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Long term survivors, prospects for living a good life
Apr 19, 2012

I've been HIV+ since 1988. Currently, I'm the model of health, have been undetectable for many years and am very compliant with my meds. I take testosterone. I lift weights and have good muscle.

I read a couple of disheartening articles recently that said my life expectation was like 32 years. I don't buy that assessment, and it seems so very "blanket" without considering individual circumstances.

Anyhow, I understand that some long-termers are suffering from heart disease, and I do take bp meds, but only 2.5 mg of felodipine.

I guess my ultimate question is what are the prospects of living a long healthy life for someone like me? I've been very damned lucky, never to have been sick apart from the usual annoying colds.

I hope to see a cure for this in my lifetime; I'm 43.


Response from Mr. Vergel

People with HIV who respond well to antiretroviral therapy (ART) and achieve undetectable viral load and a CD4 T-cell count above 500 cells/mm3 can have a mortality rate similar to that of HIV negative people, but this is not the case for those with 350-500 cells/mm3, according to a study presented at the 19th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2012) last month in Seattle. CROI: HIV+ People with CD4 Counts Above 500 Match Life Expectancy of General Population

I think many of us with CD4 cells under 500 cells/mm3 (mine at 300) will be able to live a long life if we are able to keep our viral load undetectable, minimize our cardiovascular health risks ( avoid smoking, control lipids, blood pressure and blood sugar, exercise, and eat healthy), detect cancers early (specially anal cancer), detect bone loss early (DEXA scans every few years, resistance exercise, hormone balance, take Vitamin D and calcium rich foods)and manage stress.


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