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Health Highlights: July 9, 2012

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Criminalizing Gay Behavior Hinders Fight Against HIV/AIDS: Report

A new report says laws that criminalize gay behavior waste resources and interfere with efforts to combat HIV/AIDS.

The Global Commission on HIV and the Law also slammed a number of other laws, such as those that deny youths access to sex education and make sex work a crime and prevent interventions, Agence France-Presse reported.

The report is based on "extensive research and first-hand accounts from more than 1,000 people in 140 countries," the commission said in a statement.

"Too many countries waste vital resources by enforcing archaic laws that ignore science and perpetuate stigma," commission chair and former president of Brazil Fernando Henrique Cardoso said in a statement, AFP reported.

"We have a chance to free future generations from the threat of HIV. We cannot allow injustice and intolerance to undercut this progress," Cardoso said.

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Frozen Meatballs, Patties Recalled Due to Listeria Risk

Nearly 325,000 pounds of frozen, ready-to-eat beef and chicken meatballs and patties are being recalled by New Jersey-based Buona Vita, Inc. due to possible listeria contamination, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) says.

The packages of recalled products carry the establishment number "P-954" or "Est. 954" inside the USDA mark of inspection. The products were distributed nationwide.

The problem was discovered through tests conducted by FSIS and the Ohio Department of Agriculture. To date, there have been no reports of illnesses associated with the products, according to FSIS.

For more information about the recall, consumers can go to the USDA/FSIS website.

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Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease Virus Detected in Cambodian Outbreak

The virus that causes hand, foot and mouth disease has been detected in an outbreak that has killed at least 52 children in Cambodia, health officials say.

But they noted that the investigation is ongoing and other illnesses, including dengue, have also been associated with some of the cases, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The outbreak began in early April and was first reported as an unexplained illness involving respiratory and neurological symptoms. Laboratory samples are not available for most of the cases because many victims died before samples could be collected, according to the Cambodian Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization.

But officials said that the virus that causes hand, foot and mouth disease was present in a "significant proportion" of the samples that were collected from patients, WSJ reported.

Hand, foot and mouth disease is a common infectious illness in infants and children. It typically causes symptoms such as fever, painful mouth sores and a skin rash.


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