Modern HIV drugs can add 10 years to life expectancy, study says
Our research illustrates a success story of how improved HIV treatments coupled with screening, prevention and treatment of health problems associated with HIV infection can extend the life span of people diagnosed with HIV,” Adam Trickey, medical statistician at the University of Bristol, said in a statement.
“Combination antiretroviral therapy has been used to treat HIV for 20 years, but newer drugs have fewer side effects, involve taking fewer pills, better prevent replication of the virus and are more difficult for the virus to become resistant to.”
However, Trickey said further efforts are needed if life expectancy is to match that of the general population.
Greater strategies are also needed for people in developing regions of the world to get better access to treatment, said other experts in the field.
The Bristol University team hopes the findings help reduce the stigma associated with living with HIV so those infected can keep working and have smoother access to medical insurance, where needed. In addition, the outcome should encourage people to start treatment as soon as possible, and adhere to it, the researchers said.
Early treatment to live longer
Antiretroviral therapy involves a combination of three or more drugs that prevents HIV from replicating in a bid to prevent damage to the body’s immune system. The treatment also prevents spread of the disease, by as much as 96%, as it lowers the levels of virus inside the body significantly.