A new study has revealed a beautiful reality for people living with HIV.
According to the Hill, a new study titled, “Mortality Among Persons Entering HIV Care Compared With the General U.S. Population” was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The study found that people living with HIV have a similar life expectancy as people without the virus.
As lead author Jessie Edwards, of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, told HealthDay, “In the early days of the AIDS pandemic, getting a diagnosis with AIDS was incredibly bad news and the prognosis for survival was really poor, and that’s not true today. Someone diagnosed with HIV in this day and age can be linked to care and receive highly effective treatment and feel confident that their survival outlook is actually very good.”
To get this result, the researchers studied U.S. federal statistics and specifically the death rates of nearly 83,000 adults treated for HIV between 1999 and 2017 in 13 U.S. sites that were a part of a North American AIDS collaborative. Those numbers were then compared to data from U.S. citizens without the virus who shared matching age, sex, race/ethnicity, and home county information.
All that research found that the gap in HIV/AIDS death rates closed dramatically after 2011. That said, the researchers noted the important of getting treatment as soon as possible after infection.
“This is a time and point that’s really important for intervention for people living with HIV,” said Edwards. “This is a time when clinicians could make treatment decisions about what treatments they will prescribe, as well as how they will treat any other … conditions that those patients have.”
With this in mind, the data spotlights a need to focus on making health care and treatment accessible to anyone who needs them.