Affordable HIV Medication May Enable ‘Near-to-Normal’ Life Expectancy

A new study published in the “Lancet” medical journal suggests that today’s HIV medications can provide a near-normal life expectancy for some groups living with HIV.

A team at the University of Bristol examined data from 18 European and North American studies investigating HIV-1 — the most widespread strain of the virus. The researchers particularly focused on people who had started antiretroviral therapy, or ART, using a combination of three or more drugs between 1996 and 2010. To be eligible for this review, patients had to have at least three years of follow-up on their treatment.

In total, this study analyzed 88, 504 patients. Of that sample, 2,106 died during their first year of therapy, while an additional 2,302 died during either the second or third year.

The researchers then examined life expectancy based on the period at which each individual began ART, and investigated characteristics like age, sex, risk group and underlying factors — like a person’s CD4 cell count or the particular RNA of the HIV-1 infection they carried.

The researchers found that patients who started therapy between 2008 and 2010 experienced lower fatality rates in their first year of treatment, compared to those who began between 2000 and 2003. This pattern held true when comparing second and third year treatments, with HIV-positive individuals having a better chance of survival in 2008-2010 than those in 2000-2003.

In essence, this demonstrates that antiretroviral treatment is helping people with HIV live longer lives. In particular, researchers noted that younger white people receiving ART could — based on their projections — expect to have a near-to-normal average life expectancy, living to around 78 years of age. These estimates were based on individuals who promptly started ART after contracting HIV at age 20.

Given that, less than three decades ago, contracting HIV seemed almost certain to end a person’s life prematurely, this represents a significant achievement. These findings reflect the broader success of ART which, though not without problems, has been one of the greatest medical interventions in modern times.

But there is still work to do to ensure that people living with HIV have the best shot of a lifespan just as long as their non-positive counterparts.

Lead author Adam Trickey explained:

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 lifespan of people diagnosed with HIV. However, further efforts are needed if life expectancy is to match that of the general population.

But non-white people continue to face disparities

It’s important not to miss the bigger picture here, though. While the data is encouraging — particularly for younger white HIV-positive people, there remains a ”persistent gap in the lifespan between HIV-positive and HIV-negative individuals, particularly within key affected populations.”

In this case, the researchers note, “individuals who are not white, have a history of injection drug use, or began ART with low CD4 cell counts have no reduction in mortality or improvements in life expectancy.”

And that news is troubling, especially when antiretroviral therapy continues to improve lives across the globe.

In regions like sub-Saharan Africa, for example, access to ART has provided near-to-normal life expectancy for HIV-positive individuals. But there remain several barriers to treatment in underprivileged nations, including poor infrastructure — which makes routine testing and treatment difficult.

At the same time, within so-called developed nations, social structures that privilege white people above other races creates almost a symbiotic relationship between poverty and a host of other factors including drug use and HIV prevalence. Unless we challenge these systemic disparities, HIV prevalence and mortality are unlikely to decline.

Factor in added penalties through anti-LGBT laws, punitive anti-drug policies and the criminalization of sex work, and we have a significant hill to climb.

Indeed, all these areas must be challenged, dismantled and addressed. Some of them require targeted policy changes. Others require deconstruction of the global and local policies that systematically deprive non-white people at every stage of their lives — particularly in terms of affordable, accessible health care.

Action to that end can come in many forms, but one key step will involve resisting any attempt by Congress or the Trump administration to cut funding for HIV programs. We must also fight efforts to repeal or negatively modify provisions in the Affordable Care Act that make ART and associated medications both accessible and affordable.

It’s only through safeguarding health care access for all — not just affluent white people — that we will one day eradicate HIV and ensure that no one dies prematurely due to this virus.

Photo Credit: VOCAL-NY/Flickr

63 comments

Telica R
Telica R14 days ago

Thanks for sharing

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Marie W
Marie Wabout a month ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Past Member
Past Member about a month ago

Do anyone still doubt natural herbs? I've seen the great importance of natural herbs and the wonderful work they have done in people's lives. I wonder why people still spend their hard earn money on injections and drugs each time they are sick. Natural herbs can cure herpes, diabetics, asthma, HIV, hepatitis, etc. I've seen it with my own eyes. i was cured of HIV by this herbalist doctor who uses natural herbs to cure different kind of illness. Even Dr. Sebi prove to the whole world that natural herbs can cure all diseases/viruses and he cured countless of people using natural herbs. i know is had to believe but am a living testimony. If anyone here is sick, why not give it a try, there is no harm in trying. Contact Dr. Baba Ogu on: drbabaogu@gmail.com phone/whatsap no: +2348137291215
facebook.com/drbabaogucure/

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Antonio C.
Antonio C.1 months ago

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Pascal J.
Pascal J.1 months ago

All thanks to DR.OKEYTO , I am here to share a good testimony of my self on how i came in contact with a real herbalist who helped me. i appreciate everyone for taken their precious time to read my testimony, 3 months ago i was diagnosed of HIV, this means that 3months ago i was HIV Positive. when i told one of my good friend about this, she sympathized with me and then she said that she was going to help me out, she told me that we should do some research on the internet, we came across DR.OKEYTO and my friend said that she has come across a lot about him and said that he is a real herbalist remedy to all illness, i was really surprised on this and confused as well, I was so speechless and quickly i contact him through his mail at [DR.OKEYTOHERBALCURE@GMAIL.COM] to help me and he prepared some herbs for me and send it across to me and he told me the way i was going to be taken the medicine which i did, and in the next 2weeks i went to the hospital and they said that i am now HIV Negative, i am very happy about this, when i contacted DR.OKEYTO again to tell him the good result , i asked him how he was able to help me, and he said that he was gifted with it that he can cure illness like.Below are some of the illness i know he cure:
1 Cancer
2 Hiv
3 Low sperm count
4 Kidney infection
5 Hvp
6 Herpes
7 Genital Wart
8 Rare disease
9 Hepatitis
10 Syphilis
11 Diabetes,
So i am posting to this forum and also thanking him, saying if you a

