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The $34 Phone Accessory That Tests For HIV and Syphilis

Researchers have developed a device that runs antibody tests in less than 30 minutes.

Columbia University researchers have developed a smartphone attachment that can test for HIV and syphilis in just 15 minutes—and all it takes is a prick of the finger. The device—called a dongle—connects to an iPhone or iPad through the audio jack, and it can basically execute the same function as a lab-quality blood test. In this case, it performs a biochemical test that detects and measures the presence of HIV or syphilis antibodies in the blood. This is the first time this kind of detection process has been consolidated into a single-test format.

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Celebrity Blackout on Twitter and Facebook for World AIDS Day [UPDATED] Digital Life Sacrifice: Celebrities Go Silent on Social Media for World AIDS Day [UPDATED]

Celebrities go silent on Twitter and Facebook for World Aids Day. The only way to get Lady Gaga tweeting again is to fork over money for the cause.


Can you go without Lady Gaga tweets for a day? On Wednesday you might have to. It's part of a $1 million fundraiser for World AIDS Day called Digital Life Sacrifice. Lady Gaga, Usher, Justin Timberlake, Alicia Keys, and others all plan to deprive their fans of momentary musings until the fans donate $1 million to Alicia Keys AIDS charity Keep A Child Alive. Think of it as celebrity social media extortion for a good cause.

Keys made the recruiting calls personally. Each celebrity will also appears in a "last tweet and testament" video to make the point that we Americans care tremendously about the loss of a single celebrity life, but ignore the tragedy of millions of AIDS deaths. The money goes to treatment for children with HIV/AIDS in India, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and South Africa.

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The HIV/AIDS epidemic is a continuing public health crisis worldwide. Although African-Americans make up 12 percent of the United States population, they account for approximately 42 percent of new HIV infections and 48 percent of reported AIDS cases. Earlier today, The New York Times reported that our economy has impacted the government program that gives antiretrovirals to people that cannot afford them: "Nearly 1,800 have been relegated to rapidly expanding waiting lists that less than three years ago had dwindled to zero."

Outside of the U.S., more than three million children in sub-Saharan Africa, the region with the highest number of cases, are living with HIV. It is important that we continue to increase awareness of this problem. This includes not only educating youth about the risks of HIV/AIDS, but also instructing them in terms of what they can do to help their communities.

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