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Pope Says Condoms Are Justified In Some Cases To Prevent HIV Infection

“Pope Benedict XVI says in a new book that condoms can be justified for male prostitutes seeking to stop the spread of HIV, a stunning comment for a church criticized for its opposition to condoms and for a pontiff who has blamed them for making the AIDS crisis worse,” the Associated Press/Washington Post reports. The pope’s comments were made public on Saturday, when a Vatican newspaper ran excerpts from Benedict’s book-length interview with German Journalist Peter Seewald for “Light of the World: The Pope, the Church and the Signs of the Times,” due out Tuesday, the news service writes (D’Emilio/Winfield, 11/21).

Also In Global Health News: Bird Flu In Hong Kong; Counterfeit Drugs In Africa; Dep. Sec. Of State For Management, Resources; HIV/AIDS In S. Africa; World Toilet Day

Bird Flu Case In Hong Kong Isolated Health officials in Hong Kong confirmed on Monday that the woman diagnosed with H5N1 (bird) flu after a trip to China this month is now in stable condition and did not contract a new strain of the virus, SAPA/DPA/Mail & Guardian report. Additionally, her case appears…

UNICEF Report Identifies Factors Helping, Hindering Efforts To Drive Down FGM/C In Five African Countries

A report (.pdf) released on Thursday by UNICEF highlights the recent progress made in reducing the practice of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) despite ongoing social pressures in five African countries, Deutsche Presse-Agentur/M&C reports. (11/18). “Millions of girls worldwide are cut or mutilated each year,” according to a UNICEF press release (.pdf). “The practice, a serious violation of their human rights, can cause severe, lifelong health problems including bleeding, problems urinating, childbirth complications and newborn deaths,” the release adds (11/18).

First Global Symposium On Health Systems Research Kicks Off In Switzerland

The First Global Symposium on Health Systems Research bringing together researchers, policymakers and donors kicked off in Montreux, Switzerland, on Tuesday, with conference attendees calling for African leaders to do more to promote health progress in their countries, PANA/Afrique en ligne reports.

Report Documents Doctor Shortages In Africa

Africa is facing “an acute shortage of doctors,” as trained professionals are lured away by higher salaries and benefits, according to a report released last week, New Vision reports. The study, carried out by researchers from African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation, George Washington University and the steering committee…

Regional U.N. Meeting Explores African Development

Africa has the potential to expand development with the help of international support and stability, Asha-Rose Migiro, U.N. deputy secretary general, said on Sunday at the opening of the 11th Regional Coordination Mechanism (RCM) meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Next reports.

Also In Global Health News: Male Circumcisions In Zimbabwe; Ruling On China’s First HIV Discrimination Case; Business And Global Health; HIV/AIDS In Africa

USAID-Backed Program Facilitates Male Circumcisions In Zimbabwe The Canadian Press reports on how a USAID-backed program operating in Zimbabwe is helping provide male circumcision services. Despite what the article describes as tension between Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and the U.S., the “program, begun in May 2009, has carried out 12,000 circumcisions. The U.S.…