Antiretrovirals have greatly expanded the life expectancy of people with HIV age 50 and older, but this group still has a higher risk of death than the general population, even when well treated and otherwise healthy. Publishing their findings in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, researchers conducted a population-based cohort study of 2,440 members of the Danish HIV Cohort Study and compared them with a group of 14,588 HIV-negative Danes individually matched by age and gender. The study period spanned 1996 to 2014.

The estimated median survival time of HIV-positive individuals past age 50 increased from 11.8 years during 1996 to 1999 to 22.8 years during 2006 to 2014. During 1996 to 2014, the comparable survival time for the HIV-negative group was 30.2 years.

Well-treated HIV-positive individuals 50 and older who did not have other significant illnesses or AIDS-defining diagnoses still had a shorter life expectancy than the general population. Their estimated median survival time, post-50, was 25.6 years, compared with 34.2 years among their matched controls (who also had no other major illnesses, hence their greater life expectancy than the rest of the HIV-negative control group).

To read the study abstract, click here.