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Those With HIV Living Longer: International Study

Deaths from AIDS-related causes, heart disease and liver disease have all dropped

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"We all know that getting HIV patients into care, getting them on their medicines, will lead to better outcomes," said Dr. Michael Horberg, director of HIV/AIDS at Kaiser Permanente in California. "The decline in deaths is really remarkable."

People are living longer with HIV, but the treatment is not easy and no one should think of HIV as a chronic disease without consequences, Horberg said.

"You can have side effects from your medicine. A number of patients do get those bad AIDS-related cancers and non-AIDS-related cancers and liver disease, even with taking their medication," he explained.

Horberg noted that to reduce deaths, patients need to take medications consistently. "And you have to work very closely with your doctor," he said.

But the effort is clearly worth it. HIV patients can live almost a normal lifespan, according to Horberg. And, he added, "It's not just lifespan, it's a productive lifespan with good quality of life."

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