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Life expectancy
Mar 2, 2001

My brother has been HIV positive for 15 years. He was just diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins lymphoma. I'm worried about him and wonder about his survival. What sort of life expectancy can he have now dealing with 2 life-threatening diseases? I mean he's on medications for AIDS and is undetectable. I was just wondering does this new diagnosis mean it's all over? Thanks doc for being here.

Response from Dr. Dezube

Dear supportive brother: AIDS-related lymphoma has a very high cure rate, particularly in patients whose viral loads are undetectable. I have dozens of patients who are alive well over 10 years since their diagnoses. However, there are clearly no guarantees and unfortunately not everyone makes it. It's hard for me to give you more specifics without knowing your brother's CD4 count and knowing exactly where the cancer has spread. His prognosis is particularly excellent if his CD4 count is over 200 and if the lymphoma does not involve his brain or spinal column. Assuming that the lymphoma does NOT involve his brain or spinal column, then the standard treatment consists of regimens with initials called either CHOP or CDE. I wish both of you the best of luck.


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