HIV study results troubling
Nearly three out of four Americans living with HIV do not have their infection under control, according to a Vital Signs report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, released in conjunction with World AIDS Day, Dec. 1.
The low percentage comes from the fact that 1 in 5 people with HIV do not know they are infected and, of those who are aware, only 51 percent receive ongoing medical care and treatment.
Of the nearly 1.2 million people living with HIV in the U.S., only an estimated 28 percent have a suppressed viral load (defined as viral load less than 200 copies of the blood-borne virus per milliliter of blood), meaning that the virus is under control and at a level that helps keep them healthy and reduces the risk of transmitting the virus to others.
However, of those living with HIV who are in ongoing care and on antiretroviral treatment, 77 percent have suppressed levels of the virus. Effective HIV treatment and care benefit infected individuals by improving their health, and are also important for HIV prevention.
Results from a recent study of heterosexual couples from the National Institutes of Health showed that consistently taking antiretroviral therapy, in combination with safer behaviors, can reduce the risk of spreading HIV by approximately 96 percent.