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The “Viagra Revolution” celebrates 20 years

A small blue diamond-shaped pill created the sensation twenty years ago: Viagra has made it possible for millions of men to have sexual intercourse again and it has exposed the previously taboo subject of the ‘powerlessness.

But the sexual revolution that followed has abandoned women suffering from dysfunctions and loss of libido, still awaiting them for a miracle cure that would also allow them to find a fulfilling sex life, experts point out.

Some 65 million prescriptions for Viagra, made by the American laboratory Pfizer, have been filled worldwide. It was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on March 27, 1998, becoming the first tablet to help men get an erection.

The benefits of this miraculous blockbuster have been touted on TV sets, newspapers, magazines. Its commercialization coincided with the rise of the internet and the explosion of online pornography.

The marketing lexicon has also changed: it is no longer a question of “male impotence” but of “erectile dysfunction”, a medical condition that can now be treated.

Republican Senator Bob Dole, a veteran and presidential candidate in 1996, became his first television ambassador, admitting his own fears to the world.

“It is a little embarrassing for me to speak of ED (for + erectile dysfunction +, editor’s note) but it is so important for millions of men and their partners”, he explained then.

A strategy that worked.

Before Viagra, conversations about erectile problems were “bothersome” and “difficult,” recalls Elizabeth Kavaler, urologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York. “Today, sexuality in general is a very present subject”.

It “has become a predictable part of our lives as we age. And I’m sure Viagra has played a big part,” she adds.

“Lifestyle”

For Louis Kavoussi, director of the urology department of the Northwell Health group, Viagra has had a “major impact” similar to that of antibiotics in the treatment of infections or statins in the fight against heart disease.

“It was the perfect medicine to advertise to consumers. It was a kind of lifestyle medicine,” he said.

Viagra, or sildenafil citrate, has been developed to treat high blood pressure and angina. But from the first clinical trials, men quickly discovered an unexpected effect: the improvement of their erections.

From fifteen dollars a unit at the start, the price swelled to more than 50 dollars. With the release of a generic version last year, the price fell to a dollar a penny.

In 2000, the famous comic show Saturday Night Live even dedicated a sketch to him with actor Christopher Walken parodying an advertisement.

“We are a very Puritan society and I think Viagra has relaxed us a bit,” said Nachum Katlowitz, director of the urology and fertility department at Staten Island University Hospital. But “women have been left out of the sexual improvement revolution.”

The FDA approved in 2015 flibanserin – marketed in the United States under the name Addyi–, qualified as “female Viagra” and presented as a treatment to revive the libido of women. But from its launch, it caused controversy.

Because Addyi belongs to the family of antidepressants, women are advised not to consume alcohol at the same time. It also costs several hundred dollars and can cause significant side effects (nausea, vomiting, suicidal thoughts, etc.).

“It didn’t work very well,” says Katlowitz.

The problem in women comes mainly from vaginal dryness at the time of menopause, which can make intercourse painful.

According to Elizabeth Kavaler, taking hormones or even laser treatments can provide solutions that are, despite their sometimes very high cost, increasingly popular.

“We are at least twenty years behind men,” she said.

With AFP

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Own Cancer Fuels Doctor’s Quest for Cure | Health | News | The sun

It was in 2005: the young oncologist surgeon had just had his right eye removed because of ocular melanoma, a rare cancer that affects six out of a million people on average in the United States.

Prior to this procedure, her doctors were confident in her ability to make a full recovery and have the surgery again.

“But my reality, with the loss of my eye, was that my perception of depth had been destabilized,” he told AFP. “I knew I could no longer operate.”

At the time, he was 33 years old and had just spent thirteen training and practicing cancer surgery, a specialty he chose before he even knew he would suffer from cancer himself. He was also interested in research on this disease.

But after his eye was removed, he didn’t feel out of place anywhere.

“I was a surgeon who could not operate and I was interested in oncology, but I was not a doctor of internal medicine,” recalls Hinrichs, who therefore returned to school for four years to acquire these skills.

A return to square one for this thirty-something, married and young father.

But with one goal in mind that has become a personal struggle: to find a way to beat cancer when surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy fail.

In the event of recurrence, “I would be in the group of incurable patients”, loose the 46-year-old doctor, specifying that his cancer would then be considered metastatic and therefore fatal.

“Scanxiety”

Now a researcher at the National Cancer Institute, he is leading trials to eradicate cancers caused by the papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted virus that causes various cancers such as that of the cervix or throat.

