People who are diagnosed with HIV at advanced stages are more likely to transmit it to others. Since they are unaware about the disease and are not on treatment for a long time, they are at a greater risk of transmitting the infection without knowing it, finds a new research at the University of California.

Further, these patients are at an increased risk of negative health outcomes such as premature death, increased risk of HIV transmission, and opportunistic infections such as Kaposi’s sarcoma, Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia and toxoplasmosis.

Lead researcher Brandon Brown and his team examined the prevalence and risk factors for county residents who have an AIDS diagnosis within 12 months of their first HIV-positive test.

“Although free confidential testing is available throughout Riverside County, more than 30 percent of new HIV diagnoses qualified as late-to-test, that is, they received an AIDS diagnosis within 12 months of a seropositive HIV result,” Brown said.

“Earlier diagnosis is a critical component in preventing onward transmission of the virus and represents missed opportunities for treatment,” he added.