Dramatically Fewer HIV Patients Hospitalized Since Antiretroviral Treatments Introduced

A new study shows that HIV patients are being hospitalized “significantly” less than before the introduction of the antiretroviral drug therapy treatment known as cART.

The study’s authors looked at HIV patients in Ontario, Canada and used data from the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, reports WebProNews. They found that women suffering from HIV are still being hospitalized more than men with HIV (by 15 percent), and low-income people with HIV are still hospitalized more than those with higher income (by 21 percent).

The study has been published in the journal Open Medicine.

“Although our study is overall a ‘good news’ story for persons with HIV in Ontario, the differences in rates of hospitalization over the past decade suggest that women and low-income individuals living with HIV may face challenges accessing medication and community-based care,” said Dr. Tony Antoniou, lead author of the study.

Across the world, India is reporting a reduction in fresh cases of HIV, with Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad reporting a reduction of up to 57 percent, reports in.com.

“There have been significant falls in MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella), IMR (Infant Mortality rates) and TFR as well as reduction in new HIV cases by as much as 57 percent,” he said.

This reduction is attributed to policy reform and improved paramedical and medical education.

Antiretroviral drug therapy was first introduced in 1996. It lowers HIV and prevents its progression into AIDS. Antoniou believes that universal access to such treatments will help ameliorate the class disparity shown in the study.

“We need to do more research to understand and address the root causes of these differences, to ensure that all persons with HIV are able to benefit equally from the advances that have been made in managing this illness,” said Antoniou.