Two women who participated in the first clinical trials of immunotherapy against cervical cancer are considered cured because they have not had any trace of the disease for at least five years.

These trials, conducted at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, the most prestigious establishment in the United States in terms of research, involve patients with advanced stage cancers who no longer respond to conventional treatments.

If the majority of them did not heal at the end of Dr. Hinrichs’ tests, some nevertheless saw their cancer disappear within a few months. The hope is to design new treatments one day accessible to the general public.

His colleagues describe him as straightforward, honest and blunt, “with a sense of urgency to advance his research” possibly linked to his own experience of the disease. An experience that also brings him closer to his patients.

Aricca Wallace, one of the two healed patients, describes her “scanxiety” – her anxiety with every monitoring MRI (“scan”) – which the doctor helps her overcome. According to her, they have more “a family relationship than doctor-patient”.

The oncologist stopped taking control scans (MRI and X-ray) about five years after his eye was removed. The risk of recurrence for this type of tumor is approximately 50%.

“The statistics are really of limited value” in this case, he explains.

The doctor does not see himself doing anything other than research, to find a cure for advanced cancers by practicing a single injection of billions of lymphocytes, taken from the patient and cultivated so that they multiply. An immune invasion against cancer.

“People with cancer don’t want researchers who focus on things that slow cancer down or have limited effects,” he says.

And to say: “What they really want is for their cancer to disappear”.

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Cancer immunotherapy progresses

Sue Scott had already organized her funeral. It was the winter of 2013, she was 36 years old and her cervical cancer was metastasizing at top speed.

Chemotherapy, radiotherapy, operations … everything had failed. The tumors were now lodged in his liver and colon. But Sue got one last chance: an experimental trial at the clinical center of the National Institutes of Health.

At this publicly funded research hospital, doctors were trying to replace patients’ immune systems with lymphocytes (white blood cells) programmed to specifically attack cancers related to papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted and widespread virus.

A few months later … Sue’s tumors were completely gone. In March, she celebrated five years of complete remission. Doctors consider her to be cured.

“My greatest reward is being a source of hope for other people,” says the real estate agent in Washington, who also volunteers for cancer patients.

The clinical trial in which she participated is a breakthrough in the fight against cancer. This is the first time that researchers have shown that immunotherapy, already effective against blood and skin cancer, can also be used successfully against cancer of the cervix.

What’s more, Sue’s recovery led doctors to an unexpected discovery, which could kill other types of tumors. Doctor Christian Hinrichs, from the National Cancer Institute, told him the good news in February during a check-up.

“We got a certain genetic sequence from you, which we can put into anyone’s cells to attack cancer the same way,” Hinrichs explains. “We’re trying to see if it works clinically.”

A survivor doctor

Dr Hinrichs, 46, himself is a survivor of a particularly rare cancer, which affects six in a million people.

When he was in his twenties, the young surgeon learned he had melanoma in his right eye. But after each laser or radiotherapy treatment, the cancer would come back. He had to resolve to have his eye removed in 2005.

“I am influenced in my research by the fact of having known cancer myself and the fear that it will come back every time”, specifies the researcher to AFP. “I really wanted to find a treatment to prevent the cancer from coming back.”

The purpose of white blood cells is to attack intruders. But when the intruder is a tumor capable of mutating, hiding, or growing on such a scale that it overwhelms the immune system, lymphocytes often fail.

Immunotherapy is believed to solve this problem. It works well against cancers of the blood, like lymphoma or leukemia, because in these cases the cancers carry some kind of flag or signal on their surface (antigens of the tumor), which makes them easily spotted.

But most cancers don’t have this “flag”.

In Sue’s case, the cancer carried HPV antigens – a signal that the immune system can recognize.

“This cancer is very interesting because the virus is right in the middle,” says Miriam Merad, professor of oncology at Icahn School of Medicine in Mount Sinai, New York.

Dr. Hinrichs’ work, she says, is “absolutely crucial” to understanding why immunotherapy works in some people and not others … which remains a mystery. Still to develop new clinical trials to confirm the breakthrough.

A suprise

For Sue, here’s how the doctors proceeded: They operated to remove one of her tumors, then they isolated the lymphocytes that were attacking her.

The researchers then “cultivated” these lymphocytes, and produced billions more, which they then reinjected into his blood … causing a real immune invasion.

This treatment was successful in another patient, a 41-year-old mother, Aricca Wallace, living in Kansas City. She too is considered cured after five years without a tumor.

