Among people engaged in HIV care in the United States, rates of antiretroviral (ARV) therapy usage and low viral loads increased substantially between 2000 and 2008, according to new data from the NA-ACCORD study published September 4 in Annals of Internal Medicine. According to the authors of the study, which includes more than 45,000 individuals participating in over 20 cohorts in the U.S. and Canada, the proportion of people receiving ARV therapy increased nine percentage points—from 74 to 83 percent—over the nine-year period included in the analysis. And whereas only 46 percent had low viral loads in 2000, the rate increased 26 percentage points, to 72 percent, in 2008. The NA-ACCORD data suffers some limitations, as it does not include children and adolescents living with HIV and does not account for the large percentage of HIV-positive people in North America who have not been linked to, or retained in, care. "We need to continue to focus on linking HIV-infected adults into care and effective treatment, not only for the individual’s health, but to reduce the likelihood of transmission to others,” said lead author Keri N. Althoff, PhD, of Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health in an accompanying news announcement.

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To read the Johns Hopkins news announcement, click here.