New and improved treatments are helping HIV patients live much longer.
According to a new study, the life expectancy for people in developed nations living with HIV has gone up for about a decade.
And researchers say it's thanks to improved HIV medications, along with better screening, prevention and treatment for other health problems associated with the virus.
A team of researchers at the University of Bristol studied data from more than 88,000 people who had HIV in Europe and North America.
All of the patients were treated between 1996 and 2010.
The researchers found the life expectancy for 20-year-olds undergoing HIV treatment increased by nine years for women and 10 years for men.
And the study predicted 20-year-olds who started therapy after 2008 and survived the first year could live to be about 78.
That's pretty encouraging news, considering the average life expectancy in the U.S. is 79 years.
These findings are a big milestone in the fight against HIV and AIDS. But it's important to note that HIV-positive patients can face other life-threatening obstacles.
For instance, some patients don't have access to the consistent, high-quality care needed to keep the virus in check.
And life expectancy in the U.S. can vary by as much as 20 years, depending on where someone is born.
Internationally, there's still a lot of room for improvement. The World Health Organization says over 36 million people worldwide live with HIV but less than half are on antiretroviral therapy.