During the past decade, highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has substantially decreased morbidity and improved survival in patients infected with HIV. Consequently, life expectancy in HIV-infected patients treated with HAART has increased, transforming HIV infection into a chronic manageable disease . However, as HIV-related death rates fall, morbidity and mortality from concomitant chronic diseases are on the rise. The distribution of deaths from chronic diseases among HIV-infected patients depends on patient age. Deaths from cancers not related to AIDS and ischaemic cardiovascular events are prevalent in the elderly; decompensated liver diseases are more frequent in patients of intermediate age .
Apoptosis Compound Library The risk of non-AIDS-related cancers, end-stage renal disease, cardiovascular complications and liver diseases
is greater in HIV-infected patients compared with the general population . Premature aging, adverse effects of antiretroviral drugs, immune dysfunction, and possibly HIV replication itself are involved in this excess risk. A large number of studies have been conducted to assess the socio-economic impact of antiretroviral therapy. Previous studies have demonstrated that HAART is cost-effective . The indirect costs of treating HIV-infected patients have decreased significantly since the introduction of HAART, because HIV-infected patients selleck inhibitor on HAART can maintain their status as active workers [4–6]. However, it was estimated that at least 25% of people living with HIV in Italy were unaware of being infected with this virus . In the future, political questions for health planners and decision makers will be focused on the ability of governments to sustain higher direct costs. It is conceivable also that more resources will be allocated to HIV care in the short term but emerging
chronic diseases may require additional resources. many Our study updates previous estimates of the direct costs of treating HIV-infected patients in the current HAART era from a medical sector perspective. Using an administrative database we were able to obtain a comprehensive picture of HIV-related costs for a high-prevalence region within the Italian National Health System based on 5 years of detailed observations in the Brescia Local Health Agency in northern Italy. Out-patient and in-patient costs were captured and the costs of chronic diseases in HIV-infected patients were differentiated from those costs in the general population. With this methodology, we have derived useful information on trends in the burden of the HIV epidemic in terms of the costs of treating HIV-infected patients and the relationship between costs and emerging chronic diseases in this population. This study was conducted in the Brescia Province, located in the Lombardy Region (northern Italy). The Province has an area of 4786 km2 and a population of 1 211 617 inhabitants.