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London, UK 25 October 2017 – ViiV Healthcare, the global specialist HIV company majority owned by GSK, with Pfizer Inc. and Shionogi Limited as shareholders, today presented data at the 16th European AIDS Clinical Society (EACS) in Milan, detailing a range of findings about the attitudes and perceptions towards antiretroviral therapy among people living with HIV (PLHIV).
The survey results shared at the congress concentrate on treatment and interactions with a healthcare professional. Key findings show:
- 52%(571) were on treatment within six months of their HIV diagnosis[i]
- 56%(604)are currently very satisfied with their treatment [i]
- 43%(355) have switched their HIV treatment in the last year, with the predominant reason being side effects[i]
- 71%(789) are very comfortable with raising issues of concern with their main HIV doctor[ii]
- 89%(987) believe that advances in HIV treatment will improve their quality of life (QoL)[iii]
- 72%(783) worry about the long-term effects of their antiretroviral medicines[ii]
The findings are drawn from the Positive Perspectives global quantitative survey of 1,111 PLHIV conducted in nine countries (Austria, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK and USA). The survey, sponsored by ViiV Healthcare, was designed in collaboration with an international, multi-disciplinary Steering Committee that included HIV physicians, PLHIV and patient group representatives. It provides a view into the lives of PLHIV and explores their personal HIV journey, including coping with diagnosis, disclosure, stigma, treatment and talking to a healthcare provider.
Andrew Murungi, Scientific Lead for the Positive Perspectives Survey at ViiV Healthcare, commented: “While treatment advances have dramatically improved the life expectancy of PLHIV, we recognise there are many important challenges remaining today. We conducted this survey to find out specifically what these challenges are and to help us support the HIV community in addressing the unmet needs of PLHIV. Whilst it is reassuring to learn 89% (987) believe treatment advances will improve their QoL, clearly much needs to be done, as only 56% (604)are currently very satisfied with their antiretroviral treatment.”
Preliminary data on diagnosis, disclosure and stigma were presented at the International Aids Society (IAS) congress in Paris in July 2017, which showed that only 68% (759) of PLHIV were offered support, referred for counselling or informed about support services by their main HIV doctor at diagnosis and 25% (283) felt that better education for HIV doctors would reduce feelings of stigma.3,4 Additional disclosure findings show that 82% (909) of PLHIV have experienced a form of stigma relating to their HIV in the last 12 months and nearly two in five (37%, 402) of PLHIV hide their medication to avoid revealing their HIV status.3,4
Simone Marcotullio, a Positive Perspectives Survey Steering Committee member and HIV/AIDS and Co-infections advocate for national and international communities, said: “While we’ve come a long way in the treatment of HIV, it’s staggering to see that stigma still persists 30 years into the epidemic with 82% (909) of the people surveyed saying they have experienced a form of stigma related to their HIV in the last 12 months. A deeper manifestation of this persistent stigma is the fact that PLHIV self-stigmatise and develop a negative relationship with their daily treatment, which can lead to adherence issues and lower quality of life. These survey results help us better understand the challenges PLHIV face and can also help us find ways to address these challenges.”
[i] Young B, et al. Patient Experience & Views on Antiretroviral Treatment – Findings from the Positive Perspective study. Presented at the Infectious Disease Week (ID Week conference), 4-8 October 2017, San Diego, USA. Abstract number #1393
[ii]Positive Perspectives survey, 2017 DOF
[iii]Murungi A, et al. Experience of living with HIV: Diagnosis & Disclosure – findings from the Positive Perspective study. Presented at the IAS Conference on HIV Science (IAS 2017), 23-26 July 2017, Paris, France. Abstract: WEPED1423