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HIV/AIDS Blog Central

How Long Will You Live With HIV? Take Studies With a Grain of Salt

By Myles Helfand

September 9, 2009

"How long will I live?"

It's one of the most pressing, frightening questions facing people with HIV, whether they've been newly diagnosed or have been infected for some time. And like so many other questions in HIV, the answer is frustratingly complex, confusing and ever-changing.

How long will you live with HIV? It depends on who you are. Research suggests that HIVers die sooner if, for instance, they use injection drugs; are coinfected with hepatitis; are depressed; or are pretty much any race and sex other than a white male.

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It also depends on where you are. It's convenient to say that HIV-positive people in "developed" countries are likely to live longer than HIV-positive people in "resource-poor" countries like those in sub-Saharan Africa or much of Latin America. But it's more accurate to say that no matter where in the world you're living with HIV, that life will be longer if you have consistent access to quality health care, the most effective HIV treatment and a solid infrastructure (we're talking about the ability to get the basics: emotional support, transportation to a health care facility, clean water, protection from the elements, no wars tearing your villages and cities apart).

It also depends on who you ask. Talk to most anybody who's been a part of the HIV/AIDS community since the 1980s or 1990s, and the answer to "How long will I live?" will probably be, "A hell of a lot longer than if you were diagnosed 15 years ago." It's a lot easier to see today's glass as half full when, for so many years, the ground was littered with the shards of so many shattered lives. HIV treatment has gotten so much better so quickly that it's easy to lose sight of just how much reality has changed for people living with HIV in 2009 compared to 1989, or even 1999 -- or, heck, even 2004, before we said hello to single-pill regimens and integrase inhibitors, and before we knew much of what we now know about the side effects of HIV and HIV meds (and how to prevent or treat them).

But here's the truth as it stands today, for better or for worse: The numbers show that people with HIV don't live as long as people without HIV. We're getting closer, but we're not there yet. A recent study spanning 25 U.S. states calculated that HIVers diagnosed in 2005 could expect to live, on average, 21 fewer years than their HIV-negative counterparts. (That's much more pessimistic than a major international study from last year which predicted that, if you were diagnosed in 2005 at the age of 35, you'd still live to be 72, just six years lower than the average U.S. life expectancy.) If you're a woman, the study suggests, you'll live about three and a half years longer than a man, on average; if you're Hispanic, you'll die sooner than an African American, and both of you will die sooner than a white person.

Here's the thing: In the real world, these two studies and their sharply contrasting, yet very specific numbers don't change anything. It's very easy to read about studies like this and fall into an obsessive trap: "OK, I was diagnosed in 2002, and I'm 33, and I'm a Hispanic woman living in Ohio, so ... multiply by the divisor, carry the two ... that means I'll die on March 29, 2034, during a full moon while Mercury is in retrograde."

Fortunately, it doesn't work like that. These studies are mathematical predictions based on a limited amount of available data. Everyone living with HIV is different: We have different genes, different family histories and different risk factors for all of the unfortunate illnesses and events that can potentially shorten our lives.

So if ever you find your blood pressure rising as you read about the latest study to predict how long you'll live if you have HIV, try to take the findings in stride. You'll die one day. It's going to happen. It may be in 50 years or five. It may because of the HIV, or you may walk across the street one day and get hit by a bus. I don't mean for this to sound morbid or depressing; it just is what it is. All any of us can do is try to make the most of whatever time we're given, however we feel we can best achieve it.

And no study can alter that.


Copyright © 2009 Body Health Resources Corporation. All rights reserved.

See Also
More Research on Life Expectancy and HIV/AIDS

Reader Comments:

Comment by: friend of the family (UK) Sun., Apr. 7, 2013 at 9:08 am EDT
Rubbish... Life expectancy is normal... if you have HIV and have good healthcare... plus live an active life... you will be fine.

Articles like this infuriate me.... I have had HIV for 37 years and I am fine... I know other people who died early but this is because they went out having continous sex and catching other things to attack the immune system.

it is true .. we will all die eventually... but for heavens sake think about living... if you have HIV deal with it! people have cancer, diabetes, MS .... and carry on! please stop scare mongering with childish articles as above! yes HIV is serious... but look after yourself and stay active! positive mental attitude!!!!!
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Comment by: Trish (Chicago) Sun., Nov. 25, 2012 at 8:37 pm EST
Im 34 years old i been living with hiv for 13years and im health cant no one in this world can tell me when wiill I die im a women of god he the only one no when its my time for the people who living with hiv give it to god have faith
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Comment by: rob (ireland) Fri., Jul. 20, 2012 at 7:15 pm EDT
very good article ,I hope one day this disease
is FINALLY BEATEN
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Comment by: shane (detroit,mi) Wed., Jun. 13, 2012 at 3:52 am EDT
Thank you for this. Im very afraid I may have come in contact with hiv and must wait 5 more months to take the test. Your conclusion is so true, I just wish I could keep that train of thought constantly.
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Comment by: rcw (Tucson, Az) Wed., Jun. 15, 2011 at 12:40 am EDT
in 1987 i found out I had 70 T-cells. In 1990 went to having 0 t-cells for 3 years. was given 6 months at most in 94. Started on protease as soon as they came out and within a year I was undetectable and Tcells of 800. now I am on 1 pill a day and still 850 t cells and undetectable as of April 2011. I think a lot of it has to do with your attitude and your adherence tot he meds and your stress levels. I am now 60 years old. I had 5 good friends who were negative and all died before they were 55 due to cancer or heart attacks. none of them ever used drugs or drank heavily or were very overweight. go figure. I'm still here.
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Replies to this comment:
Comment by: Anonymous Fri., Jul. 22, 2011 at 2:39 am EDT
Thank you for sharing this!


Comment by: Jeffery (NYC) Tue., Jan. 25, 2011 at 9:45 pm EST
24 years?
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Comment by: john (nigeria) Sun., Dec. 26, 2010 at 4:13 am EST
infact, i dont know how to express the level of satisfaction i got when i finished reading ur article but i tell you that this gives more hope and encouragement to kill fear.

Though i've not been diagonised yet for fear of what will happen to me but i believe i will do that soon, even though i keep having that concluding fear that i already might be infected.

Thank you very much and may God bless you.
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Comment by: Khomotso (PRETORIA,SOUTH AFRICA) Mon., Dec. 20, 2010 at 8:49 am EST
I was diagonised with HIV today.how long will i live?im a 25yr old man.can i atleast live another 20yrs?please help
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Comment by: misgun tesfaye (Addiss Ababa) Wed., Oct. 27, 2010 at 7:35 am EDT
with Gods permision, I will live as much as good for me, and since this day I will not wory about how long I will live
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Comment by: oli (london) Sun., Oct. 24, 2010 at 12:31 pm EDT
You are so right. You have made me feel alot better. thx
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Comment by: Ukponahiunsi Lawrence (Nigeria) Thu., Jun. 17, 2010 at 3:53 pm EDT
Every positive person i come in contact with in my locality ask me this question.Well like you had said i think no man knows what may happen the next minute hence i am of the opinion that instead of spending resources on knowing how long we will live after being infected let us spend more on sustaining a positive person.
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Comment by: milly (zimbabwe) Mon., Jun. 14, 2010 at 5:31 am EDT
tested + in 2007,tested - a month later then tested+ again 3 years later. as far as i'm concerned hiv testing is a waste of time wen results are ever changing.
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Comment by: NEHSAHNT (NEW YORK) Tue., May. 4, 2010 at 10:57 pm EDT
MY CD4 T CELL IS VERY LOWER.. HOW LONG CAN I LIVE WITH THIS PROBLEM

