Early diagnosis, quick and continuous care, and antiretroviral therapy are key to reduce the HIV progression; and therefor, complications. However, the 2009 nation-wide system of surveillance and monitoring of HIV and/or AIDS found that people younger than 45 years old who have HIV are much less likely than older people to know whether they have acquired HIV or if they are interested in receiving proper care.
Also, the study showed that more than 200,000 out of more than 1.1 million Americans with HIV do not know their HIV status (this study appears in the online edition of the JAMA Internal Medicine Magazine).
“People, health care providers, health departments and Government agencies should work together to draw attention and raise awareness of how important it is for people to know their HIV status (…)” Said researchers of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the USA.
“In 2011, the HIV community was surprised to know that only about one quarter of people with HIV successfully receive HIV treatment”, wrote Dr. Katerina Christopoulos and the Dr. Diane Havlir of the University of California, San Francisco.
These figures on people who do not receive effective HIV treatment, because they’re unaware of their status, and those who knew their status but did not seek help, should drive NGOs and civil society organizations to continue to work in prevention and the spread of information, which is successful and free of prejudices about the HIV epidemic.
The early HIV diagnosis means an improvement in the quality of life of those who acquire HIV. To achieve this, Governments and organizations should work hard to provide universal treatment, and even more, to develop strategies that reduce the HIV transmission.