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Living with out treating HIV

Jun 27, 2017

How long can I live without treating HIV

Response from Dr. Young

Hello and thanks for posting.

When HIV is diagnosed and treated with modern 21st century antiretroviral therapy (ART), life expectancy and quality of life can be essentially normal. We know now that treatment prevents serious illness, AIDS and death; moreover, ART can prevent transmission of the virus to others.

Without ART, your prognosis with HIV returns to the dark plague days of the twentieth century. While it's impossible to predict any one persons life expectancy with accuracy, most people living with HIV developed AIDS complications (wasting, infections and cancer) within 10 years of infection. There is variability in this, and some unfortunate individuals progressed to AIDS and death within only 1-2 years of infection (in part predicted by having a high pre-treatment HIV viral load and the replication capacity of the virus).

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