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In the United States, an estimated 1.2 million people are living with HIV infection, and each year, nearly 50,000 additional people become infected with the virus, according to a CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)(www.cdc.gov) issued Nov. 28.?
People living with HIV who use antiretroviral therapy (ART) and achieve very low levels of the virus (suppressed viral load) can have a nearly normal life expectancy and a very low risk for transmitting the infection to others. Completing each step along the HIV care continuum (HIV diagnosis, prompt and sustained HIV medical care, and ART) is essential for achieving a suppressed viral load, according to the report.
But just 30 percent of Americans infected with HIV had the virus under control in 2011, and about two-thirds of those whose virus was out of control had been diagnosed but were no longer in care. That’s according to the CDC’s November Vital Signs report, "HIV Care Saves Lives(www.cdc.gov)."?
The MMWR article emphasized how important it is to make sure people with HIV infection receive ongoing care, treatment, and other information and tools to help them prevent transmission to others. The article also stressed the need to reach more people with HIV testing.
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