But the trial failed in the sixteen other women who participated.

Looking at the data from the two recovered patients, Hinrichs found that two-thirds of the cells that eradicated Sue’s cancer attacked another signal or flag, the KK-LC-1 protein.

However, this protein is also expressed in cancers that affect half a million people around the world, in particular one of the most fatal breast cancers, as well as certain cancers of the stomach. Doctors had therefore found their new target.

“It was a hell of a surprise,” recalls the doctor. “It reminds us that science sometimes takes us in directions different from those we had anticipated.”

The next step is therefore to launch clinical trials to treat cancers where this famous KK-LC-1 protein is expressed, in about a year. International patients can apply to participate.

Nothing guarantees success, but the approach is “promising”, told AFP Ronald Gress, deputy director of the National Cancer Institute. “It is one of the most amazing options, but at the same time it is an option that could really help patients.”

Sue, for her part, cannot believe that her cells may one day be able to cure other patients.

“Are you telling me that I have something in me that can help others?” It’s pretty crazy, ”she rejoices.

These are Camilla’s children

The two sons of Prince Charles (72) practically grew up in public and are now omnipresent in the media. Prince William (38) and his brother Prince Harry (36) are world famous. But do you also know the children of Charles’ wife Camilla (73)?

Camilla Parker Bowles: These are your children

His wife Camilla brought two children from their first marriage to the relationship with Prince Charles: Tom Parker Bowles (45) and Laura Lopes (42). The two are thus step brother and step sister of Prince William and Prince Harry.

The siblings have a good relationship with their stepbrothers William and Harry. Laura’s eldest daughter Eliza was even one of the flower girls at Prince Williams and Duchess Kate’s (38) wedding.

More about Tom Parker Bowles and Laura Lopes you can find out in the video.

The British royal family at the Queen's birthday party

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Don’t panic !: Bonus booklet lost: dentist can add information

A complete bonus booklet can save your wallet if at some point an expensive dental treatment is due. But what if it is lost?

If you have lost your bonus booklet, the dentist can add the information to a new booklet. The proDente initiative points this out.

Anyone who has been to the dentist every year for more than five years and has this documented in the bonus booklet increases the subsidy for dentures by 20 percent. With ten years of regular provision, according to proDente, there is a 30 percent more subsidy. (dpa)

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After the rampage in Florida – The face of the protest against the gun lobby (archive)

Emma Gonzalez, 18 years old, Cuban, graduating from Stoneman Douglas High School. A passionate speech made her THE face of the protest:

“Politicians who sit in their gilded houses and chairs that are paid for by the gun lobby NRA tell us: Nothing could have prevented something like this … we say: bullshit.”

Again and again she resolutely wipes the tears from her eyes. That was three days after the school rampage that killed 17 people. The schoolgirl Emma Gonzalez suddenly became the activist Emma Gonzalez. Painting, drawing, sewing – all of her hobbies have suddenly become unimportant. Because the young woman with the shaved hair has only one goal: to change the gun laws in her country. She believes Trump’s proposal to arm teachers is completely wrong:

“My school had two weeks every year when they ran out of paper. And now there is supposed to be $ 400 million to train teachers on the gun? Really? Really now?”

More followers than the gun lobby NRA

She doesn’t talk about it for long. She criticizes, accuses, demands. She now has more followers on Twitter than the powerful gun lobby NRA. Many stand behind Emma. Others attack them. When a Republican politician, who actually had no opponent in the election campaign in Maine, cursed Emma as a skinhead lesbian, a 28-year-old decides to run against him. In the meantime the man has given up.

And Emma? Just keep going. Her mother Beth watches the rapid development in amazement and a little worried, she says on CBS:

“I’m scared. It’s like she’s built wings out of wood and duct tape and throws herself off a building. We run under her with a rescue net that she doesn’t want or that she thinks she doesn’t need.”

Activism instead of learning

Emma’s form of mourning: protesting, shaking up. Your life is upside down. If the massacre hadn’t happened, she’d just be studying to graduate now. Emma was born in the year of the rampage at Columbine High School in Colorado:

“I no no world without mass shootings in schools.”

But Emma and her classmates want to ensure that the students who come after her can go to school again without fear. She has been living for this since February 14th.

a ransom demanded in bitcoins

The city of Atlanta, capital of the state of Georgia in the southern United States, suffered an attack on its computers by hackers on Thursday. The hackers demanded a ransom amounting to $ 51,000… in bitcoins. A phenomenon that is spreading.

