Only one quarter of the 1.1 million people with HIV have their condition under control, where "under control" means the virus has been suppressed, according to a report released this summer by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Only if we get everyone under regular care for HIV/AIDS can we recognize the full benefits of treatment and prevention," Irene Hall, an epidemiologist at the CDC and one of the authors of the report, told HealthDay. CORRECTION: The first sentence has been reworded to more accurately reflect the number of people with HIV.
Two men with HIV and cancer no longer have detectable blood levels of the virus after receiving bone marrow transplants for their cancers, news outlets reported this year. Doctors were unable to find any traces of HIV in the men's cells after they received the bone marrow transplants while also being treated with antiretrovirals. The finding "suggests that under the cover of anti-retroviral therapy, the cells that repopulated the patient's immune system appear to be protected from becoming re-infected with HIV," Dr. Timothy Henrich, of Brigham and Women's Hospital, told ABC News. However, the Boston Globe pointed out that it's still too soon to say that these men have been full-on cured of HIV, since they are still on the anti-retrovirals. There's no firm word on whether they will go off of the medication.
New HIV infection rates can be dramatically lowered by making antiretroviral drugs free, a study from Canadian researchers found. The Canadian Press reported on the study, conducted by B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV-AIDS researchers, which showed that British Columbia -- a province that offers free access to antiretroviral therapy -- had the lowest rate of new HIV infections over a more-than-10-year period, compared with Ontairio and Quebec.
More than half of HIV-infected young people are unaware that they have the virus, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report. "Given everything we know about HIV and how to prevent it in 30 years of fighting the disease, it's just unacceptable that young people are becoming infected at such high rates," Reuters reported CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden saying. The report also showed that for young people, 72 percent of the new HIV infections were in men who have sex with men, while almost 50 percent were in young, African-American males, Reuters reported. These figures are based on 2010 data.
The number of people living with HIV has increased by 18 percent from 2001 to 2011, according to a report released this year from the United Nations Programme on AIDS. An estimated 34.2 million people around the world are living with HIV. The report also showed that deaths from AIDS have dropped, from 2.3 million in 2005-2006 to 1.7 million in 2011, Reuters reported.
According to the same United Nations report, costs for the cheapest UN-recommended antiretroviral therapy drugs have also decreased over the past 10 years, Reuters reported. A year's worth of the drugs used to cost $10,000 in 2000 for one person; now, it costs $100 a year.