DRUG NEWS: HAART decreases death rates by 80%

February 2004 
Volume 34  Number 2
Pages 24 - 24
  PDF Version Available!


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    Drug combinations known as highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) have reduced mortality rates from AIDS by more than 80%, according to researchers. Introduced in 1997, HAART is a combination of three or more drugs from at least two classes of antiretroviral drugs. It's designed to attack HIV in various stages of its life cycle.

    Because of HAART, 9 out of 10 people with AIDS can expect to live at least 10 years after infection. Although people older than 45 at diagnosis had a poorer prognosis in the pre-HAART era, older people on HAART have the same life expectancy as younger people.

    However, injecting drug users are four times more likely to die of AIDS than men infected through sexual contact, possibly because they're less likely to follow the complicated drug regimen and more likely to have certain other infections, such as hepatitis C.

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