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HIV & AIDS Health Center

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Most Americans With HIV Don’t Have Infection Under Control

Medications Can Help Suppress the Virus, but Many Don’t Take Them

Racial Gaps in HIV

The study also found racial differences in HIV care.

Compared to whites, African-Americans and Hispanics were less likely to get antiretroviral drugs, and even if they were prescribed the medications, were less likely to achieve low viral loads.

The report also found that many people who are HIV-positive do not get information about how to prevent the spread of the disease to others.

Only about half of heterosexual men and women with HIV are counseled about precautions they should take to keep from infecting others, while only 39% of gay men with HIV get that information.

To help stem the tide of new infections, the CDC also launched a new awareness campaign aimed at gay and bisexual African-American men, who account for nearly one-quarter of all new HIV infections in this country.

The campaign, “Testing Makes Us Stronger,” will encourage these men to learn their HIV status.

“The need for this new campaign could not be clearer,” says Kevin Fenton, MD, director of the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and Tuberculosis Prevention, at the CDC.

He points to a recent 21-city study that found that nearly two-thirds of gay and bisexual African-American men who tested positive for HIV did not know they were infected.

The CDC recommends that all Americans be tested for HIV at least once during their lifetimes.

Those at high risk, such as those who have more than one sex partner, inject drugs, or are men who have sex with men, should be tested more frequently -- at least once a year.

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