It seems that recently, popular press coverage around HIV has been more focused on attention-grabbing headlines that focus on research into "cures," or what scientists may refer to as functional remission: the HIV is still there, but reproducing at a rate so low that it wouldn't transmit or cause harm to the patient. Closer on the horizon are some significant changes that will make a big difference in the short term.
One of these changes now in clinical trials are new versions of existing drugs that can be given as injectables. Though most folks would prefer to swallow a pill rather than give themselves a shot, these new drugs would only need to be dosed once a month or possibly once every three months. This may solve a lot of adherence issues for folks whose housing may not be that stable, or mental health or addiction issues may get in the way of taking pills consistently and correctly.
Another place in the chain from diagnoses to undetectable where barriers exist, is the link from finding out you're positive, to seeing an infectious disease specialist for HIV care.
Current treatment guidelines call for various tests to take place before a patient is started on medications. Because all medications get processed through the kidney or liver to various degrees, doctors want to see the level of function in these organs before starting them on particular medications. Doctors also want a viral load, partly because certain drugs are preferred in patients with a higher amount of virus. A genotype test is run to find out if a patient's particular strain of HIV is resistant to any medications, and there are also tests for particular medications--either to find out if a patient will have a bad reaction to the drug, or to find out if the receptors on the cells that get infected are the type that the medication will block.
Because of the qualities of newer medications, it's possible to come up with a regimen that can work around these issues. One advantage is that the person can be started on medications as soon as they're diagnosed--rather than waiting weeks for results to come back from the labs.
One study reported on at the International AIDS Society conference in Vancouver this summer showed that immediate therapy was accepted, reduced viral loads sooner, and got more patients into care. One byproduct of this strategy is a reduced community-wide viral load, meaning fewer new infections in the future.