CHICAGO (Reuters) – Delays in time between HIV infection and diagnosis are shortened, helped by efforts to increase the evidence of the virus that causes AIDS, US health officials said. UU
The report, published online Nov. 28 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, found that 50 percent of the 39,720 people diagnosed with HIV in 2015 had been infected for at least three years, one improvement of seven months compared to 2011.
However, 25 percent of people diagnosed with HIV in 2015 were infected for seven years or more before being diagnosed.
CDC Director, Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, said the report shows that the nation is making progress in the fight against HIV, but the gains are uneven and the challenges continue.
"Too many people have HIV infections that are not diagnosed for too long," Fitzgerald said in a conference call with reporters.
Shortening the time between HIV infection and diagnosis is key to prevention. The CDC estimates that about 40% of new HIV infections are caused by people who did not know they were infected.
Although test rates increased overall, it is estimated that 15 percent of people living with HIV in 2015 did not know they were infected, and half of those who did not know about their infection in 2015 lived in the south .
The report found many other disparities, with delays in diagnosis that vary significantly by race / ethnicity and gender. For example, the estimated time from HIV infection to diagnosis was a median of five years for heterobadual men, twice as long as heterobadual women. The median was three years for homobadual and bibadual men.
"The report tells us that some groups, particularly heterobadual men and racial and ethnic minorities, live with HIV longer than other groups before they are diagnosed," Dr. Jonathan Mermin, director of the National HIV / AIDS Center, Viral Hepatitis of the CDC, Prevention of STDs and TB, said the informative meeting.
Among people at high risk, many reported not having been examined in the previous year, including 29 percent of gay and bibadual men, 42 percent of people who inject drugs and 59 percent of those who inject drugs. heterobaduals at higher risk of contracting HIV.
Two-thirds of those who had not tested for HIV in the previous year had gone to a health-care provider, which Mermin considered a missed opportunity for testing.
People who are diagnosed and take medications to control HIV are significantly less likely to spread the disease.
SOURCE: bit.ly/2AG7SBI Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, online, November 28, 2017.