Time from HIV sero-conversion to death: what factors affect survival?
James Edward Todd, National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR)
Samuel Biraro, Medical Research Council, Uganda
Survival following HIV infection in adults is around 10 years in all countries, irrespective of income. We used a large dataset from a population-based cohort in rural Uganda to estimate the median survival among adults following HIV seroconversion and to assess several risk factors. Kaplan-Meier functions were used to estimate survival patterns, and Weibull distributions to compare survival estimates. In this cohort, survival times varied by age, but not sex. The median survival was 9.6 years (95% CI 8.2-10.2). For those infected between 15 and 24 years of age, median survival was over 13 years, while in those infected at 45 years or more, median survival was under 6 years. There were no significant differences in survival by sex, tribe, religion, marital status, or sexual behaviour. The finding that survival is largely independent of social and environmental factors reinforces the importance of universal access to antiretroviral therapy to extend survival.