Only 28% of Americans with HIV are getting optimal care

Only slightly more than one-quarter of Americans infected with the AIDS virus are getting the form of medical care that maximizes their life expectancy, according to a new estimate.

The goal of AIDS treatment is to suppress growth of HIV until the virus is no longer detectable in the bloodstream. Only 28% of the 1.2 million people living with HIV in the United States have their “viral load” controlled to that optimal degree, epidemiologists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Tuesday.

“We have substantial work ahead to fully realize the benefit of treatment in the United States,” Thomas R. Frieden, CDC’s director, said in a press briefing two days before World AIDS Day, which is Thursday.

“It is time to act even more aggressively,” said Jonathan Mermin, the agency’s director of HIV/AIDS prevention.

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