Paul Cotten, Transitions Project, Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, San Francisco
There are a lot of factors, but all things being equal: If HIV-positive people respond well to HIV medication and can adhere to medication -- and other issues in their lives, which may be more pressing, can be dealt with (for example: Are they employed? Do they have a support system?) -- I think they're going to live long, full, healthy lives. It's not the death sentence that, even nowadays, people still tend to think that it is. I know lots of people who have lived many, many, many years with HIV and are doing fine and doing very well.
I think it becomes a small side job that you have to manage. Initially, there's a lot of information to learn. It's easy to feel overwhelmed by that and it's important to do that in a supportive environment so you can process: a) on lots of different levels; and b) in a slow fashion, feeling supported.