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Comment by: bleargh (Italy) Mon., Apr. 5, 2010 at 3:03 pm EDT
This is the only bit of text that isn't fluff:

"The numbers show that people with HIV don't live as long as people without HIV"

and since time is short, get rid of the filler.
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Comment by: John Liu (North Carolina) Fri., Mar. 26, 2010 at 9:35 pm EDT
Very realistic and professional explanation.
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Comment by: Ron07 (Woodbrige Va) Wed., Feb. 10, 2010 at 4:15 pm EST
im a black male never been sick been postive for twenty years
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Comment by: kopiko (South Africa) Sat., Jan. 23, 2010 at 4:49 pm EST
I was diagnosed in 2006 when I was pregnant and I gave birth to a healthy baby. Though my husband tested negative, he supported me throughout. In 6 years of marriage we are now planning to have the second child. After we both knew our status, i decided to let my lovers know as to and get tested. The other one (2002) went and tested -ve and the one I met before my husband (2004) also went for the tests and he was negative. I always asks myself "Where did I get It?" we both waited for window period and they have been doing tests and results are still neg. My ex love whom I was involved with before I met my husband is a serum donator and he do test every three months. He also has got lovely wife and kids. My husband is also neg till today but I still wonder where I got it. I've tried asking Drs but none of them seem to know the situation. I expected at least my husband or my 2 past lovers to have it but they don't have it! I'm confused and I've never been involved in an accident or something. I think only God knows about this. Maybe I'm infected but I don't infect and if that's the case, it means I was born positive! I'm so confused i can't stop thinking about this. It's so complicated. I think researchers need to do a lot about this virus. Help me
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Comment by: Realist (Atlanta) Fri., Jan. 22, 2010 at 3:52 pm EST
Thank you for your response Status Negative (Australia):) I too can't figure out why people in this day and age think that HIV/AIDS is O.K. now because of Medication.
Especially the young generation, think if they get it they just take pills and it will be O.K.
This is not so, Many of my friends have recently passed and now, I too may be on that journey.
PLEASE if anyone is reading these posts Do yourself and others a favor, ALWAYS play as if the other person is infected unless you BOTH have been tested prior to playing.
Believe me the medications are NO FUN, They change your life in ways you have not been told on TV and Radio and magazines, The media and ads all tell you the good stuff and show the good side of this Virus.
The government isn't going to help, HELP YOURSELF. So you can live a long Healthy life.
Be kind to others that do have this, NO ONE Deserves this Virus, NO ONE.
I myself have been a lab rat to get tested on for years taking pills & Sticking myself with needles of experimental drugs so that one day they will find a cure, so that the rest of the world can live with out this virus.
This was my choice to do this and I am not saying this for pity or praise, But to let people out there know that people with HIV/AIDS even in there weakest moment are trying to help others not get this.
And to hopefully let people understand not to JUDGE others for what has happened to them. (Saying "Didn't you know better" or other crude statements. none of us are perfect and no one wants to get this, Everyone is different. Things happen in life some we can't help and some we can take control of for ourselves.) But to SUPPORT them in their journey in life. Not to tease and shun them from society, BECAUSE who knows, One of these people may be the one to save you one day or be the person to create a cure so the rest of the world can live with out the fear of this in there life.
Be kind, Be Safe.
Realist (aka) Twisted Blue
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Comment by: Status Negative (Australia) Tue., Jan. 19, 2010 at 9:12 pm EST
Glad2b here,

I don't know what you did that makes you think you put yourself at risk of possible exposure but i would stop looking things up on the internet if i were you.

Doing this only fuels your fears so get constructive and get on with your life.

As for symptoms they don't mean anything, there are many other diseases that give you the same symptoms and if you're stressing out really bad and worrying over HIV your stress levels can actually cause symptoms.

You need to get tested to know your status, the waitng period or window period is 3 months/12wks
you can however get tested at 6wks after possible exposure, most people seroconvert in this time so a 6wk test will give you a pretty good indication of your status.

If you test negative at 6wks it's safe to say you will continue to test negative at the 12wk mark but you still should have another test at the 12wk mark.

If you test positive at 6wks don't fret, wait till 12wks and test again. If you again test positive then you should have a western blot test to confirm your result.

You believe if you have HIV it was your destiny as you said !
Sorry but HIV doesn't have to be anyone's destiny
it is a totally preventable disease and could be eradicated if people only bothered to educate themselves and above all practise safe sex and do not share needle's

So wear condoms always and insist your partner wear them, also and get yourself tested for your own piece of mind .

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Comment by: Glad2b here (South Africa) Tue., Jan. 19, 2010 at 2:11 pm EST
Guys and girls, your words give me strength. I have done alot of research on hiv and as far as i know, im experiencing symptoms of hiv just 3weeks after possible exposure. I have always been paranoid about getting infected and i believe that if you are infected, it was your destiny. If i do test + at least i know ill be apart of a family that really cares for each other instead of being in the real world where no-ones bothered about the next person. Life is all a test of faith and you shouldnt give up, every1z going to die eventualy just not of aids tho coz somewhere out there is a person dedicating his life to saving humanity. Lots of love to all. . .
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Comment by: Status Negative (Australia) Tue., Jan. 19, 2010 at 8:18 am EST
Realist,

I'm going to answer your question honestly and not sugar coat it.

You want to know how long you will live, you were diagnosed in 1998 correct ? and you say your exposure was probably in 1988 that being the case and assuming you were on meds pretty much from the get go then the average life span after pinpointing infection date and being on meds is 25 to 40 years after primary infection.

The above figures were qouted from a medical forum, and i'm sorry to say this not only to you but everyone else HIV is as deadly now as it was in 1981.

Antiviral or HART therapy is not a cure and only buys a person so much time, eventually HIV + people will progress to AIDS it just takes longer now with antiviral therapy.

I am really amazed in this day and age with all the information out there about HIV that people still practise unsafe sex.

I really do hope within the five to ten years they have a vaccine against HIV, it isn't as easy to stop or cure as people think, i suspect it will be sometime before a vaccine is available.

I wish you all the best of luck in your journey.
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Comment by: Realist (Atlanta) Mon., Jan. 18, 2010 at 7:13 am EST
I am looking for a real answer about this question,
I got my letter from my Dr. Saturday saying I am becoming resisitant to my cocktail (HIV medication) and that would be o.k. but , they were my last option of meds, and I am back to that question of . How long can a person live with HIV/AIds? My viral load is climbing again and my t-cel is now 530, My friend Mary passed after 2 years with 0 T-cells, I know there is no definate answer, But I would like an average.... If there is one.
lets see... my story, I was diagnosed with HIV in 98 and was told then, due to my numbers, I was probably positive 10 years prior to that . I started HIV treatment right away, my count was 212. I am now resistant to all my meds, I was on an experimental trial for IL 2 (Iterleukin 2) until it ended last year, Funny same time last year I got the letter from NIH telling me the study is ending. actually the same day saturday before Martin Luther king. Oh, sorry got off track.

