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Study: HIV death rates have halved in a decade

Nick Duffy July 19, 2014

According to a study, HIV-positive people are far less likely to die from AIDS-related causes than they were a decade ago.

The study, published in the Lancet, tracked 50,000 HIV-positive patients across Europe, Australia and the US, and found both general mortality and AIDS-related deaths plummeted from 1999 to 2011.

It found that general mortality among HIV positive people has declined from 17.5 deaths per 1000 in the period 1999-2000, to 9.1 deaths in 2009-2011.

Deaths from AIDS-related causes have similarly declined from 5.9 deaths per 1000 person-years to 2.0, over the course of the study.

The study also found that less than one in four HIV-positive people now die from AIDS-related causes, which is responsible for just 22 percent of deaths, down from 34 percent.

The proportion that die from non-AIDS related cancer has risen to 23 percent, up from 9 percent

Dr Colette Smith of University College London said: “These recent reductions in rates of AIDS-related deaths are linked with continued improvement in CD4 count and provide further evidence of the substantial net benefits of ART [antiretroviral therapy].

“Despite these positive results, AIDS-related disease remains the leading cause of death in this population.

“Continued efforts to ensure good ART adherence and to diagnose more individuals at an earlier stage before the development of severe immunodeficiency are important to ensure that the low-death rate from AIDS is sustained and potentially decreased even further.”

More: AIDS, cancer, deaths, England, HIV, mortality, positive, research, science, study

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