The eternal question of people being infected or just getting their positive test result is: How long do I have to live? Does it make sense to continue living as if there is a future ahead? HIV-positive people taking antiretroviral therapy who have an undetectable viral load and a CD4 cell count above 500 cells/mm3 have a mortality risk comparable to that seen in the general population, investigators report in the online edition of AIDS. Researchers looked at mortality rates among participants enrolled in two large, randomized controlled trials – the SMART and ESPRIT studies. “We identified no evidence for a raised risk of death compared with the general population in HIV-infected people on ART with an undetectable viral load, who maintained or had recovery of CD+ T-counts to at least 500 cells/mm3,” write the authors. There have been significant improvements in HIV treatment and care in recent years. Anti-retroviral therapy has become more powerful, less toxic and easier to take. Data from cohort studies suggests that people doing well on treatment – often defined as the maintenance of an undetectable viral load and a CD4 cell count above 500 cells/mm3 – have a life expectancy similar to that of age- and sex-matched HIV-negative individuals.
The whole article which was published via NAM’s aidsmap you can read here.