Life expectancy among adults living with HIV receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) in Latin America and the Caribbean has increased significantly since HIV testing and treatment services became more widely available, according to research published recently in The Lancet HIV journal.
The largest study of its kind indicates that life expectancy for people in the region living with HIV who receive ART is now close to that for the general population, mirroring trends seen in higher-income countries.
In 2016, the World Health Organisation (WHO) launched the 'Treat All' policy recommendations to help achieve the global target of ending AIDS by 2030 by treating all people living with HIV using antiretroviral drugs. By the end of 2020, 96% of low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) were on course to adopt Treat All, compared with 40% in 2016.
ART was introduced to Latin America in the 1990s and became more available during the 2000s. However, little data exists on the life expectancy of people living with HIV in LMICs. Until now, no large-scale investigations had taken place, with studies limited to single-country analyses in South Africa and Brazil. Large studies in Europe, Canada, and the USA have previously shown that ART has greatly increased life expectancy among people living with HIV.