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hiv life expectancy
Oct 2, 2002

Hi. Thank you for the chance to ask questions my doctor does not answer. I have been HIV+ for 12 years that I know of and at least 8 years before that I did not formally know. My t-cells are 655 and viral load is under 50 copies. I have been blessed with no illness ever. I want to know if there is a way of using science to determine wether or not I will have a "normal" life span. I of course, know that there are many other things that could happen so I just want to know about my HIV status and if there are any new things in the horizon to insure no active aids in my lifetime. I am 41 years old.

Thank you again for the opportunity to ask. Victor

Response from Dr. Henry

You don't mention if you are on therapy or not. If not then you would be considerd a long-term non-progressor - a group which generally has a good 10-20 year prognosis. Your T cell count and HIV level are compatible with very long term survival from the HIV perspective. Our vision is still limited by the fact that the epidemic is only 21 years old and most studies looking at long term survival are much younger than that. Further, the current treatment era is only 6 years old so predicting the future of 20-30 years involves much guess work. Nonetheless, I know that I would expect someone such as yourself to enjoy a long life which warrants focus on non-HIV related health issus (exercise, diet, no smoking, seat belts, cancer screening, etc.). KH



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