(Health-NewsWire.Net, March 31, 2015 ) St. Louis, Mo. -- In 2009, there were approximately 45,000 new cases of HIV reported, of which an estimated 91.5% was transmitted by people who were not aware they were infected or who were not receiving medical treatment for the virus. These findings were published in JAMA Internal Medicine by researchers who had analyzed the national databases to approximate the rates of infections derived from HIV positive Americans at every stage of the "treatment cascade" in 2009.
At that time, more than 1.1 million Americans were living with HIV. Researchers divided this group into the five stages of the treatment cascade, also referred to as the "care continuum." Researchers estimated that:
207, 600 (18.1 percent) had not been diagnosed.
519,414 (45.2 percent) were aware they were HIV positive, but were not receiving medical care.
47,453 (4.1 percent) had been described ARVs, yet still had a detectable viral load.
290,924 (25.3 percent) were virally suppressed.
Of the new HIV cases, an approximated 30.2 percent had been transmitted by individuals unaware they were carrying the virus, while an approximated 61.3 percent were transmitted by individuals who were diagnosed with the virus but did not receive medical care.
The research indicates that as individuals move from one stage of the treatment cascade to another, their average risk of transmitting HIV steadily decreases. When compared to undiagnosed individuals with HIV (who transmitted the virus 6.6 times for every cumulative 100 years of life), people diagnosed who were not receiving medical care had a 19 percent fewer likelihoods of passing on the virus (with a rate of 5.3 transmissions for every 100 person years), while individuals who were virally suppressed had a 94 percent fewer likelihoods of transmitting the virus (0.4 transmissions per 100 person years). It was determined that 88.5 percent of new infections originated in men.
In the press release Jonathan Mermin, MD, MPH, director of CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention stated, "By quantifying where HIV transmissions occur at each stage of care, we can identify when and for whom prevention and treatment efforts will have the most impact. We could prevent the vast majority of new infections tomorrow by improving the health of people living with HIV today."
In the same press release, this statement was made by Eugene McCrary, MD and director of CDC's Division of HIV/ AIDS Prevention, "Positive or negative. An HIV test opens the door to prevention. For someone who is positive, it can be the gateway to care and the signal to take steps to protect partners from infection. For someone who tests negative, it can be a direct link to important prevention services to help them stay HIV-free. At CDC, we're working hard to make testing as simple and accessible as possible."
"To prevent the spread of HIV and other STDs testing is recommended. Private STD Clinics available to provide testing, counseling, and treatment if needed. Free Testing clinics also offer similar options" says a senior spokesperson from Rapid Screenings Center.
About Rapid Screening Center
Located in St. Louis, MO, Rapid Screenings Center is a healthcare e-commerce company that assists consumers in making informed choices and taking positive measures to stay on top of their health. The RSC platform engages consumers with media rich user experiences, while also connecting them with an extensive network of integrated diagnostic laboratory services and board certified physicians to offer trusted healthcare, on demand.
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