PEOPLE recently diagnosed with HIV can expect to live almost as long as the average lifespan with better treatments, The Australian has reported.

A recent medical study says a 20-year-old diagnosed in the West can now expect to live to be 78.

People with HIV are now about half as likely to die in the first few years after diagnosis as they were at the start of the 2000s.

“Our research illustrates a success story of how improved HIV treatments coupled with screening, prevention and treatment of health problems associated with the infection can extend the lifespan of people diagnosed with HIV,” said lead researcher Adam Trickey.

“Combination antiretroviral therapy has been used to treat HIV for 20 years but newer drugs have fewer side effects, involve fewer pills, better prevent replication of the virus, and are more difficult for the virus to become resistant to.”

In Australia, 92 per cent of people taking antiretroviral treatment for HIV have an undetectable viral load, meaning they are also unlikely to be able to transmit the virus.

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