CDC: Most Americans With HIV Don't Have Virus Under Control

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CDC: Most Americans With HIV Don't Have Virus Under Control
CDC: Most Americans With HIV Don't Have Virus Under Control

(HealthDay News) -- A U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report estimates that 70 percent of the 1.2 million Americans living with HIV in 2011 did not have their virus under control, even though combination drug therapies can effectively suppress the virus before it can develop into full-blown AIDS.

A combination of indifference and lack of access to medical care appeared to outweigh ignorance as a driving factor in cases of uncontrolled HIV, researchers from the CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS reported Tuesday.

Among the nearly 840,000 people who had not achieved viral suppression, researchers found that: 66 percent had been diagnosed but were not engaged in regular HIV care; 20 percent did not yet know they were infected; 4 percent were getting some care but weren't prescribed antiretroviral treatment; and 10 percent were prescribed antiretroviral treatment but had not been able to fully suppress their HIV.

The researchers did not find statistically significant differences in viral suppression by race, ethnicity, or gender, which is "encouraging," Jonathan Mermin, M.D., M.P.H., director of the CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and Tuberculosis Prevention, told HealthDay. But the researchers did find that young adults are at greater risk of uncontrolled HIV, with only 13 percent of people age 18 to 24 having achieved viral suppression.

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