July 25, 2019 – Closing the Loop
Anchor lead: Universal testing for HIV is just the beginning, Elizabeth Tracey reports
Less than 40% of US adults nationally have ever been tested for HIV, a recent CDC analysis revealed, and even in at risk areas of the country that number was less than 50%. Joseph Cofrancesco, an HIV expert at Johns Hopkins, says to improve that number, barriers to care must also be eliminated.
Cofrancesco: Everyone that is tested should be able to be suppressed and treated. That includes having access to care, lack of stigma, affordable drugs without expensive copays, and the ability to get to clinics. And for those who are negative, to stay negative by using appropriate protections including PrEP, and if you’re at relatively higher risk definitely PrEP. You have to be able to get to providers who know how to do PrEP and it has to be affordable. :27
Cofrancesco notes that those deemed at risk for HIV infection should be tested at least annually to assess their status and initiate treatment if needed. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.