Our Bodies, Our Blog

New Attention to HIV/AIDS Disparities

By Rachel Walden |

This week the released a report, “Left Behind! Black America: A Neglected Priority in the Global AIDS Epidemic” [available as a ]. The authors explain:

“…as America lost interest in its own epidemic over the last decade, the disease became even read firmly implanted in Black America. Nearly 600,000 Black Americans are living with HIV, and as many as 30,000 become newly infected each year….Blacks living with HIV have an age-adjusted death rate read than twice as high … Read

Tribal Law and Order Act Aims to Address Abuse of Native American Women

By Rachel Walden |

In a previous post, we have pointed to the high rates of rape and abuse of Native American women, and the problems of jurisdiction and law enforcement resources that contribute to the lack of justice for women assaulted on reservations.

Last week, bills were introduced in the House and Senate that are intended to empower tribal governments to address crimes that take place on their lands, and, among other aims, to “reduce the prevalence of violent crime in tribal communities and to combat violence against … Read

Mixed Messages on Breast Self Exam

By Rachel Walden |

In case you missed it, suggested that women can skip self-examination of their breasts, as a new suggested that the exams may not improve survival. The authors looked at two large studies (conducted in Russia and Shanghai) that compared mortality between women who did and did not regularly perform the exams. They did not find any differences in mortality, but found that women who performed self-examinations underwent read biopsies than those who did not.


Innovative Breast Cancer Research Program in Jeopardy

By Guest Contributor |

Our Bodies Our Blog has invited the folks at Breast Cancer Action to write monthly guest posts on breast cancer and related issues.

by Brenda Salgado

Though billions of dollars have been spent on breast cancer research, the incidence of breast cancer is higher today than it was 20 years ago. Inequities in breast cancer mortality continue to increase, and we still can’t definitively figure out what’s causing this disease. Some gains have been made in treatment, but the results are simply not enough.

How can we ensure … Read

Double Dose: Botox for Bridesmaids; Hospitals Work to Create Healthier Spaces; California Bans Trans Fats; McCain’s War on Women; Gaming’s “Fat Princess” …

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

On the Road: I’m posting from Kansas, on the way from Chicago to South Lake Tahoe … If anyone has suggestions for good food/must-see stops convenient to I-70, I’d love to hear from you! (My recommendation for Kansas City: and a super funky coffee house in the Crossroads Arts District — argh! what was the name! — that made our morning with a yummy veggie breakfast sandwich.) Rachel will be doing some extra blog posts next week, and I’ll be back … Read

Cultural Support Needed for Women Who Breastfeed, Plus a Pitchman for Breast Milk

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Aisha Qaasim, a civil rights attorney, often advocates on behalf of others.

Today, in an , Qaasim takes on the insults hurled at women who breastfeed in public and argues that the negativity surrounding breastfeeding is hurting the health of children and mothers, particularly in African-American families, where the rate of breastfeeding is the lowest.

Women who breastfeed lower their risk of developing uterine cancer, osteoporosis, Type 2 diabetes and breast cancer over their lifetimes.

But the irony is that in today’s … Read

Appropriations Committees Attempt to Restore UNFPA Funding

By Rachel Walden |

As we mentioned last month, for the past 7 years, President Bush has withheld funds that Congress allocated to the United Nations Population Fund (). I was planning to beat my head against subcommittee appropriations government-ese in order to bring you a post today on how UNFPA funding might be restored, but has already done an excellent job explaining the situation. In short, the House and Senate appropriations subcommittees approved bills that would provide a high … Read

Making the Case for Access to Birth Control

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

“I come from a family that doesn’t talk about any body part that doesn’t show,” acknowledges Christie Vilsack, the former first lady of Iowa.

In her new job as executive director of the , Vilsack is traveling the state discussing what her family never did: sex and birth control.

Iowa happens to rank 43rd in providing funding for family planning. Vilsack’s program “intends to build support for state and federal funding for birth control services and improve access by shedding … Read

David Carr on Getting Back His Girls

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

In the Sunday New York Times Magazine, media columnist David Carr about his drug addiction 20 years ago. He lost just about everything, including, temporarily, custody of his two young daughters.

The article was an excerpt from Carr’s book, “,” which will be published in August.

What I was most drawn to was the confusion over memory — who did what, and what were the consequences — and Carr’s attempt to go back and reconcile the truth … Read

Scientific Oddity: Researchers Identify “Ovulation Gene,” Ponder Genetic Contraception

By Rachel Walden |

A brief report in the journal Genes & Development is generating a fair bit of media attention because it describes how a specific gene, NR5A2 (sometimes referred to as Lrh1), may play an important role in female fertility. The buzz today is on whether targeting this gene with drugs might serve as an effective contraceptive or aid in understanding infertility. Researchers found that when the gene was turned off in the ovaries (but not in other areas of the body), ovulation no longer occurred and … Read