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Lifespan with Meds
Oct 31, 2008

My ex-husband, father of two just was diagnosed with HIV a year ago and has progressed to AIDs with a CD4 Count of 164. They are beginning Meds, he is having a terrible reaction right now to the meds. We have two children and I just want to know if I can expect him to survive 3,10 or 40 years or somewhere inbetween.

Response from Dr. McGowan

The good news is that with each year, the life expectancy for a person living with HIV is improving. Our treatments are getting better and easier to tolerate. Life expectancy for a person on antiretroviral therapy with a suppressed viral load and a CD4 count that gets up to 500 is the same as a person without HIV after 5 years of treatment. The key to having the maximal benefit is being adherent to treatment and being on a combination that will get the viral load undetectable. The beginning of treatment is often the most challenging time especially if the CD4 count is low or a person has an opportunistic infection to deal with, but it will improve once he gets on a stable combination.

Best, Joe



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