Residents of New York City are seeing a noteworthy increase in Human Immunodeficiency Virus or HIV infection. The infected individuals, who have been diagnosed and are being cared for, are witnessing steady plummet in the serum viral load, to varied undetectable levels.

Viral Suppression Betters Its Stats

Lucia Torian, the Director of HIV Epidemiology Program based at New York City stated that 76% of the HIV infected individuals have been linked in due time with care. 69% of those individuals undergoing treatment have had undetectable levels of serum of HIV.

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In her presentation, Torian conjectured that viral suppression (6 months) soared from 24% to around 54%, whereas viral suppression (12 months) increased to 69% from 36%. Further she added that timely and propitious linkage to care after diagnosis, within a period of three months has augmented to 76% in 2013, rising from 68% in 2006.

State Laws Are Pro-Viral Suppression

Torian explained that the laws of the state witnessed a paradigm shift – electronic reporting of all the laboratory tests has bettered storage of data pertaining to tests since 2005. Further, CD4 and viral loads are currently used for the purposes of proxies for care, allowing population-based analysis and apt initiation of care. Earlier, this used to be commonplace only at clinic visits. These days, this very process is dubbed ‘linkage to care’, ‘retention in care’ or ‘Viral Suppression’.

Guidelines Witness Changes

Whatever the age of the patient may be, the concern rises if CD4 count crosses 500 cells/mm3. This means the affected individual would fail to suppress the virus within. Trials are yet to be established to find out whether treatment is feasible above this CD4 count of 500 cells/mm3. Associate Director at Atlanta based Center for Disease Control And Prevention, Harold Jaffe, commented that the lagging viral suppression is caused owing to changing guidelines associated with CD4 counts based treatments of AIDS.

Miles To Go

Linkage to care and virus suppression have achieved impressive responses in dealing with HIV infections in the US. This is a great achievement, but Torian said that the health officials and doctors have ‘miles to go’!

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