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First Liver Transplant Between HIV-Positive Donor and Recipient Marks Milestone for HIV Patients

HIV liver transplantWhen Morris Murray was diagnosed with HIV in 1987, he thought he would be dead in a few years. But nearly 30 years since his diagnosis, Murray is still alive and now speaking about the importance of treating HIV as a chronic disease and not a death sentence.

Today, he spoke at Johns Hopkins University, where doctors performed the first liver transplant between a donor and recipient who are both HIV-positive. Doctors performed the operation on an unnamed patient who received a liver transplant from a deceased donor this week. It's the first transplant of its kind since the passage of the HOPE act, which overturned a federal law to allow transplants between HIV-positive donors and recipients.

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FDA Eases Rules for Abortion Pill, Making Access Simpler in U.S.

MifeprexThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration simplified the regulations for using pills to induce an abortion, making the procedure more easily available to American women even as several states consider efforts to curtail the practice.

The medication, known as Mifeprex, now can be taken by women who are as much as 10 weeks pregnant, up from 7 weeks, according to a new label posted on the agency’s website. The dose was also cut by two-thirds to 200 milligrams, reducing the risk of side effects.

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Terminix fined $10 million for poisoning family

Termionix pays family for illnessesTerminix will pay $10 million for using an illegal pesticide in the U.S. Virgin Islands that almost killed a family last year, federal officials said.

The family of four from Delaware was vacationing in the U.S. Virgin Islands when they all became seriously ill after the living unit one floor below them was fumigated.

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SCOTUS seeks new birth control policy

SCOTUSThe Supreme Court’s unexpected request for new arguments on Obamacare’s birth control coverage requirement Tuesday suggests that the court wants to come up with a compromise scenario for providing contraception to employees of religious nonprofits.

The court on Tuesday instructed the parties in Zubik v. Burwell to file new briefs on how employees could get the coverage through their employer-sponsored plans in a way that does not involve the nonprofits. The order came less than a week after the court heard oral arguments in the case, which addresses whether Obamacare’s birth control coverage requirement violates the nonprofits' religious beliefs.

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New Utah law requires anesthesia for abortions after 20 weeks

Gary HerbertUtah now has a law on the books requiring doctors to give anesthesia to abortion patients 20 or more weeks into pregnancy in an effort to reduce pain felt by the fetus.

It is the first law of its kind in the United States, though whether a 20-week-old fetus can feel anything is disputed.

TVNL Comment: Once again, GOP legislators are making medical decisions for women.  Another ploy to make abortion more expensive and less accessible.

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Drug company hikes price for end-of-life drug Seconal

Seconal price hikedThe 80-year-old drug Seconal, a once widely used sleeping pill now often prescribed as an end-of-life treatment, has doubled in price as laws go into effect in several states this year permitting terminally ill patients to take their own lives.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals, which is among companies being investigated by Congress for price gouging, doubled the price of Seconal last year from $1,500 to $3,000 after acquiring the rights to it.

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State-by-State Strategy Wielded to Defund Planned Parenthood

Strategy to defund Planned ParenthoodThough congressional Republicans' bid to defund Planned Parenthood was vetoed by President Barack Obama, anti-abortion activists and politicians are achieving a growing portion of their goal with an aggressive state-by-state strategy.

Over the past year, more than a dozen states have sought to halt or reduce public funding for Planned Parenthood. Some of the efforts have been blocked by court action, but in other states the cutbacks are forcing Planned Parenthood to drop contraceptive services, health screenings and other programs serving thousands of low-income women.

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