US News & World Report (09.05.12)
A new study finds that the percentage of HIV-positive Americans receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) increased during the past decade.
The research team examined data on 45,000 HIV patients receiving clinical care. The results indicated that between 2000 and 2008, the proportion of people prescribed HAART climbed by nine percentage points, to 83 percent.
Among patients receiving HAART, the proportion whose viral loads were suppressed grew from 54 percent in 2000 to 81 percent in 2008. An increase in median CD4 cell counts among patients who died of HIV also was noted.
Keri Althoff, an assistant professor in the epidemiology department of the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, was the study’s lead author. The results “are good news for the HIV epidemic in the US, but there is room for improvement,” Althoff said in a statement released by the school. She called for continued efforts to link those infected to care and treatment, “not only for the individual’s health, but to reduce the likelihood of transmission to others.”
[PNU editor’s note: The study, “US Trends in Antiretroviral Therapy Use, HIV RNA Plasma Viral Loads, and CD4 T-Lymphocyte Cell Counts Among HIV-Infected Persons, 2000 to 2008,” was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine (2012;157(5):325-335).]