News and Features
February 7 is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day serves to raise awareness of the disproportionate burden of HIV/AIDS among African Americans. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), blacks represent approximately 12% of the U.S. population, but accounted for an estimated 44% of new HIV infections in 2010.
NIH Research Network Finds Many Youth Have High Levels of HIV
“More than 30 percent of young males who had sex with other males and who were subsequently enrolled in a government treatment and research network were found to have high levels of HIV, reported researchers from the National Institutes of Health and other institutions.
“The health status of the study participants, who ranged in age from 12 to 24 years, was monitored as part of their participation in the Adolescent Medicine Trials Network for HIV/AIDS Interventions (ATN). The ATN provides medical care to youth with HIV and offers counseling and, medications, and other preventive measures to youth who are at risk of acquiring HIV. …
“To conduct the current study, researchers analyzed the health records of youth with HIV, soon after they enrolled in the ATN. The study authors noted that the high blood levels of the virus seen in the majority of study participants indicated that they were diagnosed early in the course of HIV infection, when the chances for minimizing the health consequences of HIV are greatest. The researchers added, however, that the study results suggest that HIV is highly likely to be transmitted among members of this group. …
“Because of the high viral loads they detected in their study, the researchers concluded that efforts to diagnose and treat people with HIV should focus a large share of their efforts on youth, particularly young men who have sex with men.”
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