Danny Pintauro Opens Up About Learning He Was HIV-Positive

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- When former Who's the Boss? star Danny Pintauro scheduled a routine physical three years ago, he didn't realize that he was sick.

So, when he got a call from his doctor on his lunch break shortly thereafter, he wasn't prepared for the news that he had tested positively for HIV.

"I had no idea," Pintauro recalled on The View. "[I] went to the doctor’s office and got the news, walked back to work, spent another six hours doing talent agent stuff and went home and cried."

Pintauro, now 39, explained that in the years prior, he had been abusing crystal meth and having unprotected sex.

"The problem with meth is that it’s completely intertwined with sex, so soon as I wanted to explore some rougher sides of my sexuality I encountered meth," said Pintauro.

"The reason I kept doing [meth] over the years was probably because I had some stuff going on in my life that I was not ready to deal with, or that I was having a hard time dealing with," the former child star explained.

Now, Pintauro wants others to learn from his story. He quit his job and wants to work with HIV/AIDS organizations, speaking to the gay community about why it's important to live "a responsible lifestyle."

"I don't want to be a hero, or I don't want to be the role model," he said. "I want to be the example of what can happen if you get into drugs, if you're being promiscuous, if you're not taking care of yourself."

And he is. Pintauro, who's taking medication, also gave intimate details about his relationship with his husband, Wil Tabares.

"You try not to have limits in your marriage but there have to be limits for us," he said. "I'm taking care of myself and he's taking care of himself."

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Couple Turns Hospital ICU Into Wedding Chapel as Groom Battles Cancer

Mary Lou Dodson/Vanderbilt University Medical Center(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — An intensive care unit was recently turned into wedding chapel for one couple anxious to get married before it was too late.

Caleb Hanby and Bethany Davidson were married at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center last week, just hours after Hanby was rushed to the hospital due to breathing problems, according to the hospital.

Hanby, 28, was diagnosed last year with a rare cancer called rhabdomyosarcoma that affected his skeletal muscle in the jaw.

The couple had already planned for a quick wedding after the terminal diagnosis, but at the hospital Hanby was deteoriating quickly and they still had weeks before their wedding date. As a result the couple decided they should marry that day before Hanby's health got even worse, according to the hospital.

“I knew it needed to happen that day,” said Davidson, 26, on the Vanderbilt University Medical Center website. “I couldn’t live without the opportunity to be married to my soul mate.”

While they didn't have a lot of time to turn the ICU room into a lavish wedding space, the hospital staff and family and friends jumped into action. The ICU medical receptionist found extra bouquets to adorn the room and ordered a special wedding cake rush-ordered from the cafeteria, according to the hospital.

Davidson, wearing a green sweatshirt instead of the traditional white gown, carried a small bouquet from the hospital gift shop. The groom wore a hospital gown with a small boutinnere affixed to the front. The processional involved a nurse in scrubs scattering rose petals and Dr. Todd Rice, the attending physician for the ICU.

“They’ve made us feel like we’re the most important people at this hospital, with all that they’ve done,” Davidson said on the hospital website.

Brittney Woodard, 25, a friend of the couple, acted as impromptu maid of honor at the ceremony. She was able to get their wedding bands at the hospital gift shop free of charge after they heard her story.

"When we knew [the ceremony] was happening. We all just started crying because it was the tears of joy and tears of knowing he may not make it," Woodard told ABC News Friday of the moments before the ceremony. "Even though it was in this horrible ... situation you didn’t want, it was just the most amazing thing. There’s so much love in both of them."

Woodard posted a moving video on Facebook of the couple's ceremony showing the couple holding hands as they said their vows.

"Hey, handsome I can honestly say I have waited for this day my entire life. The day I get to become your wife," Davidson said during her vows. "No matter how much time we have together, you will always be the love of my life."

After the ceremony, the couple celebrated with a small reception and even got to cut their wedding cake. Even though Hanby was unable to stand on his own, he said the ceremony was beautiful.

“It made me feel complete,” he said on the Vanderbilt University Medical Center website.

Hanby died due to complications from his cancer on Thursday, just a over week after saying his vows.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Your Body: Do Ellipticals Burn More Calories Than Walking?

iStock/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

It’s the calorie conscious question that’s plagued us for decades: What’s better? Walking or using the elliptical?

According to recent estimates by the Mayo Clinic, when it comes to calories, ellipticals burn more. Research shows that a 160-pound person using an elliptical for one hour will burn about 365 calories. That same person will burn just 314 calories walking for the same amount of time.

But why? Experts say the unique elliptical pattern your leg muscles are forced to move in, plus the added motion of your arms, gives you a bigger burn.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Report: Minorities More at Risk to Suffer from Diabetes

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A new report indicates that diabetes is rising in the United States, and minority groups are more at risk.

According to the study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the percentage of Americans suffering from the disease rose from 10 percent in 1988 to 12 percent in 2012. Dr. Amisha Wallia, assistant professor of medicine at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, says African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, Native Americans and Asian-Americans are more at risk to have diabetes. Twenty-nine million Americans have the disease, and for a large percentage of people, it is undetected. This has inspired a new emphasis on education about prevention, early diagnosis and treatment.

