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The number of infants under age 2 with HIV who were hospitalized fell by 64 percent between 1998 and 2005, according to the latest News and Numbers by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. During the same period, hospitalizations for children and adolescents with HIV age 2 to 17 and for adults with HIV age 18 to 44 dropped by 41 percent and 31 percent, respectively.
Overall, hospitalizations for complications from HIV declined primarily due to life-prolonging protease inhibitor drugs known as the "AIDS cocktail" introduced in 1995:
Cytomegaloviral diseases, caused by the herpes virus, declined 56 percent
Pulmonary tuberculosis, a contagious bacterial infection caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, fell 47 percent
Mycobacterial diseases, which can cause tuberculosis, leprosy, and other infections, fell by 37 percent
Toxoplasmosis, a parasitic disease that can cause damage to the brain, eyes and other organs in people with weakened immune systems , declined by 37 percent
However, life-prolonging drugs may be increasing admissions of older people with HIV who develop other chronic illnesses. AHRQ data found that the rate of hospitalizations rose 43 percent for patients ages 45 to 54, 61 percent for those between 55 and 64 years of age, and 56 percent for Americans aged 65 and over.
This AHRQ News and Numbers is based on data in HIV Hospitalizations in 1998 and 2005. The report uses statistics from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample, a database of hospital inpatient stays that is nationally representative of inpatient stays in all short-term, non-Federal hospitals. The data are drawn from hospitals that comprise 90 percent of all discharges in the United States and include all patients, regardless of insurance type, as well as the uninsured. The authors used AHRQ's Inpatient Quality Indicators to determine the in-hospital, risk-adjusted death rates.