March 1, 2021

HIV antiretroviral therapy prevented 9.5 million deaths between 1995-2015

The antiretroviral therapies of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevented 9.5 million deaths worldwide between 1995 and 2015, according to an article published on Monday in the journal Health Affairs.

A team headed by Steven Forsythe, of the health organization Avenir Health in the USA, evaluated the results of the Joint United Nations Program on HIV / AIDS, which in 2014 established the so-called "90-90-90 goals" for the treatment of infected people.

This consisted of 90% of people with the virus knowing their situation; that 90% received the appropriate treatment; and that 90% suppress HIV.

Since the introduction of zidovudine in 1987, the significant improvement in the treatment of people living with HIV has yielded substantial advances in global health as a result of the unique benefits of antiretroviral therapy, the authors said.

The researchers examined data used by the UN to calculate that between 1995 and 2015 antiretroviral therapy prevented 9.5 million deaths worldwide, with global benefits of 1.05 billion dollars.

The scientists also estimated that between 1995 and 2030, 40.2 million new HIV infections could be prevented with benefits of 4.02 billion in the last year.

In a country study, the article recalled that in 1995 Brazil introduced local production of antiretrovirals and in 1996 "established the right of free access to these medicines".

"However, the intensification of the treatments together with their greater efficacy, resulted in a substantial decrease in the global number of AIDS deaths," the study said. "The calculations fell to about 1.12 million deaths per year due to AIDS in 2015."

Even so, progress has not been the same everywhere and "some countries must overcome many obstacles before reaching them," the authors commented.

For example, Denmark seems to have been the first country to achieve the 90-90-90 targets, and in France, 52% of people with HIV have achieved viral suppression.

This suppression has been achieved in 61% of those infected in the United Kingdom and 30% in Brazil, while Georgia has reached a level of only 20% and Russia is behind with 9%.

(tagsToTranslate) therapy (t) antiretroviral (t) HIV (t) million (t) deaths

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