Background: The life expectancy of patients with human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) reported by several epidemiological studies is inconsistent. This meta-analysis was conducted to estimate the survival rate from HIV diagnosis to AIDS onset and from AIDS onset to death.
Methods: The electronic databases PubMed, Web of Science and Scopus were searched to February 2016. In addition, the reference lists of included studies were checked to identify further references, and the database of the International AIDS Society was also searched. Cohort studies addressing the survival rate in patients diagnosed with HIV/AIDS were included in this meta-analysis. The outcomes of interest were the survival rate of patients diagnosed with HIV progressing to AIDS, and the survival rate of patients with AIDS dying from AIDS-related causes with or without highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). The survival rate (P) was estimated with 95% confidence intervals based on random-effects models.
Results: In total, 27,862 references were identified, and 57 studies involving 294,662 participants were included in this meta-analysis. Two, 4-, 6-, 8-, 10- and 12-year survival probabilities of progression from HIV diagnosis to AIDS onset were estimated to be 82%, 72%, 64%, 57%, 26% and 19%, respectively. Two, 4-, 6-, 8- and 10-year survival probabilities of progression from AIDS onset to AIDS-related death in patients who received HAART were estimated to be 87%, 86%, 78%, 78%, and 61%, respectively, and 2-, 4- and 6-year survival probabilities of progression from AIDS onset to AIDS-related death in patients who did not receive HAART were estimated to be 48%, 26% and 18%, respectively. Evidence of considerable heterogeneity was found. The majority of the studies had a moderate to high risk of bias.
Conclusion: The majority of HIV-positive patients progress to AIDS within the first decade of diagnosis. Most patients who receive HAART will survive for >10 years after the onset of AIDS, whereas the majority of the patients who do not receive HAART die within 2 years of the onset of AIDS.
Keywords: AIDS; Cohort studies; HIV; Highly active antiretroviral therapy; Survival rate.
Copyright © 2016 The Royal Society for Public Health. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.