One-Fifth of HIV-Positive People Have Access to Antiretroviral Drugs, Report Says
One-fifth of HIV-positive people in low- and middle-income countries have access to antiretroviral drugs despite a more than tripling in the number of people receiving the drugs between 2003 and 2005, according to CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report published Friday, Reuters reports. The increase follows the World Health Organization's 3 by 5 Initiative, which aimed to treat three million HIV-positive people in developing countries with antiretrovirals by the end of 2005, according to the report. The report attributes the growth in the number of people receiving antiretrovirals to commitments by the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief; the Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; and the World Bank. By the end of March 2006, PEPFAR supported the provision of antiretrovirals for 561,000 people in 15 countries, according to the report. Because of the increase in the number of people living with HIV/AIDS, greater HIV prevention efforts are crucial because the significant increase in the number of people receiving antiretrovirals will lead to a worldwide increase in the number of people living with HIV/AIDS, the report says. The report also says that although great strides have been made in efforts to minimize mother-to-child HIV transmission, only 8% of women had access to services such as health education (Bigg, Reuters, 8/10). The report calls for comprehensive HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention programs to reach all people who need them. Broadening HIV testing, including routine counseling and testing, and enhancing infrastructure and human resources also are crucial, according to the report. In addition, prevention strategies should target vulnerable people and youth, the report says (MMWR, 8/11).
Additional MMWR Studies
Summaries of additional HIV/AIDS-related articles that appeared in the Aug. 11 edition of MMWR appear below.
- "HIV Counseling, Testing and Care of Tuberculosis Patients at Chest Clinics -- Guyana, 2005-2006," MMWR: The study examines the extent to which Guyana's Ministry of Health implemented HIV/AIDS-related interventions among people living with tuberculosis at ministry chest clinics from July 2005 to June 2006. The interventions included the provision of HIV testing, counseling and referrals at the health ministry's six public chest clinics, which began in 2000. The health ministry in 2005 also began the provision of therapy aimed at preventing common opportunistic infections among people living with HIV and TB. The study finds that among the 253 study participants, 174, or 69%, initially were unaware of their HIV status. Of the 174 people unaware of their status, 127 were offered HIV testing and counseling, 115 of whom agreed and received HIV tests, according to the study. Of the 115 people who received HIV tests, 11 were determined to be HIV positive, the study says. Of the 194 participants whose HIV status was known, 68, or 35%, were HIV-positive, which indicates the high HIV prevalence among people living with TB in Guyana and the ability of chest clinics to provide HIV-related interventions, according to the study (Persaud et al., MMWR, 8/11).
- "HIV Prevalence Among Populations of Men Who Have Sex With Men -- Thailand, 2003 and 2005," MMWR: The study compares HIV prevalence in 2003 and 2005 in Bangkok, Thailand, among men who have sex with men and also includes HIV prevalence in 2005 among MSM, male sex workers and transgendered individuals in Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket. The study finds that the HIV prevalence among MSM in Bangkok increased from 17.3% in 2003 to 28.3% in 2005. It also finds that in 2005, the HIV prevalence among MSM in Chiang Mai was 15.3% and 5.5% in Phuket; HIV prevalence in 2005 among MSW was 18.9%, 11.4% and 14.4% in Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket, respectively; and HIV prevalence in 2005 among TG was 11.5%, 17.6% and 11.9% in Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket, respectively. The report also examines risk factors associated with HIV transmission among the three populations (van Griensven et al., MMWR, 8/11).
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