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How long can have live unaffected by HIV?
Oct 27, 2004

How long can someone be diagnosed with HIV, not be on medication and live unaffected?

Response from Dr. Sherer

Of all persons infected with HIV, the vast majority (98%) develop gradual immune dysfunction, falling T cells, and AIDS in an average 10 years in the US and Europe; recently we learned that this average is lower in some regions of the developing world, as low as 4.5 years in Kenya.

One fifth of people infected have more rapid disease progression in the US and Europe, i.e. 2-5 years.

And a fortunate 2% of people with HIV infection are so-called 'long term non-progressors', who after 10-15 years of infection or longer have no signs and symptoms of HIV, and little or no evidence of immune dysfunction due to the virus.

If you are asking because you have HIV, I urge you not to engage in 'wishful thinking' by hoping to be in this last category, rather than finding a doctor and monitoring your health and T cells and viral load, if at all possible. Even without symptoms and with high T cell counts, a visit to the doctor 2-3 times yearly is strongly recommended.


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