Only 28 percent of people living with HIV have their virus in check and under control.
Because AIDS and HIV is not a new disease and because HIV has proven treatable, medical specialists and the CDC are struggling to understand why people don’t get tested.
Of the 1.2 million people in the US who’ve been diagnosed with the virus, nearly 1 in 5 (about 240,000) don’t know they’re infected. For years, the CDC and AIDS/HIV awareness campaigns have been adamant about getting tested. Primarily because HIV doesn’t have noticeable symptoms and more often than not, people living with HIV look healthy.
Before anti-retroviral therapies, many people were reluctant to get tested. They understood the disease was, in essence, hard to get, but also feared the results. Today, the world knows that does who do get sick and die from AIDS could have prevented death with medical intervention and testing.
50,000 people are infected each year and without detection or medical treatment, the HIV virus erupts into AIDS, a fatal diagnosis. Antiretrovial therapy (ART) lowers the levels of virus in the bodies. ART helps people with HIV live longer and healthier lives and lowers the chance of passing the virus to others.
People who don’t know their HIV status are more likely to infect others and those who are greater risk for infection are consistently noted as individuals with more than one sex partner, intravenous drug users and men who have sex with other men. This higher risk group are recommended by the CDC to get tested once a year or more.
The learning curve throughout the AIDS timeline has made it smarter to get tested and get the virus taken care of, if necessary, rather than ignoring a potentially, yet unnecessarily, fatal disease.
Advances in medical care has increased the number of people with HIV who get AIDS, but over 16,000 people a year are dying from AIDS. Only 28 percent of all the people with HIV know they are infected, get regular medical care take ART and have the HIV Virus under control.
45 percent of HIV patients who do get medical care received prevention counseling from health providers in the past year, the CDC says. Prevention counseling teaches patients to stay as healthy as possible and prevent passing HIV on to others. The CDC wants HIV positive members to get prevention counseling services as a routine part of HIV care.
The CDC broke the stats down for people living with HIV by the hundreds.
For every 100 people living with HIV, 80 are aware of their infection. 62 are linked to HIV care, 41 stay in HIV care, 36 get antiretroviral therapy and 28 have a very low amount of the HIV virus in their body.
The government is still looking for ways to prevent and reduce HIV and AIDS in the US including developing guidelines for health care providers on testing and medical care.
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