A recently released study by the New England Journal of Medicine shows that healthy gay men who took the anti-AIDS pill Truvada were 44 percent less likely to get infected with the virus that causes AIDS than the same number of men taking a placebo. Furthermore, for men who took the pill faithfully every day, the pill was more than 90 percent effective.

Nearly 75 percent of people in the workforce who regularly use computers suffer from symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome, symptoms of which include eyestrain, fatigue, blurry near vision and dry, irritated eyes. Dr. James McGuinness of St. Charles Avenue Vision recommends taking a break. “Moving your focus off the computer screen for as little as 20 seconds at a time can help rest the tiny muscles in your eye and allow your focusing reflex to normalize,” he says. Another option is corrective lenses designed specifically for computer use.

A new hip replacement surgery technique is greatly shortening recovery time for patients, according to local orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Richard L. Meyer. “Anterior Approach Surgery” is minimally invasive because no muscles need to be detached, as opposed to traditional hip replacement. This leads to many patients walking the day after surgery and leaving the hospital without even the aid of a walker.

Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center recently completed the first-ever successful removal of a salivary stone with robotics. Traditional procedures for removal of stones have included removing the entire salivary gland; the robotic technique not only saves the gland, but also reduces scarring, blood loss and the time of hospital stay.

Ochsner Health System recently announced that all its facilities and properties will be tobacco-free starting April 1, 2011, as a part of its “Living the Legacy” initiative for the 35th annual Great American Smokeout. The smoking ban will apply to employees, patients and visitors and will include cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco and all tobacco products.