Modern AIDS drugs can add 10 years to life expectancy، study says
Thursday 11/May/2017 - 11:12 PM
The latest treatments for HIV mean that young people living with the virus could live up to a decade longer، a new study says as CNN features.
The paper، published Wednesday، found that 20-year-olds who started with antiretroviral therapy in 2010 are predicted to live up to 10 years longer than those who first underwent similar treatment in 1996 -- when it first became widely available.
Researchers at Bristol University in the UK said the improvements are due to fewer side effects and less toxic drugs with greater options for patients who are infected with drug-resistant HIV strains. "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.