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Life expectancy
Oct 19, 2003

With modern medication allowing people with HIV to live longer do we really know who long? With proper medication will they live as long as anyone else or do we not know? I am planning to marry an HIV positive woman and she thinks she can live into her 80's. I pray that is true.

Response from Dr. Aberg

I don't think any of us can answer this question. It is true that with antiretroviral therapy, people living with HIV have had a significant decrease in HIV related illnesses and an increase in survival. Some individuals have already been alive over 20 years with the virus. And many people with HIV die from causes unrelated to their HIV.

How HIV will affect a person's life span in the future is unknown. Other illnesses such as connective tissue disease, hypertension, diabetes all can shorten one's life span but rarely do I hear someone ask if they should marry that person because their life span may be shortened. One never knows how long an individual may live. Maybe your future wife will live to be in her 80s or maybe she could be in an accident and die next week. I pray as you do, that everyone will live a long healthy life. I expect as we continue to learn more about HIV, the lifespan of those infected with HIV will continue to increase.



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