Here's the bad news: Newly diagnosed cases of hiv were dropped in the wake of pandemic

Thursday, June 23, 2022
author picture Noah Rousseau
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HIV/AIDS Prevention and STD Prevention Director Demetre Daskalakis

As the CDC's director of the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention and STD Prevention‚ Dr. Demetre Daskalakis provides national leadership in HIV epidemiology. He oversees the development of evidence-based HIV prevention programs. His work is aimed at helping people prevent HIV infection‚ and has impacted the health of LGBTQIA+ populations in the U.S. He spoke with Plus about his goals for moving forward.

In the first year after the pandemic began‚ the number of HIV-positive people was 17%. According to a new report According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)‚ however‚ researchers have warned that disruptions caused by early lockdowns during the pandemic mean far fewer people were tested. Normally‚ we'd be celebrating a 17% decrease in HIV diagnoses. Dr. Demetre Dieskalakis is the director of the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention at CDC (DHAP). Daskalakis stated‚ "We know something specific happened in 2020‚ which makes it unlikely the 17% decline was anything other than an effect of COVID-19 HIV testing." He said that although it is now possible to purchase at-home HIV test kits‚ this will not compensate for the loss in HIV services from the pandemic. PHOTO: A doctor tests the blood of a patient during National HIV testing Day‚ which took place at Planned Parenthood's Miami health center on June 27‚ 2017. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images‚ FILE) Experts are concerned that thousands may still be suffering from an undetected HIV infection. The CDC had already estimated that over 1‚000‚000 people in America were HIV positive before the outbreak. However‚ only 13% of them were aware. Although there is currently no cure‚ HIV can be treated with current drugs. This allows people to live longer and more healthy lives. HIV-positive people can almost eliminate their risk of spreading the virus by starting treatment. More: At least seven people have died from a bacterial infection in Florida among gay and bisexual males According to the CDC‚ the testing rates for HIV in certain groups that are at highest risk of contracting the disease saw the greatest declines between 2020 and 2021. The report found that HIV testing was less common at community testing locations‚ prisons‚ and other settings outside of medical care. It also noted a drop in HIV testing rates among homosexual‚ bisexual‚ and transgender men. PHOTO: Jamal Wilson receives an HIV test free of charge from a Miami medical assistant on June 27‚ 2017. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images‚ FILE) The testing of Black‚ Hispanic‚ and Latino persons also dropped by 44%-46% -- these groups also face a greater risk of HIV infection‚ regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. According to Daskalakis these findings could indicate that not all people know their HIV status. More: Federal government will direct nearly $44 million towards HIV/AIDS-affected populations Today‚ however‚ HIV testing services seem to be back in operation. Daskalakis stated that it is a great time to encourage and reenergize everyone to test for HIV.

hiv testing infection hiv aids prevention demetre daskalakis here s the bad news newly diagnosed cases of hiv were dropped in wake pandemic

(Universal Images Group via Getty‚ FILE)">PHOTO: A booth for HIV testing is installed at Miami's Beach Pride Festival in Lumus Park‚ on April 8‚ 2017. FILE (Universal Images Group via Getty) According to the CDC‚ all adults aged 13 and over should have an HIV test performed at least once in their lives. People who are more at risk‚ such as those who engage in sexual activity with multiple partners‚ should be tested more frequently. The CDC hopes to increase awareness about HIV testing during National HIV testing Day‚ which will be held on June 27‚ in light of these findings. Daskalakis stated that it is important to keep our focus on the message of HIV testing and self care as we approach National HIV testing Day. here's the bad news: hiv-positive cases were not diagnosed as soon after the pandemic originally appeared on abcnewsgocom