Sore Spots & G-Spots

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Women's Health Activist Newsletter
January/February 2010

G SPOTS

Getting the HPV vaccine is no longer a condition of immigration! Under new guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), vaccines must be age-appropriate; protect against diseases with the potential to cause an outbreak; and protect against diseases that have been, or are being, eliminated in the U.S. The HPV vaccine does not meet these criteria and is no longer an immigration requirement. The new guidelines took effect December 14, 2009 and are a victory for immigrant women and girls.

References:
1. CDC New Vaccination Criteria for U.S. Immigration: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dq/ laws_regs/fed_reg/vaccine/revised-fact-sheet.pdf
2. Federal Register Notice: Criteria for Vaccination Requirements for U.S. Immigration Purposes; Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 218 / Friday, November 13, 2009 / Notices, pp. 58634-58638. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2009-11-13/pdf/E9-27317.pdf

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After January 4, 2010, the travel ban barring HIV-positive foreigners from entering the country will end. Although HIV/AIDS is not spread by casual contact, the Reagan Era ban has been in effect for 22 years. In 2008, the Senate voted to overturn the ban during its reauthorization of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which enabled the Obama Administration to remove the remaining regulatory barriers. Hopefully U.S. policy will continue to be based on science.

References:
1. Administration Officially Ends HIV Travel Ban, http://www.kaiserhealthnews. org/Daily-Reports/2009/October/30/HIV.aspx
2. Remarks by the President at Signing of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act of 2009, http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/remarks-president-signing-ryan-white-hivaids-treatment-extension-act-2009.
3. Gearing up for 2012 International AIDS Conference; http://www.whitehouse.gov /blog/2009/ 11/30/gearing-2012-international-aids-conference

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The U.S. has one of the worst infant-mortality rates in the developed world, especially for African-American babies. So, Dane County, Wisconsin’s dramatic reduction of infant mortality rates is a public health phenomenon. Barriers to maternal care have been significantly reduced through a combination of initiatives. Local women can access a full spectrum of maternal care at a one-stop facility where the medical staff are trusted and treat their patients with respect; the county has 60 public-health nurses and, at any given time, a dozen are making home visits to women with high-risk pregnancies (both before and after birth); and state Medicaid covers almost all low- and middle-income pregnant women.

References:
1. Eve Conant, “A Wonderful Mystery”, Newsweek Web Exclusive.http://www. newsweek.com/id/219147

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SORE SPOTS

Marketing of “feminine hygiene” products has reached an all time low. Just when we thought that wasn’t possible, Linger: Internal Feminine Flavoring, arrived. These “vaginal mints” are actually just ordinary breath mints marketed as novelty items. This means that the FDA has no regulatory oversight and the manufacturer doesn’t have to do anything to make sure that the ingredients are safe for vaginal use. Who knows what these “mints” might do to the pH balance of your vagina! As we add Linger to the multitude of products that tell women their vaginas need fixing, we are really starting to wonder when suppositories to flavor semen will hit the market.

References:
1. Femimint Hygiene: Vagina Mints - http://motherjones.com/mojo/2009/10/femimint-hygiene-mints.
2. Linger Website - http://www.lovetolinger.com/

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The tobacco industry has found yet another way to exploit child-ren and legally avoid taxes. In an effort to expand the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the Obama Administration increased taxes on roll-your-own cigarettes by 2,000%. The industry responded by re-marketing roll-your-own cigarettes as “pipe tobacco,” which has a different composition entirely, and is taxed at one-tenth the rate of packaged cigarettes. Smokers do all the work, so roll-your-own cigarettes are a cheaper and more deadly alternative to traditional cigarettes; the tobacco can also be used in flavored tobacco pipes, creating the perfect combination to entice children.

References:
1. AP IMPACT: Tobacco execs quickly find tax loophole
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iqktgycAyeF0R8mrqKao1i...
2. Roll Your Own Tax Rate: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/22/opinion/22sun4.html

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Insurance companies are spending millions of dollars each day to defeat health care reform, often by using front companies to further their anti-consumer goals. One major organization engaged in this work is the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest (CMPI), which is the reincarnation of an older corporate front created to defend the tobacco industry. CMPI’s new objective is to crusade against health care reform under its guise as a research organization. CMPI aggressively defends most pharmaceutical industry practices, accepts drug company money, helped sponsor the recent racist Tea Party protests, and creates fraudulent and misleading ads and websites.

References:
1. Exclusive: Attacks On Health Reform Orchestrated By Yet Another Shadowy Corporate Front Group — ‘CMPI’; http://thinkprogress.org/2009/11/18/cmpi-front-group