February / March #99 : Do Single HIVers Die Faster? - by Andrea Rudd

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February / March 2004

Do Single HIVers Die Faster?

by Andrea Rudd

A recent report would have you believe that when it comes to affairs of the HAART this Valentine’s Day, single HIVers face killer loneliness. A Swiss study—the first ever to make a love connection with hard clinical outcomes in HIV disease—presented at the Ninth European AIDS Conference in Warsaw in October followed 3,736 HIVers on HAART for five years. Researchers said that subjects with partners were half as likely to die during the study and more likely to have a CD4 increase of 100 cells compared to single people. They concluded that stable relationships were associated with slower progression to AIDS and death in HIVers on HAART.

Before you post that personal ad, beware: Like the dream date who forgets to mention he’s married, the researchers neglected to report a few important details. Such as? Twenty-five percent of all participants were injection-drug users (some might have died of an overdose); only one question was asked to determine the nature of a “stable relationship”; and viral loads didn’t vary between solo and coupled participants, refuting the researchers’ contention that single HIVers were more likely to be depressed and consequently non-adherent to treatment.

It’s true, being single can suck. But, trust us, you’ll live.




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