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Living a Normal Life Expectancy

Posted in Breakthroughs, News on Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010 by Kelly - Leave a comment

Many patients diagnosed with HIV today will have normal life expectancies, two European studies have found.

The studies were presented at the 17th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) found that certain groups of patients including those diagnosed recently and some patients with high CD4 counts when they begin treatment – will have normal or near to normal life expectancies.

In the first study done in the Netherlands, for a patient diagnosed at the age of 25 their life expectancy came to 52.7 years. This means they would die, on average, at the age of 77.7. There was relatively no difference to the life expectancy for 25 year olds in the overall Dutch population which was 53.1 years.

The study known as ATHENA is a long-term national observational study that has been following HIV positive people in the Netherlands since the introduction of combination Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART)

The researchers noted, “The life expectancy of asymptomatic HIV-infected patients who are still treatment-naive and have not experienced [an HIV or AIDS-defining symptom] at 24 weeks after diagnosis approaches that of age and gender-matched uninfected individuals.”

It is important to note that the follow-up time in the study was short and that the predictions are dependent on ART treatment continuing to work. It is worth emphasizing that this study also excluded late-diagnosed patients.

In the second study performed in France in 2005, a similar result was reported.

In a time when we are concerned about the cost and support for continuing ART treatment, these studies reinforce the importance of early diagnosis and continued therapy.

To read more about these studies and how they were conducted, please read:

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