A new study shows anti-retroviral therapy for HIV has saved 2.8 million years of life in South Africa, and could save another 15.1 million more by 2030.
South Africa has an estimated 5.6 million people with HIV, and about half of those with the disease are eligible for the antiretroviral therapy. Since 2004, when antiretroviral therapy was introduced to the country, South Africa, along with international aid, has bolstered its efforts to treat the HIV epidemic. Authors of the study say an even more aggressive policy plan could save even more lives.
"Our results suggest that rather than a debate over continuation of current funding commitments for the global response to HIV, policymakers and researchers should be examining strategies to most effectively and efficiently expand HIV testing and treatment efforts, to help increase future potential survival gains," study author Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, was quoted as saying.