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How long to live if Healthy

Aug 28, 1997

With HIV, could life expectancy go beyond 10 yrs if you work-out and eat somewhat healthily?

Response from Mr. Sowadsky

Hi. Thank you for your question. If a person is diagnosed with HIV and even AIDS, they could potentially live for many years after they are diagnosed. The key to survival is often based on early diagnosis and treatment. There are many things that can increase the survival of a person with HIV/AIDS. Some of those things include:

1) Living a healthy lifestyle (eating a good diet, exercise, getting enough sleep, etc.).

2) Having an optimistic and positive attitude on life. Persons who have a positive mental attitude, tend to take better care of themselves, and live longer.

3) Beginning treatment early. The sooner that treatments begin, the more that they can benefit a person. If a person has tested positive, their doctor can do lab tests to determine if treatment is needed for them. Treatments include medications used against HIV itself, and medications to reduce the risks for opportunistic diseases (when indicated).

If a person leads an unhealthy lifestyle (including a poor diet, drug addiction, etc.), or if they have other medical problems, this may shorten a persons life expectancy. The life expectancy of a person living with HIV/AIDS may vary dramatically from person to person.

As treatments have improved, the death rate has started to decline. These improved treatments may lead to increased survival in some people. However, in order for these treatments to work, they must be taken exactly as prescribed. Not all people may respond to these treatments, and for some people, treatments may benefit for only a short period of time. Since treatments have changed so dramatically just in the past 2 years or so, it is hard to say how long a person can now live with HIV/AIDS. We already know how these new treatments can benefit some people in the short-term. However, because these treatments are so new, we do not yet know how they will affect survival in the long-term. However, over time, survival is expected to increase further, as treatments for HIV/AIDS improve even more.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to call the Centers for Disease Control at 1.800.232.4636 (Nationwide).

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