Infectious diseases will be an ongoing threat to public and individual health.
Some medical experts say HIV is unlikely to be eradicated in the next 20 years, but its impact can be reduced greatly. Increasing access to and education about proven HIV prevention methods for people who are not infected (e.g., condoms, PrEP, PEP, engaging in less risky sex, not sharing needles) can help them maintain their negative status.
Better access to testing and connecting those who test positive with early and ongoing treatment and self-management education can improve future health and reduce the risk of transmitting the virus to others. The growing risk of antibiotic resistance will be especially dangerous for people with HIV because of their already compromised immune systems.
In the next 20 years, the HIV: The Long View Coalition envisions…
In the last decade alone, the United States and the world have dealt with many infectious diseases including Zika, Ebola, MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome), pandemic flu and more. While consumers are optimistic about our ability to fight currently known infectious diseases, most predict that new infectious diseases will inevitably replace them.
While greater access to health information should improve consumer knowledge about behaviors that can stop the spread of infectious diseases (e.g., good hygiene, better protection for healthcare workers, practicing safer sex), stark contrasts between fears and actions endure. For example, two-thirds of U.S. adults worry about having effective antibiotics available in the future, but one study found that more than two in 10 adults sought and took antibiotics inappropriately for a sore throat.
And despite the growth in access to information about the dangers of risky sexual behavior, U.S. cases of sexually transmitted infections are on the rise.
To read more about trends in infectious diseases, download the full report here.