Importance of Early HIV Infection Detection
The war on HIV rages on. While medical advancements in treatment and therapy have shown progress, there are still areas that need attention. Recent studies still show that a high percentage of Europeans infected with HIV are receiving or entering into treatment at later stages. Countries throughout the continent are still showing late detection for those with HIV. Worrisome findings reveal that many who were finally tested for the virus developed AIDS within only a few months after diagnosis. This emphasizes the need for earlier detection.
Overall, the numbers show a decrease in late detection for Europe. The increase seems to be in certain target groups and in certain regions. For example, the number of drug users (injection drugs) who presented with late detection of HIV has steadily increased. Certain countries are particularly vulnerable to this rise in numbers at present. The threat goes beyond that to the infirmed. Communities are now at risk as spreading the virus can happen unbeknownst to either party involved. An increased focus at early testing and prompt entry into treatment are highly recommended. Education and readily available programs should be implemented.
One reason these findings should motivate action is that those who remain untreated or even undiagnosed find themselves worse off health-wise in the long run. Along with this, the likelihood of spreading the disease increases greatly. While medication and therapies cannot yet cure HIV, they do have benefits. For one thing, antiretrovirals help reduce the amount of the virus carried, thus aiding in the prevention of spreading the infection. Patients receiving early treatments tend to be healthier and fare better. These positive results give birth to hope.
The battle goes on against HIV/AIDS. Education targeting the groups most at risk is imperative. Making sure proper steps are taken in a timely fashion to ensure immediate treatment after diagnosis is another area needing some attention. Through education and awareness, the population can protect against, treat and heal from the effects of HIV.