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Living A Long Life???
Dec 19, 2002

I have been positive for over 2 years, am U/D with my viral load, and my CD-4s are around 450. Into my 3rd year now, I look at life in a completely different way. I am almost at a new level of awareness of my condition in this complicated journey - mostly becasue I am unsure about how long I may live. I am looking at my friends who are positive (some for over 6 years) and see them getting sicker, even with proper treatment. I was wondering if there was an "average" length of time that Amercian gay men have lived beyond their diagnosis date? I realize that this is a difficult question to answer...but I see few members of the "10 and counting" club. Any information you could provide may allow me to rest a bit easier (or make me panic if you know what I mean!!). Thank you...and Happy Holidays to you.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

I'm in the "10 and counting" club. There is no "average" life expectancy for HIV, because potent anti-HIV therapy only came into wide use in 1996. Personally, I'm planning on dying of old age - not HIV. The most important thing is to be under the care of an HIV/AIDS specialist. Currently available therapies are quite effective in controlling the virus, but these medications can be difficult to take consistently over long periods of time, and often have a variety of undesirable side effects. That's why an HIV specialist is so very crucial to your survival and quality of life.

I also strongly suggest you learn as much as possible about the virus and your treatment options. This website and others like it, as well as your HIV specialist, can help you gain this knowledge. Knowledge is indeed power. Why are your friends getting sicker? Their treatment may "proper", but is it optimal? Are they under the care of a competent HIV specialist? No one's been cured - yet - but I do think you should indeed "rest a bit easier." Let's get through this and grow old together, OK?

Happy Holidays to you too! Stay well!

Dr. Bob


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