Week 8: Infections Discussion: Drug Treatments for HIV/AIDS Drug Treatments for HIV/AIDS Globally, 2.1 million people were newly infected in 2015 and most of the people are infected through sexual contact, before birth or during delivery, during breast-feeding, or when sharing contaminated needles and syringes (Epocrates, 2018). Diagnosis is established using an HIV antibody test and confirmed using a more specific test (Epocrates, 2018). Patients should be clinically staged according to WHO or CDC criteria (Epocrates, 2018). However, with the advent of antiretroviral therapy (ART), it is now possible to control HIV and adherence to ART helps to keep the viral load under control and prolong the time of progression to AIDS, resulting in near normal life expectancy. Prevalence of HIV/AIDS and its Relationship to Advanced ART According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2018), they estimated that roughly 1.1 million people in the United States are living with HIV, and nearly one in seven of those are not aware that they are infected. Since the height of the epidemic in the mid-1980s, the annual number of new HIV infections in the United States has been reduced by more than two-thirds, from roughly 130,000 in 1985 to approximately 50,000 in 2010 because of treatment advances since the late 1990s; thus, the number of people living with HIV has increased dramatically (Arcangelo, Peterson, Wilbur & Reinhold, 2017). Although ART as well as access to care and treatment had drastically reduced AIDS-related death rates in the United States, not everyone is taking the benefits of HIV treatment; and they are of little value to those
who are unable to access state-of-the-art care, including treatments for conditions associated with HIV infection. Death rates remained higher among injection drug users, and people who have multiple sex partners and unsafe sex habits.
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- Summer '15