BOSTON— While the gap has narrowed with the advent of combination antiretroviral therapy, people infected with HIV still live an average of 9 years less than non-infected people, according to a study presented here at CROI 2016 by Julia L. Marcus, PhD, MPH, of Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, California. While improved, this is still a large gap that needs investigation for mitigating factors, researchers said.

In the past, the disparity between infected and non-infected individuals was larger, with researchers reporting that between 1996-2006 this gap was 26.3 years. From 2007-2011 it decreased to 13.8 years.

Between 1996-2011, researchers examined a cohort of Kaiser Permanente California members: 25,768 were infected with HIV while 257,600 were not Researchers matched non-infected members 10:1 on age, gender, medical center and year and used Social Security Administration datasets, California death certificates, and electronic health records to record deaths. Life expectancy was averaged as how many years individuals were expected to live after age 20 using abridged life tables for 1996-2006 and 2007-2011.

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1. Marcus JL, Chao C, Leyden W et al. Narrowing the gap in life expectancy for HIV+ compared with HIV- individuals. Presented at: CROI 2016. Feb. 22-25, 2016. Boston.