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On HIV Testing Day, HIVMA calls for health care reform to make testing routine every day
Date:6/22/2009

tment earlier are less likely to die and less likely to transmit the infection to others. "The earlier people are diagnosed and get into care, the better it is for patients and for public health," said Mari M. Kitahata, MD, MPH, HIVMA board member. "Our study found that patients who began treatment later are 94 percent more likely to die than those that initiate treatment earlier. Unfortunately, other studies have found that most of our patients are 'entering care' after they have been infected with HIV for several years. Their immune systems are already badly damaged, and they may have unknowingly transmitted HIV to others."

Early HIV treatment is more cost effective, too. "It is 2.6 times cheaper per year to treat patients with HIV at the earlier stages of the disease at our clinic," said Michael S. Saag, MD, FIDSA, HIVMA chair-elect. "These results underscore the importance of early detection through routine HIV testing, not only on HIV Testing Day, but throughout the year."


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Contact: John Heys
jheys@idsociety.org
703-299-0412
Infectious Diseases Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

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