Nearly Half Of American Adults With HIV Don’t Take Medication

man thoughtful side profileAlmost half of American adults infected with HIV don’t take medications that can prevent them from developing AIDS, a new government report shows.

The statistics, based on data gathered from 2007 to 2012, are a few years out of date, so it’s not clear whether the situation has changed. Still, the report — an analysis of people aged 18 to 59 — suggests a widespread lack of recommended care.

“Based on what we know nowadays, everyone who’s HIV-positive should be on therapy,” said Dr. Carlos del Rio, co-director of the Center for AIDS Research at Emory University, in Atlanta. “This highlights the challenges we have ahead because we have such an unequal epidemic.”

The report, authored by Dr. Joseph Woodring of the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, estimated the prevalence of HIV infection based on a survey of more than 10,000 people. The survey found that 0.39 percent of people aged 18 to 59 who lived in U.S. households were HIV-positive, meaning they were infected with the virus that causes AIDS. That’s less than half of 1 percent. Of those, only 52 percent were taking antiretroviral medication for HIV.