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Health Highlights: July 10, 2012

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

FDA Fast-Tracks Review of New Uses for Anticlotting Drug

A review of new uses for the anticlotting drug Xarelto has been given priority status by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The drug is already approved for preventing blood clots in patients undergoing knee or hip replacement surgery and for people with a common heart rhythm disorder called atrial fibrillation.

Drug maker Johnson & Johnson is now asking the FDA to approve the drug to treat deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, and to prevent recurrence of the two conditions, The New York Times reported.

Deep vein thrombosis is a blood clot in a deep vein, usually in the legs. Pulmonary embolism is a potentially deadly conditions that occurs when one of those clots dislodges and travels to the lungs.

Under priority reviews, the FDA tries to make a decision within six months instead of the usual 10 months, The Times reported.

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Criminalizing Gay Behavior Hinders Fight Against HIV/AIDS: Report

A new report says laws that criminalize gay behavior waste resources and interfere with efforts to combat HIV/AIDS.

The Global Commission on HIV and the Law also slammed a number of other laws, such as those that deny youths access to sex education and make sex work a crime and prevent interventions, Agence France-Presse reported.

The report is based on "extensive research and first-hand accounts from more than 1,000 people in 140 countries," the commission said in a statement.

"Too many countries waste vital resources by enforcing archaic laws that ignore science and perpetuate stigma," commission chair and former president of Brazil Fernando Henrique Cardoso said in a statement, AFP reported.

"We have a chance to free future generations from the threat of HIV. We cannot allow injustice and intolerance to undercut this progress," Cardoso said.

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Frozen Meatballs, Patties Recalled Due to Listeria Risk

Nearly 325,000 pounds of frozen, ready-to-eat beef and chicken meatballs and patties are being recalled by New Jersey-based Buona Vita, Inc. due to possible listeria contamination, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) says.

The packages of recalled products carry the establishment number "P-954" or "Est. 954" inside the USDA mark of inspection. The products were distributed nationwide.

The problem was discovered through tests conducted by FSIS and the Ohio Department of Agriculture. To date, there have been no reports of illnesses associated with the products, according to FSIS.

For more information about the recall, consumers can go to the USDA/FSIS website.

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