New HIV infections among gay and bisexual men in the UK fall by 71 percent
Among the 1,411 youth ages 12 to 24 years who were referred to the ATN sites, 75% were enrolled in care, with 34% remaining in care and beginning anti-HIV (antiretroviral) treatment and 12% achieving viral suppression after a median interval of nearly 5 months. Viral suppression occurs when antiretroviral therapy reduces a person's HIV in the blood to an undetectable level. Maintaining viral suppression for at least 6 months after a person's first test finds no detectable levels of the virus prevents the sexual transmission of HIV and allows people with HIV to remain healthy.
On average, youth who were referred to care within a shorter time frame after an HIV diagnosis were more likely to achieve viral suppression. Compared to youth referred to care after three months, those referred within one to six weeks were 2.5 times more likely to reach viral suppression. Those referred from six weeks to three months were roughly twice as likely to reach viral suppression.
To ensure the shortest possible time to enrollment in care, the study authors stressed the importance of enlisting trained peer counselors and of maintaining frequent contact with youth through text and social media messages. They added that additional strategies to ensure that youth enroll and remain in care are urgently needed.
The ATN is funded by NICHD, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities.
SMILE is a collaboration between NICHD, ATN, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Health Services and Resources Administration. Source:
NIH/Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Journal reference:
Kapogiannis, B.G., et al. (2020) The HIV continuum of care for adolescents and young adults attending 13 urban U.S. HIV care centers of the NICHD-ATN-CDC-HRSA SMILE Collaborative. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome . doi.org/10.1097/QAI. 2308 .
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