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Amelida S.
Amelida S.1 months ago

Hello everyone here in this forum i am so glad that i have this great opportunity to come out here and share my testimony on how Dr idahosa was able to cure me totally from Hiv disease, i have been suffering from this Disease for approximately 4 Years now, i have tried various ways to get rid of this Virus out of my body, i have also purchase for Medical treatment from my doctor but they all failed, sometime back now while i was browsing the Internet i found some good quote concerning Dr idahosa Herbal Medicine, and how he has been using it to save souls from Different Disease including Cancer, someone also said she was been cured of Hiv from his medicine, and they gave out his contact details in case anyone needs his help, i decided to contact Dr idahosa and i told him about my Hiv illness he told me not to worry that he was going to send me his herbal medicine all i was to do is to send him my personal details and also my home address so he can post the Medicine to me, actually i did all that was required by this Man, i took the medicine just as prescribe by him, he told me to go for check up in the hospital which i did and to my great surprise my Doctor told me the Hiv Virus was no longer there, i even went to other hospital for better confirmation its was still the same thing, Today i am so happy that i am Negative again, Dr idahosa has given me reasons to share tears of Joy, you can reach to Dr idahosa on his email address at ( dridahosasol

SEND
Amelida S.
Amelida S.1 months ago

Hello everyone here in this forum i am so glad that i have this great opportunity to come out here and share my testimony on how Dr idahosa was able to cure me totally from Hiv disease, i have been suffering from this Disease for approximately 4 Years now, i have tried various ways to get rid of this Virus out of my body, i have also purchase for Medical treatment from my doctor but they all failed, sometime back now while i was browsing the Internet i found some good quote concerning Dr idahosa Herbal Medicine, and how he has been using it to save souls from Different Disease including Cancer, someone also said she was been cured of Hiv from his medicine, and they gave out his contact details in case anyone needs his help, i decided to contact Dr idahosa and i told him about my Hiv illness he told me not to worry that he was going to send me his herbal medicine all i was to do is to send him my personal details and also my home address so he can post the Medicine to me, actually i did all that was required by this Man, i took the medicine just as prescribe by him, he told me to go for check up in the hospital which i did and to my great surprise my Doctor told me the Hiv Virus was no longer there, i even went to other hospital for better confirmation its was still the same thing, Today i am so happy that i am Negative again, Dr idahosa has given me reasons to share tears of Joy, you can reach to Dr idahosa on his email address at ( dridahosasol

SEND
Past Member
Past Member 1 months ago

Do anyone still doubt natural herbs? I've seen the great importance of natural herbs and the wonderful work they have done in people's lives. I wonder why people still spend their hard earn money on injections and drugs each time they are sick. Natural herbs can cure herpes, diabetics, asthma, HIV, hepatitis, etc. I've seen it with my own eyes. i was cured of HIV by this herbalist doctor who uses natural herbs to cure different kind of illness. Even Dr. Sebi prove to the whole world that natural herbs can cure all diseases/viruses and he cured countless of people using natural herbs. i know is had to believe but am a living testimony. If anyone here is sick, why not give it a try, there is no harm in trying. Contact Dr. Baba Ogu on: drbabaogu@gmail.com
Whatsap/call no: +2348137291215
facebook.com/drbabaogucure/

SEND
peter j
peter j1 months ago

i am Rose from UNITED STATES i was diagnosed with HIV/AIDS for over 12 years which made loose my job and my relationship with my fiance after he discovered that i was having HIV, he departed from me i tried all my best to make him stays with me, but neglected me until a friend of mine on Facebook from Singapore told me Great healer, who will restore my life back with his powerful healing spell, he sent me the email address to contact and i quickly contacted him, and he said my condition can solved, that he will treat the disease immediately only if i can accept trust him and accept his terms and condition, i Agreed because i was so much in need of help by all means, so i did all he want from me and surprisingly on Sunday last week He sent me a text, that i should hurry up to the hospital for a checkup, which i truly did, i confirm from my doctor that i am now ( HIV NEGATIVE) my eyes filled with tears and joy, crying heavily because truly the disease deprived me of many things from my life, This is a Miracle, Please do not en-devour to email drtebe2@gmail.com or whatsapp Dr Tebe on +2348140544262 for healings Thanks

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John Marcos C.
John Marcos C.1 months ago

Am out here to tell the world how Dr CLIFFORD cure me totally from Hiv disease, sometime back now while i was browsing the Internet i found some good quote concerning Dr Clifford herbal Medicine, and how he has been using it to save souls from Different Disease including Herpes, someone also said she was been cured of Hiv from his medicine. I decided to contact Dr Clifford and he send me the Medicine i took the medicine just as prescribe by him, he told me to go for check up in the hospital which i did and to my great surprise i were tested HIV negative,Today i am so happy that i am Negative again. You can also reach Dr Clifford on his email address @ (drcliffordsolutioncenter62@gmail.com)or WhatsApp no, +2348105049840

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