I've been on a ride in my life as most of us have :) I have had cancer when I was 14 euing sarcoma ( Bone cancer) and that was not fun chemo and all then 2 years ago was run over by a car on purpose , Because I saw a robbery in action . I flew over the hood of the car and was left for dead . but that didn't keep me down :) there have been several other things too, but I won't waist your time with the rest.

I am very interested in knowing what time is left just to know . I know people will tell me to think positive , I just want to know.
IF anyone can answer this question PLEASE answer it for me , and anyone else who is looking for this answer. Be honest and not suger coat it. For those of you just diagnosed You Can live a very long time with all the medications out there and being healthy.
All this stuff about being hit by a bus or dying some other way is not answering the question here ,PLEASE stick to the question.

Thanks

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Comment by: ALBERTO JAIME (MEXICO) Thu., Jan. 14, 2010 at 3:01 pm EST
I WAS DIAGNOSED RECENTLY, IN DECEMBER 15, AFTER A PHNEUMONYA I,M WAITING FOR MY CD 4 COUNTS AND DE IV. HOPING BE FINE.

ONE THING I KNOW NO MATTERS THE RESULT I HAVE TO BE HAPPY, AND I HAVE TO BE A HEALTHIER PERSON I WONT GIVE UP.
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Comment by: Stayingin (Los Angeles, CA) Fri., Jan. 8, 2010 at 1:28 am EST
Diagnosed in July of 2009 with HIV/AIDS cd4 count was 28 vl 49000 at the age of 27, my last HIV test was 3 years ago and it came up negative. Quick progression from nothing to nearly dying in a couple years. I began taking ARV's and my CD4 at last draw is 70 and my vl is 2800, had another blood test today and will find out in a month what my new levels are at. I'm trying to stick to all the pills, antibiotics and vitamins and eat and live healthier, it's hard and I hope I can do it. It's my own fault for not being more careful and I thank god for my Health Clinic, for ADAP and Ryan White for providing me with care and medicine to make it through this. I know I can.I know we all can. And in a few years we'll get a cure, a vaccine, and a second chance. Live long, live happy and live today.
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Comment by: Teresa (Kenya) Mon., Jan. 4, 2010 at 12:41 pm EST
Turned 24 last month. Diagnosed today when i noticed I am pregnant and went for advise on the problems (symptoms) i was facing being a first pregnancy. Couldn't believe it. I felt like my world had come to an end. I felt weak, wanted to be knocked down by a vehicle. My boyfriend is out of town and can't be here any time soon. Didn't have any one to talk to. Suffered more brutality when the doc decided to tell me without any pre or post test counseling. He even refused to help me solve the issue that took me there. He instead decided to refer me to a different hospital for further tests and counselling. Being the firstborn, thus a role model to ma siblings, and ma parents having spent so much on ma education, i felt a big let down to ma family. Thanks guys, ma broken heart is so enlightened. Wish we could meet and share our experiences. Had already cursed the year 2010 but have realised it's the best year in my life. A year that will see me make major decisions in ma life. Be blessed lols and may you live as long as you've never expected. Happy 2010.
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Comment by: eskavon (south carolina) Sun., Jan. 3, 2010 at 9:14 am EST
im 19 years old was diagnosed at the age of 18 i was scared but not having ANY family to turn to i had to fight it myself ill be 20 in about 4 months i have my own place and a good job and on meds i accept everything....i refuse to cry over something that i didnt ask for i dont stress and im a beautiful black male........ god bless
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Comment by: Angel (South Africa) Wed., Dec. 30, 2009 at 2:22 am EST
I was diagnosed in 2003, not on meds yet. I live a very normal life, fortunately for me I don't get sick often, I hardly get sick. I don't ever think that I am going to die any time soon, I am certainly not planning to hit the road any time soon. I am studying, pursuing an MBA degree, I plan on continuing until I get a phd. To me HIV is just like any other disease such as diabetes, Heart disease. In 2007 I was diagnosed with Heart disease at a tender age of 27, my doctors don't believe it's related to the HIV due to the advanced stage of the Heart problem. I must say the heart disease gives me the hibbie jibbies compared to the HIV. TO ALL THAT HAVE BEEN RECENTLY DIAGNOSED, HIV IS NOT A DEATH SENTENCE, YOU CAN CONTINUE TO LIVE A VERY NORMAL LIFE. I THINK HIV POSITIVE PEOPLE ARE THE HEALTHIEST, THINK OF HOW WE CAREFULLY LIVE OUR LIVES. KEEP ON SMILING. CHEERS.
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Comment by: sweet dee (fl) Wed., Dec. 23, 2009 at 5:20 pm EST
I'm glad to finally see a site where people are caring about people.I hope no one focuses on death but life.It's not up to the doctors but the Lord above.Be BLESSED AND NOT STRESSED!!!GOD WILL TAKE CARE OF YOU!!! EAT RIGHT ,PRAY ,AND BE THANKFUL FOR WHATS AHEAD NOT WHAT'S IN THE PRESENT.REMEMBER JESUS DIED ON THE CROSS FOR EACH OF US AND TOOK A LICK FOR ALL DIEASES.......SO START PRAYING TODAY things will change sooner than later. MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAVE A HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!! 2010 IS NOW HERE!!!!!
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Comment by: Alex (London, England) Mon., Dec. 21, 2009 at 4:26 pm EST
Well, I even know how to start. I received the news just few weeks ago and it was like my stomach had been ripped off. But there you go, after a day crying and thinking all the damn ways i got it, i realised it does not matter. the fact is that i have it. Everyday is different, i wake with different ways of seeing the world. Sometimes tired of it all, sometimes just hope God is watching for me. I did not have any sex since as i still feel afraid i'd hurt someone. sometimes i trully think i have done it without knowing and i am just scared of getting back to those people and tell them to check on themselves because they were with me. i am just in a closet, maybe waiting for one of them getting to me. My clinic people (Wharfside Clinic - Imperial College Hospital, St Mary's) have been amazing and doing everything they can to treat me and all the support i just thank them. My doctor calls me personally after every test and with the results, being good or not she is always there. Hope you guys fight against the disease with all your strengh.
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Comment by: Chinese HIVer (China) Fri., Dec. 11, 2009 at 4:54 am EST
I am a Chinese guy who diagnosed + last week ( i think i got this disease last year) i am so desperate. I am only 20, I just graduated from university and just started a relationship who i wanted to be with him in the rest of my life. but I was told i got this damn disease. I really thought i am going to die, my boyfriend companied me the whole afternoon of yesterday. I wanna look like im strong enough to accept it, but I failed, I cried very hard which i never cried like this before. this article and these comments give me some strength, there're so many people said they've got it for 20 years, i do happy for them,I wanna ask, is it true that people in developing country like China get this will live shorter? I dun know if these meds we take is the same
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Comment by: BrightSmiles (Enugu, Nigeria) Tue., Dec. 8, 2009 at 11:14 am EST
i thank u guys for all the strenghthening talk. i was diagnosed hiv+ in may of 2007 at age 20. i started arv the next year with a cd4 count of 165. my last count was 667. i've come to terms with being positive though sometimes i get depressed. right now i appeear to be the only hiv+ gay nigerian, and i need someone to talk to me about safe sexual behavior in my particular context.
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Comment by: Sp (Florida) Wed., Dec. 2, 2009 at 1:28 pm EST
