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what a difference!

Jan 19, 2012

Hi doctor, I was so relaxed reading an article ears in lancet that person starting HAART at age 20 can expect an added 49.4 years. Another study in Holland ( gives more inspiring data. Now in the Myles Helfand depressed me a lot stating the fact that the news is not so exciting. Still we are going to live 21 years less than our negative counterparts. ( This study is dated back to 2009 i think.

Such a depressing news! I really dont know what kind of statistical analyses scientists do! Such huge difference between two cohort studies! Can you give me any wise opinion? Regards.

Response from Dr. Hightow-Weidman

Hello there- The truth is --we have no idea how long an individual person with HIV is going to live. The reasons that these studies are so different is that they are mathematical predictions based on a limited amount of available data. Everyone living with HIV is different just like everyone without HIV is different and there is no way to predict how long anyone is going to live. We all have different genes, different family histories and different risk factors for all of the unfortunate illnesses and events that can potentially shorten our lives. What I would say is (and what I do say to my patients is), I have no reason to think you are not going to live a long and healthy life with HIV. That is reason enough to not smoke (or stop if you do), eat and drink in moderation, exercise, get lots of rest, adopt a pet, etc. etc. (Oh and take your meds!) Do all of the things that increase the quality and quantity of your life. Scientists get all hung up on numbers but in the real world it's about individuals and our data don't tell us specifically about YOU. Take care,


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