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How long?..
Jan 25, 2000

Dear Dr. Feinberg. I've been trying to understand the following: when they say that it takes average 10 years for the HIV+ person to develop a full-blown AIDS, does it mean that it does not matter whether a person is taking medication or not? How important is it to know how long one has been infected after all? Does it mean that one can prolong their HIV status without letting the CD4 count drop below 200 by receiving a treatment, if it is needed, or will the immune system decline with time no matter what? Thank you.

Response from Dr. Feinberg

This prediction is based on studies before treatment was available. With HIV treatment, the time to develop AIDS or any OIs is clearly prolonged. What is not known now is how long that period is. Optimistic researchers believe that HIV+s who have an undetectable viral load and a good T cell response may be able to survive for a normal lifespan, but we don't know that for certain.


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