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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 21, 2013 | By Titania Kumeh, Los Angeles Times
Wade Gong's sister was 28 when she first felt a deep pain near the side of her stomach. Then she noticed the lump. The Chinese immigrant was uninsured, so she didn't go to the hospital right away. When she finally did, it was too late. She was in the late stages of liver cancer caused by hepatitis B, a silent virus that had been assaulting her liver since she was born. An Amherst graduate and math whiz who lived with her brother and parents in Rosemead, she died six months after being diagnosed.
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SCIENCE
June 19, 2013 | By Karen Kaplan
The HPV vaccine may be controversial, but it works, new research shows. The rate of HPV infection among teenage girls dropped from 11.5% in the “pre-vaccine era” to 5.1% in the “vaccine era,” researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Wednesday in the Journal of Infectious Diseases. That's a drop of 56%, the study notes. The infection rates cover the four types of HPV that are targeted by the vaccines Gardasil and Cervarix. Human papillomaviruses are the most common cause of sexually transmitted infections, and more than half of people who are sexually active become infected with one of the more than 40 types of HPV that are known to spread during vaginal, oral or anal sex, according to the National Cancer Institute . HPVs are responsible for nearly all cases of cervical cancer, along with most cases of anal cancer, the NCI says.
SCIENCE
April 26, 2013 | Melissa Healy
In another major setback for efforts to develop an HIV vaccine, federal researchers have shut down a key clinical trial after an independent panel of safety experts determined that volunteers who got an experimental vaccine appeared to be slightly more likely to contract the human immunodeficiency virus than those who got a placebo. Investigators involved in recruiting volunteers and running the trial at 21 sites across the country were ordered Tuesday morning to stop immunizing volunteers with the genetically engineered HVTN 505 vaccine and to inform the nearly 2,500 people who participated in the study whether they got the vaccine or the placebo.
SCIENCE
April 25, 2013 | By Melissa Healy, This post has been corrected, as indicated below.
In another major setback for efforts to develop a vaccine to boost immunity to the human immunodeficiency virus, known as HIV, a key clinical trial was ordered shut down this week after an independent panel of safety experts found that participants getting the vaccine appeared to be slightly more likely to contract the virus and no better at suppressing its replication than those who got a placebo. Investigators involved in recruiting volunteers and running the trial at 21 sites across the country, including the AIDS Research Alliance of America in Los Angeles, were ordered to stop immunizing volunteers with the genetically engineered HVTN 505 vaccine and to inform the subjects enrolled in the study whether they got the experimental vaccine or the placebo.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 22, 2013
Hilary Koprowski, a Polish-born researcher who developed the first successful oral vaccine for polio, has died. He was 96. Koprowski died of pneumonia April 11 at his Philadelphia home, said his son, Dr. Christopher Koprowski, a radiation oncologist. In 1950, Hilary Koprowski showed that it was possible to use his live-virus oral vaccine against polio, which had plagued the United States and other countries for decades. Another researcher, Dr. Albert Sabin, would win the race to get an oral vaccine licensed in the U.S. while Jonas Salk would develop an injectable vaccine that eliminated much of the disease in the country.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 18, 2013 | Ari Bloomekatz
Los Angeles County health officials on Wednesday began offering free meningitis vaccinations to low-income and uninsured residents while downplaying fears about a potential outbreak of the disease. "We really sympathize with the heightened concern related to meningococcal disease," said Dr. Jonathan Fielding, the county's top health officer. "We hope that by sharing what we know, we'll alleviate some of the anxiety that has surfaced over the last several days. " Fielding held a news conference only days after the sudden death of Brett Shaad, a 33-year-old West Hollywood lawyer who was diagnosed with the disease.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 15, 2013 | By Anna Gorman
Dozens of men lined up Monday morning at an AIDS Healthcare Foundation pharmacy in West Hollywood to get a free meningitis vaccine, days after a local man died from the disease. Allen Smith, a 21-year-old dance student, said he had a weak immune system and wanted to make sure that he was vaccinated to protect himself from the disease. After hearing about the death of Brett Shaad, a young lawyer who had contracted meningitis, Smith said he didn't want to take any chances. "It reminded everyone how short life really is," Smith said as he waited for the shot.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 15, 2013 | By Anna Gorman, Los Angeles Times
Reacting to the death of a young West Hollywood lawyer over the weekend and growing concerns about the possible spread of bacterial meningitis, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation gave hundreds of free vaccinations to visitors who showed up Monday at its facilities. The organization, which initially ordered about 1,000 doses and plans to acquire more, said it would continue providing the shots as needed. Brett Shaad, 33, contracted meningitis and died several days later after attending a gathering of gay men in Palm Springs.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 15, 2013 | By Los Angeles Times Staff
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation will offer free meningitis vaccines starting Monday. The move comes just days after a West Hollywood man died from the disease. Anyone who might have been exposed to the disease or might be at risk should to make plans to receive the vaccine, officials say. Worry over a meningitis outbreak started last week after 33-year-old Brett Shaad, a West Hollywood lawyer, died of the disease on Friday. Shaad became critically ill shortly after he attended an annual Easter weekend gathering of gay men in Palm Springs, according to the foundation.
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