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HIV Infection: Life Expectancy

Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 4 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) months and (b) years on average patients with HIV/AIDS have survived following their diagnosis with HIV in the last 20 years. (253653)

A recently published article in the Lancet (2008; 372:293-99) provides estimates of life expectancy for HIV-infected adults receiving combination antiretroviral therapy. It is based on analysis of over 43,000 patients from industrialised countries, including some from the United Kingdom. The median life expectancy for such patients was 63 years for those diagnosed at age 20 and 67 years for those diagnosed at age 35.

Figures are not available for each of the last 20 years, but the estimated life expectancy increased between the first period studied in the research (1996-99) and the last (2003-05). For those patients starting combination therapy at age 20, life expectancy increased from an estimated 56.1 years in 1996-99 to 69.4 years in 2003-05. Equivalent figures at age 35 are from 60 years to 72.3 years.