Health services and systems
New York Times | 26 December 2014
A consumer group has sued the health insurer Aetna, claiming that it discriminated against patients with H.I.V. when it required them to obtain medications exclusively through its own mail-order pharmacy.
Medscape (requires free registration) | 26 December 2014
Men and women without HIV infection who use tenofovir-based pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) develop significant but not clinically relevant declines in kidney function, according to the largest study to date to look at the issue.
Hepatitis C transmission and prevention
AIDSMeds | 26 December 2014
Increasing evidence suggests that hepatitis C transmits sexually among HIV-negative men who have sex with men, and not just among HIV-positive MSM.
Medical procedures and other blood-borne exposure
New York Times | 24 December 2014
The Food and Drug Administration announced Tuesday that it would scrap a decades-old lifetime prohibition on blood donation by gay and bisexual men, a major stride toward ending what many had seen as a national policy of discrimination. However, the agency will continue to ban men who have had sex with a man in the last year, saying the barrier is necessary to keep the blood supply safe, a move that frustrated rights groups that were pushing for the ban to be removed entirely.
Epidemiology and behaviour
Aidsmeds | 23 December 2014
Heterosexuals engage in sex that puts them at risk for HIV, but do not get tested at high enough rates. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued its most recent National HIV Behavior Surveillance System (NHBS) report about high-risk heterosexuals, which focuses on data collected from individuals in a series of major metropolitan areas.
How transmission occurs
Medical News Today | 23 December 2014
Dr. Deborah Anderson from Boston University School of Medicine and her colleagues are challenging dogma about the transmission of HIV. Most research has focused on infection by free viral particles, while this group proposes that HIV is also transmitted by infected cells. While inside cells, HIV is protected from antibodies and other antiviral factors. Anderson chides fellow researchers for not using cell-associated HIV in their transmission models: "The failure of several recent vaccine and microbicide clinical trials to prevent HIV transmission may be due in part to this oversight." . The Journal of Infectious Diseases (JID) has devoted their December supplement to this important and understudied topic.
Hepatitis C treatment
Hepatitis C News | 23 December 2014
Even with New AbbVie Drug, Many Hepatitis C Patients Are Being Turned Away from Treatment. Doctors, insurance companies, and even governments have cried foul over high prices the new medications Sovaldi, Harvoni, and now Viekira Pak. Sick people aren’t getting the treatments they need due to insurance denials and other roadblocks.
Hepatitis C treatment
Financial Times (free registration required) | 23 December 2014
Gilead Sciences shares backtracked from their giddy ascent of the past three years, falling more than 10 per cent after the company’s flagship hepatitis C treatment fell out of favour with the largest pharmacy benefits manager in the US. High quality global journalism requires investment. Express Scripts, which helps manage the cost of healthcare plans offered by companies as well as some government programmes, said it had chosen Viekira Pak, a medicine developed by drugmaker AbbVie, as the “exclusive option” for patients.
IPS | 23 December 2014
Why are South African men reluctant to test for HIV, to start and stay on ART, and to join support groups? Is it that health services are not men-friendly? Is it an idea of masculinity that mandates men to be stoic, to hide pain as a weakness and not to talk about their feelings? What defines the relationship of men to health services and how can it be improved? In this video by Davison Mudzingwa, experts and activists like Thamela, analyze the factors that drive men’s gendered vulnerability to HIV in South Africa and suggest ways to reduce it.
The search for a cure
Mediscript | 23 December 2014
The Journal of Virus Eradication is a new open-access online and print journal dedicated to the rapidly developing field of virus eradication. It is particularly interested in publishing original research on HIV, hepatitis viruses, HPV, herpes and flu but work on other viruses is also included. The first issue was successfully launched at the HIV and Hepatitis Five Nations Conference in London
on 8 December 2014 and is available now on the Journal website: www.viruseradication.com