From Betsy McKay of the Wall Street Journal comes this from the recently concluded International AIDS Conference in Washington DC:
More than half of the people diagnosed with the HIV virus in the U.S. aren’t getting treatment for their infection, the U.S government said (Friday).
African-Americans and younger people are least likely to be receiving regular treatment, meaning that programs to keep them under a doctor’s care aren’t working or aren’t plentiful enough, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
While 81% of those African Americans estimated to be infected are diagnosed, only 29% get ongoing care, and just 21% are “virally suppressed,” or have their virus controlled by a regular regimen of antiretroviral, or ARV, drugs. Among Americans ages 25 to 34, 72% of those infected are diagnosed, but 28% get care and a mere 15% are virally suppressed.
Overall, an estimated 1.1 million Americans are infected with HIV. Only 46% of those who are diagnosed with HIV get regular treatment, while a quarter of all those estimated to be infected are virally suppressed.
“We’ve got to do better,” says Jonathan Mermin, director of the CDC’s division of HIV/AIDS Prevention.
The data were released at the XIX International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C.
The challenge is to find ways to make HIV testing more widespread, and then make it easier to link those who are diagnosed directly into care — and to make sure they stay there, says Mermin. “I want to make the healthy choice the easy choice,” he says.
And therein lies the challenge. The easy choice is sometimes pretending the choices don’t even exist….
- 1 in 4 Americans with HIV have infection under control (cbc.ca)
- 75 percent of U.S. HIV patients lack effective care (vitals.nbcnews.com)
- Only 1 in 4 Americans Have Their HIV Under Control (gabrielcatalano.com)
- “All Adult HIV Patients Should Be Offered Antiretroviral Therapy” (dgsmith.org)