HIV treatment has social, socioeconomic benefits, as well as improved health (BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS)

While the health benefits of antiretroviral therapy (ART) for HIV are well documented, less is known about possible secondary benefits.

Lindsey Richardson, an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of British Columbia and research scientist with the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS (BC-CfE), presented findings from two studies July 22 at the International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference in Vancouver. IAS 2015 is the world's largest scientific conference on HIV and AIDS and is organized this year by the IAS in partnership with the UBC Division of AIDS.

In the first study, people starting HIV treatment for the first time were more likely to transition out of homelessness, start addiction treatment, and begin a romantic relationship. A second study found that adherence to ART — meaning an individual is dispensed their HIV medication at least 95 per cent of the time — increases the probability they will transition out of homelessness and end involvement in activities like sex work, drug dealing or street-based income generation.

The University of British Columbia.

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