I found out yesterday that I tested positive for HIV at age 38. It has changed my view point on almost everything, and very confused right now on what to do next. I am in a seriously depressed state of mind, not knowing how to control this. I have decided not to tell friends and family right now. I have told the guy that I am dating and he is scared and confused with me. We have decided to stay together and continue to use safe sex. I thanks everyone for all your statements because it gives me information to go on. The person who gave me the information concerning my results was controlled in his behavior, but did not give me any resources for help. I did not ask because I was baffled by the news. What can I do now and where should I look for accurate information concerning this? I was currently laid off from work a few months ago and current have no medical insurance, so this is a major concern also. HELP from Florida.
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Comment by: eric (finland) Tue., Nov. 10, 2009 at 7:14 pm EST
I just get +result...btw, I am only 23. I don't scare and I don't confuse, now I just wanna beg God my girlfriend would be negative. if she was ok, I think I will live alone and fright with this damn sick, but if unlucky she had same situation with me, i will take care her whole life. I never learn to give up, I hope everyone here have the believes, which can hold you for long time and happy life.
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Comment by: Imtiaz383 (Canberra) Fri., Oct. 30, 2009 at 9:26 pm EDT
Lol, i've just read your article and was amazed about the life long duration after a disease is set into the body and no cure is to yet operable. A disease that is killing us with pleasure. I find this awful that the reality we live inn in full of nawty bad people, as we say the "Aids" people who tend to stay a mile off depressed just because they have a disease. HIV will obviously not conflict with our lives for quite a long time, but as far as the AID's status is activated, then the alarm should go onn. For now, it's faith to consider, maybe Scientist by 2012 would find a cure to this destructive disgust of human to human disease. You can check articles in google or wikepedia about recent studies on Cures that are found but not yet tested. STOP thinking about HIV!!!a disease will not stop you from your life. You now have 32 years of life existance, do the best you can to operate with life.
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Comment by: BG (New York) Wed., Oct. 28, 2009 at 8:01 pm EDT
Hey Curious. What an amazing story! You actually belong to a group called elite controllers and you really should give some researchers a call cause they are looking for people like you so they can study you! You have something in your body that mysteriously allows you to have HIV but keep it under control! Read this stuff!
http://www.hivcontrollers.org/
http://ari.ucsf.edu/programs/elite.aspx
http://www.thebody.com/content/art13603.html
http://www.thebody.com/content/art45911.html
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Comment by: curious (bayonne nj) Wed., Oct. 28, 2009 at 5:22 am EDT
my lover and and i got tested in 1988. he was hiv- and i was positive. we broke up. i'm very active, i work long hours 10 to 18 hrs per day, don't really get that much rest, and don't really get the chance to sit down like a normal person and enjoy a normal dinner. do get tested every 3 months and i'm still (hiv+) but undetectable. my (viral load are 48) and my (CD4 780). i'm not taking any medication. my doctor tells me im healthy that i don't need them. i don't and never had use drugs of any kind unless u want to call (poppers) a drug. always been using them. love them. with out them i feel my body won't function normal. i'm a social drinker. no heavy alcohol. i smoke cigarettes. trying to quit.. not easy. well was just wondering. how can i still be undetectable for so many years? In july 2008 my CD4 went down to 743 and today october-2009 it's 729. my doctor tells me to continue doing whatever i'm doing that it keeps me undetectable...but don't know what can it be..i been doing the same for many years....im 48 1/2 225 lbs.
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Comment by: danny h (northeast md) Mon., Oct. 26, 2009 at 7:16 pm EDT
I found out my ex-wife was hiv positive when our twin daughters were born, the dr said they were hiv positive it really messed with my head. I continued to be with my wife for about 4 yrs after I found out she had it,i figured what the hay. well i left her and im currently with another girl, I never got tested but I feel fine, hiv or aids is all in your head. if you feel fine then chances are you'll be ok. so stop all the negative speaking, you gotta have hope it'll work out some how, remember out of site out of mind. if you never get tested then everything is ok, right.
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Comment by: Thankful (NY) Mon., Oct. 26, 2009 at 11:32 am EDT
I was diagnosed in 2008 at the age of 28 yrs. I got really sick was admitted to the hospital. I was told that I had PCP and then I was tested for HIV and the result came back positive. T cells were 60 and VL 10000. My whole life changed in that moment. I was depressed and had thoughts of committing suicide. I started my meds 1 mth after i was diagnosed. in 2009 my T cells is 492 and I am undetectable and healthier than i have ever been in my entire life and I got married. My husband is negative. he knows my status and he is my supporting rock. You can live a healthy normal life once you take care of yourself. first take your meds everyday, visit your doctors regularly. eat right, exercise and surround yourself with positive people who will give you support and love. My HIVer Live and love life
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Comment by: DJ (Va Beach,VA) Sun., Oct. 25, 2009 at 1:08 pm EDT
Simply want to thank everyone for the realistic, but encouraging posts. I was diagnosed in 2000, not put on meds, but stopped visiting MD in 2001. Recently scheduled an appt. for this week but I'm very scared that I may have fully progressed beyond HIV. I have started to develop some sores on various parts of my skin, otherwise, I appear to be very healthy. If I have progressed to that point, would meds get me back to HIV status as opposed to AIDS status?
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Comment by: RobMASS (Boston,MA) Thu., Oct. 22, 2009 at 6:09 pm EDT
Good grief.. I am so tired reading all this crap. In Boston, I have access to the best possible care and my HIV provider who is the best in the city tells me that I can expect to live out my normal life span
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Comment by: Seen it All (FT L Florida) Wed., Oct. 21, 2009 at 10:01 pm EDT
I buried my lover in 1996, we both had the same chances to be here today, his incentitive
to not live on came at the hand of him not taking his meds correctly, not out of poor discipline, but out the desire to have low T-counts to get more $$$$ for his Viatical Settlement (remember those?). Only problem $$$$ can't buy T-cells and after he got the cash came the temptation to live burning the candle at both ends. Studies are just that, hypothogies with some hopefully correct fact's no can say for sure about those of us that are "Dark Horses, On a Dark race course." But what we DO KNOW for sure, we have to take care of ourselves more so than the general population, who if did what we did to stay alive and healthy wouldn't be facing half the morbility issues they expierience Diagnosed 1984.
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Comment by: Scott (Columbus, OH) Wed., Oct. 21, 2009 at 8:10 pm EDT
I just found out I am HIV positive. I am 40 year old man and I been living in fear since I was 20 when my then boyfriend died of AIDS. Although I was not positive and got tested regularly I prepared myself through counseling. After being told I was not not positive I guess I didn't think I would get it if I had unprotected sex and went through denial. I have been on antidepressants for the last few years thinking I was so alone. I had all the common symptoms of hiv positive person would have for the last 10 years and but I never tested positive. I am kind of feel relieved now because there is a reason for the why I am so tired and get sick. I like to hear from other HIV-positive people that it's not a death sentence. I think everybody's body is different. I know my body had something wrong way before the test was showing positive, so I think there is no expiration date now that I am positive. I am hoping there are more sites like this to share with others.
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Comment by: Liberty (California) Mon., Oct. 19, 2009 at 12:58 am EDT
Hi all..

