Every Fourth HIV-infected Person Is Unaware Of Their Status

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Every Fourth HIV-infected Person Is Unaware Of Their Status
Every Fourth HIV-infected Person Is Unaware Of Their Status

Video: Every Fourth HIV-infected Person Is Unaware Of Their Status

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Video: "The Evolution of HIV Testing: Then, Now and Beyond" 2023, January
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Every fourth HIV-infected person is unaware of their status

That is why the epidemic continues throughout the world, experts say: only early diagnosis and interruption of the chains of transmission can stop the spread of infection. On the eve of the thirtieth anniversary of World AIDS Day, doctors urge all Russians from 15 to 50 years old to get tested for HIV.

Every fourth HIV-infected person is unaware of their status
Every fourth HIV-infected person is unaware of their status

Photo: pxhere.com /

Ahead of the thirtieth anniversary of World AIDS Day on 1 December, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the WHO Regional Office for Europe have released the latest data on the HIV epidemic in the European Region. The spread of infection can only be stopped by early diagnosis of HIV and the interruption of the chains of its transmission, according to European and Russian scientists.

The Human Immunodeficiency Virus attacks the immune system and causes severe illness throughout life with a long incubation period. The final stage of untreated infection, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), is the result of the destruction of the immune system and is accompanied by various infectious and non-infectious diseases.

Results of the year

The only encouraging fact is a slight decrease in the growth rate of new infected people - from 6.9 per 100 thousand population in 2008 to 6.2 in 2017, the ECDC notes. But one of the reasons for the ongoing epidemic remains - late diagnosis. Every second person diagnosed with HIV has already reached an advanced stage of infection. “9 out of 10 (89%) AIDS diagnoses in 2017 were made within just 90 days of HIV diagnosis, indicating that most AIDS cases in the EU / EEA could have been avoided with early diagnosis.” noted in the document.

More than 130,000 new HIV cases have been reported in the eastern part of the region, the highest ever recorded. About 30 thousand more fell on the central and western part of the region. 59% of infection is associated with heterosexual contacts, 38% - with homosexuals. The document notes a 20% decrease compared to 2015 in the number of infections associated with homosexual contacts. However, 70% of new HIV infections occur in men.

Strategy "90-90-90"

According to the Joint United Nations Program on HIV / AIDS (UNAIDS), today about 25% of HIV-infected people are not aware of their disease. The main task facing the world community, the participants of the Program, consider the identification of these people and providing them with access to quality medical care and prevention. In 2014, UNAIDS developed the 90-90-90 strategy to end the HIV epidemic. She suggests that by 2020:

90% of all people living with HIV should be aware of their status;

  • 90% of all patients diagnosed with HIV infection should receive ongoing antiretroviral therapy;
  • viral suppression should be observed in 90% of all patients on antiretroviral therapy.

However, so far, according to Zsuzsanna Jakab, Director of the WHO Regional Office for Europe, despite the downward trend in infection, there is no reason to talk about the possibility of achieving the targets of the Strategy "90-90-90" by 2020. And states should step up their efforts in this direction.

Forewarned is forearmed

Dmitry Kireev, head of the scientific group for the development of new methods for diagnosing HIV infection and viral hepatitis at the Central Research Institute of Epidemiology of Rospotrebnadzor, gives 5 facts about HIV that everyone should know:

1. HIV infection is a lifelong chronic disease with which one can live as long as in the absence of infection. But only on condition of timely and adequate treatment with antiretroviral drugs.

2. Detection of the disease allows sequential blood tests by ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) and immunoblot methods. In some cases (for example, if a recent infection is suspected), molecular testing (PCR) is recommended.

3. Sometimes the virus can be resistant (resistant) to certain antiretroviral drugs - and science knows how to counter this.

4. The most progressive therapy today is considered to be taking a combination of antiretroviral drugs in the form of 1 tablet once a day. In the foreseeable future, the drugs will be available in the form of injections, which will need to be done only once every 1-2 months.

5. Healthy children can be born in HIV-infected families. Existing prophylaxis (taking antiretroviral drugs during pregnancy, caesarean section and replacement of breastfeeding with artificial formula) reduces the risk of transmitting the virus to the child by up to 1-2%.

Science in the fight against HIV

In the spring of 2018, the Center for Molecular Diagnostics of the Central Research Institute of Epidemiology of Rospotrebnadzor presented the first and only new-generation sequencing kit in Russia, which will allow laboratories to cope with the necessary volume of HIV drug resistance research. The new set of reagents will help to collect information about the resistance of the virus throughout the country and make the individual selection of therapy as accurate as possible.

Scientists at the institute are also working on an HIV vaccine that can block the virus from replicating, allowing the bone marrow to repair immune cells. At the beginning of 2019, the second stage of preclinical trials will start.

Get tested for HIV

According to official data, over 900,000 people are living with HIV in Russia today. And at least 200-250 thousand more fall out of sight of the state health care. It is precisely because every fourth HIV-infected person does not know about their status that the epidemic continues throughout the world, experts say. “All people between 15 and 50 years old should be tested for HIV every year,” says Dmitry Kireev. "If the disease is not diagnosed in time and therapy is not started, the person's immune system weakens and AIDS develops."

Experts call on Russians to join the celebration of World AIDS Day and contribute to the victory over the plague of the 21st century. In particular, you can find out your HIV status by passing a free test for the determination of antibodies to HIV in all medical offices of CMD and 80 medical institutions of partners of the Center for Molecular Diagnostics throughout Russia using the # STOPVICHSPID promo code. The promotion is valid from December 1 to December 3.

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