Of the people that have not reached viral suppression, 66 percent have been diagnosed, but do not receive care.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have focused on people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) for the latest issue of Vital Signs. In particular, the report looks at viral suppression for individuals infected with HIV. Viral suppression means that very low levels of HIV are actually present in the body, even though the virus is still there. By taking HIV medication, it is possible to achieve viral suppression.
Unfortunately, the CDC report shows that only 30 percent of all people living with HIV have achieved viral suppression. Antiretroviral therapy (ART) allows people to achieve viral suppression, but the report notes that there is a lack of access to care and uptake of care. Of the people that have not reached viral suppression, 66 percent have been diagnosed, but do not receive care. Another four percent are receiving care, but not ART, and 10 percent are on ART without achieving viral suppression yet.
According to AIDS.gov, viral suppression is important for the infected person and others. For the person living with HIV, viral suppression could mean a longer and healthier life. For others, viral suppression means that there is a lower risk of passing the virus on. Viral suppression is critical for individual and public health.
Medical News Today reports that there are now more than 1.2 million people living with HIV in the U.S. There are new infections at a rate of about 50,000 per year, causing HIV to continue to be a public health threat. According to an earlier Daily Digest article, HIV can be traced back to Africa in the 1920s even though awareness of the disease did not start until the 1960s.