As reported at HIV Plus Magazine
A new report from the National Center for Health Statistics suggests that nearly half of all American adults living with HIV aren’t on antiretroviral medications. It’s these medications that turn HIV from a death sentence into a manageable chronic condition. And not being on antiretroviral therapy doesn’t just harm the person with HIV; studies have shown that those on meds are much less likely to pass the virus on to their sexual partners.
It was initially thought that for many people living with HIV lack of treatment was due to people being unaware of their HIV status. It’s believed that more than 1/3 of people living with HIV are yet to be tested to learn of their status.
It is now becoming apparent that socio economic factors are also impacting availability and access to HIV treatments, a vital key to health of those living with HIV as well as reducing chance of transmission of the HIV virus.
Del Rio said the fact that 48 percent of HIV-positive people hadn’t taken antiretroviral medications within the last month indicates a huge disparity between reality and the goals of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS. The international organization hopes by the year 2020 that 90 percent of those who are HIV-positive will know their status, 90 percent of those who have been diagnosed as HIV-positive will be on antiretroviral medications, and 90 percent of those on treatment will have an undetectable viral load.
For those who are HIV negative and at high risk of HIV infection, PrEP continues to be a vital key to reduce risk of HIV infection with Truvada, a medication that when taken daily can reduce risk of HIV infection by up to 99%.