Monday, June 29, 2015
No, it isn't over
There are about 35 million people living with HIV on the planet, and fewer than half of them are receiving treatment. New infections continue to occur, people continue to die of AIDS, and by the way this is true in the U S of A.
According to the best current estimates, in the U.S. about 86% of people who are HIV infected know it. Of these, less than half are getting medical care for HIV meaning that 60% of people living with HIV in the U.S. are not getting any treatment. Since not everyone who is prescribed ARVs achieves viral suppression, we end up with only 30% of HIV+ people who don't have detectable virus in their bloodstreams.
That means the remaining 70% are at risk of getting opportunistic infections and other symptoms of HIV disease, and of infecting others. Right now the epidemic highly disproportionately affects African Americans, and to a lesser extent Latinos, which is probably a major reason why it doesn't get a whole lot of attention any more. But it is still an urgent problem. And by the way, in states that have refused to accept the Medicaid expansion, a lot of these people are uninsured. Which means they can't even afford the medications. Very wise fiscal conservatism, Republicans.