July 14, 2024

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How long can the patient live if infected with HIV?

How long can the patient live if infected with HIV?


How long can the patient live if infected with HIV  If you are infected with HIV, you naturally want to know how long I can live. Although major experts and doctors will tell you that this is a treatable chronic disease like diabetes, but this is not only about the doubts about life, but also about the quality of life in the future.

The answer is simple and not simple. Overall, the prospects are very optimistic. With the advancement of antiretroviral therapy, if you start treatment early and take it daily as prescribed by your doctor, today’s HIV-infected people are expected to live longer and healthier lives. According to a long-term study by the North American AIDS Research and Design Collaboration (NA-ACCORD), a person who starts HIV treatment at the age of 20 can expect to live in his early 70s.

In 2014, a study by the UK HIV Cooperative Cohort (UK CHIC) showed that in the UK, the life expectancy of male HIV-positive patients with a CD4 cell count of more than 350 and suppressed viral load after treatment is equal to or slightly higher than that of the general population . Researchers believe that the latter may be due to early diagnosis and better monitoring of HIV patients.



“Factors that reduce life expectancy”

But there are also some challenges, which may greatly compromise this expected result. From a personal point of view, life span is affected by many factors, which range from things we can control (such as medication adherence) to things we cannot control (such as race or income status).

Moreover, HIV is only part of the long-term problem. Even for those who can maintain an undetectable viral load, the risk of developing non-HIV-related diseases such as cancer and heart disease is much higher than that of the general population, and may occur earlier than 10 to 15 years.

These concerns are so deep that people living with HIV are more likely to die prematurely from diseases not related to HIV than from diseases related to HIV.



“The gains and losses of life years”

The factors that affect life expectancy can be static (fixed) or dynamic (can change over time).

Static factors such as race or sexual orientation can affect life expectancy, because these factors are often unavoidable. For example, the high level of poverty in the black community combined with the lack of access to health care and high discrimination against HIV have made many of the achievements of the white community disappear.

In contrast, dynamic factors have a strong causal relationship with survival time. For example, adherence to treatment is directly related to disease progression. The less time the treatment is adhered to, the greater the risk of resistance and treatment failure. With each failure, one loses more and more treatment options. When looking at static and dynamic risk factors, we can begin to identify factors in which a person gains or loses life years unknowingly. These include:


A person’s CD4 count at the beginning of treatment is still one of the most powerful indicators of life expectancy. The life expectancy of patients with a CD4 count of less than 200 at the beginning of treatment is 8 years less than that of patients with a CD4 count of more than 200 at the same time.


Smokers who are infected with HIV lose more life than people who are only infected with HIV. In fact, among smokers infected with HIV, the risk of death caused by smoking is twice that of the former, regardless of whether they are living with HIV, smoking will shorten a person’s life span by 10 years.


Race and longevity are closely related to HIV. According to a 2012 study, the death rate of HIV-positive blacks is 13% higher than that of whites and 47% higher than the Hispanic population.

Injecting drug users suffer losses in both HIV and non-HIV-related diseases. The most important contributing factors are poor compliance and hepatitis C co-infection. Overall, the death rate of HIV-positive injecting drug users is almost twice that of HIV-positive non-injecting drug users.



(source:internet, reference only)

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