Nov 21, 2012
once resistant to all available treatments, how long can you expect to live? i am a smoker and have exhausted all current treatments, i was diagnosed in 1998 and have lived a normal life until now, am i likely to succumb to an illness suddenly and quickly or will i experience a gradual decline with periods of illness and recovery
Response from Dr. Young
Hello and thanks for posting.
It's difficult to answer your question without more details. Is your virus currently suppressed or not? Are you taking medications? What is your current CD4?
The very large majority of people with highly drug resistant HIV today can find well tolerated and effective medication regimens (as have many of my patients), so I tell such patients to be patient and optimistic and persistent- work with a doctor who knows their way around sophisticated resistance tests (including phenotypes and trofile tests) to help navigate your possible options.
In the worst case, even if the virus isn't currently suppressible, medications can delay the progression of HIV disease in many.
To answer your question, it's disease progression is very individual. Some progress rapidly others more slowly (often related to how high the viral load is). Indeed, I'd suggest engagement in HIV medical care even in this circumstance, as many conditions are very treatable, leading to periods of good health and recovery.
I hope that helps. Stay in touch, BY
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