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After 30 years and 30 million deaths, “the beginning of the end of AIDS” may be on the horizon, due amazing scientific breakthroughs, according to a new scientific paper in New England Journal of Medicine. “We are at a moment of extraordinary optimism in the response to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV),” the researchers wrote.
Fueling hope that devastating epidemic affecting 34 million people around the world will be eradicated during our lifetime are such developments as proven treatments to reduce the risk of sexual transmission by 96 percent, a potentially effective HIV vaccine (still in the study phase), FDA-approval of the first HIV prevention drug (Truvada) this year, and evidence of the first person cured of AIDS (Timothy Brown, also known as “the Berlin patient.”).
“We stand at a tipping point in the fight against HIV/AIDS, and working together, we can realize our historic opportunity to bring that fight to an end," President Obama said in a proclamation to mark World AIDS Day on December 1. The U.S. government has unveiled an ambitious global “blueprint” to help even the hardest-hit countries turn the tide on the epidemic.
"An AIDS-free generation is not just a rallying cry — it is a goal that is within our reach,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated in the blueprint. New infections in 25 low-and middle-income countries have dropped by 50 percent in recent years—with the steepest decline in children, showing remarkable progress towards an AIDS-free generation, notes Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
Pop quiz! What's the single biggest source of calories for Americans? White bread? Big Macs? Actually, try soda. The average American drinks about two cans of the stuff every day. "But I drink diet soda," you say. "With no calories or sugar, it's the perfect alternative for weight watchers...Right?"
Not so fast. Before you pop the top off the caramel-colored bubbly, know this: guzzling diet soda comes with its own set of side effects that may harm your health--from kickstarting kidney problems to adding inches to your waistline.
Unfortunately, diet soda is more in vogue than ever. Kids consume the stuff at more than double the rate of last decade, according to research in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Among adults, consumption has grown almost 25%.
Here's something you didn't know about your diet soda: It might be bad for your kidneys. In an 11-year-long Harvard Medical School study of more than 3,000 women, researchers found that diet cola is associated with a two-fold increased risk for kidney decline. Kidney function started declining when women drank more than two sodas a day. Even more interesting: Since kidney decline was not associated with sugar-sweetened sodas, researchers suspect that the diet sweeteners are responsible.
Bud Select 55
A 55-calorie beer looks appealing at first glance, but fewer calories means lower alcohol content and very little flavor. A regular Budweiser Select has a higher ABV at 4.3% and still comes in under 100 calories (99 calories per 12oz.). Although Budweiser Select is higher in carbs (3.1g), if you’re drinking to unwind, it’s worth the splurge.
*all data is based on one 12oz. serving (about one can)
MGD 64 brews a summer version of the light beer, MGD 64 lemonade, with the same calorie count. It’s perfect for those who haven’t quite acquired a taste for beer– but be aware of gimmicks. The “natural lemon sweetener” is mixed with sucralose, an artificial sweetener. If you can’t stand to substitute your sugar for splenda, then you may not enjoy this summer drink. The limited edition beer is only available until Labor Day, so try not to get too attached.
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