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How long can someone with HIV live?
Jan 26, 2005

i just embarked on a relationship with a positive man (i'm negative). it's something i never imagined myself getting into. i'm trying to arm myself with info on issues anticipated but one which really stands out (painfully) is the question of mortality. he has been positive for 11 years and is compliant with his medication and has undetectable viral loads. my question is this - how long has the longest living + man lived? i know it'll b tough when that day arrives but i'm hoping it never does. am i burying my head in the sand?

Response from Dr. Young

Dear "?burying my head": Thanks for your question.

I don't think that your head is in the sand, nor in the clouds.

I tell my patients that I expect them to live normal- or at least near-normal life spans. The fact that your friend has an undetectable viral load indicates that his virus is well suppressed and that treatments are very effective-- further evidence that he is on an excellent prognostic path.

How long has someone lived with HIV? I have patients who are survivors from the 1980's in my practice; these are very unusual patients, insomuch as they survived the dark days. More relevant is the fact that many patients who started on combination treatment in the mid 1990s remain on their first regimens, with excellent health.

So, I think this means that the man that you care for should be around for a long time; probably too long for me to accurately predict. Live life, enjoy life. Thanks for reading. BY



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