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HIV and over fifty people
Jul 21, 2001

Dear Dr, They say that the immune system of people over 50 is weker than younger people. Can such people boost their immune system with exercise and can they also aspire to live the 8-10 average if they follow a healthy lifestyle?

Response from Dr. Pavia

First off, the average of 8 to 10 years is between the time you are infected to the time you develop AIDS - IN THE ABSENCE OF TREATMENT!!! Don't focus on a specific number of years of life expectancy. For many people on therapy who respond and are able to stick with it religiously, the current best guess is you are likely to survive long enough for something else to get you first.

In general, older people do have less robust immune systems. The studies on older people with HIV are mixed, but yes, on average it appears that persons over 50 may progress more rapidly in the absence of treatment. The older you get, the more difficult it may be to tolerate some drugs, so treatment could be more difficult, but many older persons with HIV do extremely well on therapy.

If you have read my comments on this forum, you know that I feel excercise is very important, not only for the immune system, but for muscle mass, the heart, blood sugar, mood, sleep, sex drive, and more. In fact, I may have to log off and go for a run.

Take care

ATP



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