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beating a dead horse
Oct 15, 2003

Sorry, but just one more question about life expectancy. Most of the doc's on this site say a person infected recently, who is 100 percent adherent, can live decades. Is this true with just the current drugs available now, or does that "assume" continued drug developement and breakthroughs. How long can someone expect to live on the drugs that are currently on the market today?

Also, I have never seen a question answered about how long a person could expect a single combo to continue to work assuming someone gets there viral load under control <50 copies. Is there any data available regarding this. I've asked my HIV+ friends and the difference of opinion on this is amazing. Some say months, some say years, some say decades. Help. I know there are no guarantees but any stats would be comforting.

Response from Dr. Young

yes, dead pony, we answer this type of question frequently.

I think that people rightly try to read much more precision into our answer about life expectancy than can accurately be done. There are many different ways to answer, and many different assumptions that go into the statement. Either way, we all generally believe that the life expectancy is terrific, and that future drug discovery will likely improve things more.

Current drug regimens can be taken with success for many years-- I have patients on their first drug regimen since 1995; yes treatments can and do fail-- in some cities on average (this is the key) ~18 months, and adherence is the major determinate in this; newer regimens are easier to adhere to and cause fewer side effects. I do think that with appropriate adherence, education and monitoring that "first" regimens can work for a very long time.

Thanks for reading. BY

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