HealthDay News — Of the 1.2 million Americans living with HIV in 2011, 70% did not have their virus under control, despite the availability of combination drug therapies that can effectively suppress the virus before it can develop into full-blow AIDS, according to a report released by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

A combination of indifference and lack of access to medical care appeared to outweigh ignorance as a driving factor in cases of uncontrolled HIV, noted the CDC.

Among the nearly 840,000 people who had not achieved viral suppression, researchers found that: 66% had been diagnosed but were not engaged in regular HIV care; 20% did not yet know they were infected; 4% were getting some care but weren’t prescribed antiretroviral treatment; and 10% were prescribed antiretroviral treatment but had not been able to fully suppress their HIV.

Differences in viral suppression by race, ethnicity, or gender were not statistically significant. Young adults aged 18 to 24 years were at greatest risk of uncontrolled HIV, with only 13% having achieved viral suppression, added the agency.