In Central America, New Adherence Promoters Keep HIV Clients on Treatment

March 02, 2018Carlos considered dropping out of everything. Then he met Aracely, an adherence promoter.Carlos* remembers the exact date he found out he was HIV-positive. He was 20 years old.“January 20, 2015. I was walking with some friends and, over in the square, we saw a tent where they were giving HIV tests,” he says. “As a group of nursing assistants, we said, ‘Let’s do this! Why not?’”Carlos sat alone as he waited for his results. He was #45 in the queue that day.“When they told me I needed additional tests because my results were reactive to virus, I felt my world falling apart,” says Carlos. “I put on my best smile when I met back up with my friends, but the only thing I wanted to do was go home and break down.”HIV in GuatemalaApproximately46,000 people are living with HIV in Guatemala. The adult HIV prevalence rate is low at 0.5%, but since 2010, new HIV infections have increased by 167% and AIDS-related deaths have increased by 23%. Stigma and discrimination, limited access to health care, and migration make the Central America region vulnerable to a growing HIV epidemic.Just 36% of people living with HIV in Guatemala are enrolled in antiretroviral treatment (ART) and only about 65% of people on ART are adherent —taking their medication every day, exactly as prescribed—as measured by their viral load. ART adherence is required to suppress viral load and reduce risk of HIV transmission...
Source: IntraHealth International - Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Source Type: news

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