Region ranked highest in virus-suppressed HIV patients
WellFlorida’s 15-county Ryan White region, Area 3/13, has the highest percentage of any region in Florida of persons living with HIV/AIDS who have suppressed (or undetectable) viral loads. An undetectable viral load means the amount of HIV virus in a person’s blood is so low that current laboratory tests are unable to detect it. It does NOT mean the person is cured—only that the tests are not sensitive enough to measure really low amounts of virus. The good news is that persons with undetectable viral loads are 96% less likely to transmit their infection to another person than persons whose blood levels of HIV are detectable by lab tests.
Nationally, 28% of all persons living with HIV/AIDS have suppressed viral loads. In Florida, that number is 42%. In WellFlorida’s Ryan White catchment area, the number is 52%. That number increases to 90% when looking only at persons who attend WellFlorida’s Ryan White funded clinics (and not at ALL the persons infected with HIV in our region). HIV treatment is what lowers viral blood levels, which in turn dramatically decreases HIV transmission.
Learn more about our region’s Ryan White Program.
For information on ARTAS, a program that links HIV-positive individuals to resources and medical care in Alachua, Columbia, Lake, Marion and Putnam Counties, visit EveryoneStopAIDSNow.org. ARTAS stands for “Anti-Retroviral Treatment and Access to Services” and is a component of the High Impact Prevention project overseen by WellFlorida Council. The website also lists HIV testing sites and events.
By Karen Klubertanz, RN, WellFlorida Council HIV Program Director