“Many Americans with HIV do not have their condition under control”

Recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data show that many Americans with HIV do not have their condition under control. American Medical News reports:

Of the nation’s nearly 1.2 million people with the illness, only 28% have a suppressed viral load, according to a CDC study published in the Dec. 2 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. A suppressed viral load improves patients’ health and dramatically decreases their risk of transmitting the virus through sexual activity.

Part of the problem is that the antiretroviral treatment has been so effective that some patients do not see the need to regularly take their medication, said Dr. Sharp, director of the Center for Comprehensive Care in New York City. The center is an HIV/AIDS clinic at St. Luke’s/ Roosevelt Hospital.

“It’s hard for people to believe” what can happen if the virus is left untreated, she said.

At the same time, one in five Americans infected with HIV does not know he or she has the condition, the CDC said. Only about half of people diagnosed with HIV receive ongoing medical care and treatment.

To help remedy the problem, the CDC urges doctors to increase testing for HIV during routine medical visits. The agency recommends that doctors test everyone between ages 13 and 64. People at high risk of contracting the virus, including injection drug users and men who have sex with other men, should be tested at least once a year, the CDC says.

Read the full article on amednews.com.

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