Overcoming the scourge of AIDS

Number of View: 240 Overcoming the scourge of AIDS China had 319,877 reported cases of HIV and AIDS as of last October, with 49,845 having already died of AIDS-related disease since 1985. -China Daily/ANN Mon, Jul 26, 2010 China Daily/Asia News Network By Guo Anfei in Yunnan and He Na in Beijing Ruan Najin’s eyes light up every time the topic of conversation turns to marriage and children. Now 23, she plans to have both in just a few years. Yet, after seven years as a prostitute in Southwest China, her exuberant hope also helps hide a real fear that all her dreams will be destroyed by AIDS. “Girls like us usually go home for husbands at the age of 25 or 26,” said Ruan, who comes from Vietnam but would only give her Chinese name. “I plan to stay here two or three more years to save money and then go back to find an honest man. “My biggest concern, though, is AIDS. I haven’t had a hospital checkup yet as I’m too scared.” According to HIV/AIDS Asia Regional Program (HAARP), Ruan is among at least 700 prostitutes working in Hekou, a town in Yunnan province on the banks …

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His view, her view of split do not match

Number of View: 236 His view, her view of split do not match ADELE HORIN July 5, 2010/The Sydney Morning Herald SEPARATED couples often see their relationship in starkly different ways and disagree on key aspects – from the level of conflict between them to the number of nights children spend in each parent’s house, a study shows. In some cases, one partner might describe the post-separation relationship as friendly and co-operative while the other says it is fearful and full of conflict. “For many couples there is no such thing as a separation – there is ‘his’ separation and ‘hers’,” said the study’s lead author, Bruce Smyth, associate professor in the Australian Demographic and Social Research Institute at the Australian National University. The not-yet-released study, based on 5046 people, assesses the impact of child support rules begun between 2006 and 2008. A sub-sample of 1064 former couples also sheds light on how each report the same events differently. It found almost three-quarters of people (mostly mothers) said they accepted less child support than they were owed did so to reduce conflict with former partners. However, the study also found almost half those who paid more child support than required …

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Late-life divorce on the rise

Number of View: 209 Late-life divorce on the rise June 7, 2010 The Sydney Morning Herald News that Al and Tipper Gore were separating after 40 years came as a shock – but divorce rates among mature couples are rocketing, finds Julia Llewellyn Smith. Nicola Ellis seemed to be on the verge of the golden years. At 60, she was the mother of six children and was semi-retired, living in the home built with the man she’d married 40 years previously. But one morning Ellis’s world collapsed. Out of the blue her husband told her: “I don’t love you any longer. I want to go away for a year, and I’ll see how I feel about you when I come back.” “I was heartbroken,” says Ellis, now 77. “The pain of it will be imprinted on me until the day I die. I hadn’t the slightest knowledge that the marriage was under any stress whatsoever. I ended up having a nervous breakdown and was on medication for 18 months.” News of any marriage break-up is sad, but when a couple who have weathered decades together announce they are splitting, it is also profoundly unnerving. Last week America was shaken to …

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Money not the key to happiness

Number of View: 274 AMY CORDEROY HEALTH July 10, 2010   The Sydney Morning Herald WHEN it comes to happiness it turns out we are not just comparing ourselves with the Joneses, but the Wongs and the Kumars as well, according to the biggest ever international survey of what makes us happy. The study, which surveyed 136,000 people in more than 130 countries that account for about 96 per cent of the world’s population – found rich people in rich countries were much more likely to say they were satisfied with their life than rich people in poorer nations. “It may be that the standard for material wellbeing is now largely worldwide rather than defined within nations,” said the study’s leader, Ed Diener, of the University of Illinois. The study also found that while people who are relatively well-off tended to feel more satisfied than poorer people with the way their life was going, on a day to day basis they were not more likely to experience feelings of happiness or wellbeing. Social and psychological factors accounted for people’s feelings of happiness. These included being treated with respect or having friends and family they could turn to in an emergency. Societies …

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Pros and Cons of marrying (or dating) young

