The development in HIV treatment in recent years has brought spectacular results. The sick live longer, start families, and their overall life expectancy is no different than that of the rest of society. HIV has become a chronic disease. New therapies have also emerged that allow HIV-positive people to reduce their medication intake.
Fewer illnesses and more infections
In the European Union countries, the number of new HIV infections has decreased by 17% in the last eleven years, but it continues to increase throughout Europe. At the same time, thanks to universal access to tests and effective antiretroviral therapy (ARV) at every stage of infection, the number of AIDS cases has decreased by over 40%. The number of deaths of people suffering from HIV and AIDS has decreased accordingly.
Aims of HIV treatment
One of the main goals of HIV treatment is to reduce and maintain viral load at an undetectable level (undetectable-non-infectious / N = N) and to increase the quality of life of patients.
Thanks to the development of medicine, it has become possible, and the life expectancy of HIV-positive people has been significantly extended, and with early detection and treatment, it does not differ from the rest of the population.
A breakthrough in the treatment of HIV
With age, the needs of HIV patients change, including those not directly related to infection, but rather to aging. People over 50 begin to develop other diseases, which increases the amount of medications taken – for example, anti- hypertensive drugs are added to the three-component antiretroviral therapy .
According to the Positive Perspectives study, 82% of people living with HIV take at least one drug in addition to ARV. Thus, the possibility of side effects increases.
As many as 57% of HIV-positive people are worried about taking such large amounts of drugs, and 3/4 of the respondents want to use less of them for HIV, if it is equally effective in inhibiting viral load.
This is especially important for patients because non-infectious = undetectable, which means that an HIV-positive person with less than 200 copies of the virus per 1 ml of blood cannot infect another person, also during intercourse. Science meets them.
Fewer drugs in anti-HIV therapy
According to the latest research by ViiV Healthcare and GSK, in people with HIV who have not received treatment before, two-component antiretroviral therapy is as effective and has long-lasting effects as the three-component therapy introduced so far.