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silly questions?
Aug 5, 2012

hi dr benjamin, its a nice work u and ur team doing in this website. i got two questions for u today, first one is a bit historical fiction and second one is a statistical. Q1: we are gathering proper knowledge of advanced virology and molecular biology since the middle of the last century. that really helped us to design effective HAART and to know the virus well enough. what is ur opinion regarding this success if HIV pandemic happened in the 17th/18th/early 19th century when we did not have any or enough knowledge in virology and modern molecular techniques? Q2: do u think an HIV poz person who is controlling his HIV disease wonderfully and avoiding other comorbidities (like obesity/DM/HTN/Dyslipidemia/alcoholism/smoking/doing exercise regularly etc)is increasing his life expectancy that normally he wouldnt be able to do if he were HIV negative? Thanks.

Response from Dr. Young

Hi there, no silly questions here (though just to be clear we try not to answer the "do I have HIV?" questions on this Forum).

1. Very interesting question-- I'd have to say that the epidemic would very likely have been much worse, certainly no understanding of the cause, treatments or an understanding for issues of stigma and discrimination.

2 People living with HIV today, with access to medications and trained medical care are very likely to live a normal life expectancy. You raise an interesting point, which is that because of medical supervision, people living with HIV often have a great deal more access to preventive medical care and counseling (things like monitoring of blood pressure, diabetes, smoking counseling, vaccinations, etc). It's tempting to conclude that early diagnosis and intervention in these factors might actually lead to a *longer* life expectancy, than if HIV wasn't there as the excuse to see the doctor. I have certainly seen my patients have a much more open discussion about the things that define quality of life (love, family, travel, etc) than if they hadn't had HIV as a wake up call. I'd hope that this is true too for duration of high quality life...

Thanks for posting, BY



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