April 25, 2019 – HIV Transmission


Anchor lead: Who transmits HIV most often? Elizabeth Tracey reports

People who don’t even know they’re infected with HIV are the ones who spread the infection most in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported. Joseph Cofrancesco, an HIV expert at Johns Hopkins, says universal testing would help.

Cofrancesco: One easy science answer is everyone gets tested. And perhaps everybody even gets tested every year. But you can only do that if you can then offer those people who are positive treatment that they can afford or free. The whole system that allows them to follow up with to make sure the treatment is working and is safe for them and meets their life needs. And there’s so many other things we have to change which is the stigma, the stigma around being sexually active when you’re young, the stigma about using drugs, the stigma about men who have sex with men in certain communities. :33

Cofrancesco says routine universal testing would also help with reducing stigma, and perhaps should begin in adolescence and continue through the lifespan. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.