Today is World Aids Day, Get Involved with the movement , get tested and always WRAP IT UP!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Today is World Aids Today

More than half of adult Americans have never been tested for the AIDS virus, despite a four year-old campaign to make screening routine, according to a report out today from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
About 45% of adults aged 18-64 — that’s almost 83 million people — reported in 2009 that they had ever been tested for HIV infection, the CDC said. That’s 11.4 million people more in 2006, when about 40% of adults said they had ever been tested. Fewer people are being diagnosed late in their infection, when they may already have developed full-blown AIDS.

The improvement comes after the CDC in 2006 recommended routine screening for HIV in health-care settings, expanding its earlier guidelines in the hope of slowing an epidemic that has affected an estimated 1.1 million people in the U.S. About 56,000 people are newly infected every year.
The latest numbers represent “significant progress” in getting people tested and into care, said CDC head Thomas Frieden on a conference call with reporters. But more is needed, he said.
Most troubling is that more than 28% of people at elevated risk of HIV infection say they have never been tested. The CDC estimates that as many as 21% of the 1.1 million people living with HIV in the U.S. don’t know they’re infected. Three out of five African-Americans reported having ever been tested, even though they made up more than half of those diagnosed with HIV in 2008.
Moreover, the agency says, nearly one-third of diagnoses still occur late.
People at higher risk of HIV infection, such as gay and bisexual men and IV drug users, should get tested once a year, the CDC says. Catching an infection early reduces medical costs — estimated to be $367,000 over the lifetime of an infected person — extends life expectancy and cuts down on further transmission of the virus.
While many of those at higher risk are hard to reach because they don’t have regular access to health care, that’s not always the case, Frieden said. Some gay and bisexual men diagnosed late with HIV infection often had seen doctors in the previous year and were not offered an HIV test, he said.
“We would like to see HIV testing as routine as cholesterol screening,” said Jonathan Mermin, director of the CDC’s HIV/AIDS prevention program.
And celebrities are pitching in, too. Several A-listers have agreed to  "kill" their social networking presence in an effort to raise money for Keep A Child Alive, a charity that raises money for HIV treatments in Africa and India.

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