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AIDS-related death rates in Western countries have been slashed by more than 80% since the beginning of highly active antiretroviral therapy in the mid 1990s, and most HIV-positive people taking the medications can now expect to live for at least a decade or longer, according to a study in the October 17 edition of The Lancet. 'Nine out of 10 people could expect to live for 10 years regardless of the age at which they became infected,' says Kholoud Porter of the United Kingdom's Medical Research Council. 'We haven't reached the medium yet, so it could be 17 or 20 years'we can't really say at the moment.' Before HAART only about half of HIV-positive people could expect to be alive 10 years after becoming infected, according to the study. Porter says long-term follow-up of HAART recipients is needed because the drugs can have toxic side effects and because the virus in some people can become resistant to the drugs, which can affect survival rates.