Chile on cutting-edge of HIV/AIDS patient research
An innovative monitoring system is tracking the progress of the country’s patients, providing doctors and researchers with new data on antiviral treatments.
Thursday, December 20, 2012
Photo: Paula Bailey
While many countries struggle to track HIV/AIDS treatments, Chile is on the cutting-edge of patient research, having put in place a unique system that can monitor HIV/AIDS patients and their progress.
This innovative system is providing Chilean doctors and researchers with data regarding the effectiveness of antiviral treatments. It’s important, according to Marcelo Wolff, an infectologist who studies HIV/AIDS at the Universidad de Chile, because accurate data about the success rates of these drugs can be hard to come by.
“Treatment is available in many other parts of the world, but no one knows whether or not it is working,” Wolff told Inter Press Service.
The system is based on a monitoring system in 32 public health centers in Chile. An initiative of the Chilean AIDS Corhort, the system has created a standardized way to assess patient treatment and make impact evaluations.
“Knowing about what is happening to the people being treated is the main novelty,” Wolff said. “And the Chilean AIDS Cohort has been able to study that: the survival, morbidity and hospitalisation rates, and labor and social reinsertion.”
This data is being utilized in many ways, including helping lawmakers make informed decisions about AIDS treatment and funding, enabling medical providers to adapt therapy to local conditions, and helping the international AIDS research community assess the spread of HIV/AIDS.
According to Wolff, Chile is a country with exceptional healthcare and support for HIV/AIDS patients. The country’s national healthcare program ensures that all HIV/AIDS patients have access to the latest treatment options.
“Coverage extends to nearly everyone living with HIV,” Wolff said.
Wolff said that thanks to the Chilean government's health program and the Chilean AIDS Cohort, HIV/AIDS mortality in the country has been reduced by more than 80 percent, and hospitalization rates have gone done, enabling Chileans living with HIV/AIDS to return to their day-to-day lives.