Life Expectancy After HIV Infection: Getting Better All the TimeHIV now considered a chronic condition that can be controlled with medications and healthy lifestyle choices.
HIV infection is a lifelong illness. There is no known cure, but, advances in treatment have changed the view that HIV is a fatal disease. Doctors now consider HIV a chronic condition that can be controlled with medications and healthy lifestyle choices.
The average time for HIV infection to progress to AIDS is 10 to 11 years for people who do not take anti-retrovirals. In people with very high HIV viral load, AIDS may develop sooner (within five years). Once HIV infection has progressed to AIDS, there is an increased risk of death that varies dramatically from person to person. For example, some people with AIDS have died shortly after they were diagnosed, whereas others have lived 12 years or more.
Because very potent medications against HIV have only been available since 1996, we do not yet know how long people can live with HIV infection if they are tested early and treated appropriately. The outlook, however, is very good, especially for those who begin anti-retrovirals at an early stage of the disease. The AIDS-related death rate in some parts of the developing world, however, remains staggeringly high due to lack of access to life-saving anti-retrovirals.
If you are infected with HIV, it is best to find out as soon as possible so that treatment can be started before the immune system is weakened. Since potent antiretrovirals became available in the United States, the number of AIDS-related deaths and hospitalizations has decreased dramatically.
Also on this Topic:
- Fighting the Virus: Treatment Options for HIV and AIDS
- HIV and AIDS: From Flu-Like Symptoms to Life-Threatening Infections
- How HIV Spreads: Myths and Facts
- HIV Infection Worries: What's the Best Test?
aids and hiv information and advice
Early HIV signs and symptoms may include fever, fatigue and swollen lymph glands. Learn more.
Casual contact in the home, workplace, or public spaces poses no risk of HIV transmission. Learn how HIV infection can be passed from person to person.
Rapid tests aren't as accurate as blood tests, and can lead to false-positive results.
The range of symptoms and illnesses that occur when HIV infection renders the body's immune system defenseless is called acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or AIDS.
A 13-year-old's science fair project helped the discovery along, researchers say.