Nearly Half Of US Teens Take HIV Treatment At An Advanced Stage

Parent Herald February 04, 07:17 am

A recent study says that teens and young adults do not seek treatment for HIV infections in time.

A recent study by the John Hopkins Children Health Centre states that nearly half of HIV-infected teens and young adults delay taking treatment exposing them to further health complications.

If HIV is not treated on time it increases chances of cardiovascular, renal and neurological damage, reports Medical Express.

The researchers examined reports of nearly 1,500 HIV-affected teens and young adults from 13 clinics across the country between 2002 and 2010. The researchers noticed that 30 to 45 percent of the participants came forward for treatment when their disease reached an advanced stage. The infection level is determined by the CD4 count in the infected person.

Ideally the CD4 cell count should range between 500 and 1500, per cubic millimeter of blood. A count of 350 means a person's immunity is low and he/she is susceptible to a wide range of bacterial, viral and fungal infections. Also a lower count means more active virus in the body of the infected and it can spread.

"Clinicians need to get away from their own preconceived notions about who gets infected, stop risk-profiling patients and test across the board," said Allison Agwu, an HIV expert and lead author of the study, in a press release.

The delay in seeking treatment among the young adults might also be due to low awareness of the disease and fear of the consequences, according to the researchers.  

Males and people from minority communities and ethnicities are more likely to seek treatment at an advanced stage, the study found.

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