O'Neill Institute  |  November 28, 2023

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AS WE MAKE PROGRESS AT PREVENTING HIV AND IMPROVING OUTCOMES FOR PEOPLE WITH HIV, research shows that our efforts are hindered by delays in diagnosis and initiating treatment. Rapid Start is the accelerated entry into HIV medical care at the time of diagnosis, as well as swift initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) for people with HIV, preferably immediately or within the first seven days of diagnosis. Rapid Start of ART is an essential intervention that is not yet the standard of care throughout the U.S. It can help ensure that people with HIV are quickly linked to care, establish an ongoing and successful relationship with an HIV care provider, and remain in care to achieve viral suppression. Viral suppression is critical to protecting the health of people with HIV, and since U=U (undetectable equals untransmittable), it also can be motivating for individuals to know that if they are suppressed they cannot transmit HIV to their sexual partners. Rapid Re-Start is a form of Rapid Start for persons returning to care and ready to restart ART. Approximately 42% of people with HIV in the U.S. are not engaged in care. The people most likely to not be engaged in care often come from communities that have historically been poorly served by the health care system.

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