Antiretroviral therapy and declining AIDS mortality in New York City

Peter Messeri, Lee Gunjeong, David M. Abramson, Angela Aidala, Mary Ann Chiasson, Dorothy Jones Jessop

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE. This study estimates the impact of Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) and other antiretroviral therapy combinations on reducing mortality risk for a cohort of HIV-infected persons living in New York City. MATERIALS AND METHODS. Data for this study come from the CHAIN project, an ongoing multiwave longitudinal study of HIV-infected persons is living in New York City (n = 700) initiated in 1994. The study sample is drawn from the clients of 43 medical and social service agencies and is broadly representative of New York City residents, who were aware of their positive serostatus at time of enrollment. Occurrences of deaths were obtained through routine field tracking and searches of death certificates and an online death registry. Information on other study variables was obtained through in-person interviews. A Cox proportional hazard model was applied to estimate the effects of medication on mortality risk. RESULTS. Mortality rates for the CHAIN cohort dropped steadily from a high of 131 deaths per 1000 persons/year in 1995 to 31 deaths per 1000 persons/year in 1999, with the historically low mortality rates continuing through 2000. Current use of HAART was associated with a 50% reduction in mortality risk (hazard ratio = 0.51, P <0.01). CONCLUSIONS. These results demonstrate that in the case of HAART, the therapeutic benefits of an innovative but costly medical treatment are reaching populations that traditionally have poor access to quality health care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)512-521
Number of pages10
JournalMedical care
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2003


  • Antiretroviral therapy
  • Mortality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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