HIV Diagnosis Rate Goes Down, But Still High in Some Populations


GREAT NECK, NY – Although a recent Journal of the American Medical Association article talks about the decrease in diagnosis rates for HIV in the United States in the last decade, there was an increase in the 13 to 24-year-old population, a New York immunologist says.
“We have to target and address this,” says David Rosenthal, DO, medical director of the Center for Young Adult, Adolescent and Pediatric HIV, which is part of the North Shore-LIJ Health System. “Education is very important and I think part of it is the importance of the options to protect patients that are participating in high-risk behavior.”
One method of potentially reducing the incidence of HIV is pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), which Dr. Rosenthal has been using in his practice for the past few years.
“The idea behind pre-exposure prophylaxis is that you treat patients who are participating in high-risk behavior before they have that behavior,” Dr. Rosenthal says. “So, for instance, you can treat people who are participating in unprotected sex by giving them medications to prevent them from getting HIV if they do undergo high-risk behavior.”
High-risk behavior can include:
·         Unprotected sex with someone who is known to have HIV
·         Sharing needles
The article noted that the rates for many other populations went down from 2002 through 2011.

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