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Life expectancy with HIV. How long can you live with HIV

Life expectancy with HIV

How long will I live?

One of the earliest signs of HIV infection is the appearance of rashes. It can emerge in single spot or on multiple body parts, causing itchiness and discomfort on the skin. Alongside the development of this skin condition are other flu-like symptoms, such as fever, common cold, muscle aches, fatigue, diarrhea, sore throat, and swollen lymph glands.

The acute HIV rash can be tender and sore. While it is the most common symptom of HIV infection, not all people experience the condition. Thankfully, antiviral drugs are available to treat HIV rash and lessen its impacts. Antiviral drugs make it possible for an HIV-positive person to live longer amidst the severity of the said viral infection.

Life expectancy with HIV

What is an individual’s life expectancy with HIV? Since 1994, the number of deaths involving HIV has declined. The prognosis of HIV has improved after the development of antiretroviral therapy. This therapy helps extend the HIV life expectancy of infected individuals to 70 years old. This improvement is a breakthrough in the medical field, which supports life better for people with the human immunodeficiency virus.

The truth is, there are many factors that affect people’s life expectancy with HIV. These are as follows:

  • An individual’s accessibility to efficient HIV treatment and medication
  • Taking HIV medications as soon as possible – This factor involves consuming antiviral drugs after initial infection.
  • Obtaining high-quality medical care, especially with diagnosing HIV in a fast-paced manner.
  • Lifestyle change also helps in having good health alongside the consumption of antiviral medications.

Besides the availability of antiviral drugs for HIV treatment, compliance with the antiretroviral therapy program is a must. It includes smoking cessation, regular exercise, practicing safer sex, following good nutrition, and immediately attending to other health conditions.

How long can you live with HIV?

The procurement of antiviral drugs makes it easier to treat the infection. But, how long can you LIVE with HIV? How can infected people be assured of living a life as those non-positive individuals have?

If you haven’t known yet, there are four stages of HIV. Each stage has occurrences that people should consider and subdue to avoid complications.

1st stage – Acute HIV infection

2nd stage – Chronic HIV infection

3rd stage – Moderately symptomatic stage

4th stage – AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome)

The first stage of the infection is where flu-like symptoms appear. It includes fever, sore throat, headache, and rashes. In this period, the virus rapidly multiplies and spreads throughout the body.

Among these stages, the most advanced is AIDS. When AIDS occurs, opportunistic infections emerge, paving the way for different health complications to colonize the body.

The best stage to start ART (antiretroviral therapy) is in the acute or first stage of the infection. Its purpose is to prevent HIV from advancing to AIDS, the most severe and deadly phase of the viral infection. During this period, the body’s immune system is severely damaged. Without proper treatment, people with AIDS only survive for a maximum of three years.

HIV survival rate

An individual’s HIV survival rate has significantly improved over the past few years. With the help of antiretroviral treatment, people who are HIV positive can already live longer compared to before.

In a study involving Swiss people with HIV, 78% of deaths due to AIDS-related complications occurred between 1988 and 1995. However, between the years 2005 and 2009, this rate dropped to 15%. This improvement catered to the use of antiretroviral therapy.

If you ask yourself, ‘how long will I live if I have HIV?’, the answer will depend on your commitment to treating the infection:

  • Commit to taking antiretroviral drugs after an HIV diagnosis.
  • Abstain from drinking too much alcohol and smoking cigarettes.
  • Live healthily by observing proper nutrition and having regular exercise.

Sticking to these practices will increase your survival rate against HIV.

HIV drugs types

As mentioned, controlling HIV and its symptoms involves using antiretroviral HIV drugs. These medications are a mixture of two or more drugs under different categories. These are as follows:

  • NRTIs (Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors)
  • NNRTIs (Non-Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors)
  • Integrase Inhibitors
  • Protease Inhibitors
  • Pharmacokinetic Enhancers
  • Entry/Attachment Inhibitors
  • Fixed-Dose Combination Drugs



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