Wednesday, May 4, 2011

HIV & AIDS Information :: A third of deaths in patients with HIV are attributable to other serious illness present at time of HIV diagnosis

A substantial proportion of the mortality in HIV-positive patients is caused by serious illnesses that were present before diagnosis with HIV, Danish investigators report in the online edition of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.

Overall, a third of all deaths were attributable to illnesses that were already present at the time of HIV diagnosis. The study also showed that mortality rates were significantly higher in patients with HIV than in the general Danish population.

The introduction of effective antiretroviral therapy in the late 1990s transformed the prognosis of many HIV-positive patients. Non-AIDS-related diseases are an increasingly important cause of illness and death in patients with HIV, and the burden of such diseases is expected to increase as the HIV-positive population ages.

However, the impact of illnesses acquired by patients before their diagnosis with HIV on prognosis is poorly understood.

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