Several years ago, before the current antiretroviral therapy was implemented, the HIV life expectancy was ten years lower. Now, a new study shows that people who were diagnosed with HIV and started their treatment with ARV medication after 2010 are more likely to live a longer and healthier life than those who started using drugs in 1996. Thanks to the new treatment, HIV positive patients can live as long as a healthy individual.
The research, published in the journal The Lancet, showed the most important thing for living a healthy life when having HIV is to be diagnosed early. Once the infection is discovered during its early stages, it is easier to cope with it. The drugs also work better and keep the immune system in check, not allowing HIV to turn into AIDS.
To conduct this research, scientists from the University of Bristol analyzed more than 88,500 HIV patients in North America and Europe. The researchers based the life expectancy predictions on the death rate from the first three years after the drug treatment was administered.
Better Drugs, Fewer Side Effects
Researchers noticed that the new drugs that were approved for treating HIV are more efficient and safer than “older drugs.” They observed that the success of these new drugs is actually a result of them having fewer adverse reactions. These new drugs are also more efficient when it comes to preventing the virus from replicating in the system.
Because they have fewer side effects, the HIV life expectancy is increasing. Researchers stated that the most important thing is an early diagnosis. The lead author of the study mentioned that a lot of people still don’t know that they have HIV. To make sure that everything it alright, people should get tested at least once a year.
This study showed that one in three HIV patients reach the age of 50. It is a significant increase in HIV life expectancy compared to the same rate in the early 1990s. Despite the fact that HIV is not a new health problem, people still stigmatize HIV patients. To help them live a happy and healthy life, organizations should make social campaigns and teach people more about HIV.
What is your opinion about this research? Did you know that HIV life expectancy is increasing?
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