The Health News – 1 Dec 2014

Overview

  • The union representing Victoria’s ambulance employees is celebrating Labor’s victory in the Victorian election, saying it signals an end to a pay dispute.
  • There’s a new ‘little blue pill’ in town. Like its famous predecessor, it’s a sexual game-changer, only this time, the stakes are much higher. Where Viagra gave men a new lease on their sex life, this little blue pill protects against HIV.
  • Forensic anatomy researchers at the University of Adelaide are making advances in the use of “body recognition” for criminal and missing persons cases, to help with identification when a face is not clearly shown.

Stories Discussed

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 1st December 2014. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-11-30/ambulance-union-confident-of-settling-pay-dispute-following-lab/5928706

The union representing Victoria’s ambulance employees is celebrating Labor’s victory in the Victorian election, saying it signals an end to a pay dispute.

During his victory speech, Victorian Premier-elect Daniel Andrews promised that one of his first jobs would be to end the pay dispute with the Ambulance Service, which has been running for two-and-a-half years.

“Victorians have voted to end the war on our ambos and end it we will,” he said.

The state secretary of Ambulance Employees Australia, Steve McGhie, said paramedics believed a end to the dispute is now in sight.

“I don’t doubt that we’ll be able to resolve it with the Daniel Andrews government,” he said.

“I’m very hopeful that we’ll be able to get those issues resolved in the not too distant future.”

Mr McGhie said the Napthine Government tried to “demonise” paramedics and Victorians voted for change.

http://www.abc.net.au/health/thepulse/stories/2014/11/27/4137351.htm

There’s a new ‘little blue pill’ in town. Like its famous predecessor, it’s a sexual game-changer, only this time, the stakes are much higher. Where Viagra gave men a new lease on their sex life, this little blue pill protects against HIV.

The pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, is a fixed-dose combination of two antiretroviral drugs – the drugs used to combat HIV infection – that treats a healthy person to prevent them from becoming infected with HIV.

This medication is not just a sexual game-changer; it could play a major role in bringing the HIV/AIDS epidemic to a close. One study in nearly 2500 men and transgender women who have sex with men showed that among people who took the once-a-day dose reliably enough that it could be detected in their blood – and who reported having unprotected anal sex – PrEP reduced the risk of getting HIV by 95 per cent.

Earlier this year, the World Health Organisation released new guidelines for HIV prevention, diagnosis, and care among key, high-risk populations. These recommended that men who have sex with men should at least consider pre-exposure prophylaxis with antiretroviral medications as an additional option to prevent HIV infection.

Grulich is leading one of three Australian trials – one in NSW, one in Victoria, and one in Queensland – testing the new medication, which goes under the brand name of Truvada, in both homosexual and heterosexual individuals.

While Truvada has been approved for use in PrEP in the United States, and applications have been made for its approval in South Africa, Thailand, and France, the manufacturer Gilead Sciences is yet to put in an application to the Therapeutic Goods Administration for its use as PrEP in Australia.

Rob Hetherington, general manager at Gilead Sciences, says the company has been in discussions with the TGA, but has not made a final decision about whether to submit an application for Truvada’s approval for PrEP.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-11-27/adelaide-researchers-make-advances-in-body-recognition/5921878

Forensic anatomy researchers at the University of Adelaide are making advances in the use of “body recognition” for criminal and missing persons cases, to help with identification when a face is not clearly shown.

PhD student Teghan Lucas is studying a range of human anatomical features and body measurements that can help to identify a person, such as from closed circuit television security videos, no matter what clothing the person may be wearing.

“There’s been a lot of work conducted over the years on facial recognition,” Ms Lucas said.

“This makes sense – humans have evolved to recognise faces, which is part of our survival mechanism, and the face contains some very distinctive features.

“But what happens if the face is not shown, or if there is an unusual facial resemblance between two people? What happens if identification of the face alone just isn’t enough?”

Ms Lucas said measurements of the body, as well as the face, were used for forensic identification as early as the 19th century as it was believed no two individuals had the exact same measurements.

But this was overtaken by fingerprint analysis because it was considered more reliable in court proceedings and the probability of finding matching individuals could be easily calculated.

However, Ms Lucas said body recognition has the potential to be more widely used in identification cases.

Part of Ms Lucas’s research has involved using a database of anatomical measurements of almost 4,000 US armed services personnel.

As part of her research, Ms Lucas is currently seeking men from the Adelaide metropolitan area to be involved in body measurements and photographs.
For more information or to participate, contact Ms Lucas via email: [email protected]

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