I want to live for ten more years.

Question

I am fifty years old and got PCP one year ago. Now I am on medication and am at cd 4 level 325. Just desperate andin depression as I have had AIDS diagnosis . I want to live ten more years. Is the present medication good enough to let us stay for a decade or more?

Answer

Assuming that your cardiovascular risks are low (no smoking, no family history of heart disease, good lipids, normal body weight), there is every reason to believe that you will have a full life. Some studies show that people with long term virus control may have a life expectancy that approaches that of HIV negatives, but we are still lagging by about 10 years behind them.

A 20-year-old HIV-positive person starting antiretroviral (ARV) therapy today can expect to live, on average, to the age of 69, according to calculations published July 26, 2008 in The Lancet. The study authors say this is a life expectancy increase of 37 percent over projections for 20-year-olds starting ARVs during the early years of combination treatment.

As you know, cardiovascular problems and certain cancers still make us vulnerable to earlier death even in the presence of long term controlled viral load. But I believe that those with good medical care probably will fair well with early detection.

Nelson