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article and confusion
Sep 26, 2006

I read two separate articles concerning the recent new guidlines for hiv testing. in the first article they mentioned that someone that is diagnosed with hiv but still not aids can expect to extend their lives by about 25 years or more with current treatment. someone who is diagnosed in late stages can expect about 14 years or so-- do you agree with this accessment?

also and this is the one I don't get--in us news and world report dated 10/2/06--they state that 40% of people who are diagnosed with hiv, develope aids within one year!!!! how can that be? if you are diagnosed with hiv and haven't progressed to aids and you start treatment--how the heck does 40% still develope aids??? I believe they were talking about people in the usa not worldwide

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Response from Dr. Wohl

There are estimates that have been published on life expectancy of people living with HIV infection or years gained with HIV meds. Importantly, these are just that - esitmates - applied to populations not for use in determining how one specific individual will fare.

Current HIV therapies clearly extend lives by decades. Those starting at more advanced stages generally do not do as well as those initiating treatment prior to severe immunosuppression - although many who do start during full blown AIDS do just great.

Note, this is a moving target. Someone diagnosed today in the US with HIV and who has a CD4 cell count of 200 can expect to live 10, 15 or 20 plus years. And, during the next 10, 15 or 20 plus years you can bet your CD4 cells that there will be further advances in HIV care that will extend the lives of those who are HIV+.

As far as teh 40% thing, I do not know wxactly what this was in reference to. I will say that most people are DIAGNOSED at a low CD4 cell count. Meaning, they had HIV for a while and only came to be tested when thier counts were relatively low. At our clinic in North Carolina approximately 80% of new patients have a CD4 of 200 or less. New recommendations to expand HIV testing will likely lead to more people being diagnosed at earlier stages.

DW



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