Improved HIV Care Boosts Life Expectancy at Clinic, Study Found09/28/12
FRIDAY, Sept. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment advances, a
multifaceted treatment approach and federal funding helped improve
care and outcomes for all HIV patients at an inner-city clinic in
Baltimore, including those often hit hardest by the disease,
The 15-year (1995 to 2010) analysis of patients at the clinic
serving primarily poor, black patients with high rates of injection
drug use showed what state-of-the-art HIV care can achieve with
appropriate support, according to the study published online Sept.
28 in the journal
Clinical Infectious Diseases.
"Contemporary HIV care can markedly improve the health of persons living with HIV regardless of their gender, race, risk group or socioeconomic status," study author Dr. Richard Moore, of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, said in a journal news release.
Health care challenges for HIV patients include lack of access
to treatment, failure to stay in care and poor adherence to
treatment guidelines. With funding from the federal government's
Ryan White Program, the clinic in this study was able to provide
care for patients who might otherwise have slipped through the
cracks, the study authors pointed out in the news release.
The Ryan White Program, created in 1990, provides services for
people with HIV/AIDS who can't afford care.
The Baltimore clinic offers multiple levels of care and support
to address HIV patients' complex needs, including primary care,
substance abuse and mental health care, and supportive care such as
case management, nutrition, emergency services and
As a result of the multilevel care offered at the clinic and
advances in antiretroviral drugs, HIV patients at the clinic now
have a life expectancy of 73 years, the study authors found. This
life expectancy was the same across all demographic and behavioral
But the researchers noted that the results included only those
patients who were "engaged in care" -- in other words, those who
showed up for lab testing and follow-up appointments.
"Getting people living with HIV engaged in care is critical to their well-being," Moore said.
The U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
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