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For people living with HIV, average life expectancy has increased significantly during the course of the past two decades, and this improvement is largely due to improved medications and more prevalent HIV testing, according to a new study.
A team of researchers from the University of Bristol examined data collected from more than 17,000 individuals with the disease. The results, which were reported in the British Journal of Medicine, showed that average life expectancy increased by 15 years between 1996 and 2008.
The researchers said that medications are now more effective and less toxic than they used to be, which is one of the most important reasons for the increase in life expectancy.
Furthermore, individuals tend to be diagnosed at earlier stages in the progression of the disease today thanks to widespread HIV testing. The team said this is important because HIV is more treatable when it is discovered in its early stages.
The report serves to further underscore the importance of regular HIV testing for individuals who are sexually active. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that this is one of the most effective ways to slow the spread of the infection.
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