Nearly half of HIV-positive blacks do not receive regular medical treatment

While rates of HIV infection in the black community have fallen in recent years, fewer of those infected receive treatment and achieve viral suppression than whites, according to a recent CDC study published in the agency's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

For the study, CDC researchers examined health data from the National HIV Surveillance System on thousands of HIV-positive black men and women. Among black people living with HIV in 2013, 53.5 percent received continuous HIV medical care compared with 58.2 of whites. Also in 2013, 48.5 percent of blacks achieved viral suppression compared with 62 percent of whites.

"Newly diagnosed HIV-positive persons who start treatment immediately live longer, healthier lives and dramatically reduce their risk of passing the virus to another person," said lead researcher Andre Dailey, an epidemiologist in the CDC's division of HIV/AIDS prevention, according to HealthDay. "While we have made great progress in HIV prevention among African Americans in recent years, it is clear that we need to increase the proportion of African Americans living with HIV who are aware of their status and are receiving treatment."

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