According to the CDC, about 25 percent of people with HIV are successfully keeping their virus under control through medication. Worldwide, fewer than 11 million people are being treated while more than 35 million people have the disease, according to UNAIDS.
Rates of HIV infection in the U.S. have remained about the same since around the mid-1990s at about 50,000 new infections every year, according to the CDC. And according to a 2011 CDC report, there are still around 15,000 deaths from HIV/AID in the U.S. every year.
Mayer said approximately 20 percent of people with HIV in the U.S. do not realize they are infected with the disease and it can be years before they show symptoms. Additionally, while medication has been shown to help keep the disease in check, experts are concerned about the effects of long-term use.
“That again is why I’m not so thrilled about the article,” said Mayer. “We don’t know what long-term consequences of HIV combined with aging. HIV might lead to higher risk of cardiovascular [complications.]”