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Top 5 Contagion® News Articles for the Week of August 27, 2017


#3: UNC Study Finds Some HIV Patients with Low Viral Loads Forgo Treatment

With the help of antiretroviral therapy (ART), an HIV diagnosis no longer equates to a death sentence. Because ART has proven to help infected individuals live longer and healthier lives, it is recommended for everyone who is infected with the virus to start ART as soon as their aware of their status.

However, according to a study conducted by researchers from the University of North Carolina (UNC), about one-third of patients with HIV with low viral loads tempted fate and avoided taking the recommended HIV medications.

The mass prolonged delay in ART among patients necessitates a closer look at the current guidelines for HIV therapy, the study’s authors noted. 

Read more about this study, here.

#2: Can Aetna Recover After Catastrophic Confidentiality Breach? Public Health Watch Report

Health insurance provider Aetna ran commercials in the 1980s with the tagline,“Aetna, I’m glad I met ya.”

However, it’s unlikely 12,000 of the company’s customers, all of whom are HIV-positive, agree with that sentiment these days. That’s because Aetna, the third-largest insurer in the United States, with more than 46.7 million “covered lives”—and more than $63 billion in annual revenues, according to its most recent figures—sent these patients instructions on new options available to them for filling prescriptions for antiviral treatments and preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in envelopes with “a large, clear window,” as a CBS News report reads.

This set-up revealed the contents of the letter and therefore the health status of the recipients. Ironically, the letters themselves were mailed following the settlement of a class-action lawsuit, which had accused Aetna and other insurance carriers of discriminating against patients with HIV/AIDS by requiring them to fill prescriptions via mail order.

Read the rest of the Public Health Watch Report, here.

Big advances in treatment can