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Relationship Of One's Age and Clinical Response To Haart
Jan 2, 2003

I guess I have been meaning to ask this question for some time now but kind of afraid but here it goes: I have been following your forum for a while now and from time time have read comments about the fact that the older the patient (when starting meds) the less successful the response to meds and ultimate outcome. Could you please be a little more specific? I am 55 years old, HIV+ for 4 years (not yet on meds).Would it still be possible to reach a near to normal life expectancy provided I take care of myself and strictly adhere to dosages? Also, thanks so much for giving your time to this site..it is very helpful.

Response from Dr. Wohl

Hi

The major thing to recognize in any large study of populations is that the results are generalizations that may or may not apply to any one individual in that population. What I mean is that just because in some hugh study those who were younger tended to have slower progression of their HIV infection, there is no absolute that says you as a healthy 55 year old writing to this site are doomed to fare worse than someone half your age.

I often tell my patients who are newly diagnosed and not suffering from advanced AIDS that I expect them to live long enough to collect social security (if it still exists) IF they listen to most (but not all) of what I tell them to do. It makes sense. If before potent HIV meds came around the average time from diagnosis to death was 10 years, you'd expect that with HIV meds that would double to 20 years. Now, in the next 20 years don't you think we will come a long way from meds that can't seem to keep the virus under control for more than a few years and that make you poop all the time, increase your lipids and shrink your tush? I do. My advice, don't spend the retirement money. DW



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