I am not HIV+, but my son is. Glad to hear there is so much hope out there. I truly believe as with any virus that avoiding stress, getting rest, staying positive and generally being kind to yourself will extend your life. Of course lots of prayers, but prayers for strength...If you pray and then go out and live the way that got you (+) in the first place...how can you expect good results? God is not a genie..., but he can sustain you if you have faith...backed up with works. Stay healthy all.
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Comment by: good hope (canada) Fri., Oct. 16, 2009 at 12:38 pm EDT
It is great to read such inspiring stories. I am going through a tough time as I am waiting my 4 weeks to be checked and am pretty sure of my expected results, and how it will turn my life upside down. So again, thanks for posting your inspiring stories.
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Comment by: Frank (mass.) Wed., Oct. 14, 2009 at 8:34 pm EDT
I am very upset about my situation. I can't even say it without feeling dirty. I hate the thoughts that go in and out of my mind about life and death. I can only try to keep my spirits up by blocking my scared feelings about dying. I hope to find peace because I am new at this positive stuff. I think too much sometimes and it is hurting me. I hope this life gets worth living. I pray it does because I am not ready to die and neither should you. OK YES OK GOD BLESS
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Comment by: Kandeke (Lusaka, Zambia) Wed., Oct. 14, 2009 at 9:04 am EDT
I believe I got infected 14 years ago when I first married without testing for HIV. My spouse died. I only started taking medicines a year and half ago, having picked up from a CD 4 count of 109 to 520. Within three months of having taken the medicines and now 625 with a viral load of 720 copies. I have never felt so well in the past five years. All symptoms have disappeared and sometimes I forget that I am infected. I have never been hospitalised. I have been to malaria infested areas with others; others got malaria, i did not; I have eaten food which was believed to be bad with others. Others got sick i did not. I have convinced myself to just to love my medicines and believe that God is performing his miracles through the medicines. Even in Africa we have very good doctors and I do not see why one cannot live that long. My new spouse has been on drugs for more than four years having picked up from a CD4 count of 13 to now 665 with a vital load of 520 copies. We are a happy couple and we are enjoying life.
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Comment by: David (Abuja- Nigeria.) Tue., Oct. 13, 2009 at 1:18 pm EDT
I was tested for HIV on 02 August 2009, the Results was INDETERMINATE, since then I am confused. pls what can i do?
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Comment by: Patricia P (Albany, NY) Mon., Oct. 12, 2009 at 8:32 pm EDT
Thanks to the HIV medication I have been able to live a healthy life for twenty-one years without any HIV/AIDS related infections or illnesses. I owe it all to my higher power who I choose to call God, because I couldn't have done this by myself. Staying stress free and doing what I need to do for me. Staying clean and sober, keeping my doctor appointments, seeing my therapist on a regular appointment. I am still able to do what I like to do as a woman and not sit and feel pity. I have gained certificates and awards just by the work I do in my community. I am not my disease and I don't have to let it become me, it's just an incurable disease I'm living with waiting to be heal and with that I want to live.
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Comment by: Thando M (South africa) Sun., Oct. 11, 2009 at 1:39 pm EDT
Tested hiv negative 3 months ago but somehow feel that I am positive and guess what?? I'm not even worried bout death, people die everyday and many not from being positive, ONLY GOD KNOWS. I believe that most people die from depression, not AIDS. Currently dating an hiv positive guy and love him to death.
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Comment by: Jason (Tampa, Fl) Sun., Oct. 11, 2009 at 11:22 am EDT
Diagnosed within 90 days of infection. (I got tested every 90 days.) Started Atripla with CD4's at 520 and vl at 17000. Doing great.
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Comment by: livhu (south africa) Sat., Oct. 10, 2009 at 11:25 am EDT
i'm a 3o yr old female and diagnosed in may 09, after going for voluntarily testing. Went for CD4 in july and my CD4 was 132 so i had to start the ARVs treatment from 2o aug 09. I don't think of dying, but it's just unfortunate bcs i wanted to have children & i'm not sure if it will ever b possible, and i'm looking forward to finding a partner who will appreciate me but i still know that i will live longer.
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Comment by: Just A Girl (Los Angeles, CA) Sat., Oct. 10, 2009 at 2:10 am EDT
Hi everyone. I was diagnosed with HIV in 05. Ever since then the thought of death and how i'm going die is always in my mind. I'm 23 yrs old and was diagnosed very young! I have been in and out of depression always asking myself, why me? What have I done to deserve this? I always end up blaming myself. I have had a tough journey with HIV. I been allergic to almost every HIV medication. My doctor finally found the "treatment" that works, with one exception they get me sick. But I have learn to live with it. At some point I stopped taking the meds for over a year. I was just tired and basically gave myself up!! I just didn't care. I guess you can say I came back to my senses and started again with the meds. To this point I get scared of my future. I would love to have a family but I just can't bear the thought of passing HIV to my kids (even though doctors tell me with proper care you can have a negative baby). Reading all the comments has given me the courage to fight this disease and fight to live longer. Every single one of you has giving me a sight of light in this nightmare I'm in. I know that with God by my side I will be ok and live a healthier life. God Bless every single one you. Take Care.
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Comment by: Scott (New Jersey) Fri., Oct. 9, 2009 at 11:13 am EDT
I found your post to be depressing and dare I say ignorant. Not by its' content but because newly infected people read blogs too. I hope nobody jumps off a bridge because you're having a bad day. I beat cancer twice and have lived with HIV a long time. I still run marathons, surf, you name it, I do it and I'm nearly 50. My opinion, HIVers can expect to live a full life if the elect to stay healthy and do the right things.
And most importantly, remain upbeat.
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Comment by: K-Rod (Washington DC) Thu., Oct. 8, 2009 at 2:42 am EDT
Was diagnoised in 2004 CD4 40 VL very high started meds CD4 now 718 undetectable 48 retired on SSA and disability had heart attack, now work out 4 times a week, only wish I could find a love not just a lover to share my anticipated long life with any takers. I am really good with computers and have a slamin body I have been told stopped smoking and enjoy an occasional drink.
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Comment by: (LA) Tue., Oct. 6, 2009 at 4:54 pm EDT
A very close friend of mine is HIV+. I worry about his health & how long we may have. After reading each of your posts, I realize how silly this really is! There are no promised tomorrows & we should make new memories every day. It doesn't matter if we have days, months, or years I promise to love him & make him smile while shoving vitamins and healthy foods down his throat! I admire each and everyone of you for your bravery and honesty. God bless you!
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Comment by: I love life (south africa) Tue., Oct. 6, 2009 at 10:32 am EDT
tested positive in august 09, but from reseach i can see i have been infected since 2006. i was suicidal at first but have had lots of encouragement from these comments. I haven't started meds yet as CD4 is 471 but vl unknown. question is do you guys get sick as much as i have been? if it's not the ear infection then it's thrush somewhere. Can i get my doctor to start me on meds coz i'm tired of being sick. my diet is very balanced, i exercise and i take supplements. also if you get the lymphs behind the ears and armpits, can you get an effective treatment to make them go away or you just sit and watch them grow bigger and embarassing?
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Comment by: me save (worldwide) Tue., Oct. 6, 2009 at 8:57 am EDT
What do you want to be remembered for?
Always think positive.
love you all x
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Comment by: M. Whitaker (New Jersey) Fri., Oct. 2, 2009 at 1:28 pm EDT
Wow!!! So many wonderful testimonies. Gives me much hope then I had in the begining of my diagnosis in 11/2007. when I was first diagnosed my cd4 was 4 and VL was 100,000.. Thank God now with proper treatment and adherence my cd4 is hoovering over 400 and my vl is now undetectable..that goes to show you that meds work along with prayer & faith in a higher power. I believe that without faith it is impossible to live a healthy, successful & prosperous life!!! ...I am so glad that I can live my life to the fullest without worrying when I'm going to die. the truth and the matter is that one day there is a appointed time for all of us to go. so why worry about something that we have no control over. all we can do is live for today and let tomorrow worry about itself! I wish everyone a long healthy, successful & prosperous life!!! Much luv & peace!!! MW:-)
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Comment by: Z (Montreal, QC) Thu., Oct. 1, 2009 at 12:54 pm EDT
diagnosed with HIV for 2 weeks now, otherwise a very healthy, athletic 22 yr-old Mid. Eastern male. I've accepted it and pushed the pessimism aside, what I'm doing now is a little research. I've read on sites that pills and medication is dangerous and could be the reason of death after years of taking them. I've also read of the Bob Beck protocol that apparently kills any virus in the blood by sending a pulse of electricity through the blood, some people have recommended it.

