February 19, 2009
Sub-Saharan Africa's excessive HIV mortality rates could be reduced if patients were diagnosed sooner and placed on highly active antiretroviral therapy earlier in the course of the disease, according to research presented at the 16th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Montreal.
The study investigators, Dr. Martin Brinkhof of the University of Berne in Switzerland and colleagues, estimated the two-year mortality rates for HIV patients on HAART in sub-Saharan Africa and compared them with the rates of the uninfected general population. AIDS mortality data were collected for patients receiving HAART in Ivory Coast, Malawi, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. Comparison mortality data for the general population were derived from the World Health Organization's (WHO) Global Burden of Disease project estimates.
The analysis included data on 13,249 patients (67 percent female; median age 34). Clinical stage data were available on 12,720 patients, of whom 10,811 had advanced disease at treatment initiation. In 14,695 person-years of follow-up, 1,177 deaths were recorded.
Reuters Health Medical News
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