Diabetes often leads to more health problems. Dr. David Nathan, director of the Diabetes Center at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, tells, “Diabetes is the biggest cause of blindness, biggest cause of kidney failure, biggest cause of amputations." He continues, "It leads to erectile dysfunction in men, it increases your risk for heart disease by anywhere from two-to-fivefold.”

Solomon Rosenblatt, assistant professor of medicine at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine in Rochester, Michigan, says it is critical to identify diabetes patients. “If we can identify an individual with diabetes earlier," he says, "we are more likely to be successful with our treatment in preventing complications.”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Could Breakthrough Find Lead to Exercise in a Bottle?

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Scientists at the University of Sydney have successfully mapped 1,000 molecular reactions to exercise, a discovery that researchers say could lead to drugs that mimic the health benefits of exercise for people — without them actually doing it.

The research, which was undertaken in collaboration with researchers from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, was published in Cell Metabolism.

"Exercise is the most powerful therapy for many human diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and neurological disorders," said lead researcher Professor David James, Leonard P. Ullmann Chair of Metabolic Systems at the University's Charles Perkins Centre. "However, for many people, exercise isn't a viable treatment option. This means it is essential we find ways of developing drugs that mimic the benefits of exercise."

The researchers scanned for molecular changes in muscle biopsies taken from a group of male test subjects who underwent 10 minute bursts of vigorous exercise. Using mass spectrometry, scientists were able to track the molecular changes, allowing them to compile what's being called, "the world's first comprehensive exercise blueprint."

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Surviving Pets Show Another Side of California's Wildfires

UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (SAN FRANCISCO) -- It is hard to forget the images from California’s recent wildfires. As the flames tore through the northern part of California, families were forced to leave everything and flee their homes. But there is another side that many did not see -- the pets that families were sometimes forced to leave behind.

“There were so many families who came in [to the evacuation center] who literally had 5 minutes to get out,” Wine Country Animal Lovers (WCAL) Board President Pam Ingalls told ABC News. Her organization volunteered at the Calistoga Evacuation Center in Napa County. While she was there, Ingalls met a dog owner who could not get back to their house to rescue their pup. Horse owners had no other choice but to open the pasture and let the horses run.

“It was really sad because there were a lot of people who got [to the evacuation center] without their animals,” she said. Other evacuees brought injured animals with them.

The UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine treated more than 50 injured animals in the aftermath of the fires, according to Communications Officer Rob Warren.

“The overwhelming majority of animals had burns (1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree) to their paws and face,” Warren said.

Cats were by far the most commonly injured; however, the veterinary teaching hospital treated some more unusual animals as well, including four chickens, two pigs, two goats and a rabbit. Warren told ABC News that all of the animals are “showing great signs of improvement” but they will remain in the hospital for three to four more weeks.

Beyond just rescuing and rehabilitating the animals, many organizations are working to re-unite them with their owners. UC Davis located the owners of 11 of their treated animals. Groups have cropped up on social media dedicated to sharing pictures of lost and found pets, using hashtags like #ValleyFirePets and #ButteFirePets. In the wake of so much devastation, being able to reunite owners with their pets is a spot of hope.

“Most of the owners that we’ve identified have lost everything,” Warren said.

As communities work to rebuild, Ingalls suspects that their work will continue.

“There will be a lot of [pet] surrenders because people have lost their homes and don’t feel that they can care for them,” she said. Ingalls encourages those who want to help the animal survivors to adopt or donate for their medical needs.

“We’ve been able to do so much because of the community,” she said. “There’s a lot that we can do.”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


FDA: 'All-Natural' Alternatives for ED Medication Could Be Dangerous

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers that dietary supplements meant to improve sexual performance may contain ingredients that are found in prescription erectile dysfunction pills like Viagra, Cialis and Levitra.

The agency expressed concern on Thursday that high dosages or unintended combinations could make taking some such supplements dangerous for consumers. In total, the FDA says, nearly 300 suppements found online, in gas stations or in vending machines could contain some of these ingredients.

The supplements take a number of forms, including pills, coffees and chewing gums and are labeled "all natural" or "herbal." By not disclosing the hidden ingredients, the FDA says, even cautious consumers would be left unaware that they may be taking excessively high doses.

"We're finding an alarming number of these products sold online and in retail stores," the FDA's National Health Fraud Coordinator Gary Coody said in a statement. "Consumers have no way of knowing which drugs or ingredients are actually in the product just by reading the ingredients on the label."

The FDA reccomends being wary of products promising quick results, being advertised as alternatives to FDA-approved drugs, have labels written in a foreign language, or are sold in single servings.

"Some of these products," Coody added, "have as many as six different ingredients contained in FDA-approved prescription drugs and analog of those ingredients." He expressed concern that the agency can't tell what danger the drugs pose, "because these combinations have never been studied before they're sold to unsuspecting consumers."

