Some HIV Mortality Rates Are Decreasing

BRISTOL, England, May 3 (UPI) — A British-led group of scientists says it has discovered anti-retroviral therapy is dramatically reducing rates of HIV mortality in high-income countries.

The scientists said the therapy has resulted in non-AIDS-related deaths exceeding AIDS deaths after patients spend approximately four years undergoing anti-retroviral therapy.

The study, led by researchers from the University of Bristol, examined data from the Antiretroviral Therapy Cohort Collaboration, which involved nearly 40,000 European and North American patients.

Of the 1,876 deaths that occurred between 1996 and 2006, a definitive cause of death could be assigned to 85 percent of cases. Overall, nearly 50 percent of the patients died from AIDS, which remains the most common cause of death.

However, the researchers said although during the first year of treatment with anti-retroviral therapy the majority of deaths were AIDS-related, because deaths from AIDS decline with time, non-AIDS-related deaths exceeded AIDS deaths after approximately four years.

The study appears in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

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