Number of View: 641 Pros and Cons of marrying (or dating) young July 14, 2010 The Sydney Morning Herald I am sick to death of the pressure to get married young. According to over-zealous family members and my already-hitched mates (who are increasing in numbers by the nanosecond), by now I’m supposed to be married, own a house and have a baby on the way. And it seems I’m not the only one. Social psychologists Roy Baumeister and Kathleen Vohs have injected a toxic dose of moral panic into the never-married female population with their “scientific research”, which claims that if women don’t get marry young, their “market value” deteriorates rapidly. Say what!? (The findings concluded something entirely different for men, whose market value apparently seems to rise the older they get. *Eye roll.) While another study found that young women (18-22 years old) are mature enough to handle being ensconced in holy matrimony (this according to the US government’s National Survey of Family Growth, I think that an entirely different issue needs to be addressed. For those who marry young, does life really turn out all that good? Is their rush to waltz down the aisle donning a white …

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For better not worse

Number of View: 188 For better not worse SHEBA WHEELER, COURTESY OF SUNDAY LIFE July 5, 2010 Life in the 21st century is putting more strain on marriages than ever. Sheba Wheeler speaks to the experts on how to ease the load. What with the military planning, financially crippling outlays and generally enormous importance we accord modern weddings, it’s easy for couples to think the hard part is over after the walk down the aisle. But relationship experts who have studied marriages over the decades say the work has just begun, especially for today’s bride and groom. Modern marriages require more communication skills, conflict management and negotiation, says Howard Markman, a University of Denver professor. Which all sounds depressingly close to a hard day at the office, but is probably true when one considers that everyday relationship stresses have grown beyond both parents working outside the home and managing over-scheduled children’s hobbies. Results from a longitudinal study on relationships begun in 1996 show that anxieties about war, terrorism, financial pressures, job loss, depression and technology – internet use and social networking – are pulling marriages apart. Sweat the small stuff … passionate sex is important but so is paying attention. …

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No sex please, we’re middle class

Number of View: 293 Jul 2, 2010 No sex please, we’re middle class By Camille Paglia   WILL women soon have a Viagra of their own? Although a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel recently rejected an application to market the drug flibanserin in the United States for women with low libido, it endorsed the potential benefits and urged further research. Several pharmaceutical companies are reported to be well along in the search for such a drug. The implication is that a new pill, despite its unforeseen side effects, is necessary to cure the sexual malaise that appears to have sunk over the US. But to what extent do these complaints about sexual apathy reflect a medical reality, and how much do they actually emanate from the anxious, overachieving, white upper middle class? In the 1950s, female ‘frigidity’ was attributed to social conformism and religious puritanism. But since the sexual revolution of the 1960s, American society has become increasingly secular, with a media environment drenched in sex. The real culprit, originating in the 19th century, is bourgeois propriety. As respectability became the central middle-class value, censorship and repression became the norm. Victorian prudery ended the humorous sexual candour of both …

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Secrets of a long and happy life

Number of View: 457 Fumi Chinene, 102, runs a clothing store. Okinawans enjoy the longest life expectancy in the world. June 17, 2010 The Sydney Morning Herald Centenarians reveal a tried and true formula for living, writes Mary Fallon. Dorothy de Low made international headlines last week for her performance at the 15th World Veterans’ Table Tennis Championships in Mongolia. One hundred years old in October and the oldest competitor, the Hurstville great-grandmother competed in her 11th tournament since taking up the sport at age 50. She plays in the over-84 years division and was beaten in the second qualifier by Matsuoka Tomie, 91, from Japan. Autographing paddles, she quipped that she felt like a film star and how wonderful it was to make so many new friends. Dot de Low is remarkable and inspirational, but also typical of people who reach great old age. They may not all play competitive sport, but studies of the oldest people around the world are unlocking the secrets to ageing well. Centenarians don’t just avoid illnesses like dementia, cancer, stroke and heart disease, but stay mentally sharp, physically fit and socially engaged. Keen gardener… Oshi Okushima, aged 101. Pockets of long-lived communities in …

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