- Hello, I'm Dr. Eugene McCray,
the director of the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention
at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Recently, CDC released new information
on the HIV care continuum
that shows us where improvements need to be made
at every stage of HIV diagnosis, care and treatment,
in order to ensure all people living with HIV/AIDS
attains the benefits of antiretroviral theraphy
and can reduce their risk of transmitting HIV to partners.
The data show that there are currently
1.2 million people living with HIV in the United States
and that 86 percent of those people have been diagnosed.
However, only 40 percent of people
living with HIV are in care
and only 30 percent are virally suppressed,
which means having a low level of virus in the blood.
These data show us that there is an urgent need
to reach more people with HIV testing,
as well as to make sure those who test positive
receive prompt, on-going care and treatment.
Of special concern are young people aged 18 to 24,
who have the lowest level
of viral suppression of any age group.
Only 13 percent have achieved viral suppression.
The low level is likely because almost half
of 49 percent of the young people living with HIV
have not been diagnosed.
HIV treatment can save lives
but viral suppression is key.
Achieving viral suppression offers
the best way to protect patients' health
and can reduce further transmission by 96 percent.
Health care professionals play a number of vital roles
in helping patients learn their HIV status.
Making sure that patients living with HIV are prescribed
and taking HIV medicines and stay in care
and get any needed supportive services
in order to attain viral suppression.
Director, Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention