Vital Signs: HIV Prevention through Care and Treatment in the U.S. – Research Abstract

Background: An estimated 1.2 million persons in the United States were living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in 2008. Improving survival of persons with HIV and reducing transmission involve a continuum of services that includes diagnosis (HIV testing), linkage to and retention in HIV medical care, and ongoing HIV prevention interventions, including appropriately timed antiretroviral therapy (ART).

Methods: CDC used three surveillance datasets to estimate recent HIV testing and HIV prevalence among U.S. adults by state, and the percentages of HIV-infected adults receiving HIV care for whom ART was prescribed, who achieved viral suppression, and who received prevention counseling from health-care providers. Published data were used to estimate the numbers of persons in the United States living with and diagnosed with HIV and, based on viral load and CD4 laboratory reports, linked to and retained in HIV care.

Results: In 2010, 9.6% of adults had been tested for HIV during the preceding 12 months (range by state: 4.9%–29.8%). Of the estimated 942,000 persons with HIV who were aware of their infection, approximately 77% were linked to care, and 51% remained in care. Among HIV-infected adults in care, 45% received prevention counseling, and 89% were prescribed ART, of whom 77% had viral suppression. Thus, an estimated 28% of all HIV-infected persons in the United States have a suppressed viral load.

Conclusions: Prevalence of HIV testing and linkage to care are high but warrant continued effort. Increasing the percentages of HIV-infected persons who remain in HIV care, achieve viral suppression, and receive prevention counseling requires additional effort.

Implications for Public Health Practice: Public health officials and HIV care providers should improve engagement at each step in the continuum of HIV care and monitor progress in every community using laboratory reports of viral load and CD4 test results.

The full report can be accessed at: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm60e1129a1.htm?s_cid=mm60e1129a1_e&source=govdelivery

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – November 29, 2011

Comments

  1. Antibody tests are extremely accurate when it comes to detecting the presence of HIV antibodies. ELISA tests are very sensitive and so will detect very small amounts of HIV antibody. This high level of sensitivity however, means that their specificity (ability to distinguish HIV antibodies from other antibodies) is slightly lowered. There is therefore a very small chance that a result could come back as ‘false positive’.

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