Review of the latest literature shows life expectancy of people with HIV has dramatically increased since effective antiretroviral therapy has been available, and it continues to improve. Modelling studies suggest life expectancy could improve further with increased uptake of HIV testing, better antiretroviral regimens and treatment strategies, and the adoption of healthier lifestyles by those living with HIV. Early diagnosis is particularly important.
Estimates temporal changes in life expectancy among HIV-positive adults on ART from 2000–2007 in the U.S. and Canada. Found a 20-year-old HIV-positive adult on ART could expect to live into their early 70s, a life expectancy approaching that of the general population. Differences by sex, race, HIV transmission risk group, and CD4 count remained.
Compares mortality rates in well controlled HIV-infected adults in two clinical trials with the general population. Found that HIV-infected individuals on ART with a recent undetectable viral load, who maintained or had recovery of CD4(+) cell counts to at least 500 cells/μl, had no increased risk of death compared with the general population.
Estimates the life expectancy of an HIV-infected MSM living in a developed country with extensive access to ART and healthcare. Finds that predicted life expectancy is relatively high in people with HIV who can access a wide range of antiretrovirals. Finds the greatest risk of excess mortality is due to delays in HIV diagnosis.
Finds that despite increasing concerns regarding antiretroviral resistance, the death rate among HIV-infected persons declined. A shift in the causes of death toward non-HIV-related causes suggests a more comprehensive health care approach may be needed for optimal life expectancy.
Compares risk of HIV transmission from a single sexual encounter with odds of illness or death from other life events.
Seeks to compare the ‘harms’ of HIV infection with harms of other chronic diseases that are common in high-income countries and require lifelong management, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and Hepatitis C. Aims to draw awareness to the equal or greater toll of other chronic diseases (pages 27-29 in Ending and Defending Against HIV Criminalization: A Manual For Advocates. Vol 2: A Legal Toolkit Resources for Attorneys Handling HIV-Related Prosecutions).