My question is - is it better to take meds now or wait as long as I can? and does anyone know the pro's and con's of doing the Bob Beck protocol versus taking pills?

I appreciate your time and thanks in advance, answering these questions can help hundreds of curious folks that read this page.
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Comment by: Bob (Colorado) Tue., Sep. 29, 2009 at 10:04 pm EDT
Eat healthy,...stress is NOT good. Check out
Vitamin Cottage, they put out a small newspaper,
that is very good about info about a lot of things
HIV, is one of the subjects covered about(June 09)
I believe. www.naturalgrocres.com. Maybe you can
check back issues for the article. Foods that were recommended and some that were NOT.
I'm 75 y/o, with Aids, since 10/08,..on meds, now
undetectable. Stay active, lower the stress.
Pleanty of rest...Keep on Keepin' on..

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Comment by: bailey (uk) Fri., Sep. 25, 2009 at 7:38 pm EDT
This may sound strange but I actually believe I will live longer now I know I have HIV (my daughter and my partner). We were diagnosed in 2007 but previous to that I cant remember the last time we went to the doctors! My partner and I both had skin problems, 1 bout of shingles each and I used to get bruising really badly, but we just put it down to everyday things. We were only diagnosed because my daughter who eas 6 at the time had a lump under her ear, and I wouldn't be told that it was nothing, and I fought for nearly 5 years to find the cause, not what I was expecting but now we know! She had a tough time allergic to septrim and developed hlh, but we are all good now. If it wasnt for the hiv we woulnt go to the doctors, now, we go to the specialist once every 3 months so if anything is going wrong we would find out a damm sight sooner tahn we would have if we didnt have hiv.
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Comment by: T.rex (Los Angeles) Fri., Sep. 25, 2009 at 12:51 pm EDT
Diagnosed in 2007, probably goes back to 2005. Never have had my viral load or cd4 count, as i don't believe they are valid markers. I'm probably the healthiest i've ever been in my life.
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Comment by: scholar (nigeria) Thu., Sep. 24, 2009 at 6:49 pm EDT
i was diagonised positive july 2009 and my cd4 count is above 1200 and am not on ART drugs yet, but was asked by my doctor to be taking septrim daily. Am happy and has accepted my faith. Initially i was scared to death when i discovered i was positive but i thank God for this site,u have given me courage and hope to live long and achieve anything i want to. Thanks for giving me hope, i love u guys.
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Comment by: Tony (Frankfurt) Thu., Sep. 24, 2009 at 5:01 pm EDT
Hi there, I was diagnosed HIV+ in 2002 and started being on meds in 2005. Since then my viral load has been undetectable and my CD4 has been back to normal levels for some years. I have been able to access immediately to an excellent medical support and I have a therapy which is very easy to follow, now I am 34 yo and on a one-pill a day treatment. Moreover I have been always pretty optimistic about my future and I live and make plans for the rest of my life as if I were HIV-. I am pretty sure the combination of all these things will help me living long enough. And anyway ...life is now!
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Comment by: A strong person (Michgan) Sun., Sep. 20, 2009 at 8:49 pm EDT
I FEEL THAT I AM BLESSED A FORTUNATE....I WAS VERY SICK IN NOV OF 2006 AND WAS RUSHED TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM....THE DOCTOR TOLD ME I HAD THE TYPE OF PNEUMONIA THAT PEOPLE WITH AIDS HAVE....I WAS DIAGNOSED WITH PCP.....THAT WAS THE FRIST AND ONLY TIME I HAD EVER GOTTEN SICK FROM HIV. .....A WEEK LATER I WAS TOLD I HAD A T-CELL COUNT OF 7 (SEVEN).......TODAY IN SEPT OF 2009....MY T-CELL COUNT IS 1560 (ONE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED SIXTY) WITH AN UNDETECTABLE VIRAL LOAD......EVEN THOUGH I AM NOT CURE OF COURSE.......I THANK GOD EVERYDAY THAT I AM HEALTHY AND STRONGER THAN I HAVE EVER BEEN N MY LIFE.....
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Comment by: margaret (london) Sun., Sep. 20, 2009 at 9:22 am EDT
MY HUSBAND DIED IN 1998 OF IMMUNOSUPPRESSION. I GOT DIAGNOSED IN 2003 WITH A CD4 COUNT OF 200. BEEN ON MEDICATION SINCE THEN. I AM IN GOOD HEALTH WITH AN UNDETECTABLE VIRAL LOAD AND CD4 COUNT ABOVE 600. STILL WORRIED ABOUT MY 14 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER WHO HAS NOT BEEN TESTED BUT IS IN GOOD HEALTH. I BELIEVE IN DESTINY, SO WHENEVER SOMEONE DIES THAT'S WHEN THEY WERE MEANT TO.
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Comment by: Richard (South Africa) Sat., Sep. 19, 2009 at 6:59 am EDT
My wife found out that she is H.I.V. positive, we went for a test and I was negative and she still is positive, My last test was in December and I still have to go for another test in six months, I could not deal with the fact that my wife may be cheating on me. Any comment
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Comment by: Andres (London) Thu., Sep. 17, 2009 at 9:22 am EDT
Likely I had some medical training when I was younger though I discovered I was to squeamish to become a Doctor in medicine. I was dignosed in April this year and I guess I got infected at the beggining of the year as I was negative last October. I feel in general incredibly optimistic about the future of HIV patients just now recently the HIV genome has been completely decoded meaning that finally researcher will understand how the virus function and mutates. I am absolutely convinced that the cure will come from genetic research, or we might not be able to erradicate it from the body but at least block its multiplication forever. I do believe we'll be able to see amazing developments in the near future and although I'm still dealing with my own diagnosis I feel very excited about the future. I have many proyects and many reasons to be alive. I'll die one day and I just hope I can be remember for all the good things I did during my time and for how many people I made happy in their own existence.
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Comment by: SW (New Orleans) Tue., Sep. 15, 2009 at 12:02 am EDT
Pneumonia in '07, tested and confirmed PCP. Week in the hospital and would not take the test. Finally got tested and t-cells were 10 w/vl of 45000. Two years later I am undetectable vl and t-cells of close to 200 which means once I hit that mark I will no longer be diagnosed as having AIDS. Not sure when I was infected but given the progression of the disease I would have to guess btwn 95 and 97. I eat well, take meds regularly and enjoy life although I must say that there are times where I want to give up but I am too stubborn for that. We can live long and happy lives as long as we put ourselves up for it. God knows the friggin SSA won't help, I tried to get that. Take care all HIVers
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Comment by: Mike (Denver) Mon., Sep. 14, 2009 at 11:57 pm EDT
I need someone to talk aobut my HIV positive...I am so depressed..I'm 59 and, great health but worried,
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Comment by: towela (Lusaka, Zambia) Mon., Sep. 14, 2009 at 8:10 am EDT
For me I take one day at a time. I eat well, go Gymming 3 times a week. Does not miss my medicine. Undertook a degree, even got merit in my status. Aiming to get a master. I believe God is on my side that is why he brought ARV so that I should have a second life. This is the best life ever as I know my status and I can look after myself. When will I die,does not bother me as I am leaving for the now. When it happens then it means I have leaved my life to the fullest. It not only HIV, anything can kill you even a glass of juice or water. Take care and adhere to your med with supplements.
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Comment by: AM (Los Angeles, CA) Sun., Sep. 13, 2009 at 11:03 am EDT
You are so lucky RM, you live in Sao paolo, you have a better chance of living a more fun life, if not longer.
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Comment by: Alex (Halifax,Nova Scotia) Sun., Sep. 13, 2009 at 10:05 am EDT
I am 62. Diagnosed in 1983. So I have been living (well) with HIV for 26 years. Why? A healthy diet. A few vitamins & supplements. Exercise. ARV's. Attitude. Stopped smoking 12 years ago. No recreational drugs. Long term partner (15 years now). Manage stress. Involved in my HIV community. Some meditation. Last CD4 count 598. VL > 40.
In the early 90's I lost my then partner of 11 years, and was sure I would follow him soon. But I'm still here! If I can do it you can too!
Be well!
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Comment by: Nacho (Berlin) Sun., Sep. 13, 2009 at 9:08 am EDT
Thanks everybody for your help. I'm infected since 2003 and usually i feel good but when i feel bad your help is very important. I think the best is take care about yourself and about the others. I wish you a great and intensive life!
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Comment by: Ted (Louisville, KY) Sun., Sep. 13, 2009 at 1:54 am EDT
