HIV/Aids

25 January 2007

Aids drugs can add 35 years

HIV-positive people in their mid-twenties can expect to live at least another 35 years if they receive modern anti-retroviral treatment, a Danish study reports.

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HIV-positive people in their mid-twenties can expect to live at least another 35 years if they receive modern anti-retroviral treatment, according to a Danish study published this month in Annals of Internal Medicine.

The study, conducted by researchers at Odense University Hospital, analysed data collected from 3990 HIV-infected patients receiving care and 379 872 people from the general population in Denmark from 1995 to 2005.

The HIV-positive subjects, all members of the nationwide Danish HIV Cohort Study, were each matched with as many as 99 persons from the general population according to sex, date of birth, and municipality of residence.

The researchers concluded that the estimated median survival for an 25-year-old person diagnosed as HIV-positive, who receives antiretroviral therapy, is more than 35 years.

The implications of the study, as stated by the editors of Annals of Internal Medicine, are that persons with HIV infection who have access to the latest treatment have a good, but far from normal, life expectancy.

An ongoing effort is still needed to further reduce mortality rates for these persons compared with the general population.

The editors further caution that Denmark provides excellent access to HIV care, so the results may be atypical.

- Health24, January 2007

Reference: Lohse N et al. Survival of persons with and without HIV infection in Denmark, 1995-2005. Annals of Internal Medicine:146: 87-95, 2007.

 

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Dr Sindisiwe van Zyl qualified at the University of Pretoria in 2005. She is a patients' rights activist and loves using social media to teach about HIV. She is in private practice in Johannesburg.

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