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Which is correct?
Sep 2, 2003

I am very confused. You state numerous times that with adherence to treatments a person recently diagnosed positive, can live a normal to near normal life expectancy. However, the following website states that life expectancy is only 16 years after diagnosis.

http://www.med.cornell.edu/news/press/2003/05_07_03.html

I am very confused. Your website offered me so much hope and this other website devastated me again. Which is correct?

Response from Dr. Young

One simply needs to look at the how the Cornell study was designed and the text of the outcomes to see the differences-- the study's primary outcome was that medications extend life, and that persons who defered treatment would likely do worse, with a shorter life expectancy than those who started sooner.

The study makes a number of assumptions (as was needed) to estimate these differences-- these assumptions were based on the current population of patients and cannot project to what future changes in medications and life expectancy might be.

I think that in total, this point out that predicting the future is difficult, but the general statement that HIV disease can be managed successfully for many persons for decades (call that "normal" or "near-normal" life expectancy, if you will). It's pretty tough to imagine what an additional 16 years will do for HIV treatments. I shouldn't need to point out (but will anyways), that it was only 16 years ago when we got our first HIV medication-- now we have 19 medications, representing 4 classes of medications.

So, relax-- the Cornell study is not cause for devastation, but rather to point out that medications have significant, life saving benefits. BY



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