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POSTED November 19, 2012 9:37 p.m.

MASS. TRANSGENDER INMATE SEEKING ELECTROLYSIS: BOSTON (AP) — A transgender inmate who won a court order for taxpayer-funded sex-change surgery has no medical need for further electrolysis treatments, a prisons department psychiatrist testified Monday.

Dr. Robert Diener testified during a hearing in U.S. District Court on Michelle Kosilek's request to have additional hair-removal treatments. Diener, chief psychiatrist for the state Department of Correction, said he evaluated Kosilek in 2010 and again last month and concluded that Kosilek's anxiety level hasn't changed, even though she hasn't had electrolysis treatments since 2008.

"I continue to believe that it's not medically necessary for this patient," said Diener, chief psychiatrist at MHM Services, Inc., a company subcontracted by the state Department of Correction to provide mental health services.

Under questioning by Kosilek's lawyer, Diener acknowledged that he had not published any articles or conducted any research on gender-identity disorder, a diagnosis given to Kosilek. Diener also said he was told that the reason prison officials stopped giving Kosilek electrolysis after seven treatments is because it was too expensive.

UNEMPLOYMENT MAY INCREASE CHANCES OF HEART ATTACKS: CHICAGO (AP) — Unemployment hurts more than your wallet — it may damage your heart. That's according to a study linking joblessness with heart attacks in older workers.

The increased odds weren't huge, although multiple job losses posed as big a threat as smoking, high blood pressure and other conditions that are bad for the heart.

The researchers analyzed data on more than 13,000 men and women aged 51 to 75 taking part in an ongoing health and retirement survey partly sponsored by the National Institute on Aging. Since 1992, participants have been interviewed every two years about their employment and health.

The new analysis has several limitations. The data show periods of unemployment but don't indicate whether people were fired, laid off, out of work while switching jobs, or had voluntarily left a job. The researchers considered all of these situations "job losses," but it's likely the greatest risks for heart attacks were from being fired or laid off, said researcher Matthew Dupre, an assistant professor at Duke University and the lead author. Retirement was not considered unemployment

NEW PUSH FOR MOST IN US TO GET AT LEAST 1 HIV TEST: WASHINGTON (AP) — There's a new push to make testing for the AIDS virus as common as cholesterol checks.

Americans ages 15 to 64 should get an HIV test at least once — not just people considered at high risk for the virus, an independent panel that sets screening guidelines proposed Monday.

The draft guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force are the latest recommendations that aim to make HIV screening simply a routine part of a check-up, something a doctor can order with as little fuss as a cholesterol test or a mammogram. Since 2006, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also has pushed for widespread, routine HIV screening.

Yet not nearly enough people have heeded that call: Of the more than 1.1 million Americans living with HIV, nearly 1 in 5 — almost 240,000 people — don't know it. Not only is their own health at risk without treatment, they could unwittingly be spreading the virus to others.

JUDGE: HOBBY LOBBY MUST OFFER MORNING-AFTER PILL: OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A federal judge Monday rejected Hobby Lobby Stores Inc.'s request to block part of the federal health care overhaul that requires the arts and craft supply company to provide insurance coverage for the morning-after and week-after birth control pills.

In a 28-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton denied a request by Hobby Lobby to prevent the government from enforcing portions of the health care law mandating insurance coverage for contraceptives the company's Christian owners consider objectionable.

 

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