According to a new study, a third of Americans infected with HIV have the potentially dangerous virus under control.
The report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed just 3 in 10 US citizens diagnosed with HIV, which can be followed by AIDs, are keeping the virus under control with medication. Two-thirds of the HIV victims were not receiving medical care with the virus out of control.
More than 1 million people have HIV in the US, with 50,000 new cases every year.
Director of the CDC Dr. Tom Frieden pointed out that people living with HIV need to go to healthcare providers to seek medical care. The key to controlling the HIV disease in the country is to connect victims to appropriate treatment platforms to suppress the disease.
Patients are kept alive with antiviral drugs, which stem the virus transmission. But many individuals may continue living without symptoms for years, and may not know they’re infected.
The study also informed that younger people were most likely not to have the virus under control. Just 13 percent of those between ages 18 and 24 had successfully suppressed the virus, and less than half had been diagnosed.
It’s alerting that less than half of HIV-positive young adults are unaware they are infected, as this gap could have a big impact on curbing HIV. Knowing you have been infected is the first step towards taking control of your own health and avoiding infecting others.
Some healthcare experts say that there is a stigma acting as a barrier for people for entering HIV care, which is coupled with homophobia, discrimination and transphobia, and the fear of facing a trial when they expose their status.
While fear is a problem, HIV is not what it was considered to be 2 decades ago. With early diagnosis and treatment, the life expectancy of an HIV victim is almost equivalent to someone who doesn’t have the disease.
The CDC recommends treatment of HIV with antiretroviral drugs, regardless of the copies of the virus circulating in the victim’s bloodstream, a term called virus load.