Time from HIV infection to diagnosis improves in U.S.: CDC

Source: Xinhua| 2017-11-29 04:23:07|Editor: Lifang
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- HIV is being diagnosed sooner after infection than was previously reported in the United States, the country's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Tuesday.

The estimated median time from HIV infection to diagnosis was cut from three years and seven months in 2011 to three years in 2015, the most recent year available for research, according to a new report released by the U.S. CDC.

"The seven-month improvement is a considerable decrease over a four-year period and reinforces other recent signs that the nation's approach to HIV prevention is paying off," the U.S. CDC said in a statement.

Overall, 85 percent of the estimated 1.1 million Americans living with HIV in 2015 knew their HIV status.

Among the nearly 40,000 persons with HIV infection diagnosed in 2015, 50 percent had been infected for at least three years, a quarter had been infected for at least seven years, and 20 percent already had the most advanced stage of HIV.

The U.S. CDC also estimated about 40 percent of new HIV infections originate from people who don't know they have HIV.

The U.S. recommended testing all people aged 13 to 64 years old for HIV at least once in their lifetime, and people at higher risk for HIV at least annually.

"If you are at risk for HIV, don't guess -- get a test," said Jonathan Mermin, director of CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention. "The benefits are clear. Prompt diagnosis is prevention. It is the first step to protecting people living with HIV and their partners."