Treatment Cascade: A Spotlight Series
Whether or not you have heard of the treatment cascade, if you are living with HIV, then you are represented on it. The treatment cascade is a powerful visual reminder of the state of the HIV epidemic in the U.S. in terms of how many people have a fully suppressed viral load -- and how many people are at each stage of getting toward that health goal.
The treatment cascade relays to the viewer the idea that everyone's HIV diagnosis is the beginning of a journey -- and it's a reminder that a lot of work must be done in order to make the health care system serve more people, more effectively. With this Treatment Cascade Spotlight Series, TheBody.com has set out to mix the medical statistics that comprise the cascade with personal stories from our community about each of the unique steps of this journey.
Our series is split into groups to reflect the different steps of the treatment cascade: those who are newly diagnosed, or know their HIV status; those who have been linked to and stayed in HIV care; those who have started HIV treatment; and finally; those who have achieved an undetectable viral load, meaning that their HIV is suppressed.
What the Heck is the HIV "Treatment Cascade" -- And Why Does It Matter?
Need an introduction to the "treatment cascade"? You can find it here. It's OK, we all didn't know what it was at one point!
HRSA HIV/AIDS Bureau Releases Preliminary Data on the Continuum of HIV Care Among Ryan White Clients at CROI 2013
Engagement in HIV care reduces morbidity and mortality among people living with HIV, and the treatment cascade or "continuum of care" provides a framework for understanding the status of HIV care and treatment in the U.S.
|Patching the Leaky Cascade: Report From the 2015 Adherence Conference|
David Fawcett, Ph.D., L.C.S.W., reports on the conference with the snappy moniker Adherence 2015, at which delegates shared a variety of promising findings and strategies for engaging those living with HIV who are not on treatment, have fallen out of care or do not have an undetectable HIV viral load. Delegates also addressed the issue of stigma, which is widely seen as the most challenging obstacle to HIV prevention and treatment worldwide.
|Enough With the HIV Treatment Cascade Research, Let's Do Something About It Already|
"I know addressing community and provider HIV literacy is not as sexy as an observational or randomized study," writes Lisa Fitzpatrick, M.D., M.P.H. "But if we really mean and believe what we are saying, we have to change and operationally address these challenges."
|My Shifting Seat on the HIV Merry-Go-Round|
"Regarding HIV clinical care, my friend James always says, 'stay close to the center of the merry-go-round.' And it's great advice. Stay close to the center and gravity keeps you balanced and secure, in the right spot, even though you're spinning fast, round and round. Shift out from the center and all bets are off. For the past six and one-half years, I've had my ass firmly planted at the center of the merry-go-round, right where I need to be. And I've been holding onto that spot for dear life, and there I've received the best HIV clinical care I could possibly imagine."
When Did You Start HIV Meds? Stories Spanning Several Decades
Rev. Andrena Ingram: I'm Swallowing as Fast as I Can!
Changing My Mind on Treatment as Prevention
Getting to Undetectable: People Living With HIV Share Their Stories
Rev. Andrena Ingram: Undetectable? Whaaaat?
Bernadette Berzoza: Getting My Viral Load Down
Joe Ohmer: A Surprising Undetectable
Shannon Southall: I am Here, 21 Years Later, Because of These Medications
Masonia B. Traylor: Reaching Undetectable While Pregnant