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Life Expectancy Trends in HIV

Life Expectancy Trends in HIV

Considerable improvements in survival among patients with HIV have occurred since the introduction of combination antiretroviral therapy (ART) and as these drugs have become more effective, simpler to use, and better tolerated over time. Studies have consistently shown that ART helps increase the lifespan of people with HIV and reduce risks for new infections. “ART has revolutionized how clinicians care for HIV-positive individuals and has had a major effect at both the individual and societal levels,” says Hasina Samji, PhD. As life expectancy has increased since the introduction of ART, research has shown that more and more people with HIV are experiencing age-related comorbid conditions—as evidenced in the general population—such as cancer. “These comorbidities can impact the length of time people with HIV live as well as their quality of life,” says Robert S. Hogg, PhD. In published analyses, there has been a small but persistent gap with regard to the lifespan of people infected with HIV and those who are uninfected, especially within certain subgroups of patients. About 20 years ago, the estimated life expectancy was 57.0 years for men with HIV and 61.7 years for women with HIV living in the United States. For Canada, the corresponding rates were 59.7 years for men and 63.9 years for women. “While ART has been shown to help increase survival among adults with HIV on a global level, the effect of this therapy on life expectancy in the U.S. and Canada has not been well characterized,” says Dr. Samji. “Furthermore, there is a dearth of studies examining potential differences in life expectancy across sex, race, or transmission groups.” Longer Longevity In a study...
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