Jun 19, 2007
Please just tell us the truth (without any optimism): Will someone with HIV (even with medicines) eventually die of the virus?
Response from Dr. Henry
Effective HIV therapy has been available for 11 years. For patients fortunate to have access to effective treatment the duration of effectiveness remains to be determined. Projections for long term benefit look good with the yearly failure rate of therapy for persons suppressed on an effective regimen often < 5%. The prognosis for persons doing well on therapy with a CD4 count > 500 looks excellent with a near normal life expectancy possible. Recent estimates from the US and Europe have been an average life expectancy of 24-40 years depending on the situation. There is a wide variability between patients but I expect many of my patients to live well into their 60s and 70s and perhaps beyond. Again, the key is access ot effective HIV and general medical therapies. KH
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