What Ails Ya?
BY HIV Plus Editors
July 01 2009 12:00 AM ET
For the first time in the global AIDS pandemic, there is evidence to show that serious non-AIDS-related illnesses are now more common -- and more serious health threats -- for HIVers on antiretroviral therapy than the AIDS-related diseases that killed millions in the past.
An analysis of more than 10,000 European HIVers on anti-HIV therapy has shown that since 2002 there were 641 AIDS-defining illnesses diagnosed among the group compared to 684 serious non-AIDS-related diseases. But the death rate from the illnesses was skewed heavily toward the non-AIDS-related diseases: 46.5% of those diagnosed with an non-AIDS-related diseases died from the illness compared to just 34.5% of those who died of an AIDS-defining condition.
The most common life-threatening non-AIDS-related diseases in the group were cancers, cardiovascular disease, and liver failure. Diabetes, hypertension, hepatitis B or C, and being a current smoker also significantly boosted the risk for the non-AIDS-defining illnesses.