New strain of HIV: A new strain of HIV has been identified in a Cameroonian woman, French scientists reported in the journal Nature Medicine. The three previously known strains are related to a virus found in chimps, but the new one appears to be related to a form of simian immunodeficiency virus recently discovered in wild gorillas. The woman, who tested positive for HIV in 2004 shortly after moving to Paris from Cameroon, said she’d had no contact with apes and did not eat bush meat. So far, the woman shows no signs of AIDS and is not taking any HIV drugs. Still, the finding “highlights the continuing need to watch closely for the emergence for new HIV variants, particularly in western Central Africa,” said the researchers.
Women against Berlusconi: Thousands of Italian women have signed an online petition attacking the “sexist policies, behavior, and discourse” of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Chiara Volpato, a sociology professor at the University of Milan, launched the petition in the wake of a slew of stories linking the 72-year-old Berlusconi to various women, including a 17-year-old. “Women are convinced that the time has come to speak up,” Volpato said. “Berlusconi’s behavior has greatly damaged the image of Italy internationally, strengthening the stereotype that Italians endorse old-fashioned macho attitudes.” Berlusconi said that a recently released audiotape that purportedly captured him in bed with a prostitute was a fraud, but he admitted that he is “no saint.” His wife has filed for divorce.