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blood tests

From today, pharmacies across the country will be selling over-the-counter self-test HIV kits. 

The medical device takes a pinprick sample of blood and can detect HIV antibodies within 15 minutes. It is available to anyone over the age of 18 and can be purchased without a prescription. 

The launch of the kit comes as the number of HIV diagnoses in Ireland have significantly increased. Since 2016, there have been 508 new cases of the disease – a 43.9 percent increase from 2006.

"Ireland becomes our fourth market to launch in, following already successful launches in France, Italy and Spain," explained Owen McKeon country manager for Mylan Ireland, the company behind the device.

"Over the coming months, we will be working with HIV patient organisations to increase awareness of the importance of early testing, and how tools like our self-testing kit, as well as taking a proactive approach to your health, can help in the fight against the spread of HIV."

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Ovarian cancer effects hundreds of Irish women every year.

However, many of these cases are not diagnosed until the later stages of the disease. 

This is largely due to the fact that symptoms usually take a long time to appear, and when they do they are often mistaken for other illnesses. 

According to a new study, there’s now a way to accurately detect the disease in the early stages.

Research has revealed that regular blood tests could be the key. 

Doctors and researchers monitored a group of ‘high-risk’ women (carriers of the ovarian cancer gene) over a ten year period and noted that cancerous tumours were detected much earlier when the women underwent blood tests three times a year.

Although this is a promising development when it comes to the early detection of ovarian cancer, it must be stressed that the study would need to be extended over the next few years in order to accurately determine how many lives could be saved.

Symptoms of ovarian cancer include, bloated feeling, persistent swollen abdomen, pain or dragging sensation in your lower abdomen or side and vague indigestion or nausea, among others. 

At the moment there is no national screening programme in Ireland and women who feel they may be at risk are advised to visit their GP.

And remember, smear tests will not pick up the signs of ovarian cancer. 

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In an extremely weird turn of events, Charlie Sheen claims he is nearly HIV negative.

The actor, who is being treated by a controversial doctor, Dr Sam Chachoua, claims to have mixed his HIV-infected blood with an uninfected sample to test the results of his treatment.

“I’ve been under the care of Dr. Sam for a couple weeks now, and we’re seeing some incredible results,” Charlie said on a YouTube video, which shows him having blood drawn.

The 50-year-old then said he will see “what shakes out” after his HIV-positive blood is added to clean samples.

After a few weeks, Mr Sheen resumes filming and claims that there is "glaring evidence" he and the doctor are on to something.

If this sounds very odd and confusing, here's the video: 

 

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