Life expectancy of HIV-positive people with and without therapy

HIV infection is one of the most terrifying diagnoses that causes serious psychological trauma and completely changes the normal way of life. Immediately after the diagnosis is clarified, the patient has a lot of questions, and one of them is how long they can live with HIV infection.

How long do people live with HIV infection?

to the question of how long diagnosed people live with HIV infection , if only because many factors play a role here, including timely correct diagnosis and appropriate treatment. In order to more clearly understand how long you can live with HIV infection, you need to have a good understanding of what kind of virus it is and how it can affect the body.

The abbreviation HIV stands for “human immunodeficiency virus.” It is acquired mainly through sexual contact; a third are infected through a contaminated syringe when injecting drugs. There are also the most dangerous procedures, including:

  • taking blood tests at donor points;
  • infusion of donor blood;
  • dental treatment;
  • eyebrow correction and haircut;
  • tattoo, permanent makeup.

The risk of HIV transmission through everyday contact is minimized. It is possible if both a healthy and a sick person have bloody abrasions, and they come into close contact through the same objects. You can also become infected through a kiss if there are ulcers on the mucous membranes.

After the HIV virus enters the body, it begins to infect T-leukocytes, the main component of the immune system. The incubation period before reproduction is about two weeks. After this, there is still a year before the active production of antibodies, and in people with chronic diseases this stage is reduced to six months. After this period, the first symptoms , among which are:

  • periodic surges of elevated temperature within 37.0 – 37.5 degrees;
  • formation of ulcers on the mucous membranes of the mouth;
  • swelling and tenderness of the lymph nodes.

At this point, HIV tests will help determine infection with a 100% probability, and therefore prescribe appropriate treatment.

The disease then goes through several stages.

Stage Duration How it manifests itself
Hidden (latent) 5-10 years Increased size of lymph nodes, relative painlessness and density
Transitional (pre-AIDS) 1-2 years The beginning of active damage to immune cells: the body weakens, frequent colds and acute respiratory infections appear. Ulcers and wounds do not heal for a long time, chronic candidiasis and herpes occur
AIDS (terminal) Maximum duration unknown The immune system is completely destroyed: tumors and infectious processes occur

Today, the question of how many years people live with HIV infection cannot be answered with certainty, since the subsequent life of an infected person depends on a number of factors, among which must be taken into account:

  1. Age of the sick person. A young body tolerates diseases more easily, restoration and regenerative processes occur faster in it;
  2. Lifestyle. This means good nutrition , physical activity, and the absence of bad habits;
  3. Stable psyche. Exposure to stress and depression undermines health and weakens the immune system;
  4. Favorable environmental conditions. The absence of nearby hazardous industries, a sufficient amount of sunlight, the availability of clean drinking water, and a mild climate can add several years and alleviate the suffering of the patient;
  5. Chronic diseases in the past.

It has also been noted that people living close to the sea live longer than those who live in areas with a harsh climate (for example, the Far North and similar areas). The rural environment is also in many ways more favorable, since the air and water there are cleaner than in large industrial cities. Also, the consumption of natural products plays a significant role here, while in cities the quality of food is much lower.

The average life expectancy with HIV infection ranges from 5 to 10 years from the moment of infection, taking into account the listed factors. There are documented cases in medicine where patients with this diagnosis lived to old age. Therefore, it is unlikely that it will be possible to answer the question of how long people live with HIV infection.

How long do HIV patients on therapy live?

Today there are ART drugs - the so-called antiretroviral therapy. The earlier the correct diagnosis is made, the sooner ART will be prescribed, and accordingly, the fewer HIV changes will occur.

The goal of ART is to delay the onset of AIDS for as long as possible, and ideally to have the life expectancy of a healthy person. This can be achieved if you diagnose the virus in time and start taking medications, do not violate the dosage regimen and lead a healthy lifestyle. This includes proper diet, sleep and physical activity, living in an ecologically clean area, absence of bad habits and psychological optimism.

Thus, when asked how long HIV patients who take therapy live, it is impossible to give an exact figure, but, in any case, it will be several dozen longer than for patients who do not take medications.

How many people live with HIV without treatment?

Sometimes a person does not want to be treated because he refuses to accept the fact that he is infected, or is afraid of publicity in society (despite the non-disclosure law). At the same time, the patient wants to know how many people live with HIV without treatment and clings to any straw to believe in a miracle.

But, unfortunately, miracles do not happen. Living with HIV without treatment leads to the most adverse consequences, including death. Approximately 1-2 years after infection, the cells of the immune system begin to attack, which are inevitably destroyed. A common cold or cut can lead to the death of the patient, since the work of immune cells is zero.

Thus, taking into account the stages of HIV, we can say that life expectancy without therapy is on average 3-4 years. In some cases, this period reaches 5-7 years, but this is rather an exception.

Maximum life expectancy with HIV

The human immunodeficiency virus was discovered by French scientists in 1981. To date, data on how long a person diagnosed with HIV can live as long as possible has not been recorded anywhere. Some infected people, first diagnosed 40 years ago, are still alive. Moreover, it is impossible to determine how long they were carriers of the virus before diagnosis.

Thus, scientists do not give a concrete answer about how long people live to live after being infected with HIV.

However, doctors say that you can live with HIV infection much longer than 10 years if you meet a number of necessary conditions. First of all, it is taking appropriate treatment and following the doctor’s recommendations.

Proper nutrition, adequate sleep, psychological calm, regular exercise - all this contributes to life expectancy and helps to delay subsequent stages.

HIV is a difficult diagnosis, but it is not a death sentence. Hundreds of thousands of people are HIV-positive, but timely treatment allows them to lead a normal life: they study, work, fall in love, start families and give birth to healthy children. At the same time, they are no different from other people, and also have a chance to fully live their biological life.

One response to “Life expectancy of HIV-positive people with and without therapy”

Add a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *