Sexual Health news - HIV

More HIV patients are receiving HAART treatment

HIV is a worldwide epidemic. Scientists all over the globe have been researching ways to combat the disease, and public health officials have been spreading awareness and addressing at-risk populations. According to a new study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, the number of individuals in the U.S. receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) to treat HIV increased significantly between 2000 and 2008.

Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health observed approximately 45,000 patients who tested positively for the virus and were receiving treatment from a physician. The collected data revealed that the doctors were treating 9 percent more HIV-affected individuals with HAART by the end of the study, as compared to the number of patients receiving that form of therapy at the beginning. These results positively correlated with an increased percentage of patients whose bodies were able to suppress the virus to some extent in order to slow the progression of the disease.

"This is good news for the HIV epidemic in the U.S., but there is room for improvement," said Keri Althoff, Ph.D, the lead author of the study. "We need to continue to focus on linking HIV-infected adults into care and effective treatment, not only for the individual's health, but to reduce the likelihood of transmission to others."

Currently, around 50,000 individuals are diagnosed with HIV each year in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2009, there were approximately 48,100 new cases reported by health officials. For those who seek treatment, HAART is recommended by the CDC, and a healthcare provider can determine which medications to prescribe.