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How long can I live
Apr 13, 2001

Hi, I have had HIV for 8years but have not had any treatment received, how much longer can I live normally before I am striked with AIDS? Does AIDS come suddenly or gradually?

Response from Dr. Feinberg

On average, it takes about 8-10 years after infection to have one's T cells drop below 200, which is the threshold value the governement uses to define AIDS. Some people continue to do well even after their T cells go below 200 and even below 100. But at some point,you will develop the general symptoms of advanced HIV disease (weight loss, fatigue, fever/sweats) or the specific symptoms of an AIDS-defining opportunistic infection. For some this happens gradually and for others, the decline in health can be more dramatic. If you've been HIV+ for 8 years (and may have been infected for a while before that), you owe it to yourself to see an HIV specialist and begin to discuss your medical needs, including anti-HIV treatment and preventive therapy for various OIs if your T cells are sufficiently low to be at risk. Good luck!

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