The structure of an antibody latches onto the HIV virus.

A study published in Nature, the international science journal, describe the promising results of a human antibody trial to fight HIV.

The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infects and eventually destroys white blood cells called lymphocytes and monocytes, effectively weakening the immune system. Read More →


International health news

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Young woman working in home officeWhat is a health insurance broker? How can their services benefit expats and what is the difference between a broker and a comparison website?

These questions were put to Jorien Jansen, the Senior Consultant at Expat Assure, insurance broker specialising in international health insurance for companies and individuals.

BrazilteaimagePrisons in Brazil have found a new innovative way to peacefully rehabilitate the inmates. There has been an enormous increase in the number of inmates in prisons in Brazil, resulting in many cases of overcrowding. This has led to human rights violations, violent uprisings and barbaric behaviour in these already underfunded prisons. In fact, one of the most horrific revolts took place in 2002 near Pôrto Velho where approximately 27 inmates were killed at the Urso Branco prison.

What is ayahuasca?

Ayahuasca is a psychedelic drink that originates from the Amazon, which is currently being used by different religious groups. Generally, it is made by blending and boiling Banisteriopsis caapi (a vine) with a special leaf called Psychotria viridis. Ayahuasca has become very popular in Brazil, the United states as well as in other countries. Ayahuasca has been described by the members of Ayahuasca Prajna, a community dedicated to the exploration of consciousness, as a brew for detoxification and psychosomatic cleansing, rather than a recreational drug. Read More →


Age of happiness.

International health news

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IRAN AIDSThe governor of Indiana, Mike Pence, is expected to announce a public health emergency in Scott County, a county in the south of Indiana. In the last 26 months at least 72 cases of HIV have been detected in this area with the numbers expected to rise to at least 100. Compared to the yearly average of 5 cases, this amount is alarming. 

The high number of cases may be due to a large flare-up from intravenous drug use. In an attempt to reverse this steep increase, Mike Pence has temporarily suspended state law and his own anti-drug policies in order to carry out a needle-exchange program for a short period of time. This social service allows drug addicts to obtain clean hypodermic needles and other equipment mostly for free. These programs used to be illegal in Indiana.

HIV is contracted through blood, semen, pre-ejaculatory fluids, vaginal fluids, rectal fluids or breast milk from an infected person. Sex and drug use are the main causes of HIV infection. Make sure you use condoms correctly and consistently every time you have vaginal, oral or anal sex. If you have a piercing or tattoo ensure that the needles used have been correctly sterilised.

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Health-insurance-jargon-explainedHealth insurance jargon can be very confusing, especially for expats who may be purchasing their plan for the first time.

However, once you understand the main terms you will be in a better position to make an informed decision about the plan the best fulfills your needs.

Health insurance jargon

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International health news

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In 2015, there are 5.1 million people aged 65 and older suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. By 2025, the number is expected to have increased by 40%. Currently there is no cure for Alzheimer’s.

The disease affects mainly those aged 65 and older and gradually worsens with age. Some of the symptoms include memory loss, problem solving challenges, confusion with time, place or things and changes in mood and personality.

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tanningAlberta, a province in Canada, is running an anti-tanning campaign “The Big Burn” which warns young people about the health dangers of visiting indoor tanning salons. The next step is to ban indoor tanning for people under 18, however this has yet to be decided by the government. An indoor tanning legislation will be put forward by the government this spring.

One of the main reasons for pushing this legislation through are the shocking statistics. According to the Canadian Cancer Society, last year 5800 Canadians were diagnosed with melanoma and sadly 970 people died.

Indoor tanning is especially popular among young people. The figures indicate 47% of Albertans between the ages of 18 to 65, have used an indoor tanning booth in the past
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