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middle aged and hiv
Sep 21, 2009

Ive read where basic average of someone who has hiv needing to go on meds is 5 years from infection and without meds dropping to 200 cd count between 8 to 10 years. Is this the same for someone in their late 40's? I read somewhere that people in their 40's and 50's average around the same as this, can you give your opinion?

Response from Dr. McGowan

Thanks for your question.

We are learning more about HIV in older people. Because it can be overlooked, HIV is often diagnosed late in older people. They may already have lower CD4 counts when tested and the time to diagnosis of AIDS has been shorter in older people. This may change if we start testing people more broadly. The immune system ages as well and is less resilient when we are older (over age 50 usually). So, even though older people are able to get their viral load suppressed as well (or better) than younger people, their CD4 increases are usually less robust. European treatment guidelines recommend initiating HAART at a higher CD4 count in people over the age of 55 for this reason.

Best, Joe


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