New metrics needed to evaluate public health response to HIV in the U.S.
An overwhelming body of scientific evidence has established that "HIV Undetectable=Untransmittable (U=U)" and people living with HIV who receive treatment to stably suppress the virus cannot transmit the virus to sexual partners. To eliminate HIV as a public health threat, the elapsed time between infection and treatment must be minimized.
The study was conducted by a team of investigators at the ISPH in collaboration with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and used population-based HIV surveillance data.
"This study shows that NYC has made significant improvements in quickly getting people on treatment, and these improvements coincide with many citywide testing and treatment campaigns," says Dr. Sarah Braunstein, the study co-author and director of HIV epidemiology at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. "New York's robust infrastructure for HIV prevention and treatment likely contributed to reductions in diagnosis and treatment delay."
Dr. Denis Nash, the study's senior author and distinguished professor of public health at CUNY SPH, says the new metrics developed as part of this study can better target HIV testing services towards those with longer standing undiagnosed HIV infection.
"The biggest potential for impact on public health going forward will be via much-needed gains in earlier HIV diagnosis," Nash says. "With more than half of people diagnosed with HIV three or more years after infection, there is much room for improvement in the impact of HIV testing services." Source:
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