Communities offer HIV testing in grocery stores and high schools; child life specialists play with children in hospitals to speed along medical processes; marriages with women breadwinners experience tension; AIDS conference marks a drastic change in the AIDS saga since the disease first ran rampant. These stories and more topping public health headlines today, Monday, July 23, 2012.

NPRHospital Specialists Help Remind The Sickest Kids They’re Still Kids
Yoselyn Gaitan, an 8-year-old with a shy smile, sits quietly in an exam room at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., wearing a tiny hospital gown. Kelly Schraf spots her through the curtain and tiptoes into her room. Schraf is a child life specialist, a type of health care provider whose job is to help sick children and their families navigate difficult medical situations emotionally and psychologically while in the hospital. They do it largely through play — the basis of how a child learns and grows.

New York TimesIn Washington, H.I.V. Testing Moves Beyond the Clinic
As a diabetic with Medicaid coverage, Ms. Byrde has seen doctors several times a year since she was 12, but they never suggested that she be tested, even though she lives in a city with one of the country’s highest H.I.V. infection rates. Now the city, trying to find the estimated 5,000 Washingtonians who are infected but do not know it, is offering tests in grocery stores and high schools, on corners where addicts gather and even in motor vehicle offices. And it is paying people to take them. “Seven dollars to take a mouth swab?” Ms. Byrde said. “It just works. And they make sure you don’t lose your place in line.”

Wall Street JournalWhen the Wife Has a Fatter Paycheck
I’m one of the 40% of American women, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, who are the breadwinners for their families—that is, we earn more than our husbands. Like millions of my sisters, this puts me smack in the middle of a distinctively modern dilemma: how to handle the tensions of a marriage between an alpha woman and a beta man. I’m one of the 40% of American women, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, who are the breadwinners for their families—that is, we earn more than our husbands. Like millions of my sisters, this puts me smack in the middle of a distinctively modern dilemma: how to handle the tensions of a marriage between an alpha woman and a beta man.

Wall Street JournalGiving Birth for Less
For young, healthy women, having a baby may be the costliest experience they have with the health-care system. A typical delivery costs between $6,000 and $8,000, with prenatal care in the months before averaging $2,000, according to the American Pregnancy Association, a nonprofit that promotes pregnancy wellness. And that’s for an uncomplicated delivery—the figures go up for multiple births, cesarean sections and other complications.

Kaiser Health NewsMedicare IDs Few Hospitals As Outliers In Readmissions
Despite several years of concerted efforts, hospital readmission rates aren’t dropping, the latest Medicare data show. Readmissions cost Medicare. $17.5 billion in inpatient spending, with nearly 10 million Medicare beneficiaries readmitted within 30 days for any cause, a rate of nearly one in five Medicare patients who enter a hospital. Nonetheless, Medicare continues to publicly single out very few hospitals as poor performers on its Hospital Compare website, even as the agency readies new financial penalties against those with too high rates.

Washington PostEverything’s different (almost) since last international AIDS conference in U.S.
AIDS has killed 35 million people. It’s caused physical pain and mental anguish for many who live with it. It’s created a generation of African orphans. It’s drained untold trillions of dollars from national economies and people’s pockets. There’s also one other way to describe the AIDS saga. It’s a success story. AIDS tells the story of mankind’s powers of observation, the capacity of science to figure things out, the importance of citizen movements, the globalization of problem-solving, the intolerance of extreme inequality, the impulse for generosity, the ability of government to do good.