Yesterday was National Youth HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, an opportunity to educate on the impact of HIV and AIDS and to recognize advances in science that have brought hope to Americans. Thankfully, for patients and families, the future has never been more promising with 50 medicines in development.
Not long ago, HIV/AIDS was considered an acute, fatal disease. But today, patients can treat the disease as a chronic, manageable condition thanks in large part to advances in biopharmaceutical research and innovative treatments. A recent PhRMA report, titled “A Decade of Innovation in Chronic Diseases,” highlights these tremendous advances in HIV/AIDS research and treatments. For example, only four classes of antiretroviral treatment were available to HIV-positive patients a decade ago, and as treatment with multiple antiviral therapies was the cornerstone HIV treatment, pill burden and adherence remained a challenge. Additionally, there were few options to help patients manage the side effects of treatment.
But with the death rate for HIV/AIDS 85 percent lower than its peak in 1985, America’s youth has the opportunity to fight against this deadly disease with the help of new treatments and therapies. In the past 10 years, 15 new medicines have been approved – including three new entirely classes of therapy, as well as treatments which reduce pill burden by combining multiple antiretroviral treatments into a once-daily pill. New treatments alleviating common side effects of the disease have also become available allowing for better disease management. Such advances have contributed to the 10-year increase in average life expectancy we’ve seen in the last decade alone. In fact, for those diagnosed with HIV at the age of 20, they can expect to live to the age of 70, which is the average life expectancy for the U.S. population as a whole.
To learn more about what America’s biopharmaceutical research companies have done and are doing to continue fighting HIV/AIDS, visit www.fromhopetocures.org/fighting-hiv/aids.
Hannah Mooney Hannah is a Senior Manager of Public Affairs at PhRMA developing paid media programs and campaigns as well as assisting other PhRMA team members to cultivate a values-driven messaging platform on the value of the industry and the medicines our companies bring to the health care system. In a former life, she worked in grassroots advocacy and voter contact, supporting Members of Congress, their campaigns, and public affairs organizations with their legislative initiatives in addition to having worked in the U.S. Senate in communications. Hannah enjoys being outdoors and exploring all the city has to offer, teaching cycling classes, and finding new restaurants with good food and better patios in the District.