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Following a positive HIV test, it is crucial for individuals to get into treatment quickly and remain on medications consistently. This may prevent the disease from progressing to an untreatable stage. However, new evidence suggests that many individuals with the condition may not consistently receive the treatment they need.
Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh analyzed the medical records of more than 17,000 HIV-positive adults. The results showed that only 42 percent had no gap in their treatment at any time.
Further analysis indicated that 31 percent of patients had one or more gaps in treatment that lasted between seven and 12 months. Upwards of 28 percent went more than a full year without treatment on one or more occasions.
"Helping patients with HIV stay in care is a key way to reduce their chances of getting sick from their disease and prevent the spread of HIV in the community. Our findings show that too many patients are falling through the cracks," said lead researcher Baligh R. Yehia.
He added that making sure HIV patients receive consistent treatment can prevent the disease from progressing, which can control healthcare costs.
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