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Life expectancy
Jun 27, 2012

Dear Doctor, I was HIV diagnosed two months ago. My CD4 were 158 (without OIs). The doctor told me to start ARV treatment immediately. I have one month taking Atripla and I feel better. However, I am worried about life expectancy because I started ARV treatment with a low CD4 count. Please, could you tell me about this? On the other way, could it be possible that stress had worsened my CD4 initial test? Thanks a lot for your support.

Response from Dr. Henry

Life expectancy varies widely. Age is of course a major factor as is presence of life style factors (smoking, obesity, activity levels), family history, other conditions (liver, renal, diabetes). A useful approach to determining 5 year mortality risk us using the VACS index (ask your physician about that-available at With effective treatment the life expectancy is steadily improving with the goal to acheive near normal life expectancy for patients with good viral suppression and CD4 recovery after a while on treatment. KH

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