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HIV death rates fall, but disparities remain: study


(Reuters Health) - New drug treatments have dramatically improved survival for people infected with HIV, but a new study finds that African Americans and less educated Americans have not seen the same gains as others, suggesting differences in access to available treatments.

"There have been substantial declines in HIV death rates, but not everyone has benefited equally from the drugs that have been available since 1996," said Edgar Simard, the study's lead author and a senior epidemiologist at the American Cancer Society in Atlanta.

The drugs currently used against HIV are collectively known as highly active antiretroviral therapy, or HAART. They help suppress the virus in a person's blood, which helps the immune system stay strong and may delay the onset of AIDS.

But, the authors note in the Archives of Internal Medicine, while HIV fell to 24th leading cause of death for whites, it rose to be the ninth leading cause of death for blacks.

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Copyright © 2012 -Social Security Office, Publisher. All rights reserved to AIDS & Public PolicyJournal. Reproduction of this article (other than one copy for personal reference) must be cleared through the APPJ Permissions Desk.

Information in this article was accurate in October 10, 2012. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.