Reuters Health News Summary

Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

U.S. baby's cure from HIV raises hope, new questions

CHICAGO (Reuters) - The remarkable case of a baby being cured of HIV infection in the United States using readily available drugs has raised new hope for eradicating the infection in infants worldwide, but scientists say it will take a lot more research and much more sensitive diagnostics before this hope becomes a reality. In a medical first for an infant, the Mississippi toddler was born in July 2010 infected with HIV, treated within 30 hours of delivery with aggressive HIV therapy, which continued for 18 months. She is now considered cured of her infection, a team of researchers led by Dr. Deborah Persaud, a virologist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, said in a news conference at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Atlanta on Sunday.

Fewer heart blockages showing up on stress tests

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The proportion of patients who have blocked arteries show up during a stress test has dropped "enormously" over the past two decades, according to a new study. However, researchers disagreed about why that might be the case - whether the tests are getting worse, people's heart problems are becoming less severe, or simply too many healthy people are being referred for testing they don't need.

Anti-AIDS pill, vaginal gel unsuitable for Africa: study

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Trying to prevent HIV infection through vaginal gels or daily tablets has proven ineffective in the southern African region ravaged by the disease because people did not use the medicines properly, a study released on Monday said. A ground-breaking study issued in 2010 indicated a vaginal gel containing an HIV drug can sharply reduce infections in women who use it before and after sex.

FDA advisers vote to reject approval of Depomed menopause drug 2013-03-04T203206Z_3_BRE9230U0_RTROPTC_0_US-MENOPAUSE-DEPOMED.X ML () -

Monster Beverage says no link between caffeine and teen's death 2013-03-04T192433Z_1_BRE92311I_RTROPTC_0_US-MONSTER-FOURNIER.XM L () -

Elan offers special dividend to fend off Royalty

DUBLIN/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Irish drugmaker Elan <ELN.N> has sweetened the terms on offer to shareholders under a $3.25 billion disposal plan to try to stave off an approach for the company from U.S. investment firm Royalty Pharma <ROYPH.UL>. Elan said on Monday it would give shareholders 20 percent of future royalties from multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri, in which it holds a 50 percent interest that it plans to sell to its U.S. partner Biogen Idec <BIIB.O>.

India board rules against Bayer in cancer drug patent case

CHENNAI (Reuters) - An Indian patent appeals board upheld on Monday a decision to allow a domestic company to sell a generic version of Bayer AG's <BAYGn.DE> cancer drug Nexavar, in a blow for global drugmakers' efforts to hold on to monopolies on high-price medicines. The ruling paves the way for the issue of more so-called compulsory licenses as governments, particularly in emerging markets such as China and Thailand, battle to bring down healthcare costs and provide access to affordable drugs to treat diseases such as cancer, HIV-AIDS and hepatitis.

Fitness experts separate folklore from fact

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Can crunches create six-pack abdominal muscles? Do weight-lifting women risk bulging biceps? Is stretching always a good idea? Experts say disentangling folklore from fact is not easy in fitness, where misconceptions are as pervasive as push-ups and as stubborn as love handles.

Exercise, less sitting time, linked to better sleep

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Insomniacs looking for a good night's sleep may want to hit the treadmill, take a walk or play a game of golf or tennis because a new report released on Monday shows exercise promotes good sleep and the more vigorous the workout the better. Just 10 minutes of exercise a day could make a difference in the duration and quality of sleep, the survey by the non-profit National Sleep Foundation showed.

U.S. baby's HIV infection cured through very early treatment

CHICAGO (Reuters) - A baby girl in Mississippi who was born with HIV has been cured after very early treatment with standard HIV drugs, U.S. researchers reported on Sunday, in a potentially ground-breaking case that could offer insights on how to eradicate HIV infection in its youngest victims. The child's story is the first account of an infant achieving a so-called functional cure, a rare event in which a person achieves remission without the need for drugs and standard blood tests show no signs that the virus is making copies of itself.