HIV life expectancy is now ‘near-normal’ due to new drugs

Young people who are taking the latest HIV drugs have a near-normal life expectancy as a result of improvements in treatments, a study suggests

Doctors writing in The Lancet medical journal reported that 20-year-olds who started antiretroviral therapy in 2010 are projected to live 10 years longer than those first treated in 1996.

Jimmy Isaacs (pictured), 28, found he had been infected with HIV by a former partner nearly three years ago. “We can now live without fear,” he told Positive News.

We can now live without fear

“The findings from The Lancet report are the proof that we can lead full lives with an ever-improving life expectancy – that of the general population, or indeed higher.”

The researchers, from the University of Bristol, considered 88,500 HIV positive people from Europe and North America. They said that newer HIV drugs have fewer side effects and are better at preventing the virus from replicating in the body. It is also harder for the virus to become resistant to them.

Image: Theo McInnes/Huck

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