Special treatment. A second baby born with HIV has possibly been cured after receiving treatment four hours after her birth. Doctors revealed the case Wednesday at an AIDS conference in Boston. The girl was born in suburban Los Angeles last April, a month after researchers announced the first case from Mississippi. That baby is now 3 1/2 and seems HIV-free despite receiving no treatment for about two years. A just-started, federally funded study will evaluate whether very early treatment can cure HIV infection. About 60 babies in the United States and other countries will get very aggressive treatment that will be discontinued if tests over a long time, possibly two years, show no active infection.
Academic advice. Rutgers University faculty are protesting the selection of former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice as this year’s commencement speaker. The faculty passed a resolution this week stating Rice “played a prominent role in (the Bush) administration’s efforts to mislead the American people about the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and the existence of links between al-Qaeda and the Iraqi regime,” Inside Higher Ed reported. Rutgers’ student newspaper initially praised the university for its selection of “a woman with such a powerful career position,” but later changed course with an editorial criticizing the choice of a politician for commencement speaker. Rutgers has stood by its selection and given no indication it will rescind its invitation.
Skirting the issue. Massachusetts law does not protect women from subway snoops who take photos up their skirts, the state’s Supreme Judicial Court ruled Wednesday. The law makes it a crime to photograph people who are nude or partially nude in public areas such as dressing rooms or restrooms. Since the women on the subway were clothed, the court said the law did not apply to them. State lawmakers indicated they would work quickly to change the wording of the law, but they also criticized the court for its narrow interpretation. “I am in disbelief that the courts would come to this kind of decision and outraged at what it means for women’s privacy and public safety,” Massachusetts Senate President Therese Murray said.
Making the grade. College-bound students can expect a kinder, gentler SAT exam starting in 2016. On Wednesday, the College Board announced a major makeover of the college entrance test. The essay portion, added in 2005, will become optional, vocabulary words will be updated to reflect more contemporary language, and the extra penalty for wrong answers will be eliminated. The test will revert to the familiar 1,600-point grading scale abandoned in 2005. The changes may be the College Board’s attempt to gain back market share it has lost to the competing ACT exam in recent years.