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LIFE SPAN
May 9, 2005

I HAVE A SON DIAGNOSED WITH HIV IN 1996 FOLLOWING AN EXPOSURE AROUND 1990. PER HIS PHYSICIAN, HE RECENTLY FOUND OUT HE HAS DIAGNOSIS OF AIDS. WHAT IS THE LIFE SPAN AFTER THIS DIAGNOSIS? HE IS ON MEDS AND HAS BEEN SINCE 1996/1997.

Response from Dr. Conway

I am sorry to hear about your son. His lifespan depends on the availability for him of a medication regimen that can lead to virologic suppression, allowing his immune system to heal. If this is available, he could live a very long time. If not, the situation is potentially different. In the "old" days (before good treatments were available, we used to say that the lifespan was 2 years or less after the initial diagnosis of full-blown AIDS. However, this may not be true for your son, even if effective HAART is not immediately available for him. he could go on a partially effective regimen while we wait for some of the newer drugs to become available to him. Many of these are in clinical trials right now, and it may be that he is eligible to participate in such a trial right away. If this is not the case, many of the drugs will be available in expanded access within the year.



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