Most Americans With HIV Are Doing Nothing About It

Only 30% are taking effective doses of antiretrovirals
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 25, 2014 8:00 AM CST
Updated Nov 26, 2014 5:03 AM CST
Most Americans With HIV Aren't Controlling It
Tablets of HIV drug Kaletra in a Chicago pharmacy.    (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)

More than a million Americans have HIV, but even among the 86% who know they're infected, only a minority are doing anything to control the virus, a new CDC study warns. The study found that only around 30% of the 1.2 million people with HIV have the virus under control, even though antiretroviral drugs can extend their lives and help prevent more infections, the Sun Herald reports. The study found that only around 40% of those infected are even seeing a doctor about it, while just 37% have a prescription for the drugs needed to try to control the virus.

"When you have an infection, you treat it," CDC chief Tom Frieden told reporters yesterday. "People with HIV who achieve viral suppression aren't just healthier—they're also less likely to infect others. Today's study shows too many people with HIV aren't getting the care they need." The study didn't look into why so many infected people are failing to take steps to control the virus, NBC reports, but CDC officials believe many of them may be having trouble navigating the health care system, making it vital to ensure services for people with HIV are easy to access. Out of infected people between the ages of 18 and 24, fewer than half had been diagnosed, the study found, and only 13% had the virus under control. (More HIV stories.)

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