Got HIV? Plan on a Long Life

Posted July 23rd, 2011 at 12:46 am (UTC+0)
5 comments

HIV-infected people in Africa should plan on being around for a long time, according to a new study, which shows  patients who take a combination of HIV medications  can expect to live a near-normal lifespan.

Combined antiretroviral therapy (cART) is the use of more than one HIV medication.

The study suggests that those who undergo cART – even in resource-limited settings – should no longer automatically assume an HIV diagnosis is a death sentence.

Released this week, the findings provide much needed hope for those who suffer from HIV.

It was conducted by the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS and the University of British Columbia, in Canada.

Dr. Edward Mills, the study’s principal investigator, says HIV-infected people “should plan and prepare for a long and fulfilling life.”

The study also points out that since female study participants had a significantly longer life expectancy than the men, women should start treatment as early as possible.

Scientists involved with the study say this encouraging report provides the first large-scale analysis of life expectancy outcomes in Africa for HIV patients on cART.

Although the study was conducted in Uganda, researchers say the situation there is similar to many other African countries, where simplified HIV/AIDS care in rural to urban areas is available.

Life expectancy at birth in Uganda is approximately 55 years and increases as people survive key life events.

According to the study, life expectancy for 20-year-old HIV patients on the combination antiretroviral therapy was an additional 26.7 years, and those who are 35 can live an additional 27.9 years.

The report’s authors say their study should be seen as further evidence that global investment in various HIV and AIDS programs is working.

This weekend on the “Science World” radio program, Dr. Mills talks more about the team’s research and shares his thoughts on the findings.

Listen to an excerpt of our interview here:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Or you can listen to the full version here:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Other stories we cover on the “Science World” radio program this week include:

Rick Pantaleo
Rick Pantaleo maintains the Science World blog and writes stories for VOA’s web and radio on a variety of science, technology and health topics. He also occasionally appears on various VOA programs to talk about the latest scientific news. Rick joined VOA in 1992 after a 20 year career in commercial broadcasting.

5 Responses to “Got HIV? Plan on a Long Life”

  1. Jack says:

    Who is going to pay for each individuals costly needs for the next 30 years? Prevention is the key so I would not count on a thirty year supply of medications for carelessness.

    • Victor says:

      That is so true, man. Know what hurts people are still ignorrant to the deasease, from my side I know for a fact I am going to lose both my dad(passed away) and mother (still alive but positive) to the same ENEMY. Take care people..life is priceless

  2. [...] Got HIV? Plan on a Long LifeVoice of America (blog)HIV-infected people in Africa should plan on being around for a long time, according to a new study, which shows patients who take a combination of HIV medications can expect to live a near-normal lifespan. The study suggests that those who undergo …Life expectancy rises with AIDS therapy in UgandaReutersCircumcision campaign in Africa reduces HIV infections 76%, study findsLos Angeles TimesHenan working to control AIDS among gay menChina DailyMedPage Today -CBS News -The Guardianall 122 news articles » [...]

  3. kev says:

    Using the term “carelessness” underscores a deep misunderstanding and viewing Africa through a western affluent lens. Perhaps if churches had less say and social-focused groups were able to truly educate, we would not be having this discussion.

  4. Liz says:

    Having HIV is not the end of the world. Because of it, I have met so many wonderful people here in Michigan and around the country (even a few abroad) through HarmonyHIV.com. My life has become richer because of it. To all of us who test positive stay strong and don’t let anyone put you down. life goes on and we can continue to live a full and happy life.