The good news is that HIV no longer equates to a death sentence. The bad news is that its status as a treatable disease has caused many people to stop paying attention to it altogether—to the extent that they no longer see the need for prevention and testing. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 14% of people with HIV were unaware they had it until it was discovered secondary to other complaints or unrelated testing as recently as 2017. And 47% of those who did know they had HIV failed to have it under control with proper treatment; that was especially true of young people and African-American patients, according to the CDC. These discouraging data have pushed the CDC to issue a report, Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America, that also calls for renewed efforts to reduce new HIV infections by 90% between now and 2030. Part of the strategy is to make better use of preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP); only about 18% of the 1.9 million people who could benefit from PrEP have received a prescription for it, the CDC says. JUCM has been paying attention to the potential for urgent care providers to help patients prevent or live with HIV for years. You can read Original Research: HIV Screening in the Urgent Care Setting and Initiating PrEP Services in Urgent Care in our archive.
With HIV No Longer in the Spotlight, Testing, Treatment, and Prevention Are Declining