Sunday, December 4, 2011

US Reflection on HIV/AIDS Awareness

According to the Centers for Disease Control, only one quarter of Americans with an HIV infection have the infection under control. By "under control," they means that they have a suppressed viral load - less than 200 copies in the bloodstream per milliliter of blood. Contributing to this low percentage is the fact that an estimated 1 in 5 people with HIV don't realize they they are infected and of those that are aware, only 51% receive medical care and treatment. Modern day treatment, while not eliminating HIV, is very effective in controlling the virus - 77% of those on ongoing care and antiretrovirals have suppressed levels of the virus. [Although couldn't this be from the latent nature of the infection too?]

According to this article, not only are men who have sex with men are the population most severely affected by HIV in the US, they are less likely than other sex-groups to get tested and receive preventative testing. In response to this data, the CDC have launched a new national campaign to encourage black gay and bisexual men to get tested for HIV called Testing Makes Us Stronger. Research shows that black men do not engage in riskier sexual behavior than other LGBT communities, but that there is already a higher HIV presence in their population - so testing, behavior improvement (condoms, e.g.) and appropriate medical care are especially important in these communities. This is the latest campaign in the Act Against AIDS, the CDC's broad effort to fight HIV complacency nationwide.

read the full article here.

Emily Pollock

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