Antiretroviral Treatment Helps Keep HIV Patients in South Africa Employed
(Got from Havard School of Public Health)
Antiretroviral drug treatment for HIV appears to have more payoffs than the promise of better health and a longer life – it also seems to help people living with HIV stay employed or get new jobs, according to a new study by researchers at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies. In a study of a large population cohort, the investigators found that four years after initiating therapy, HIV patients were 90% as likely to be working as they were three to five years before starting treatment. ...view middle of the document...
We estimated the employment effects of HIV treatment in fixed-effects regressions. Four years after the initiation of antiretroviral therapy, employment among HIV patients had recovered to about 90 percent of baseline rates observed in the same patients three to five years before they started treatment. Many patients initiated treatment early enough that they were able to avoid any loss of employment due to HIV. These results represent the first estimates of employment recovery among HIV patients in a general population, relative to the employment levels that these patients had prior to job-threatening HIV illness and the decision to seek care. There are large economic benefits to HIV treatment. For some patients, further gains could be obtained from initiating antiretroviral therapy earlier, prior to HIV-related job loss.
Antiretroviral reduce transmission of HIV
In 2011, a large multi-country study by the HIV Prevention Trials Network showed that antiretroviral (ARVs) cut transmission of HIV by 96% within couples where one partner is HIV-positive and the other is not infected. A later study in South Africa reinforced these findings.
“When people take antiretroviral, the amount of HIV in their body is decreased, making them much less likely to pass the virus to others,” says Dr. Gottfried Hirnschall, Director of the HIV Department at WHO. “If we can get, and keep, more people on treatment, and reduce their virus levels, we can reduce the number of new people who are infected.”
Increased coverage and early treatment cost-effective
Providing ARVs to people living with HIV who have HIV-negative partners, pregnant women and high risk populations, regardless of their immune status, would increase the number of people eligible for treatment in low- and middle-income countries from the current figure of 15 million to 23 million. While this will increase the cost of providing...