Nov 16, 2014

Ragbag Headliners

Georgia Launches HIV and AIDS Resource Website

Public health officials and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention are hoping to "bend the curve" in the state.

Georgia health officials have launched an HIV and AIDS informational website, Georgia CAPUS (

The website offers four different components offering information on individuals living with HIV and AIDS, care providers to individuals with HIV and AIDS, and basic information for those wanting to learn more about the disease, according to the website.

The website’s launch comes after a conference held by the University of Georgia in September. Public health officials and researchers offered information at the conference about the staggering rate of HIV and AIDS infection rates in Georgia, according to Online Athens.

The Georgia Department of Public Health received $7.5 million from the Centers for Disease Control to launch the website, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health website. The Georgia CAPUS website was launched to target the highest risk minorities.

“We’re expecting to see an increase in the number of people who live with HIV and AIDS,” Tanjina Shabu, a biostatistician at the Georgia Department of Public Health, told Online Athens. “Can we bend the curve? We are optimistic, but it will take more than 10 years.”

More than 50,000 people are living with HIV and AIDS in Georgia but 45 percent of those infected are not receiving treatment, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health. One of five people In Georgia are also living with HIV and AIDS and do not know they have the disease.

“HIV information currently available online can be confusing or conflicting. The CAPUS Care Portal cuts through the haze, bringing HIV positive individuals and providers closer to the truth - treatment is prevention,” Patrick O’Neal, director of Health protection for the health department, said in a press release. “We know that an HIV positive individual receiving, and adhering to, an appropriate treatment regimen is 96 percent less likely to pass HIV to someone else.” -HIV Plus Magazine

78% Say Politicians Play ‘Race Card’ Just to Get Reelected

Voters, regardless of race, agree that most politicians play the so-called “race card” just to pick up votes. Still, blacks strongly believe that those who oppose President Obama are racist.

Just nine percent (9%) of Likely U.S. Voters think most politicians raise racial issues to address real problems, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Seventy-eight percent (78%) say they bring up race just to get elected. Thirteen percent (13%) aren’t sure.

There is surprising racial agreement. Sixty-eight percent (68%) of blacks agree with 79% of whites and 81% of other minority voters that most politicians raise racial issues just to get reelected.

These findings are similar to those regarding another common political charge these days, that some candidates are engaging in a “war on women.” But 59% of voters say the “war on women” is primarily a slogan used for political purposes. Only 22% believe there really is a political “war on women” going on.

When it comes to the specifics of the president, however, a racial divide is evident. Eighty-seven percent (87%) of black voters believe those who oppose Obama’s policies do so because of racism. Sixty-seven percent (67%) of whites and 56% of other minority voters think instead that opposition is primarily because they believe the president’s policies are bad.

Among all voters, 59% think people who oppose Obama’s policies do so because they don’t like those policies. Thirty-one percent (31%) believe their opposition is due to racism, but that’s up from 28% in mid-July and up 13 points from 18% in October 2011.

Only 41% of voters say racial issues are at least somewhat important to their vote. Fifty-five percent (55%) say race is not important to how they vote. This includes 21% who say racial issues are Very Important and 29% who consider them Not At All Important.

Thirty-eight percent (38%) think political candidates discuss race too much, while 21% say they talk about it too little. Twenty-eight percent (28%) believe the level of discussion is about right. Fourteen percent (14%) are undecided. –Rasmussen Report

Feds Using Airplanes to Target Criminal Suspects’ Cell-Phone Data

Devices on planes said to simulate cell towers and trick phones into reporting data

The Justice Department is using equipment on board aircraft that simulates cell towers to collect data from criminal suspects’ cell phones, according to a report Thursday.

The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources familiar with the operations, reports that a program operating under the U.S. Marshals Service is said to use small aircraft flying from five different airports around the country. Devices aboard those planes called “dirtboxes” essentially trick the suspects’ cellphones into thinking they’re connecting to legitimate cell towers from big wireless carriers like Verizon or AT&T, allowing the feds to scoop up personal data and location information about those targeted.

However, the report details those devices could be gathering data from “tens of thousands” of Americans in a single flight, meaning nonsuspects are likely to be included in the data roundup. The new report could shed some light on earlier reports of mysterious “phony” cell towers that security researchers have found around the country. –Time

Men’s Boxers Promise To Block ‘Harmful’ Cellphone Rays

You wanna know what comes between you and your Calvins? Radiation!

Belly Armor — which claims its products protect pregnant women from harmful rays emitted by laptops and other gadgets — is pitching a product to men concerned about the effects of cellphone radiation on their fertility.

The Manhattan company branched into the menswear department this month with RadiaShield boxer briefs, which promise “to protect men’s reproductive organs and maintain fertility health.”

The high-tech skivvies, which go on sale Thursday, come with a thin layer of aluminum-like silver in the crotch area to shield little swimmers, the company claims on its site.

Co-founders Aileeen Chen and Michael Lam developed the undergarments in response to a 2007 study by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine that showed use of cellphones decreases semen quality, said spokeswoman Katherine Niefeld.

Men haven’t been asking for protection — that is, against radio waves — down there because they don’t know they need it, she added.

“If you’re a guy, how are you going to know that putting your cellphone in your pocket will do things to your sperm,” Niefeld said.

So far, health studies on the low levels of radiation emitted by mobile devices have been inconclusive, but that hasn’t stopped Belly Armor from rolling out radiation-shielding gear.

Of course, protecting the nether region comes at a price. RadiaShield boxers cost $49 a pop. –NY Post

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