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Tuesday, 26 February, 2002, 15:36 GMT
US HIV cases 'on the rise'
Woman with Aids having her eyes tested
Many people are missing out on new treatments
Nearly a million people in the United States are HIV-positive and a quarter of them are unaware they have the virus, a report by the Centers for Disease Control suggests.

A further 25% are not receiving any kind of treatment for the disease, according to the study, which was presented at an Aids conference in Seattle.

This implies that more than 400,000 Americans are not being treated for their condition at all.

Woman on an Aids Walk
The number of Americans living with HIV is growing every year
"We estimate that roughly half of all people living with HIV either don't know that they are infected, or they are not in care, or both," said Dr Harold Jaffe, an acting director of the National Center for HIV at the CDC.

The findings raise concerns that many people may be spreading the disease unintentionally, through unprotected sex or shared needles.

More people are living with HIV than ever before.

According to CDC epidemiologist Dr Pat Fleming, 50,000 more people have HIV or Aids than was the case two years ago.

But this is not necessarily a negative trend, because new treatments - although not providing a cure - are allowing those with the virus to live much longer before contracting full-blown Aids.

"Prevalence is increasing. That's a good thing because it means that people are surviving longer," said Dr Fleming.

But the new CDC data suggests that not enough people are accessing the drugs on offer.

"We've got to do a better job at promoting testing by health care providers, expand our information campaign, encourage people to recognise their risk behaviour and seek testing," said Dr Fleming.

See also:

26 Feb 02 | Health
HIV vaccines show promise
28 Nov 01 | Health
Forty million living with HIV
25 Jun 01 | Health
Warning over Aids complacency
04 Jun 01 | Health
Aids: 20 years on
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