HIV – Dangerous complacency, according to a new Lancet Commission led by the International AIDS
About 37 million people worldwide live with HIV or Aids. And there are an estimated 1.8 million new cases every year.
While new cases of HIV /Aids have been falling in recent years, infections have remained substantially higher for younger women than young men. In addition, the decline in infection rates is not fast enough to achieve the UNAIDS target of 500,000 new infections by 2020.
More effort needs to be made to reach out to at-risk/potentially at-risk groups:
•High risk, marginalised populations such as gay and bisexual men, people who inject drugs, sex workers, transgender people, and the sex partners of people in these groups
•Young people, as they age from adolescence and adulthood
The Commission also reported that:
•Due to the effectiveness of antiretroviral therapy (ART), historic ‘exceptionalism’ of HIV treatment and care may no longer be sustainable. As the number of people above 50 years old living with HIV increases, there is an increased risk of age-related diseases (such as cardiovascular disease, neurocognitive disorders, renal disease and some cancers). Thus, focus on prevention and management of these diseases for people with HIV is needed
•HIV testing, when combined with testing and treatment for syphilis, was shown to significantly reduce the number of new HIV cases in a case study
In fact, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and HIV infections could be without symptoms for years. It is prudent to test for these infections if you have a risk of exposure. Moreover, it is not uncommon for someone to have more than one STD at a time and a comprehensive screening of STD/HIV should be performed to identify and rule out possible infections.
Cross Street Medical offers comprehensive screening for all STD/HIV. All consultations, tests and treatments are private and confidential. Female doctors are also available by appointment.