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Author Topic: Study shows 1 in 3 Patients Starts HIV Treatment Late in 10 Countries  (Read 1010 times)

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Offline Naijaloaded

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A large team of international researchers has found 30 percent of HIV positive individuals in nearly a dozen countries delay starting life-saving drugs.

A study spearheaded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at the prevalence of HIV in Haiti, Vietnam, Nigeria, Namibia, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

Investigators reviewed more than 694,000 treatment records from 2004 to 2015, from nearly 800 clinical facilities, focusing on patients age 15 and older.

HIV expert Andrew Auld, Malawi Country Director at the CDC, is lead author of the study. He said in eight of the countries, the percentage of people receiving early treatment increased, in Haiti, Mozambique and Namibia by 40 percent or more during the time period.

But Auld said treatment is still not reaching a significant portion of HIV positive people.

“So some of the key things that still need to be done in these countries to further reduce the prevalence of advanced disease and HIV treatment initiation are to scale up testing strategies and facilitate HIV diagnosis at earlier disease stages, and also treatment policies that mean that patients once they are diagnosed are eligible to start HIV treatment the same day,” he said.

HIV infects and destroys the immune system’s CD-4 T-cells, so the body gradually loses its ability to fight off infections, eventually with lethal consequences in untreated individuals.



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