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older folks
Jul 30, 2006

Dr. Young, you always seem optimistic about the present and future of hiv medication. In regards to those who are over 50 before they initially get infected what is the outlook. I guess my question would be do older people who get infected have just as good of a survival rate in regards to medication? Do they still hit the average 10 year mark if they are not on medication before they develop AIDS or is their progression normally much quicker? Ultimately I am asking can a 55 year old who was recently infected still have a shot at 20 years of survival if under proper medical care?

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your post.

While you might consider me an optimist, I see myself as a skeptical realist. That said, 50-somethings who are recently infected and live in the so-called developed world should certainly expect to live a normal lifespan.

To my limited knowledge of this subject, there's no data that suggests that 50's progress to AIDS more or less rapidly than younger patients.

So, yes, so long as you have access to experienced healthcare professionals and medications; are willing and able to follow up with your doctors and when necessary take simple, well-tolerated HIV medications; I'd expect you to draw on your 401K and plan for retirement.

I hope this helps. BY



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