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do you die from just aids

May 12, 1997

I had had a aunt that died from aids.The doctor said that she didn't die from just aids alone.she had been sick with the flu and she had cancer.Everyone that I asked didn't have an answer for me.Does everyone with aids die of aids? Or does it take more than just aids to kill you,like a disease or something

Response from Mr. Sowadsky

Hi. Thank you for your question.

Not everyone with AIDS will die of the disease, but many will. AIDS is definetely a deadly disease. Most people who die from AIDS itself usually die from one of the opportunistic diseases that are seen in persons with AIDS. So it's not HIV itself that usually kills a person; rather it's one of the opportunistic diseases associated with AIDS that kills a person.

However, we must remember that people can have AIDS, yet die of other causes. A person can have AIDS, but can also have other potentially fatal diseases unrelated to AIDS. For example, if a person with AIDS is a smoker, they may die from Lung Cancer (which is a separate disease unrelated to AIDS). Some people with AIDS may die of other unrelated causes (for example, suicide, homicide, car accidents, drug overdoses, etc.). So although most people with AIDS die from the disease itself, they may also die from other causes. If you have any further questions, please feel free to call the Centers for Disease Control at 1.800.232.4636 (Nationwide).

A question on AIDS occurances
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