The drugs can cost up to $15,000 a year in the U.S., and overall treatment costs are rising as people with HIV live longer. In developing countries, those drugs can cost less than $400 a year.
The AP-GfK Poll was conducted June 14-18 by GfK Roper Public Affairs and Corporate Communications. It involved landline and cellphone interviews with 1,007 adults nationwide. Results for the full sample have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4.0 percentage points.
In the U.S., the government is targeting the hardest-hit communities as part of a plan to reduce HIV infections by 25 percent by 2015, said Assistant Secretary of Health Howard Koh. Work is under way to learn the best steps to get people treated early, including in cities such as Washington, where 2.7 percent of residents have HIV, roughly four times the national rate.
Washington resident Zee Turner knows it's hard to stick with care. She's had HIV for two decades, learning the news when her baby was born sick. Health workers helped mom and daughter receive then-newly emerging treatments, and they're doing well today.
"I felt that I should get out here and try to help somebody else, because somebody had to help us get into care," said Turner, now 53 and a community health worker.
The city's latest HIV count suggests progress, with a slight decrease in new diagnoses and a majority of patients being connected with medical care. Community workers such as Turner are called to try to help people stay on treatment when other problems intervene.
"If they're on drugs, I take them to the drug program. If they need help going on Medicaid, I go with them to Medicaid," Turner said. "Any problem they have, I'm going to try to fix it and get them back into care."
Associated Press Deputy Director of Polling Jennifer Agiesta and News Survey Specialist Dennis Junius contributed to this report.
International AIDS conference: http://www.aids2012.org
Poll results: http://www.ap-gfkpoll.com
HTML interactive features world map of incidents of HIV by country, explanation of increase of HIV in recent years and a chronology of the epidemic: http://hosted.ap.org/interactives/2012/hiv-aids
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