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what's the treatment cascade?

Apr 20, 2013

I keep seeing this treatment cascade business. What exactly is it and why does it matter? How does it actually affect people living with HIV? Don't we already know people need treatment?

Response from Dr. Young

Hi and thanks for posting.

Our fearless leader, Myles Helfand wrote this nice review on TheBody about the cascade.

The cascade points out that while many people do access care, receive and adhere to HIV treatment, at each step of the continuum of care, from testing to crossing other thresholds (getting into care, staying in care, getting and being adherent to treatment), many people fall out of care. As such, it's estimated that only a minority of people living with HIV here in the US (and elsewhere) derive the full benefit of medical care and treatment.

Yes, we do know that people need treatment. The real challenge is getting those people into educated, non-judgmental care settings.

Our group at IAPAC has been working on the cascade issues for some time- including publishing the first evidence-based guidelines on improving the entry into and retention in HIV care and treatment.

Hope that helps. BY

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