I was diagnosed last December. I think I was infected in 2001. I'm not on meds yet. I did get regular pneumonia--that's how I found out HIV+. Knock on wood, haven't had a sniffle since. I've had so much anxiety this year worried I would get sick and die. I've done a lot of research lately and seems I should live a very long time. I do wonder why many go on meds right after infection and I read others didn't go on meds until 20 yrs after infection. I know we're all different, but how can this be? I've heard about the slow-progressors. It leaves me to wonder when to start meds. Most research I've read says starting above CD-4 500 gives better prognosis. I guess should just be greatful to have the option on when to go on meds. Someone mentioned quitting smoking-- I quit last year and do feel much better with more energy.
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Comment by: JMG (TEXAS) Sat., Sep. 12, 2009 at 10:23 pm EDT
HAVING BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH HIV IN 1989, I HAD NOT THOUGHT I WOULD LIVE THIS LONG. I HAVE SEEN SEVERAL OF MY FRIENDS SUCCUMB TO ILNESSES RELATED TO HIV. I HAVE BEEN LUCKY ENOUGH TO HAVE QUALIFIED FOR RYAN WHITE ASSISTANCE AND AM NOW CONCERNED THAT FUNDING MAY END SOON. IT IS A FACT, AND I CAN ATTEST, THAT PROPER MEDICINE AND CONSISTENT PROACTIVE CARE IS THE MAIN CAUSE OF MY LONGIVITY. HERE'S TO THE HOPE THAT WE MAY ONE DAY BE ABLE TO AFFORD HEALTH INSURANCE WITHOUT PREEXISTING CONDITION LIMITATIONS IN MY LIFETIME. IM 51 NOW AND HOPE TO LIVE ANOTHER 50.
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Comment by: Richard (Puerto Rico) Sat., Sep. 12, 2009 at 9:41 pm EDT
Well, I've been positive since 1986 and right now I'm undetectable and healthier than ever in my life! I have a normal weight for my height and am in good shape for a 45 year old man. I still work and hope to retire when the time comes and am still in a long lasting relationship with my partner for the past 16 years! I am a fighter and have a positive attitude and feed my spiritual side with prayer and am grateful that God has always held my hand in times of struggle and he always pulled me through the times I got sick. Also, the meds have gotten way better than what we had back in those days! New developments have me hopefull that I'll still be here when a cure is discovered. I hope we all will be here!
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Comment by: Stillhopescm (Cameroon) Sat., Sep. 12, 2009 at 5:33 am EDT
If i didnt have any physial changes due to the virus , to me it should've been a very non existent issue - I am doing very well on treatment and dont "expose " myself at all.I remember i am + only when i have to take my meds , meet someone who does not recognise me anylonger and finally when i have to take decisions on dating someone - Well , i live each day at a time - Maybe its good i even know my status becuase i dont bother myself with long term projects...Let death come when it will come but i just pray to God he doesnt let me be sick for more than a week if i have to go . I am afraid of illness , not death.Life is sooooo sweet though!
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Comment by: RM (São Paulo, Brazil) Fri., Sep. 11, 2009 at 9:10 pm EDT
I am much more concerned on how well will I live and what is gonna change in my life because of HIV than how long I will live...
Hopefully most of us will be alive to see much better treatments and hopefully a cure. So I just try to stay well and keep up hope!
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Comment by: Roy (Blackpool, UK) Fri., Sep. 11, 2009 at 8:05 am EDT
AIDS Diagnosed August 1997 with advanced PCP etc. CD4 was 8 (yep - eight!) VL too high to measure. Given 6 months to live. Now, thanks to excellent care from my specialist and GP (don't believe right-wing crap about the British NHS - it's not only fair and decent . . it works!)a supportive partner of 43 years (who's neg)and I guess, a ballsy stubborn streak on my part, I'm alive, kicking and enjoying life better than ever before. AIDS forced me to give up working and now that I'm retired I intend to enjoy myself, LIVE FOREVER. . or die trying.
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Comment by: Marshall (Nigeria) Fri., Sep. 11, 2009 at 4:52 am EDT
I have had sleepless nights over this particular question since I was diagnosed positive in April 2009,and this write-up has greatly encouraged me.You would understand if you were from this part of the world where people consciously refuse to learn anything about HIV,believing it could never happen to them;some still believe its still a western world fabrication to sell worthless western drugs to poor countries!
Thank God someone recommended this site. The stuff I get here keeps me going.
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Comment by: Rose (Ireland) Fri., Sep. 11, 2009 at 3:27 am EDT
I am a 47 year old woman and was diagnosed in 2002 and went on meds last year. I was terrified when I discovered I was hiv positive, I had young kids and didn't even think I would survive the year, that's how little I know about hiv - due mainly to the media at the time in Ireland, but now on one tablet a day and feeling great, I intend to live a long healthy life. Sites like this give me so much support and optimism xx
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Comment by: amber (mission canada) Fri., Sep. 11, 2009 at 1:57 am EDT
I think that i will live as long as any one else, I am 27 yrs old, been poz for 9 years , started meds at 25. Have a beautiful healthy negative son who will keep me alive as long as possible. The meds will keep you alive.
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Comment by: kingsley banda (africa) Fri., Sep. 11, 2009 at 1:49 am EDT
All research always favor whites in longivity and this to seem to suggest that the virus was actually created to wipe out other races. In Africa there are people who live longer even without medication and being diagonised only increases the phycological effects result into quick progression. Most Africans would like to remain ignorant about their status and go about their normal life and only take death as a normal event in ones life
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Comment by: Be N + (Africa) Thu., Sep. 10, 2009 at 3:46 pm EDT
Length of life with HIV should not be the only objective. Quality of life is so important. Some of the meds used, like steroids can really mess up the heads of some long term HIVers. I have seen some serious sociopathic behavior resulting from hanging on for dear life and trying to disguise one's disease with pumping iron and steroids and synthetic testosterone. In this part of the world there is a lot of stigma with + life. Lifestyle choices are illegal still in many parts. It can be very hard to have that good a quality of life, especially with a sociopath on the loose. Some hard times, but I am getting by and hanging in there. Fear is the destroyer that we need to avoid. "Fear is the mind killer." Hope is so much better.
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Comment by: Pierre Ravary (Montreal, Canada) Thu., Sep. 10, 2009 at 2:27 pm EDT
Diagnosed in 1985, I was given 2 (YES TWO) years to live. That is almost 24 years ago! So do take the prediction with a grain of salt! But recent study about arteries hardening, higher risk of heart attack (which just occcured to me) are increasing the gloom again. All I can say is be careful, get treated early (which I could not because no medication existed then), take good care of your body and hope for the best, but do enjoy life while you can!
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Comment by: John H (austin, tx) Thu., Sep. 10, 2009 at 2:20 pm EDT
Sure would make it easier for my financial advisor (me) if I knew, so I could think about working less, traveling more. But beyond that, I think I'll just live life as best I can. I'm 62, diagnosed in '88, started meds three years ago - counts are all good, and going for a 1/2 marathon next month. Thanks to all the docs, meds, and God.
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Comment by: Bob (Hercules, Ca. 94547) Thu., Sep. 10, 2009 at 2:11 pm EDT
Great article and I agree with who,where and how each person lives. One other comment, I moved to the SF bay area to have treatment from medical professionals who have experience with MANY HIV persons and are knowledgeable about all the most recent information. I was hospitalized on a trip to a smaller city in upstate New York, five years ago, for a non-HIV infection. The MD who was board certified in Infectious Disease, MARVELED that I had more than 10 years of non-detectable test results....his experience was every patient died in less than five years...so, I am grateful that I was able to be in the bay area, work and have great health benefits and care (17 + years now with non-detectable test results and on the same 3 medicines for about six years).
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Comment by: Kelly (SF Bay Area, CA) Thu., Sep. 10, 2009 at 1:16 pm EDT
Thank you. I have this conversation with my partner all the time. Just because you have HIV does not mean you get to leave the planet first! The bottom line is this really: We are alive today, do not waste one second of it with negatives like fear, anger, resentment and worry. Truly life is too short for us all.
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Comment by: Charles (Macon, GA) Thu., Sep. 10, 2009 at 11:55 am EDT
How long is someone going to live with HIV? Until they die.

