On HIV/AIDS Treatment in the Developing World

I am preparing for a presentation tomorrow for World AIDS Days, December 1st, for Princeton’s student group the Student Global AIDS Campaign. It is affiliated with Princeton’s AIDS initiative. I’m talking about the adequacy of donor response to the epidemic. I’ll have more to post about my talk tomorrow, but I ran across a line in a recent UNAIDS report assessing resource needs to combat the disease over the next three years. On page 28 of the report, the estimated additional years lived for people with AIDS who are on antiretroviral therapy is between 4 and 6 years and 6-9 years in low- and middle-income countries. Without treatment, it is estimated those people would die within the year. How does that compare with additional years lived in richer countries? I guess I assumed that the retroviral therapy could extend the lives of people in developing countries for much longer. I guess it doesn’t make me feel much better that those folks will die four or five years later than they otherwise would. That means dying at 35 instead of 30 for a lot of them. Perhaps some good years but still a truncated life.

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