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Teen Dies After Ingesting Synthetic Psychedelic Drug, Police Say

The Snyder Family(MINNEAPOLIS) -- A Minnesota teen has died after ingesting a synthetic psychedelic drug, police said Thursday.

Alexander Snyder was found face up in a marsh on Sunday by police officers after he was reported missing, police said, noting the 17-year-old was found with his shoes off having a seizure in the water. Police officers were sent to the scene by the teen's father, who tracked his location through his cell phone GPS, police said.

The officers took him to a hospital, where he later died on Tuesday, police said.

Jason Kamerud, Chief Deputy at the Carver County Sheriff's Office, said investigators believe that Snyder died from an accidental overdose of a synthetic psychedelic drug that he snorted with a friend. Police did not name the drug. The medical examiner is looking into the cause of death, police said.

Another teen was found with Snyder and was taken to the hospital where he was treated and released for symptoms associated with the synthetic drug, police said.

Officials believe the teens got the drug from a Chinese manufacturer over the Internet, Kamerud said, noting the drug was likely not illegal because synthetic drugs can be altered so that they are chemically slightly different from banned substances.

Snyder's father, Jeremy Snyder, told ABC News that his son was on track to graduate six months early and had wanted to be an astrophysicist. He said he was frustrated that his son was able to get synthetic drugs online and said his son had recently been experimenting with different drugs, though trying just a single drug at a time. He said he believed this synthetic psychedelic drug was the second synthetic drug he tried. He said parents should be aware of how easy it can be to get certain synthetic drugs online and that they should do everything they can to intervene if their child starts to experiment with drugs.

"These things are really, really not safe," Jeremy Snyder told ABC News. "If the parents are suspecting [teens are using synthetics] they should probably cut them off all financially."

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Your Body: Can Stress Affect Fertility?

iStock/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

From headaches to high blood pressure, stress can take a toll on you. But now, there are growing concerns that stress can also affect fertility.

A study from Ohio State University found that women with the highest stress levels took 29 percent longer to get pregnant compared to other women, and their risk of infertility doubled.

As an OB/GYN and as a woman, I know just how stressful it can be for a couple trying to conceive. The good news is that there are simple ways to reduce stress that could make a big impact:

  • Separate the tasks that need to be done from the those that would be nice to get done.
  • Stop smoking, and cut back on caffeine and alcohol.
  • Practice relaxation methods, such as yoga or my favorite, meditation.
  • And for fertility, relax -- there’s a reason so many couples conceive while on vacation.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


How “Dr. Ken” Star Ken Jeong's Acting Career Helped His Wife Beat Cancer

ABC(NEW YORK) — They say laughter is the best medicine and it turns out that’s exactly what one of the most iconic comedic roles — Mr. Chow in The Hangover — became for actor Ken Jeong and his wife, Tran, when they faced the unthinkable.

Jeong got the call for the 2009 hit movie right in the middle of Tran’s grueling chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer. Tran, a physician who practices family medicine, says she found a hard lump in her breast in 2007, while breastfeeding the couple’s twin daughters, and was diagnosed with breast cancer the next year, in 2008.

“Ken was so strong for me. I really needed that,” Tran told ABC News’ Amy Robach, herself a breast cancer survivor. “But you know, I knew he was stressed out too.”

"And when the opportunity of The Hangover came up, he really worried about [it]," Tran recalled. "He said, ‘I don’t know if I should do this.'"

Jeong, of course, took the role and playing a Korean gangster in the movie also became therapy for the couple, whose twin daughters are now 8-years-old.

“I would ad lib actually,” said Jeong, now the star of Dr. Ken on ABC. “I’m Korean and I was speaking Vietnamese in the movie and like I say ‘kai chee’ (Vietnamese for 'chicken die') and all these things to get my henchmen to get out."

“There were these inside jokes between me and Tran," he added. "I would sprinkle that all throughout the movie…it’s like the weirdest love letter to your wife in a very filthy movie.”

The antics worked for Jeong’s wife in her time of need.

“It would just make me laugh,” Tran said.

Tran was declared cancer-free after the filming of The Hangover, a moment Jeong, who quit a medical career to pursue acting and comedy, memorialized at the 2010 MTV Movie Awards.

“I want to take the opportunity to thank my wife Tran,” he said at the awards ceremony. “The reason why I did this is that she taught me that life is short, and don’t be afraid to take chances. And I want to tell you that Tran is cancer free for two years.”

The Jeongs spoke with Robach and her husband, Andrew Shue, who helped care for Robach through eight rounds of chemotherapy, about what it takes to be a caregiver for someone with breast cancer.

The two breast cancer survivors, Robach and Tran, both recalled hearing a similar sentiment from their doctors about what their cancer treatment would be like.

“One of the best things I heard from the beginning is, ‘Tran this is going to take a year,’” Tran said.

“My doctor said, ‘Be prepared, you will have a year of hell,’” said Robach. “And then it will get better.”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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