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Modern HIV drugs 'add 10 years to life expectancy' in US and Europe

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By Euronews
Modern HIV drugs 'add 10 years to life expectancy' in US and Europe

Life expectancy for young adults who are HIV-positive has risen by 10 years in the United States and Europe thanks to improvements in treatments, according to researchers.

A study in the medical journal The Lancet says it means many patients can expect to live as long as those without HIV.

The scientists analysed 18 studies involving tens of thousands of people who started antiretroviral therapy or ART between 1996 and 2010, measuring their life expectancy through until 2013.

ART involves a combination of drugs that stop the HIV virus from spreading. The researchers say the improvements are likely to have been due to less toxic medicine combinations with more drug options.

A decline in deaths due to AIDS is attributed to modern drugs being more effective in restoring the immune system.

But life expectancy of those infected through injecting drugs did not increase as much as in other groups, leading to calls for prevention and treatment efforts to be focussed on high-risk groups.