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H.Health officials at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report encouraging news about HIV. From 2017 to 2019, the estimated number of new U.S. infections fell 12%, from 36,500 to 32,100. The decline appears to be largely due to declining cases among young gay and bisexual men.
New HIV-infected people are emerging in decline This is a result of increased access to more extensive testing and treatment, as well as education and use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), which can protect sexually active people at higher risk from infection. , which has been held annually since 2016. In 2019, 42% of young gay and bisexual men in the United States were aware of their HIV status, up from 56%. PrEP is also prescribed for sexually active people aged 16 to 24, the age at which they are most at risk of new infections. —Increased from 8% in 2017 to 20% in 2021.
Dr. Jonathan Mermin, director of the CDC’s National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and STDs, said, “More testing, more treatment, more access to PrEP, and more progress for young people.” [sexually transmitted diseases] tuberculosis and tuberculosis [tuberculosis] Briefing on prevention. “When evidence-based interventions are implemented, we see results.”
During the conference, Mermin pointed to concrete changes that have helped reduce cases, such as the CDC’s collaboration with Emory University to make HIV self-test kits more accessible. The program aims to distribute 200,000 tests this year and reach 1 million within five years, and is already on track to exceed that goal.
read more: How COVID-19 has disrupted the fight against HIV
However, this positive trend is not yet evenly distributed among different races and ethnicities.Persistent inequality remains a global challenge CDC goals Goal to reduce new HIV infections by 90% by 2030. More young white gay and bisexual men than Hispanics and blacks are taking advantage of treatment and prevention options such as her PrEP. Of those white men in this group who tested positive, 45% were receiving PrEP or anti-HIV therapy, compared with 27% of black men and 36% of Hispanic men. The disparity is striking, especially when it comes to his access to PrEP. Overall, of the estimated 1.2 million Americans at highest risk of HIV infection and eligible for HIV infection, 30% received PrEP, of which only 11% were Black and 21% Hispanic. , 78% were white.
This discrepancy extends to other treatments as well. According to the latest data, 66% of people living with HIV had their infection under control with antiviral drugs in 2021, but kept their virus levels undetectable, compared with 63% in 2017. Only 62% of blacks and 64% of Hispanics did. 72% are white.
“Deeply-entrenched social determinants of health continue to influence HIV treatment and prevention outcomes,” said Dr. Robin Nebrett Fanfare, acting director of CDC’s Division of HIV Prevention. “Racism, systemic inequalities, social marginalization, and long-standing barriers to care are the main drivers of HIV’s disproportionate impact on some communities, including gay and bisexual men, especially black women. It is a factor.”
The agency is targeting community-based campaigns at populations and areas with the lowest PrEP uptake rates in the country, including black and Hispanic gay and bisexual men in the South, Nebrett Fanfare said. said. These campaigns work with local health care providers and clinics that treat STDs to educate people about PrEP. CDC also plans to invest more money into patient hotlines and other services to increase community access to HIV prevention and treatment.
The Affordable Care Act required insurance companies to fully cover those who needed PrEP at no out-of-pocket cost, but recent decision A Texas judge overturned that obligation, ruling that employers are not required to provide coverage for PrEP, putting that coverage at risk. The Biden administration appealed But if the appeal is not granted, it could deepen the divide between those who have access to the drug and those who do not.
“We are on the right track, but progress is not happening fast enough or equitable across all peoples or in all parts of the country,” said Marmin. The decline in the number of cases is encouraging, but the pace of improvement is not on track to meet the CDC’s ambitious goals. “We know the way, but does our country have a will?”
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