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Near-Normal Life Expectancies for HIV-Positive People in the UK

, by San Francisco AIDS Foundation

At the 11th International Congress on Drug Therapy in HIV Infection, held November 11–15 in Glasgow, Scotland, researchers presented data from the UK Collaborative HIV Cohort (UK CHIC), a database including 43,000 medical records from 20 of the nation’s largest HIV clinics.

Based on their analysis of patient records, the research team projected near-normal life expectancies for individuals with a CD4 count above 350 cells/mm3 within the first year of starting antiretroviral treatment and an undetectable viral load. This means an expected lifespan of 77 years for men and 81 years for women, compared with an anticipated life span of 80.1 years for men and 88.6 years for women in the non-HIV-positive UK population. Having a CD4 count above 500 cells/mm3 added four and five more years to life expectancies for HIV-positive men and women, respectively.

For a summary of these findings—and what they mean for people aging with HIV—see Gus Cairns’ in-depth article, excerpted below and available in full at aidsmap.com.

Life expectancy in older people with HIV could exceed the average – as long as ART keeps working

By Gus Cairns

Published November 19, 2012

The latest forecasts of life expectancy in people with HIV in the UK, based on mortality data from the UK Collaborative HIV Cohort (UK CHIC) study, show that the average life expectancy of people on antiretroviral therapy (ART) with a CD4 count over 350 cells/mm3 is now very close to the national average, the eleventh International Congress on Drug Therapy in HIV Infection heard last week.

The UK CHIC study also found that life expectancy, which lags behind the average in younger people, approaches normal as people age. There is starting to be some evidence, though based on very small numbers of patient records, that if people with HIV in the UK reach the age of 60, their life expectancy may actually be starting to exceed the average, possibly because of superior medical monitoring and treatment for people with HIV compared to other older people.

Life expectancy is a projection into the future of how much longer people can expect to live, if current medical monitoring and treatment remains unchanged and if nothing unexpected happens. Up till now, because both HIV treatment and people’s health in general have been improving, life expectancy has been increasing….

Click here to read the full summary at aidsmap.com.

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