Question

Hi,

I became HIV+ between the ages of 45 and 50. At 51, I was diagnosed with an HIV related cancer. I am now cancer free with a CD4 count of over 600. Are you able to offer any estimate of my probable life expectancy?

Answer

There is no way to predict. You have a great CD4 cell count. I do not know anything else about you and your cancer. It seems that you have not been HIV+ for too long and that you may have undetectable viral load. What cancer are you referring to? Anal, lymphoma, etc? Were your CD4 cells low when you were diagnosed? Low CD4 cells increase cancer risks.

You may want to read this article and calculate your VACS index for cardiovascular survival.

Predicting Survival Among Those Aging With HIV Infection

Another study could predict risk of cancer based on someone's interleukin 6 blood levels (this inflammation marker is not a standard test in medical practice):

Predicting risk of cancer during HIV infection: the role of inflammatory and coagulation biomarkers

More and more studies are showing that our survival will be very close to that of HIV negatives as long as our CD4 cells are over 350 cells/mL and we keep our HIV viral load undetectable while engaging in life style choices that lower our inflammation:

Fighting the Fire: HIV and Chronic Inflammation

As you can see, there are several factors involved in survival. To date, no one has come up with a comprehensive formula that includes all of them.

Stay well!

Nelson Vergel