Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study highlights massive benefits of HIV treatment in South Africa

Date:
December 4, 2013
Source:
Oxford University Press (OUP)
Summary:
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. The analysis suggests these dramatic benefits could be even greater if more aggressive HIV testing and treatment strategies are implemented.

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.

Related Articles


"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.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Oxford University Press (OUP). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Michael D. April, Robin Wood, Bethany K. Berkowitz, A. David Paltiel, Xavier Anglaret, Elena Losina, Kenneth A. Freedberg, and Rochelle P. Walensky. The Survival Benefits of Antiretroviral Therapy in South Africa. Journal of Infectious Diseases, December 2013
  2. Sten H. Vermund. Massive Benefits of Antiretroviral Therapy in Africa. Journal of Infectious Diseases, December 2013

Cite This Page:

Oxford University Press (OUP). "Study highlights massive benefits of HIV treatment in South Africa." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131204090944.htm>.
Oxford University Press (OUP). (2013, December 4). Study highlights massive benefits of HIV treatment in South Africa. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131204090944.htm
Oxford University Press (OUP). "Study highlights massive benefits of HIV treatment in South Africa." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131204090944.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins