The Health News Australia December 12 2017

  • The federal opposition has announced a funding boost for Australia’s peak HIV organisations if it wins the next election to increase preventive drug trials. Australia is not on track to meet its target of ending new HIV infections by 2020 but federal Labor says it’s got a plan to make the disease history. Opposition health spokeswoman Catherine King will announce on Monday a $53 million pledge under a Shorten government to step up funding to the nation’s peak HIV organisations.
  • Four out of every 10 Australian men who now die of cancer could potentially have avoided it. The tragedy is that avoiding these deaths would have required simple lifestyle changes that are not that difficult to implement. In a first for Australia, researchers at the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute in Brisbane have found modifiable factors are responsible for 41% of cancer deaths in Australian men and 34% in women. This means that every year, the families and loved ones of 16,500 Australians may well have been saved the anguish of their death, just through them modifying their lifestyle.
  • An inquiry into the illegal trade in human organs has heard concerns the practice is continuing unabated in China, but any effort to curtail demand from prospective Australian customers would have limited impact. A parliamentary committee is examining whether Australia should extend its laws against organ trafficking to make it a crime for citizens to travel overseas for dubious transplants. While there has only even been one reported case of organ trafficking within Australia, there is speculation that every year a handful of people in need of a transplant head overseas.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 12th of December 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

https://healthtimes.com.au/hub/sexual-health/56/news/aap/federal-labor-announced-an-hiv-funding-boost/3078/

The federal opposition has announced a funding boost for Australia’s peak human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) organisations if it wins the next election to increase preventive drug trials. Australia is not on track to meet its target of ending new HIV infections by two thousand twenty but federal Labor says it’s got a plan to make the disease history. Opposition health spokeswoman Catherine King will announce on Monday a fifty three million dollar pledge under a Shorten government to step up funding to the nation’s peak HIV organisations.

It includes ten million dollars a year for organisations to target at-risk populations and three dollars million a year to target “hidden populations”, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, whose rate of new infections is now above other Australians for the first time.
Labor has also promised almost four million dollars a year to allow states and territories to offer another seventeen thousand five hundred Australians the preventive HIV medication called Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).
….
Despite evidence showing the drug is up to ninety eighty percent effective when taken on a regular basis , it’s not yet on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

http://www.afr.com/lifestyle/health/mens-health/four-out-of-10-men-who-die-of-cancer-could-have-avoided-it-20171211-h02jqt

Four out of every ten Australian men who now die of cancer could potentially have  avoided it.
The tragedy is that avoiding these deaths would have required simple lifestyle changes that are not that difficult to implement. In a first for Australia, researchers at the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute in Brisbane have found modifiable factors are responsible for forty one percent of cancer deaths in Australian men and thirty four percent in women. This means that every year, the families and loved ones of sixteen thousand five hundred Australians may well have been saved the anguish of their death, just through them modifying their lifestyle.

The problem is bigger for men because, on average, they smoke and drink more, spend more time in the sun, and don’t eat as well. The results are a powerful reminder of the value of making small improvements every day. Some of the results surprised lead author, Professor David Whiteman, head of QIMR Berghofer’s Cancer Control Group.

He says more people are dying from liver cancer due to being overweight and from hepatitis than from alcohol. Published in the International Journal of Cancer on Tuesday, the study examined eight groups of “modifiable” risk factors that are universally accepted to be the cause of cancer. They include: active and passive tobacco smoke; a diet too low in fruit, vegetables and fibre, and too high in red and processed meat); too much alcohol; being too heavy or obese; remaining physically inactive; too much sun exposure; infections such as Hepatitis C and HPV, and finally, menopausal hormone therapy. The cancers responsible for the largest numbers of potentially preventable deaths were lung, bowel, melanoma, liver and stomach cancers.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/health-science/illegal-trade-in-human-organs-faces-inquiry-1bn-business-exposed/news-story/774910edf6604994d261837ca4c3724a

An inquiry into the illegal trade in human organs has heard concerns the practice is continuing unabated in China, but any effort to curtail demand from prospective Australian customers would have limited impact. A parliamentary committee is examining whether Australia should extend its laws against organ trafficking to make it a crime for citizens to travel overseas for dubious transplants. While there has only even been one reported case of organ trafficking within Australia, there is speculation that every year a handful of people in need of a transplant head overseas.

The inquiry has received several submissions raising concerns about the illegal trade, particularly in China, and the Attorney-General’s Department noted global efforts to clamp down on the practice.

“Poverty, unemployment and the lack of socio-economic opportunities are all factors that make people vulnerable to trafficking for the purpose of organ removal,” the department’s submission states, referring to the illegal trade as “one of the world’s top ten illegal money-making activities, generating an estimated one point two billion dollars in illegal profits globally each year”.

But for Australia to criminalise “organ transplant tourism,” the government would need to somehow accommodate legitimate travel for transplants and consider law enforcement issues with other jurisdictions. Even then, if the level of enforcement and perceived risk of prosecution were low, Australians might still take the risk.

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