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Drug use and poverty don't affect HIV care

Category: HIV monitoring/Treatment/Testing/Post Diagnos

Patients who screened positive on STD testing for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) respond well to contemporary treatment options, regardless of low income or a tendency to use intravenous drugs, according to a 15-year study published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

"Contemporary HIV care can markedly improve the health of persons living with HIV regardless of their gender, race, risk group or socioeconomic status," said Richard Moore of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

Although 92 percent of the patients in the Baltimore clinic that the study focused on had low incomes as of 2010, the patients who the survey studied have an average life expectancy of 73 years. Although, the researchers say it's noteworthy that this increased duration of survival only applies to patients who consistently showed up to their appointments for treatment.

High instances of affirmative STD testing can be especially worrisome for low-income communities that are near prisons. A 2007 study from the University of New South Wales found that, in 20 of the more than 100 countries they surveyed, the prevalence of HIV in prisons can be more than 10 percent due to widespread use of illegal intravenous drugs.

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