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 Director of Public Affairs at PhRMA, managing the creative development and design of PhRMA-branded advocacy campaigns through paid, earned, and digital campaigns. She also manages the day-to-day operations of the Partnership for Prescription Assistance. In a former life, she worked in grassroots advocacy and in the U.S. Senate, but today, she enjoys the challenge of creative development and storytelling. When she’s not at her desk, Hannah is part of the D.C. fitness community and enjoys being active and outdoors, exploring all the city has to offer.