Several studies have shown that, thanks to modern HIV treatment, the life expectancy of many people living with HIV in richer countries is now close to normal. But this primarily applies to people who are diagnosed and begin HIV treatment with a relatively high CD4 cell count, before significant damage has been done to their immune system. What about the life expectancy of older people living with HIV? In some countries, up to half of people living with HIV are over 50. Diseases of ageing (such as cancers and heart disease) are an important cause of health problems in people with HIV and these diseases may develop at a younger age in people who have HIV. Researchers have taken a closer look at the situation for people over the age of 50 living with HIV in Denmark. They have examined how the situation has changed over the last twenty years.
In the late 1990s, soon after the introduction of combination therapy, a 50 year old could expect to live to the age of 62. Improvements in HIV treatment and care have added an extra decade to this life expectancy. Now a 50 year old can expect to live to 73. This is a big improvement, but people living with HIV still have poorer outcomes than those in the general population – a 50 year old without HIV can expect to live to 80.
The full article can be read here.