assistant from Gallatin County, Montana got sick after eating chicken salad she purchased on Oct. 18 at the Costco in Bozeman. Costco has identified its supplier, Taylor Farms of California, as the probable source of the E. coli outbreak since it supplied the onion and celery mix in the salad. Tests by th

  • GOP leader defends House Planned Parenthood investigation

    Updated: 17 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A Republican congressional leader on Monday defended a House investigation of Planned Parenthood's provision of fetal tissue to researchers, offering no suggestion that last week's shooting deaths at one of the group's clinics will cause the GOP to retreat from that probe. But House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., also indicated that the Republican-run Congress will not risk a government shutdown fight with President Barack Obama over GOP efforts to halt federal funding for the organization, which provides abortions and other health services to women. "I do not see a shutdown happening in this process," he told reporters.

  • Connecticut hospitals move near possible lawsuit over tax

    Updated: 17 hr ago

    HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Hospitals took the first steps toward a possible legal battle with the state over a tax the medical centers claim is unconstitutional and is harming hospitals financially. The Connecticut Hospital Association filed letters Monday with the Departments of Social Services and Revenue Services, seeking declaratory rulings from the agencies on whether the so-called "provider tax" on hospitals is constitutional. Those letters were first obtained by The Associated Press. If the agencies determine the tax and its methodology are fine, that could become the basis for the association to challenge the tax in court. The group's counterparts in New Hampshire took a similar path before negotiating a financial settl

  • Judge blocks Missouri from pulling clinic's abortion license

    Updated: 18 hr ago

    JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A judge on Monday temporarily blocked Missouri's health department from revoking the abortion license held by a Planned Parenthood clinic in Columbia as its physician loses hospital privileges required under state law. The clinic stopped terminating pregnancies last week, but Planned Parenthood filed a federal lawsuit Monday in hopes of retaining its abortion facility license from the state Department of Health and Senior Services while its physician regains privileges or the clinic finds a new doctor. U.S. District Judge Nanette K. Laughrey issued her order at the end of a hearing by telephone conference call. Laughrey's order will remain in effect only until Wednesday to give attorneys a chance

  • Private company canceling prison health care contract

    Updated: 18 hr ago

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The private company responsible for providing health care to most of Florida's prisons says it is terminating its contract. Corizon Health on Monday notified the Florida Department of Corrections that it wants to end a six-year $1.2 billion contract with the state. Corizon said in a letter it plans to end the contract by May 31 of next year. The Tennessee-based company is responsible for providing health care to inmates at prisons across a wide section of the state including those located in north and central Florida. Florida privatized health care services in its prisons earlier in this decade. But the health care providers have come under fire for their work.

  • Medical marijuana measure petition OK'd for circulation

    Updated: 18 hr ago

    BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger has approved for circulation a medical marijuana ballot measure petition. Jaeger on Monday said the measure's sponsoring committee will have to gather about 13,500 qualified signatures in order to put the measure on the ballot. With voters' approval, the initiative would make it legal for North Dakota residents to possess up to 3 ounces of marijuana for medical purposes. It says those who qualify could obtain the drug from a state-licensed dispensary or grow a limited supply for personal use. Jaeger says signatures must be turned in by Feb. 15 if the committee intends to place the measure on the June 14 ballot. If the committee wants it placed on the Nov.