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Use of Truvada PrEP Not Linked to Depression in iPrEx Analysis

Although depression-related symptoms were the most common severe adverse events in the iPrEx trial of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) among men who have sex with men, there was no association between depression and use of Truvada (tenofovir/emtricitabine) compared to placebo, according to a report in the June 16 edition of AIDS and Behavior.
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June 27 Is National HIV Testing Day -- Diagnosis Rates Vary Widely in U.S.

June 27 is National HIV Testing Day (NHTD), an opportunity to promote HIV screening and awareness of its importance as an entry point to the continuum of care. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 14% of people living with HIV do not know they are infected, but new CDC data released this week show that HIV diagnosis rates vary substantially across the country, ranging from 77% in Louisiana to 90% or higher in 5 states.

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START Study Confirms Benefits of Early HIV Treatment

Long-awaited results from the START study show that people with HIV who start antiretroviral therapy (ART) soon after diagnosis, while their CD4 T-cell count is still high, have a lower risk of illness and death than those who wait, according to a May 27 announcement from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

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Supreme Court Allows Continuation of Affordable Care Act Subsidies in All States

On June 25 the U.S. Supreme Court issued a long-awaited decision in the King v. Burwell case, ruling that subsidies to help people purchase insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) -- popularly known as Obamacare -- are valid in all states, not just those that established their own insurance exchanges. The 6-3 decision will enable an estimated 6 million people to keep their subsidized health plans.

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Prioritization is Crucial for the Success of PrEP, Model Confirms

A mathematical model developed by researchers at Imperial College in London, based on what would happen if pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) was introduced into a high-prevalence region in Kenya, shows that PrEP could be a "runaway success" or a "runaway failure," depending on a number of factors, according to a report in the March 27 edition of AIDS. These factors include adherence, whether new longer-lasting HIV drugs are used, the cost of drugs, and the overall efficiency of distribution.

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New British Guidelines Recommend Treatment for Everyone with HIV

Everyone with HIV who is prepared to take antiretroviral treatment should receive it, regardless of CD4 cell count, new draft British HIV Association (BHIVA) treatment guidelines recommend. The new draft guidelines, published for consultation this week, say that anyone living with HIV who understands the commitment of antiretroviral therapy and is ready to start should receive treatment. The change -- from a recommendation to start treatment before the CD4 cell count falls below 350 cells/mm3 to treatment for all -- follows the results of the START trial, a keenly awaited international study of when to start treatment.

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Socioeconomic and Racial Disparities May Drive HIV Infection among Young Gay and Bisexual Men

Young black or mixed-race men who have sex with men were more likely to be newly infected with HIV than gay and bisexual men of other racial/ethnic groups, according to a study from New York City described in the March 27 advance edition of Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. Living in an area with higher HIV prevalence, lower perceived socioeconomic status, and starting sex at a younger age were also associated with higher risk of infection.

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Better Dendritic Cell Recognition May Explain Stronger Response to HIV in Elite Controllers

Dendritic cells -- the first line of immune defense-- may be better able to recognize HIV in elite controllers, triggering greater cytokine production and interferon-stimulated gene expression, which ultimately results in more effective HIV-specific T-cell responses, according to research reported in the June 11 edition of PLoS Pathogens. Better understanding of this process may be helpful in the search for a functional cure, by improving T-cell immunity against HIV in people who are not natural controllers.

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June 5 is National HIV/AIDS Long-Term Survivors Awareness Day

Friday, June 5, is the second annual National HIV/AIDS Long-Term Survivor Awareness Day (NHALTSAD). Coinciding with the anniversary of the first reported casesof the disease that would come to be known as AIDS, in 1981, the day aims to raise awareness about people living with HIV since the early years of the epidemic, many of whom are facing new and unexpected challenges as they age.

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