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How long are we away?
Apr 8, 2008

Hi Dr.,

where is research today in HIV/AIDS? I was diagnosed in december 2007 and my dr. says that because of my positive attitude and my proactive behaviour that I am a good patient. My CD4=361 and my viral last time I checked 3/12/08 was 700. I would like to know how far are we away from a cure? and what is the average life span of an HIV patient who was diagnosed at 21 and lives an active and healthy lifestyle(on combavir and Sustiva)? What is the effective rate of the meds that I am on?

Response from Dr. DeJesus

HIV research remains very active, and although we are very far of having a "cure" (if we will ever) tremendous progress have been made on HIV treatment in the past decade. HIV went from an invariably fatal disease in the early 90's to an almost totally controllable disease today, just the same way that we are able to control other incurable conditions such as diabetes and hypertension.

We not longer look at life span for HIV patients doing well on therapy, because for most patients with a controlled disease and back-up treatment options, the likelihood is that they will continue to do well with treatment for as long as they take their medications with good adherence.

I am sure that having a good positive attitude and healthy life style is also helping you to remain healthy. So, I will advise you to stop thinking about how much time you have left and concentrate in following your treatment, because that is the key that will keep you alive and well. Good luck!

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