Young adults living with HIV can now live up to their early 70s a new study has revealed. According to the study entitled Closing the Gap: Increases in Life Expectancy Among Treated HIV Positive Individuals’, the life expectancy of young adults is high as long as they take anti-retroviral drugs regularly.
As reported in an article in the STAR newspaper by John Muchangi, Kenyan experts acknowledged the study but maintained that based on existing data, life expectancy for Kenyan youths might be less the 70 years, being closer to the current average lifespan of HIV negative people of 59 years.
The study was conducted in the US and Canada and published in the science journal, Plos One by the University of Columbia.
YOUNG ADULTS CONSTITUTE HALF OF NEW INFECTIONS
The findings of the report offer some relief considering that young people account for half of the number of new infections. Africa, which bears the burden of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, has 22.4 million people living with HIV and 1.9 million new HIV infections in 2008. 14 million children in Africa are estimated to have been orphaned as a result of HIV/AIDS.
It is estimated that 1.5 million Kenyans are living with HIV although according to the Ministry of Health only about 600,000 of these are being treated with ARV drugs.
THE ‘WONDER PILL’
The fight against HIV was heightened just the other day when a ‘wonder pill’ that supposedly prevent HIV infections was formulated.
According to experts the drug going by the name Truvada, can cut the risk of contracting HIV by up to 75 percent if swallowed daily. Incidentally, the ‘wonder pill’ which has been christened the ‘new condom’ has been in usage in the country as an anti-retroviral drug by people living with HIV but thanks to a study taken in 2010 , the pill was established to impede the HIV virus when taken consistently. Truvada is a combination of two ARVs; emtricitabine and tenofovir and is manufactured by US pharmaceutical Giled Sciences.