News Update

AIDS awareness ' choronic rather than deadly'

khap | 2013.12.01 11:12

New AIDS awareness: 'Chronic' rather than deadly

By Ko Dong-hwan 

More AIDS patients in Korea are living with it as chronic disease rather than expecting to die soon with help of medical advancement over time.
/ Courtesy of 
AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) is no longer a disease leading to inevitable death but rather a chronic one to live with for a certain period of time, sources reported on Friday.

According to the Korea Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday, approximately 11 percent, or 845 out of 7,788 AIDS patients in Korea last year, are currently aged over 60. Among those patients is one who has been living with the disease for over 28 years.  

The pattern is now more common among patients than ever before.

A man in his late 50s has been going to the hospital every six month for the past 10 years since being diagnosed with AIDS.

After doctors regularly checked his condition and prescribed medicines, he has been dealing with the disease experiencing no distinctive pain at all. He now looks forwards to reaching 60.

“He was of course scared when he first heard of the news that he was infected with AIDS,” an official from the hospital said. “But by now, he has completely overcome the fear and enjoys an optimistic life.”

The center pulled up the statistics in commemoration of the World AIDS Day falling on Dec. 1.

“With the past advancement in medicines and treatment methods, AIDS is now more like a chronic disease just like diabetes and hypertension,” a professor from infectious diseases division at a Seoul hospital said. “There are also chances those with AIDS may outlive patients of diabetes or cancer of the same age groups.”

According to a report from The Joint United Nations Program on HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) and AIDS (UNAIDS) published September 2012, there has been a gradual decrease in the number of AIDS patients across the world since 2005: from 2.3 million in 2005 to 1.7 million in 2011 to 1.6 million in 2012.
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