HIV/AIDS becoming treatable chronic disease: Top expert

Updated: Jan 20, 2020 Print
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As HIV/AIDS has gradually become a highly treatable "chronic disease," thanks to ever-improving therapies and more social tolerance with zero virus-related discrimination is needed for better control of the epidemic, said one of the nation's top AIDS specialists.

Li Taisheng, a veteran AIDS expert with Peking Union Medical College Hospital, made the remarks at a recent awareness-raising event in Beijing stressing that discrimination poses more harm than the virus itself.

"More social tolerance allows sufferers to be more willing to confirm their HIV/AIDS status and seek proper treatment, which ultimately help deter secondary infections," he said.

International studies found a person infected after age 20 can on average live into his or her early 70s with proper medication, according to Li.

He urged sufferers to seek treatment and live a positive life.

Last year, there were 240 million HIV tests conducted, which revealed 149,000 new cases, according to the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

China has reported more than 958,000 people living with HIV/AIDS by the end of 2019, official statistics showed.

According to Li, more than 80 percent of sufferers are on antiviral therapy for HIV/AIDS.

Also, improved therapies, as he said, make it easier for sufferers to stick to the treatment for better drug compliance and treatment outcome.

For instance, one treatment, Biktarvy, which is expected to become available this month, only requires one tablet each day.

"Improved drug regimes like this are expected to help further improve sufferers' life quality and better curb the virus from spreading," he said.


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