Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


MRC Study Shows Highly Active Anti-retroviral Therapy Dramatically Cuts Deaths From AIDS


A dramatic increase in life expectancy for people infected with HIV has been achieved since the introduction of Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy (HAART), say Medical Research Council (MRC) scientists today (Friday 17 October 2003).

New research conducted at the MRC Clinical Trials Unit in London and published in this week’s issue of The Lancet shows that in the first four years after the introduction of HAART, death rates from AIDS fell by over 80%.

More than 50,000 people in the UK are living with HIV and worldwide, more than 40 million people have been infected with the virus.

Anti-retroviral drugs work by attacking the virus (HIV) that causes AIDS, slowing the progression of the disease and prolonging life. HAART is the name given to anti-retroviral combination treatments that include three or more drugs.

Using data from CASCADE*, a large collaboration of 22 different studies across Europe, Australia and Canada, scientists led by Dr Kholoud Porter of the MRC Clinical Trials Unit assessed the effect of HAART on life expectancy and development of AIDS in people with a known date of HIV infection.

The researchers found that when HAART was introduced in 1997, death rates immediately halved. By 2001, death rates had been cut by over 80%. Over this four year period, use of HAART therapy increased from one in five patients to over half the people infected with HIV.

Before 1997, the risk of developing AIDS was much higher in those aged 45 years or older when they were infected with HIV compared with people who were 16-24 years old. The study found that older people infected with HIV no longer appear to have a reduced life expectancy compared with younger people.

However, the researchers also found that people with HIV who were infected through injecting drug-use were four times more likely to die of AIDS than men infected through sexual contact. Similarly, people infected through other routes, such as haemophiliacs, were three times more likely to die. The researchers suggest that these findings could be due to these groups of people spending less time on HAART, or benefiting less from therapy because of reduced adherence or other existing infections such as Heptatitis.

Dr Porter said: “The introduction of highly active anti-retroviral therapy has been a tremendous success. Before this therapy was introduced, about half of those infected were expected to live for ten years after diagnosis, much less if they were, say, 40 years old when infected. Now, people treated with these combinations of drugs can almost all expect to live at least ten years after diagnosis, regardless of their age at infection.

“However our findings do point to the importance of an early diagnosis so that people can access the best treatments at the right time. We also need to continue to explore what happens when therapy starts to fail, for example due to resistance to anti-retroviral drugs, if we are to maintain improved life expectancy for people living with HIV.”

The collaboration is funded through a grant from the European Union and has received additional funding from GlaxoSmithKline.

| alfa
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Advanced analysis of brain structure shape may track progression to Alzheimer's disease
26.10.2016 | Massachusetts General Hospital

nachricht Indian roadside refuse fires produce toxic rainbow
26.10.2016 | Duke University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Novel light sources made of 2D materials

Physicists from the University of Würzburg have designed a light source that emits photon pairs. Two-photon sources are particularly well suited for tap-proof data encryption. The experiment's key ingredients: a semiconductor crystal and some sticky tape.

So-called monolayers are at the heart of the research activities. These "super materials" (as the prestigious science magazine "Nature" puts it) have been...

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Prototype device for measuring graphene-based electromagnetic radiation created

28.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Gamma ray camera offers new view on ultra-high energy electrons in plasma

28.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

When fat cells change their colour

28.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>