In brief

BMJ 2004; 329 doi: (Published 04 November 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:1062

EC to tackle HIV/AIDS through poverty: The European Commission has placed the fight against poverty at the heart of its new strategy to tackle HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis around the world. It has set aside €1.1bn (£0.8bn; $1.4bn) for the campaign for the next three years.

Tobacco documents go online: A consortium headed by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine has made one million pages of internal British American Tobacco documents available online at Another five million pages are scheduled to be added by late 2006.

Irish vCJD case reported: Irish health officials have reported the first indigenous case of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD). A man in his 20s is believed to be the first person to have contracted the disease from eating contaminated beef in the country. Doctors have ruled out surgery or a blood transfusion as a cause. Ireland has the second highest incidence in Europe, after the United Kingdom, of cattle with bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

UK students at risk of mumps: Students in the United Kingdom are being offered MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccination in a bid to stem the threat of a mumps epidemic in universities. Most people between 18 and 22 were too old by the time the joint vaccine was introduced and were vaccinated only against measles and rubella, says the Health Protection Agency. Cases of mumps hit the highest level since records began (in 1995) during April to June this year.

Older people in England healthier than ever: Older people in England are healthier, more active, and living longer thanks to better services designed to meet their needs, says a report published this week. Better Health in Old Age shows that older people are now more likely to give up smoking and take up offers of health screening and immunisation. The report is at

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