Computers in the city of Atlanta, capital of the state of Georgia in the southern United States, were attacked by hackers on Thursday. The hackers demanded a ransom … in bitcoins, this cryptocurrency alternative to traditional currencies. According to local media, the ransom is $ 51,000. Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said the cyberattack, far from being the first of its kind in the world, resulted in the shutdown of several applications, including those used by users to pay their bills or to access legal information. The city’s mayor called the situation “very serious”, saying she became aware of the attack on Thursday morning, discovering unusual activity on the servers. The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security have been asked to participate in the investigation.

The Atlanta hackers, suspected of using pirated software developed by the NSA (US National Security Agency) are said to be the “Shadow Brokers”. This set of hackers is known in particular for having unveiled in 2016 the spy tools of a cyber-espionage group linked to the NSA. The Shadow Brokers also publicly posted an exploit (a piece of software that exploits security holes) called EternalBlue, which is behind the two biggest ransomware cyberattacks: WannaCry and NotPetya.

“It’s profitable”

Since last year, “extortionist” or “ransomware” cyber attacks have hit more than 200,000 companies, hospitals and government agencies in 150 countries. In 2017, the English health system was blocked, but Germany was also hit by such an attack. So how do you explain this effective increase in cyber attacks? “It’s very simple, it’s profitable” explains to Figaro Gérome Billois, Wavestone cybersecurity expert. “Ransomware is a fairly straightforward attack that earns money. There are investment returns that can go up to 1000%. So these are attacks that people will be able to carry out for a few thousand euros and which behind will collect tens or even hundreds of thousands of euros, ”he explains. But the advantage is also that bitcoin is supposed to ensure the anonymity of the ransom, making it difficult to identify the cybercriminal.

In addition, the cyberattack carried out in Atlanta this Thursday is a “targeted” attack, assures Gérome Billois. “There are two types of attacks: the indiscriminate ones that are in e-mails, attachments, etc., and which will aim to water as widely as possible. The hackers will then demand a ransom of around $ 300 on each computer. Then there are the targeted attacks like in Atlanta and which have been in effect since 2016, with attacks on hospitals, cities, companies, and where hackers will find loopholes in the security system of companies, block this company and demand a ransom which amounts to tens of thousands of dollars, ”he explains.

And yet, on multiple occasions, victims of cyber attacks either refuse to pay or make a much smaller payment than the original ransom demanded. Why? “Because there are cybercriminals who, after payment, do not give the key needed to unlock the computers.” This is why some companies, cities, states do not pay the ransoms. Even by making the payment, they are not guaranteed to recover their data and “must call on experts to find them”, notes Gérome Billois. “This only works in 50% of cases”, he laments, specifying that in some cases “companies have had to file for bankruptcy like in Clermont-Ferrand” (the Clermont-Pieces company), which had to close shop, having lost all its customer files and data.

A risk for States: “it can hurt very badly, very quickly”

In addition, Gérome Billois notes that last year, two large-scale attack campaigns were carried out at the international level (Notpetya – which was ultimately not ransomware – and WannaCry). “So yes, there is a risk that a State could be largely affected by blocker software which replicates itself from computer to computer on its own and which then affects a large part of the economic fabric.” States are trying to anticipate this risk, according to the expert, but he affirms that it remains “very complicated”, explaining that this type of attack “can hurt very, very quickly”.

To prevent these malicious actions, Gérome Billois underlines that it is necessary “to cut the problem at the source then to manage to prosecute the cybercriminals”. “Not paying the ransoms” would be a way of drying up the source. “Making the payment does not first of all make it possible to recover the files but in addition, it finances the attack according to” specifies the expert. He indicates that it is extremely difficult to manage to prosecute the criminals, who act outside their country of origin, and to condemn them because there is a “weakness in international law and in cooperation between the police”. Anonymity also complicates the prosecution of the cybercriminal. But this is not a brake because despite this, “bitcoin is traceable when the person converts it into real currency, allowing the person to be found”.

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Hawaii: A Tour of Kauai and the Big Island

Of essentials, of the’unpublished, of met, of surf but also much more than that! Hawaii, all surfers dream of it and going there one day is a must to measure the richness of the surf culture of this archipelago. With Hawai’i Route agency and Hawai’i Tourism, we have concocted three varied itineraries for you. After O’ahu at the start of the week, then Maui Wednesday, now place for the last two jewels of the archipelago: Kaui and the Big Island.


