Health Highlights: May 4, 2016

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

Sexual Abstinence/Fidelity Programs Don’t Help Prevent HIV/AIDS: Study

U.S. government-funded overseas programs that promote abstaining from sex and being faithful in marriage do nothing to reduce HIV/AIDS rates, a new study finds.

The Stanford University findings in the journal Health Affairs suggest the tens of millions of dollars spent on those programs in 22 countries as part of the President’s Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief could be better used elsewhere, United Press International reported.

“Changing sexual behavior is not an easy thing,” study author Dr. Eran Bendavid, an assistant professor of medicine, said in a university news release.

“These are very personal decisions. When individuals make decisions about sex, they are not typically thinking about the billboard they may have seen or the guy who came by the village and said they should wait until marriage. Behavioral change is much more complicated than that,” Bendavid explained.

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New EU Rules for E-Cigarettes OK’d by Top Court

New legislation to regulate electronic cigarettes, ban menthol cigarettes and require plain packaging on cigarettes was approved Wednesday by the European Union’s top court.

The EU legislation is in line with efforts to protect public health, according to the European Court of Justice, the Associated Press reported.

The legislation bans menthol and other tobacco flavorings and mandates standardized, plain labels that cover cigarette packs at least 65 percent with health warnings.

It also limits e-cigarette nicotine levels to 20 grams, requires them to carry warnings, and restricts advertising and sponsorship by their makers, the AP reported.

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