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Long term survival with AIDS and HIV
Aug 20, 2005

Thank you Doctors to making us available this wonderful Website. my Q. is is there any difference between when you start medication the begining of HIV or when it becomes AIDS? Because my friend discovered so late when he become very sick and had pneumonia and skin KS which I think is full blown up AIDS. But when he started the madication he is doing good. Dr please can you tell me how long he has to survive since he has AIDS and is 48 years old?

Response from Dr. Pierone

The optimal time to start HIV medication is not known with precision. Nor do we know the best strategy to pursue after treatment is commenced. Do we continue forever or can therapy be stopped periodically at future time points? A few studies are underway to help answer this question.

What we do know is that waiting until someone has full blown AIDS with an opportunistic infection/condition is not ideal. One of the reasons we encourage HIV testing in well people is to establish a diagnosis of HIV before someone becomes ill. This allows for intervention to prevent progression to AIDS and illness.

But even in cases where one first learns of AIDS because of an opportunistic infection health can be restored after initiation of HAART. There is also the expectation of long-term survival as well. If your friend is adherent to therapy he should have a near-normal life expectancy.



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