This selective report notes recent events relating to pregnancy termination in the U.S., France, England, Italy, East and West Germany, Norway, Sweden, and the Netherlands. Due to the Supreme Court decision in January 1973, abortion is now legal in the U.S. Although abortions is illegal in France, an estimated 400,000-1,000,000 clandestine abortions occur each year. Although abortions are legal in Britain, the ease with which they can be obtained varies regionally. As of March 1973, contraceptives are part of Britain's National Health Service. In Italy, a bill to legalize abortion has been introduced in Parliament, though there is little likelihood of its passing. In East Germany, abortion can be granted for medical or social reasons, while in West Germany, the governmental policies are more conservative, resulting in an abundance of illegal abortions performed by physicians. There is a trend toward easier abortion laws in Norway and Sweden. Little is happening in the Netherlands as far as liberalizing the abortion laws. Rather liberal grounds for pregnancy termination exist in China (though emphasis is on contraception), India, Russia, and Eastern Europe (with the exception of Romania). Abortion is frowned upon in Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East resulting in a large number of illegal abortions. It is concluded that there is liberalized abortion in communist bloc countries, there is trend toward liberalizing abortion in a large group of western countries, and tradition and religion are responsible for conservative abortion laws in a third group of countries.
OBJECTIVE: To estimate access, activity and coverage of needle and syringe programmes (NSP) in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia. METHODS: Two data sets ('regional' and 'high-coverage sites') were used to estimate NSP provision (availability/number of sites), NSP utilization (syringes distributed/year), needle and syringe distribution (needles/syringes distributed/IDU/year), IDU reached (number/percentage of IDU contacted/year), regular reach (five or more contacts/month) and syringe coverage (percentage of injections/IDU/year administrable with new injecting equipment). RESULTS: Regional data set: results from 213 sites in 25 countries suggested that Czech Republic, Poland, Russia and Ukraine had > 10 NSP during 2001/2. Czech Republic, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Russia, Slovakia and Ukraine had >or= 10,000 IDU in contact with NSP. Ten countries reached >or= 10% of the estimated IDU population. The 25 countries distributed approximately 17 million syringes/needles. Eight countries distributed > 0.5 million syringes/year. Syringe coverage (assuming 400 injections/IDU/year) was 15% in Macedonia. Overall syringe coverage was 1.2% and when assuming 700 injections/IDU/year it decreased to 0.7%. Syringe coverage for the IDU population in contact with NSP was 60% in Croatia, Macedonia, Moldova and Tajikistan. Overall syringe coverage for the population in contact with NSP was 9.8%. High-coverage data set: Soligorsk, Pskov and Sumy's NSP reached 92.3%, 92.2% and 73.3% of their estimated IDU population, respectively (regular reach: 0.2%, 1.8% and 22.7%). The distribution levels were 47.2, 51.7 and 94.2 syringes/IDU/year, respectively. CONCLUSION: The evidence suggests suboptimal levels of NSP implementation, programme activity and coverage. This paper provides a baseline for development of indicators that could be used to monitor NSP. Strategies to increase coverage that may go beyond NSP are urgently required, as is research into understanding how NSP can contribute to better syringe coverage among IDU.
According to A.P. Koslov, president of the Fourth International Conference on AIDS, Cancer, and Associated Diseases held in Russia in 1996, the conference represents the first high level discussion of AIDS risk management in Russia. Russia has a strong potential for development of a vaccine, having been a key player in the smallpox eradication program in the late 1950s. Conditions are difficult at present, but it is possible that Russia will be able to develop a practical vaccine for distribution in the Third World. Efforts to develop an HIV vaccine underway in different countries have been examined, and a list has been compiled of Russian institutions able to participate in HIV vaccine development. International assistance for vaccine development in Russia would help both the medical establishment in Russia, which has suffered because of the economic and social crisis, and the international community. A meeting is planned for December 1996 in St. Petersburg to organize an AIDS control organization for all of Russia. Mobilization of support for AIDS prevention activities is necessary but very difficult. If nothing is done, the epidemic in Ukraine will soon spread to Russia. But Russia and China are among the few countries where an HIV epidemic could still be prevented or stopped. The association in St. Petersburg cooperates with other former Soviet republics in AIDS control activities, although attendance at international meetings and conferences is frequently curtailed for financial reasons.
