NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

AIDS Survival Time Increasing

March 14, 2001

The incidence of AIDS and deaths due to AIDS are declining in the United States. AIDS deaths are falling due to life-prolonging new drug treatments. Comparing months of survival after an AIDS diagnosis from 1984 through 1997, researchers find that survival time increased with each year of diagnosis.

  • Among 394,705 persons with an AIDS-defining opportunistic illness (OI) diagnosed in 1984-1997, median survival time improved from 11 months for 1984 diagnoses to 46 months for 1995 diagnoses.
  • The greatest annual survival gains occurred among persons receiving an AIDS diagnosis in 1995 and 1996.
  • Among persons with an OI diagnosed in 1996 and 1997, 67 percent were alive at least 36 months after diagnosis and 77 percent were alive at least 24 months after diagnosis, respectively.

AIDS deaths began declining in 1996, following an average annual increase of 16 percent from 1987 through 1995.

Source: Lisa M. Lee et al., "Survival After AIDS Diagnosis in Adolescents and Adults During the Treatment Era, United States, 1984-1997," Journal of the American Medical Association, March 14, 2001.


Browse more articles on Health Issues