A new research at the University of California has claimed that People who are diagnosed with advanced stages of HIV are more likely to transmit the infection to others. This stems from the fact that such people are unaware about the disease and are not on treatment for long periods.
Moreover, such patients face huge risk such as premature death, increased risk of HIV transmission and opportunistic infections like Kaposi’s sarcoma, Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia and toxoplasmosis.
Lead researcher Brandon Brown and his team examined risk factors and prevalence amongst county residents who are diagnosed with AIDS within 12 months of their first HIV-positive test.
“Although free confidential testing is available throughout Riverside County, more than 30 percent of new HIV diagnoses qualified as late-to-test, that is, they received an AIDS diagnosis within 12 months of a seropositive HIV result,” Brown said.“Earlier diagnosis is a critical component in preventing onward transmission of the virus and represents missed opportunities for treatment,” he added.
The researchers' findings are mentioned below:
⦁ Enhanced risks of late HIV testing among people within 45 and 64 years of age and the uninsured (this group is less likely to test)
⦁ Increased risk of late testing in Hispanics but not other racial/ethnic minorities (it can also be put to a larger proportion of Hispanics who took part in the study compared to other racial/ethnic minorities).
⦁ Less risk among women and people residing in the eastern part of the county (this is due to extensive HIV prevention activities in this region)
⦁ People born in foreign lands were more likely to be late testers (it can be attributed to less access to health care)⦁ The study utilized data from medical records and HIV surveillance in order to find out risk factors for late-testing.
“More outreach for HIV testing needs to be done with those who are uninsured, over 45 years of age, and foreign born,” Brown said.“HIV testing is important for everyone, and most important if done early to extend life, to prevent transmission, and to save on medical costs. Universal testing, the gold standard, is not routinely practised. We are working to change this,” he added.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone between the age of 13 and 64 getting tested for HIV as part of routine health care but it is not regularly practised for several reasons.
The study's findings had appeared in the Medicine.