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Living with HIV long-term raises concerns

Sat 12 Apr 2008 In: New Zealand Daily News

10.00PM: News that the quality of life of people infected with HIV has significantly improved in recent years is being welcomed by the AIDS Foundation, but the organisation harbours concerns for the future regarding the effects of living long-term with the virus and toxic medications and a possible link to sudden deaths amongst long-term HIV positive men. "Whilst we welcome the full results of the HIV Futures NZ2 research project which shows that many people living with HIV are experiencing better health and well being," says NZAF Executive director Rachael Le Mesurier, "we have growing concerns about the impact of side effects and until we know more about the possible increase of fatalities, such as heart attacks, amongst HIV positive men on medications for a number of years, we cannot assume that long-term use of HIV  treatments is of no concern." Anecdotal evidence is understood to be raising concerns following the unexpected and sudden deaths of several long-term HIV positive men including Daniel Fielding in Wellington and Fraser Moreton in Auckland. The Foundation's cautionary words were this afternoon echoed by HIV Futures NZ2 lead researcher Dr Jeffrey Grierson who was announcing the results of the biggest survey of the lives of HIV positive people yet conducted. "We don't know yet what it is like to age with HIV, or the long-term results of treatments or even the long-term effects of HIV infection," he told In response to concerns that, because living with HIV has become easier in the six years since the first HIV Futures survey in 2001, gay men might not see infection as a significant issue Grierson says that living with HIV has demonstrably negative effects on people's lives and it is clear that "people with HIV would rather not have it."    

Credit: News Staff

First published: Saturday, 12th April 2008 - 12:09am

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