It is unknown if a survival gap remains between HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected individuals with access to care.
We conducted a cohort study within Kaiser Permanente California during 1996-2011, using abridged life tables to estimate the expected years of life remaining ("life expectancy") at age 20.
Among 24,768 HIV-infected and 257,600 HIV-uninfected individuals, there were 2229 and 4970 deaths, with mortality rates of 1827 and 326 per 100,000 person-years, respectively. In 1996-1997, life expectancies at age 20 for HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected individuals were 19.1 and 63.4 years, respectively, corresponding with a gap of 44.3 years (95% confidence interval: 38.4 to 50.2). Life expectancy at age 20 for HIV-infected individuals increased to 47.1 years in 2008 and 53.1 years by 2011, narrowing the gap to 11.8 years (8.9-14.8 years) in 2011. In 2008-2011, life expectancies at age 20 for HIV-infected individuals ranged from a low of 45.8 years for blacks and 46.0 years for those with a history of injection drug use to a high of 52.2 years for Hispanics. HIV-infected individuals who initiated antiretroviral therapy with CD4 ≥500 cells per microliter had a life expectancy at age 20 of 54.5 years in 2008-2011, narrowing the gap relative to HIV-uninfected individuals to 7.9 years (5.1-10.6 years). For these HIV-infected individuals, the gap narrowed further in subgroups with no history of hepatitis B or C infection, smoking, drug/alcohol abuse, or any of these risk factors.
Even with early treatment and access to care, an 8-year gap in life expectancy remains for HIV-infected compared with HIV-uninfected individuals.