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The latest international news, analysis and features on the HIV epidemic from Avert. Share your views and expertise with your peers in the comments box below the articles.

30 January 2015

US health insurers discriminate with high ARV prices

A study that looked at health insurance plans under the new Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the United States has found that people living with HIV (PLHIV) on some plans are paying on average $3000 more than PLHIV on other plans. The findings have sparked concerns that these insurance providers are pricing antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) in the highest bracket within their plans – in what has been called ‘adverse tiering’ – to discourage PLHIV taking up policies.

20 January 2015

People living with HIV do not face increased risks for heart attack

The risk of a heart attack for people living with HIV has declined to the same risk as people living without HIV. A new study published in the Journal of Clinical Infectious Diseases shows that the increased risk of heart attack for people living with HIV is largely reversible when a continued emphasis on primary prevention is given, in combination with early initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) to prevent immune infection.

07 January 2015

Paediatric HIV disclosure in Namibia

A tool to help caregivers and healthcare workers disclose to children that they are living with HIV in Namibia has been found to be highly effective in a low-resource setting. The study evaluated the effectiveness of a paediatric HIV disclosure intervention, and is thought to be the first formal research of its kind in the sub-Saharan Africa context.

05 January 2015

People living with HIV likely to have problems hearing

A new study has found that adults living with HIV have poorer hearing than adults not infected with this virus. HIV affects the auditory portion of the inner ear, meaning low and high frequencies may not be heard. As a result, adults living with HIV may experience difficulties hearing and understanding speech, due to the low frequency sounds of vowels and consonants – and particularly in the English language.