“While previous studies have shown that ART significantly improves survival in clinical cohorts of HIV patients receiving ART, this is the first study to directly measure the full population-level impact of a public-sector ART program on adult life expectancy.
The researchers measured dates of death using data from a large community-based population surveillance system, which included information on all births and deaths among more than 100,000 people living in rural KwaZulu-Natal between 2000 and 2011. Data were collected twice a year, through household surveys, by the Africa Center for Health and Population Studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
In 2003, the year before ART became widely available to people in KwaZulu-Natal,adult life expectancy was 49.2 years; by 2011, it had increased to 60.5 years. Both menand women experienced large gains in life expectancy – nine years and 13.3 years,respectively.