It’s been a tough year for anyone with a heart. This week we pause to be thankful, even in a world where every good thing appears to be under attack. Wondering what to be thankful for? We’ve got ten things for you to try on for size:
- The $750 per pill AIDS drug now has $1 competition. Imprimis Care announced plans in October to introduce a drug to treat HIV/AIDS that costs only $1. This is the first step in a plan to make over 7,800 FDA-approved generic drugs available at lower prices.
- Women can eat during labor. The American Society of Anesthesiologists reported on findings that recommend a move away from the long-standing position that pregnant women should fast during labor. Researchers say “most healthy women… would benefit from eating a light meal during labor.”
- Women are saving billions of dollars a year on birth control since Obamacare began requiring insurance companies to cover contraception at no cost to women. Average spending on IUDs alone fell by 70% in the first six months of Obamacare.
- Birth control is becoming more reliable. Speaking of IUDs, the FDA approved a new IUD, specifically designed to be more affordable. When it is released, Liletta will be the fourth IUD available in the US. It has a failure rate of 0.55 percent (compared to the pill, with a typical failure rate of 9%).
- Many women with early breast cancer can now skip chemotherapy. Researchers studied a gene test called Oncotype DX. They were able to identify women whose cancers were so likely to respond to hormone blocking drugs that adding chemo did little, if any, good. The study involved the most common type of breast cancer, which affects more than 100,000 women a year in the U.S. alone.
- There are 211 million fewer hungry people in the world than 25 years ago. In 1990, almost one-fourth of people in the developing world were undernourished; today that rate has been cut almost in half. The battle is far from won, but progress has been made, especially in countries with stable political conditions, economic growth, and social protection policies for the most vulnerable.
- Worrying may be good for you. A new study found that people who “embrace their anxiety” during high stress waiting periods are more elated when good news comes, and better prepared if the news is bad.
- Men have more reasons than ever to pitch in. Men who do their share of household chores have better and more frequent sex. What’s more, “mindful dishwashing” can reduce stress.
- Brazil has reduced the rate of Amazon deforestation by almost 90%. The number of square miles of rainforest cleared in 2005 was 10,500; in 2014 it was less than 2,000. Along with taking other steps, Brazil has designated more than half of the Amazon basin for protection in national parks.
- The “f-word” (FEMINISM) is having its “moment in the spotlight.” Author Martha Ross says that celebrities, campus activists, and bloggers have embraced the term, riding a “feminist resurgence”. As one young feminist says, “People (are) just coming to their senses and pointing out the inequalities and expressing their opinions more.”
What are you thankful for? Share with us in the comments or on Facebook!