Recent evidence has implicated the genes for 5-lipoxygenase activating protein (ALOX5AP) and phosphodiesterase 4D (PDE4D) as susceptibility genes for stroke in the Icelandic population. The aim of the present study was to explore the role of these genes in a central European population of stroke patients.
A total of 639 consecutive stroke patients and 736 unrelated population-based controls that had been matched for age and sex were examined using a case-control design. Twenty-two single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) covering ALOX5AP were genotyped. For PDE4D, microsatellite AC008818-1 and 12 SNPs, which tag all common haplotypes in previously identified linkage disequilibrium (LD) blocks, were analyzed.
A nominally significant association with stroke was observed with several SNPs from ALOX5AP, including SNP SG13S114, which had been part of the Icelandic at-risk haplotype. Associations were stronger in males than in females, with SG13S114 (odds ratio, 1.24; 95% CI, 1.04 to 1.55; P=0.017) and SG13S100 (odds ratio, 1.26; 95% CI 1.03 to 1.54; P=0.024) showing the strongest associations. No significant associations were detected with single markers and haplotypes in PDE4D. The frequencies of single-marker alleles and haplotypes differed largely from those in the Icelandic population.
The present study suggests that sequence variants in the ALOX5AP gene are significantly associated with stroke, particularly in males. Variants in the PDE4D gene are not a major risk factor for stroke in individuals from central Europe. Population differences in allele and haplotype frequencies as well as LD structure may contribute to the observed differences between populations.
This article describes and analyzes the accomplishments of a group of aged Jews residing at the Toronto Baycrest Centre, a multilevel geriatric facility. A project that began as an informally planned program to keep the participants socially engaged and active led to the publication of their memoirs , From Our Lives , with financial support from the Canadian government. The value of the memoir activity for the group and for the community is outlined. The article concludes with a general discussion of the importance of replicating such activities not only with elderly Jews but also among other groups of elderly persons.
Studies of indoor bioaerosols conducted in Central and Eastern European countries, as a result of the scarcity of funding, mostly do not attain the level presented by similar studies in Northern America and Western Europe. For socio-economic reasons, most of the intense studies on indoor bioaerosols in Central and Eastern European countries were carried out in industrial facilities and have contributed significantly to occupational health science. In contrast, until recently, insufficient of studies have been conducted on bioaerosols of residential and communal premises (dwellings, offices, schools, etc.) and no network for monitoring the microbiological quality of air in such premises exists. In Poland, in the mid-1990s complex bioaerosol investigations were carried out by the Bioaerosol Group at the Institute of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health in Sosnowiec. The concentrations of airborne bacteria and fungi in dwellings without mold problems were between 88-4297 cfu/m(3) and 0-1997 cfu/m(3), while in moldy homes they were 178-4751 cfu/m(3) and 49-16,968 cfu/m(3), respectively. As many as 167 microbial species were isolated from the air of examined dwellings. Most frequently occurred Gram-positive cocci (Micrococcus/ Kocuria spp., Staphylococcus spp.), endospore-forming bacilli (Bacillus spp.), Gram-negative bacteria (Pseudomonadaceae, Aeromonas spp.), filamentous fungi (Penicillium spp., Aspergillus spp.), and yeasts. Notable studies of indoor bioaerosols have also been performed in the other Central and Eastern European countries: Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Russian Federation, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Hungary, are reviewed in this article. The lack of reference limit values for bioaerosols seriously hinders interpretation of results obtained in various countries. The following residential limit values (RLV) for dwellings and communal premises are proposed for the concentration of airborne bacteria, fungi and bacterial endotoxin: 5 x 10(3) cfu/m(3), 5 x 10(3) cfu/m(3) and 5 ng/m(3) (50 EU), respectively. The proposed values of occupational exposure limit (OEL) for industrial settings contaminated by organic dust are 100 x (3) cfu/m(3), 50 x (3) cfu/m(3) and 200 ng/m(3) (2000 EU), respectively. It is also proposed that the presence in indoor air of microorganisms from risk groups 3 and 4 of European Community Directive 2000/54/EC (e.g., Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Bacillus anthracis, Coxiella burnetii), independently of the concentration, should always be inadmissible and result in preventive actions.