MONDAY, JUNE 18, 2018

Study shows Ontario near UN targets to end AIDS epidemic

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A recently published study in Ontario showed that the Canadian province has almost reached the targets set by the United Nations to help end the AIDS epidemic.

The goals are for 90 percent of all of the people who have HIV to know their own HIV status by 2020. Also by 2020, the UN wants 90 percent of people who are diagnosed with HIV to receive ongoing antiretroviral drug therapy. Additionally, by the same year, the UN wants 90 percent of people on antiretroviral drug therapies to show either very low or undetectable HIV levels.

The study recently published in Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome found that in 2011, 87.3 percent of the people who live in Ontario and have HIV reported receiving care, which included one viral load test measuring the amount of HIV virus in their blood within the past year. Of those people, 77 percent were receiving antiretroviral drug therapy. Another 76 percent reported that they had a suppressed viral load.

"The good news is that people with HIV who are in care are doing well," Dr. Sean B. Rourke, a scientist with the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael's Hospital and executive director of the Ontario HIV Treatment Network,  said. "The bad news is that there still are some gaps. Younger adults with HIV were consistently less likely to be receiving health care or taking antiretroviral drugs. This is especially true for younger gay men, who are being infected at a higher rate than others, and people who have a history of substance use and heterosexual men."

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