PHL B09 Biomedical Ethics

Question:

Is HIV no longer considered a life sentence due to HAART?

Answer:

HIV is no longer considered a life sentence

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HIV is no longer considered a death sentence after the introduction of HAART.

HIV was once a death sentence.

HIV today is considered a chronic condition such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

HAART reduces viral replication by lowering the plasma HIV-1 virus load below detection limits.

Art & Hazuda (2012).

But, these drugs will only reduce the HIV virus load if they are used as directed.

The harmful effects of HIV were reduced by the introduction of HAART.

HIV-infected persons can live almost as long as the uninfected.

The combination of several classes of medication prevents opportunistic infection that can lead to AIDs, and the subsequent death.

Actually, HIV-positive individuals have a significantly lower mortality rate.

Martinez and colleagues followed 4471 HIV-positive individuals who were on HAART for at least one year between 1997 and 2004.

Martinez et. al., 2007 found that between 1997 and 2004, the death rate dropped to 5%.

Because of the longer life expectancy, HIV-related deaths are continuing to decrease.

People who have been infected with HIV for a number of years are considered to be at risk of dying from the disease. They present to the healthcare facility with advanced symptoms not seen in HAART patients.

HIV is not considered a fatal disease. With HAART, life expectancy cannot be reduced.

HIV-1 antiretroviral treatment therapy.

Cold Spring Harbor perspectives on medicine, 2(4) p.a007161

Incidence of HIV infected persons who are receiving highly active antiretroviral medication compared to the estimates for the general population.