The islands
After getting to know O’ahu and Maui, the most popular islands, direction Kauai. This rounded island will bewitch you and the countless hens of the island will adopt you! They are everywhere, it is even said that they are more numerous than the inhabitants. Although less famous for surfing, Kauai has other assets like its superb waterfalls, wonderful beaches suitable for swimming. You will meet turtles and monk seals basking on the beach. In short, it’s an island where life is good.


As for Big Island, hard not to fall under its spell. This volcano, what a wonder of nature! Still active, you can go as close as possible to the active lava flows and touch them with your fingertips. In the water, a mask and snorkel will be enough to appreciate the waltz of multicolored fish.


The +
The best of the best! Four islands in one trip is the ideal way to fully appreciate Hawaii. Of course, we will not only surf but you will take the opportunity to mix the pleasures (hiking, sea trips to meet dolphins …). It’s a stay very complete and diverse which will allow you to say that you have really discovered Hawaii.


The unavoidable
Sure Kauai, we cannot miss the Wailua falls and the majestic Waimea Canyon. And finally, we must see the Napali Coast by sea and by air thanks to the helicopter flight (must be done!).


Sure Big Island, it is especially the volcano Long Mountain and Killauea that you have to see, feel, touch. But also the west coast, where you will find the most beautiful beach in the United States at Hapuna. Just a little further south, experience Hawai’i history and folklore with a visit to Puuhonua O Honaunau.



Let’s talk about surfing
Sure Kauai, it is also in winter that you will find the biggest waves on the north coast. Stop at Donkey’s Beach but above all to Hanalei Bay, the beach with perfect waves. Sure Big Island, it will take a tour on the north and west coasts during the winter to find something to slide. The spots are less accessible but it remains Hawaii and hard not to find something to surf.



The budget
From 3 500 € to live the perfect trip. International flight departing from Paris, airport taxes, 4 inter-island flights, car rental on the 4 islands, 12 nights in a 3 * hotel (without meals) are included. The dream is here.


About Hawai’i Road

Delphine created his agency in 1997. Since then, she has not stopped traveling the world to find heavenly places. Hawai’i is part of his big favorites to the point that it has specialized in this destination. Its website dedicated entirely to this jewel of the pacific will allow the future traveler to escape, to imagine, to dream.

>> 34 rue Robert Giraudineau / 94 300 Vincennes

>> 01 43 74 94 42

Photo credits: Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson

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Côte d’Ivoire / International / Researchers discover new genetic disease that makes influenza very dangerous

A nurse examines a young patient at a Beijing hospital on January 11, 2018 (XINHUA / AFP)

Abidjan, March 23 (AIP) – Researchers announced on Thursday that they had discovered a gene whose mutations can turn a simple flu into a life-threatening infection. “It is therefore a new genetic disease of immunity that has been identified”, explained in a press release the Parisian genetic research institute Imagine. “This results in an extreme vulnerability to viral infections which are usually not serious, with damage precisely localized to the brainstem”, add the researchers. The gene in question, called DBR1, makes us unequal in the face of common viruses in our environment: influenza, norovirus (which causes gastroenteritis) and …

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What are the stars doing today?

The first episode of “Hannah Montana” was broadcast on Disney Channel in 2006 and is one of the station’s most successful productions. One wonders what happened to the cast of “Hannah Montana”.

One who is still very much in the media is Miley Cyrus. But what happened to the rest of the cast of “Hannah Montana”. You can find out what “Hannah’s” best friend “Lilly”, played by Emily Osment, her series brother “Jackson” (Jason Earles) and Co. are doing today in our gallery.

“Hannah Montana”: What are the stars doing today?

Miley Cyrus had her breakthrough role as “Miley Ray Steward”, who led a double life as a nondescript teenager from Tennessee and at the same time as the superstar “Hannah Montana”. Cyrus was the epitome of a successful child star.

In the meantime, there was hardly anything left of the good Disney image. After the series ended, she played in various films such as “LOL”, but is now focusing on her music career. With bizarre Instagram posts, revealing outfits or shrill appearances, the former child star was a regular guest in the media for a while.

In the meantime, Miley Cyrus has returned to her roots: Her style is now much more mature. In 2019 she released songs like “Slide Away” and “Don’t Call Me Angel”. In 2020 Miley Cyrus released the single “Midnight Sky”. She is one of the Disney actors who are still one of the biggest stars worldwide.

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