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Contracting HIV from Sharps Injury 'May Not Lower Life Expectancy'

November 16, 2016

HIV is a very real risk for sharps injury sufferers, with those who receive a diagnosis naturally concerned that the illness will lower their life expectancy.

However, a new study has found that people with access to quality healthcare services who are diagnosed with HIV can live for just as longer as their healthy counterparts.

Sharps injury victims still need to seek medical advice immediately after suffering the injury to allow any damage to be mitigated, but new research shows their life expectancy does not have to be shortened following the incident.

Carried out at Copenhagen University in Denmark, the study led to the discovery that the average life expectancy for HIV patients between 2010 and 2015 was 73.9 years, while the median life expectancy among the rest of the population was 80 years of age. This indicates that significant advancements in HIV treatment have been made in recent years, as life expectancy for patients came in at 34.5 years for the 1995-96 period.

Of course, life-long medication and monitoring is still required for any sharps injury sufferers who contract HIV, but the new research should provide some hope to needlestick injury victims that the incident is not going to be a death sentence for them.

Nicolai Lohse, lead author of the report, commented: "For the many persons with HIV infection who have access to care, the main barriers to a long and healthy life are lifestyle factors not directly related to this infection."

What's more, the research results showed life expectancy for HIV patients has increased steadily every few years over the past two decades, indicating that anyone who contracts the blood-borne infection from an unfortunate sharps injury today could live for even longer than 73.9 years.

The study authors concluded: "This report and others like it document the benefits we can expect with a strong focus on timely diagnosis, integrated solutions and new therapies."

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/871862