I don't say that to be flippant, but that's exactly what I've been telling people in my local HIV support group. The ONLY guarantee in life is death. Noone has yet figured out how to avoid that eventuality.

Last week I was reading a study by the US govt. that said the avg. life expectancy for someone with AIDS was 5 years. The study was published in 2005. I was diagnosed with AIDS in 1999. I laughed and told people either the study was wrong or I died 5 years ago.

With current treatment and upcoming treatments the point isn't to worry about how long you'll live. What you should be worrying about is the quality of life you're going to have. And, what are you wiling to give back to make other's quality of life good or better?

Yes, I have some health issues. But, for the most part I brush them aside and go about my life as I want. NOTHING is going to keep me from living. Not just existing, but living!

First tested HIV+ in 1988 and here for the longhaul!!!
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Comment by: (Hayward, CA) Thu., Sep. 10, 2009 at 11:55 am EDT
Worry about the numbers is a crazymaker. Converted in 1985, AIDS in 1998, the predictions have been dire and bright - I try not to hold to any of them. As a recovering drama queen - "try not to be any sicker than you are-girlfriend" I try to live in a balance of hope and reality.
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Comment by: EV (New York) Thu., Sep. 10, 2009 at 11:51 am EDT
I was diagnosed in 1992, never OI, good health so far, 50 y.o and kicking. Feel good, being treated by an excellent MD (general practitioner, not even a HIV specialist). I am hoping to die old, old.
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Comment by: IT DOESNT MATTER (NEW JERSEY) Thu., Sep. 10, 2009 at 10:45 am EDT
I AGREE, I WAS DIAGNOSED BACK IN 1990 & HAVE AIDS SINCE . I HAD CERVICAL CANCER. I DIDNT GO ON MEDS RIGHT AWAY .IT WAS AFTER CANCER WHEN T4S WENT TO 34 I WENT ON MEDS. MY T4S ARE OVER 300 I HAVEN'T BEEN ILL. IM VERY HEALTHY RIGHT NOW. IM WHITE FEMALE 52 YRS OLD. I WAS 29 WHEN DIAGNOSED. SO EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT. MY HUSBAND WHO WAS ILL FIRST IS HOW I CAME TO BE TESTED DIED 3 YRS AFTER BEING DIAGNOSED IN 1989. I HAVE 2 CHILDREN WHO ARE NEGATIVE OVER 21YRS OLD TODAY. SO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. FOR ME GOD IS MY LIFE, MY EVERYTHING, I WOULD BE DEAD TODAY IF NOT FOR MY BELIEF AND FAITH & OF COURSE FOR THE WONDERFUL PEOPLE WHO TAKE GOOD CARE OF ME AT RIVERVIEW HOSPITAL N.J. SO REMEMBER YOU ARE WORTH TAKING CARE OF. DO THE RIGHT THINGS, NO SMOKING NO DRINKING NO DRUGS. YOU THEN WILL BE GIVEN AT LEAST AS LONG AS POSSIBLE TO LIVE. ITS UP TO YOU. GOD BLESS EVERYONE. HE LOVES YOU MORE THAN YOU'LL EVER KNOW.
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Comment by: Be Poz always (SA) Thu., Sep. 10, 2009 at 10:34 am EDT
You are the predictor of gloom and doom! I feel great and I do not see why I should die young with all the medical REVOLUTION.
All yu out there Keep positive!!
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Comment by: B-rod (Washington DC) Thu., Sep. 10, 2009 at 10:22 am EDT
Not to be too morbid either, but on the 8th anniversary of 9/11, we should all remember there are no guarantees in life. The people who went to work that day in the Twin Towers and the Pentagon had no idea they'd be dead before lunch.

Live your life and enjoy it...everyday.
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