Treatment News : Success on HIV Therapy Means Normal Mortality Risk

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June 6, 2013

Success on HIV Therapy Means Normal Mortality Risk

People with HIV who take antiretrovirals and maintain an undetectable viral load and a CD4 count of at least 500 appear to have no increased risk of death when compared with their HIV-negative peers, aidsmap reports. Publishing their findings in the journal AIDS, researchers analyzed data from two large, randomized controlled trials, called SMART and ESPRIT. They studied 3,280 HIV-positive adults between the ages of 20 and 70 whose recent tests had shown an undetectable viral load and a CD4 count at or above 350. Injection drug users were excluded.

Eighty percent of the participants were men, and about half came from the United States. The median age at the baseline of the study was 43 years. Four percent were coinfected with hepatitis B virus and 8 percent with hepatitis C virus. The study had 12,357 person-years of follow-up.

Among the 62 deaths during the study, the most common cause was cardiovascular disease or sudden death (19 people, or 31 percent), followed by non-AIDS cancers (12 people, 19 percent). Just two deaths (3 percent) were related to AIDS.

For those with a CD4 count between 350 and 499, there was an estimated 77 percent increased risk of death when compared with the general population. However, there was no mortality risk associated with having a CD4 count above 500 when the viral load was also undetectable.

To read the aidsmap story, click here.

To read the journal article, click here.

Search: Mortality risk, HIV, ESPRIT, SMART, death, AIDS, aidmap, viral load, CD4 count, undetectable.

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  comments 1 - 5 (of 5 total)    

Don, San Francisco, 2013-06-19 09:21:02
I am so sick of these misleading, distorted reports that do nothing to address the true risks of living long-term with HIV. What caused the "sudden deaths"? As any of us using the pharmaceuticals and living long-term with both HIV and this chemotherapy know, it was probably long-term medication side effects. Who defines what cancers are AIDS-related? The government, and not those of us who well know that our fellow patients have higher rates of all cancers than the general population does.

shelley, Tacoma, Wa, 2013-06-13 19:46:15
Now, if they can just do something for those of us who live each day with pain and fatigue issues........aargh!

Mitchell Knapp, Abilene, TX, 2013-06-12 21:39:02
So, I can now stop worrying about dying from any sort of Opportunistic Infection(s) and/or Related Diseases -considering I already survived one in October 2010 when I had a viral load close to one million & practically no immune system left (CD4 count at 2)- SINCE as of April 17th, I have been undetectable for a year and-a-half & had a CD4 count of 688. I take my ARV treatment very seriously, because they have brought me back to life, to good health, to a full life that I thought was over. ;-)

Pat Johnson, Austin, Texas, 2013-06-12 15:18:26
I consider myself proof that successful HIV Therapy is a fact, being I passed 30 years poz earlier this year!

robert whitford, Mariposa, 2013-06-08 15:37:18
That's wonderful news, for Glaxo, but will it effect, people receiving Medicaid in the long run, " which is a Catch 22, for Mortality with Hiv. " Humana is already, seeking ways to go generic on my meds. " would you risk, it?" just sayin and will continue to ACT UP!

comments 1 - 5 (of 5 total)    

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