By: Stephanie Law, Toronto Star
Sex work, possession of drugs for personal use and nondisclosure of HIV should all be decriminalized, according to a report released Monday by the Global Commission on HIV and the Law.
The commission, led by the United Nations Development Program, was launched in June 2010 to make recommendations on how laws can be changed and used to protect the human rights of people living with HIV, and to help fight the global HIV epidemic.
There were 14 commissioners from different countries involved in putting together the final report, “HIV and the Law: Risks, Rights and Health,” including former heads of state and leading legal, human rights and HIV experts.
“Too many countries waste vital resources by enforcing archaic laws that ignore science and perpetuate stigma,” said former president of Brazil and commission chair Fernando Henrique Cardoso in a press release. “Now, more than ever, we have a chance to free future generations from the threat of HIV. We cannot allow injustice and intolerance to undercut this progress, especially in these tough economic times.” Read more »
By: GENEVRA PITTMAN, Reuters
Published: Globe and Mail
Smoking the occasional joint does not seem to have any detrimental effects on lung health, according to a U.S. study.
Researchers found that several measures of lung health actually improved slightly as young people reported using more marijuana - at least up to a couple of thousand joints in a lifetime.
“There’s no doubt, if you’ve watched a Harold & Kumar movie, marijuana triggers a cough,” said Dr. Stefan Kertesz, from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, who worked on the study. But questions have remained about the drug’s longer-term effect on lung functioning. Read more »
BY BRADLEY BOUZANE, POSTMEDIA NEWS
As the federal government moved to kill the buzz of marijuana growers by introducing harsher mandatory sentences for those convicted of producing the plant, new guidelines were published this week that promote safer use of the illegal drug.
The low-risk use guidelines, which are similar to alcohol guidelines introduced in the 1990s, are set to be published in the September/October issue of the Canadian Journal of Public Health and offer safer usage practices for those who choose to use the drug. The study's lead author says that while it will take some time for the guidelines to ingrain themselves into public thinking, they are necessary because of the prevalence of marijuana use in Canada. Read more »
By: Tom Blackwell, National Post
As the number of grow-ops, often inside suburban houses, began multiplying in the early 2000s, child-welfare agencies did the natural thing, taking children living in the homes away from their scofflaw parents. A new study suggests that in some cases, the authorities might have inadvertently done more harm than good. Read more »
REUTERS, Montreal Gazette
Around one third of the global population, or 2 billion people, have been infected with the liver disease hepatitis which kills about a million victims annually, the World Health Organization said on Tuesday.
And although most of those carrying hepatitis do not know they have it, they can unknowingly transmit it to others and at any time in their lives it can develop to kill or disable them, the United Nations agency warned.
"This is a chronic disease across the whole world, but unfortunately there is very little awareness, even among health policy-makers, of its extent," WHO hepatitis specialist Steven Wiersma told a news conference. Read more »
By: Matt Veno, Truro Daily News
TRURO - Hepatitis C is here and it's time to tackle it by the horns.
That was the sentiment echoed Monday at the Northern Aids Connection Society in Truro, which hosted an open house to try to bring the issue to light.
"To create some awareness," said Al McNutt, the NACS director. "To have people come into the site, meet the staff, see some of the material we have, see the experience and resources we have for people who are living with Hepatitis C or are vulnerable populations who may be at risk eventually."
The event was part of World Hepatitis Day. NACS also has a barbecue Thursday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Sobeys on Robie Street. Read more »
BY PETER MCKNIGHT, VANCOUVER SUN
In the atmospheric film Silent Hill, a dead mining town is forever shrouded in fog and falling ash, while those unfortunate enough to visit also find themselves forever trapped in an alternate reality, where science and morality have no hold.
It's an apt metaphor for Quebec's dying and deadly asbestos industry, as it slowly suffocates in a chrysotile cloud. But even more so, it's an apt metaphor for the federal government's asbestos policy, just the latest example of the Conservatives' embrace of an alternate reality bereft of science and morality. Read more »
By: PAUL TAYLOR, Globe and Mail
The active ingredient in marijuana can restore the appetite of terminal cancer patients who have lost their taste for food, according to new Canadian research.
The study involved 21 patients. Some of them were given pills containing THC – or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive cannabis compound that makes people feel “high.” The rest were given look-a-like dummy pills. (The dosing was timed so that the psychoactive effects peeked while the volunteers were asleep, minimizing the chances they would be able to guess if they had been given the real thing.) Read more »