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Obamacare Deadline Coming Up, Guide Offers Covered California Advice for HIV, HCV, PrEP

December 15 is the deadline to enroll in Affordable Care Act (ACA or "Obamacare") health plans for insurance coverage starting on January 1, 2015. Finding the right plan can be tricky for people with HIV or hepatitis C, and for those who want coverage for Truvada for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), but there are resources to help.

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No New HIV Infections Seen Among San Francisco Kaiser PrEP Users

No new HIV infections have occurred among more than 500 Kaiser Permanente San Francisco members using pre-exposure prophylaxis -- better known as PrEP -- but condom use appears to be declining among a subset of gay men, according to a small survey presented at a December 1 forum commemorating World AIDS Day.

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Semen May Enhance HIV Infectivity and Impair Microbicide Effectiveness

A component in semen appears to increase the likelihood of sexual transmission of HIV, and furthermore may enable the virus to over-power topical microbicides designed to prevent infection, according to a study published in the November 12 edition of Science Translational Medicine. This may be one of the factors explaining why drugs that block HIV infection in laboratory experiments have not worked in real-world settings, the researchers suggested.

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HIV Drug Therapy: Efavirenz Not Linked to Higher Suicide Risk in D:A:D Cohort

People taking antiretroviral therapy (ART) regimens containing the NNRTI efavirenz (Sustiva) were not more likely to die due to suicide or psychiatric illness than those taking other drugs in the large D:A:D cohort, researchers reported last month at the HIV Drug Therapy 2014 meeting in Glasgow.

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European Commission Approves Boosted Darunavir Combo Rezolsta for HIV

The European Commission last month approved a new fixed-dose coformulation -- dubbed Rezolsta -- containing the HIV protease inhibitor darunavir boosted with the novel pharmacoenhancer cobicistat, Janssen recently announced. The combination is currently being evaluated for U.S. approval.

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HIV in the UK: 76% Diagnosed, 90% on Treatment, 90% Undetectable

The United Kingdom's annual epidemiological report, released in late November, shows that the country already provides HIV treatment to 90% of people accessing clinical services and that 90% of those on treatment have an undetectable viral load. But the country has a long way to go in ensuring that people with HIV are aware of their HIV status -- only 76% of people living with HIV have been diagnosed. The problem is particularly acute in black African communities, as only 62% of African heterosexual men and 69% of African heterosexual women living with HIV have been diagnosed.

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Only 30% of People with HIV in U.S. Have Undetectable Viral Load

Less than one-third of people living with HIV in the U.S. are on antiretroviral therapy (ART) with full viral suppression, which is key to good health and reduced risk of transmission, according to the latest CDC Vital Signs report. In 2011, out of an estimated 1.2 million people living with HIV, just 4 in 10 were receiving HIV medical care and only 3 in 10 had undetectable viral load. "The bottom line is HIV care and treatment not only work to improve health and prolong lives, but also prevent transmission," said CDC director Tom Frieden. "You can save your life and save the life of someone else."

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