Why Millions of HIV-Positive Individuals Go Undiagnosed
As HIV prevention, testing and treatment continue to advance, HIV positive patients on a treatment plan remain healthier, living longer lives. As new information pours in, researchers scramble to further progress their understanding and approach to the disease. Methods used to slow disease progression and curb mortality rates are proving more and more successful. Yet, in spite of such advances, the struggle with HIV is still a slow, tragic war. Why might you ask?
What Is Holding Us Back from Defeating HIV?
More cases are reported every year, and it is estimated that millions have the infection without knowing it. Herein lies the danger. Those unaware HIV carriers often infect others. Spreading of the virus is one of the major roadblocks to its eradication.
Why Individuals Avoid Testing
Studies on why so many people with HIV refuse testing or treatment have come to a simple conclusion: fear. Fear is helping HIV survive the war. Whether it’s fear of the disease or the associated social stigmas, it remains the number one reason people do not get tested.
The psychology behind the behavior needs to change. Any chronic condition carries with it a strong measure of fear. HIV is no exception. However, those advances mentioned earlier are reason for hope. Hope supported by reality. Today, HIV testing can be performed at home. If the result is positive, treatments are available. What once arrived with a death sentence is now a treatable condition. Slowing the progression from HIV to AIDS is now a regular occurrence. HIV positive people can enjoy a long life and enjoy a full and happy one too. And more than every the public needs to understand this new chapter in the war on HIV.
Courage Reaps Benefits
Fear of a diagnosis is no reason to put off testing. Hope lives. Fear kills. Early detection leads to more positive outcomes, like HIV prevention, and management of the viral infection. This is the message healthcare professionals encourage. Educating the public on the facts, rather than the fears of HIV, saves lives, prevents future infections, and will help us to one day eliminate the virus for good.