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article imageExtent of undiagnosed HIV infection in the U.S. revealed

By Tim Sandle     Jun 30, 2015 in Health
Bethesda - Many people living in the U.S. who have HIV infection are unaware that they have the viral infection. This is based on surveillance data compiled by the CDC.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the level of undiagnosed HIV infections is at an all-time high. This is despite considerable efforts having been put into public information events.
Many people with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) are aware they carry the virus. This is commonly established through routine testing, especially of those deemed to be "at risk." However, there are a growing number who are unaware that they are infected. This lack of knowledge relates more to new infections than to those infected when HIV awareness was at its height.
The CDC estimates that up to 30 percent of people with recent HIV infections are unaware than they carry the virus. This is based on an analysis and extrapolation of the National HIV Surveillance System across 50 states and the District of Columbia. This is drawn from people being tested who were unaware that they had the disease and linking this to the typical number of cases per state.
The proportion of people aware varies from only 70 percent in Louisiana to 90 percent or greater in Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, and New York. The goal set by the CDC is for 90 percent of the U.S. population who have HIV to be aware that they have the condition by the end of 2015. The figures suggest that there is still some way to go.
The surveillance data is also of interest in terms of the most concentrated areas of HIV infection. The range extends down from 110 cases in Iowa up to 3,936 in Washington, DC, per 100,000 people.
The CDC advises that HIV diagnosis is the important first step to ensure that people with the infection can access appropriate care and treatment. It is also of great importance in avoiding the virus from being transmitted to others.
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