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The British HIV Association (BHIVA) has welcomed the findings of the UK Collaborative HIV Cohort (UK CHIC) study on life expectancy in people with HIV.
The results suggest people with HIV now have 15 years longer life expectancy thanks to improvements in treatment, better and more effective antiretroviral therapy and an upward trend in the UK population life expectancy.
The study, published by the British Medical Journal (BMJ), also addresses the impact of late diagnosis and treatment.
Researchers, including many BHIVA members, led by Dr. Margaret May of the University of Bristol found greater reductions in life expectancy (more than 15 years lost) in those who start anti-retroviral treatment late rather than early, providing more evidence in favour of earlier treatment.
“The information from this study not only highlights the benefits that high quality, modern therapy can bring but provides more evidence that late presentation to clinical services compromises long term outcomes,” said BHIVA Chairman, Professor Jane Anderson
“The improvement in life expectancy for people living with HIV infection in the UK is excellent news. It reflects the high standards of clinical care that are available for people who are diagnosed with HIV and have access to appropriate treatment in time.
“The data also reinforces just how important it is that both health care providers and the public prioritise HIV testing, followed by treatment for those found to be positive.”