Experts at the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC) have long estimated that 20% of people infected with HIV don’t know it. One-third are diagnosed so late in the course of their infection that they develop AIDS within one year. The new analysis found that the states with the biggest epidemics and the greatest number of late diagnoses are Florida, New York, Texas, Georgia and New Jersey.June 27 is National HIV Testing Day. Make it happen.
“There are tens of thousands of people in the U.S. who are diagnosed late, sometimes too late to save their lives, and certainly too late to help them avoid transmission to others,” says Jim Curran, dean of Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health in Atlanta.
The issue has taken on new urgency in light of a study released last month by the National Institutes of Health showing that HIV therapy cuts by 96% the risk that an infected person will pass HIV to a sexual partner.