CLEVELAND — December 1st marks World Aids Day, highlighting the work done to eliminate the epidemic.
An estimated 1.2 million people in the United States have HIV, including about 161,800 people who are unaware of their status. Nearly 40% of new HIV infections are transmitted by people who don’t know they have the virus. For people with undiagnosed HIV, testing is the first step in maintaining a healthy life and preventing HIV transmission.
Testing plays a crucial role in maintaining a healthy life and preventing transmission. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone between the ages of 13-64 get tested for HIV at least once as part of routine healthcare. For those at higher risk, CDC recommends getting tested at least once a year.
Testing sites include:
- Your health care provider’s office
- Health clinics or community health centers
- STD or sexual health clinics
- Your local health department
- Family planning clinics
- VA medical centers
- Substance abuse prevention or treatment programs
People with HIV who are aware of their status can get treatment with antiretroviral therapy or ART and remain healthy for many years. Studies show that the sooner people start treatment after diagnosis, the more they benefit from ART.
Treatment with ART reduces the amount of HIV in the blood (called viral load), reduces HIV-related illness, and helps prevent transmission to others. People with HIV who take HIV medicine as prescribed and get and keep an undetectable viral load (or stay virally suppressed) have effectively no risk of transmitting HIV to HIV-negative partners.
Download the News 5 Cleveland app now for more stories from us, plus alerts on major news, the latest weather forecast, traffic information and much more. Download now on your Apple device here, and your Android device here.