Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study highlights massive benefits of HIV treatment in South Africa

04.12.2013
In nation hardest hit by HIV, antiretroviral therapy has saved millions of years of life

Antiretroviral therapy (ART) for the treatment of HIV infection has saved 2.8 million years of life in South Africa since 2004 and is projected to save an additional 15.1 million years of life by 2030, according to a new study published online in The Journal of Infectious Diseases.

The analysis suggests these dramatic benefits could be even greater if more aggressive HIV testing and treatment strategies are implemented.

"We hope that this study reminds stakeholders of the astounding efficacy of the global ART rollout while simultaneously invigorating efforts to redouble commitments toward expanding the availability of ART," said lead study author Michael D. April, MD, DPhil, of the San Antonio Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium.

South Africa's HIV epidemic is the largest in the world, with an estimated 5.6 million people infected in 2011, according to UNAIDS. Although about half of those infected are eligible for treatment with ART, based on current guidelines for when to start therapy, one-third of those eligible remain without treatment, despite progress in expanding access since ART was introduced in the country in 2004. In this study, researchers used a mathematical model based on real world data to quantify the direct impact of the rollout of ART on survival among HIV-infected patients.

The researchers estimated that substantial survival gains from ART have already been achieved in South Africa: 2.8 million years of life gained as of December 2011. These years of life already saved represent just 15.6 percent of the 17.9 million years of life that will be saved by 2030 among patients currently receiving ART, according to the researchers' analysis.

Notably, these estimates exclude those who might benefit from starting ART in the future but who are not yet receiving it, Dr. April said. Continued international investment in the global response to HIV, including the U.S. President's Plan for Emergency AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), will be required to maintain the gains already achieved and efficiently expand access to ART. "Policymakers have the power to magnify the future trajectory of survival gains further still by pursuing more aggressive HIV testing and treatment strategies," Dr. April noted. "Increased case identification, early ART initiation, and expanded treatment options might catapult our conservative survival projections even further."

Despite earlier political decisions to limit ART scale-up in South Africa, the country's aggregate survival benefit from ART during just eight years (2004-2011) is similar to the considerable benefit reported previously for the U.S. over 15 years (1989-2003), wrote Sten H. Vermund, MD, PhD, of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, in an accompanying editorial commentary.

"The magnitude of the benefit of South African ART-based programs is astounding," wrote Dr. Vermund, who noted his hope that the bipartisanship in the U.S. that has characterized support of PEPFAR, which has been instrumental in the fight against HIV in sub-Saharan Africa, "will continue to bolster this essential investment for the future of the African continent."

The findings underscore the need to maintain the successes of an effective ART delivery system that today provides treatment for 1.4 million HIV-infected South Africans who need it—and to build on these accomplishments, the study authors said. National surveys suggest that only half of South Africans have ever been tested for HIV; there are likely large numbers of people infected with HIV in the high prevalence country that have yet to be identified and linked to lifesaving care.

"Our results suggest that rather than a debate over continuation of current funding commitments for the global response to HIV, policymakers and researchers should be examining strategies to most effectively and efficiently expand HIV testing and treatment efforts, to help increase future potential survival gains," said study author Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH, of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

Fast Facts

1. Researchers used a mathematical model based on real world data to quantify the direct impact of the rollout of antiretroviral therapy (ART) on survival among HIV-infected patients in South Africa.

2. ART has saved 2.8 million years of life in South Africa since 2004 and is projected to save an additional 15.1 million years of life by 2030.

3. These conservative estimates exclude those who might benefit from ART in the future. More aggressive HIV testing and treatment strategies could save even more years of life, if supported by ongoing international efforts to combat HIV.

NOTE: For a copy of the study and related editorial, which are embargoed until 12:01 a.m. EST on Wednesday, Dec. 4, please contact Jerica Pitts at jpitts@pcipr.com or 312-558-1770.

Published continuously since 1904, The Journal of Infectious Diseases is the premier global journal for original research on infectious diseases. The editors welcome major articles and brief reports describing research results on microbiology, immunology, epidemiology, and related disciplines, on the pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment of infectious diseases; on the microbes that cause them; and on disorders of host immune responses. The journal is an official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA). Based in Arlington, Va., IDSA is a professional society representing nearly 10,000 physicians and scientists who specialize in infectious diseases.

Jerica Pitts | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.pcipr.com
http://www.idsociety.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

nachricht Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'

26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>