HIV treatment numbers are up in the U.S.
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HIV remains a major problem throughout the world. According to Avert.org, there are an estimated 34 million people living with HIV, 1.3 million of which are in the U.S. However, there was some good news recently regarding this state of this virus in America. According to researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, between 2000 and 2008 the number of HIV-infected individuals in the U.S. receiving treatment has increased.
Furthermore, the scientists found that people with HIV in the U.S. appear to have healthier immune systems and are less infectious than they were in the past. The researchers came to this conclusion after examining more than 45,000 HIV-infected individuals and discovered that the proportion of people receiving active antiretroviral therapy increased nine percentage points between 2000 and 2008, reaching 83 percent.
"This is good news for the HIV epidemic in the U.S., but there is room for improvement," said Keri Althoff, Ph.D., lead author of the study and assistant professor in the Bloomberg School's Department of Epidemiology. "We need to continue to focus on linking HIV-infected adults into care and effective treatment, not only for the individual's health, but to reduce the likelihood of transmission to others."
Studies have shown that drugs used to treat HIV also reduce a person's chance of transmitting it to uninfected partners. This is why it is so important for individuals with this virus to take the proper medications to not only extend their own lives, but help protect the people they are intimate with.
Moving forward, the scientists stated that they plan to use these findings to help them determine the impact that the Affordable Care Act will have on HIV treatment in the U.S.
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