Us Hiv Life Expectancy: What The Numbers Say
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that average life expectancy for a person born within the U.S. in 2012 is about 79 years. It’s a little more for women and a little less for men .
For people who weren’t born yesterday, the numbers actually look better: Taking into consideration that there are some causes of death that mostly affect younger people, a person who reaches age 65 can currently be expected to live an additional 19 years , on average.
That’s for the U.S. population as a whole. What about for people with HIV in particular?
In a recent scientific presentation looking at people who received care in the massive U.S. Kaiser Permanente health system between 1996 and 2011, we learned how incredibly far we’ve come in a very short time in treating HIV. The study showed that additional life expectancy for a 20-year-old person with HIV was only 19 years back in 1996, meaning a total lifespan of only 39 years on average. By 2011, additional life expectancy had increased to 53 years, meaning a total lifespan of 73 years on average. By comparison, the study found that a 20-year-old person without HIV lived an additional 65 years, for a total of 85. So, in this study, overall, HIV-positive folks were found to live about eight years less than HIV-negative folks as of 2011.
Causes Of Hiv Infection
HIV is found in the body fluids of an infected person. This includes semen, vaginal and anal fluids, blood and breast milk.
It’s a fragile virus and does not survive outside the body for long.
HIV cannot be transmitted through sweat, urine or saliva.
The most common way of getting HIV in the UK is through having anal or vaginal sex without a condom.
Other ways of getting HIV include:
- sharing needles, syringes or other injecting equipment
- transmission from mother to baby during pregnancy, birth or breastfeeding
The chance of getting HIV through oral sex is very low and will be dependent on many things, such as whether you receive or give oral sex and the oral hygiene of the person giving the oral sex.
Advice If You’re Pregnant
HIV treatment is available to prevent you passing HIV to your child.
Without treatment, there’s a 1 in 4 chance your baby will become infected with HIV. With treatment, the risk is less than 1 in 100 .
Advances in treatment mean there’s no increased risk of passing the virus to your baby with a normal delivery.
But in some cases, a caesarean section may still be recommended, often for reasons not related to your HIV.
Discuss the risks and benefits of each delivery method with the staff at your HIV clinic. The final decision about how your baby is delivered is yours, and staff will respect that decision.
If you have HIV, do not breastfeed your baby as the virus can be transmitted through breast milk.
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Can Hiv Be Cured
The first thing to come to terms with after an HIV diagnosis is that there is currently no cure for the virus. However, there are treatments that are very effective at preventing the virus from progressing and damaging your immune system.
If youre diagnosed early enough, and if youre taking your medication as prescribed, youll be able to reduce the amount of the virus in your blood until its undetectable in a test. This is known as having an undetectable viral load or “being undetectable”. It also means you can’t pass it on during sex.
What Is The Last Stage Of Hiv Infection
Acquired immune deficiency syndrome is the final and most severe stage of HIV infection. Because HIV has severely damaged the immune system, the body can’t fight off opportunistic infections.
- If ART is not given, HIV infection usually advances to AIDS in 10 years or longer. In some people, however, it may advance faster.
- In this stage, HIV reduces CD4 cell counts to very low levels which severely damages the immune system.
- The week immune system cannot fight even those bacteria, viruses, and fungi which are unable to cause disease in other healthy people . Opportunistic infections are infections and infection-related cancers that occur more frequently or are more severe in people with weakened immune systems than in people with healthy immune systems.
- Once a person progresses to AIDS, they have a high viral load and can transmit HIV to others very easily.
- In the absence of treatment, people with AIDS typically survive for about three years.
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Omicron: South African Scientists Probe Link Between Variants And Untreated Hiv
South African scientists – hailed for their discovery of Omicron – are investigating the “highly plausible hypothesis” that the emergence of new Covid-19 variants could be linked, in some cases, to mutations taking place inside infected people whose immune systems have already been weakened by other factors, including, though not limited to, untreated HIV.
Researchers have already observed that Covid-19 can linger for many months in patients who are HIV positive but who have, for varying reasons, not been taking the medicines that would enable them to lead healthy lives.
“Normally your immune system would kick a virus out fairly quickly, if fully functional,” said Professor Linda-Gayle Bekker, who heads the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation in Cape Town.
“In someone where immunity is suppressed, then we see virus persisting. And it doesn’t just sit around, it replicates. And as it replicates it undergoes potential mutations. And in somebody where immunity is suppressed that virus may be able to continue for many months – mutating as it goes,” she added.
But, as they push ahead with their research, the scientists are anxious to avoid further stigmatising people living with HIV, both in South Africa – home to the world’s largest HIV epidemic – and globally.
“It’s important to stress that people who are on anti-retroviral medication – that does restore their immunity,” Professor Bekker said.
Understanding Hiv And Aids
Generally speaking, the time it takes to go from HIV infection to AIDS is around five to 10 years if no medical intervention is made. Differences in time can be due to any number of factors, including:
- The genetic strain of HIV a person living with the virus has been infected with
- The general health of the individual
- The place where the person lives
- A person’s genetics or family history
- Smoking and other personal lifestyle choices
This is, of course, if the person receives no treatment. The picture changes entirely if they do.
Since 1996, the introduction of antiretroviral drugs has dramatically altered the natural progression of HIV infection. While HIV still cannot be cured, people newly diagnosed with HIV who get treated and stay in care can be expected to have near-normal to normal life expectancies. As with other chronic diseases, early detection is key to identifying and treating the virus as soon as possible.
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Latency Causes A Break In Symptoms
After initial exposure and possible primary infection, HIV may transition into a stage called clinically latent infection. Its also referred to as asymptomatic HIV infection due to a noticeable lack of symptoms. This lack of symptoms includes possible chronic symptoms.
According to HIV.gov, latency in HIV infection can last for 10 or 15 years. This doesnt mean that HIV is gone, nor does it mean that the virus cant be transmitted to others. Clinically latent infection may progress to the third and final stage of HIV, also referred to as AIDS.
The risk for progression is higher if a person with HIV isnt receiving treatment, such as antiretroviral therapy. Its important to take prescribed medications during all stages of HIV even if there arent any noticeable symptoms. There are several medications used for HIV treatment.
Third Stage: Aids Symptoms
AIDS is the advanced stage of HIV infection. This is usually when your CD4 T-cell number drops below 200 and your immune system is badly damaged. You might get an opportunistic infection, an illness that happens more often and is worse in people who have weakened immune systems. Some of these, such as Kaposi’s sarcoma and pneumocystis pneumonia , are also considered âAIDS-defining illnesses.â
If you didn’t know earlier that you were infected with HIV, you may realize it after you have some of these symptoms:
- Being tired all the time
- Swollen lymph nodes in your neck or groin
- Fever that lasts more than 10 days
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Can We Improve Le Further
Late HIV diagnosis remains extremely common in many countries , and has been reported to be a major risk factor for mortality . In Brazil, it was estimated that 95.5% of deaths occurring in the first year after diagnosis were attributable to late diagnosis study investigators estimated that averting late diagnosis would have reduced the AIDS mortality rate 2003 to 2006 by 39.5%, a similar reduction to that produced by cART. In the UK, earlier diagnosis would have reduced short-term mortality by 84% in MSM and by 56% in those infected heterosexually . Using the HIV Synthesis model, a stochastic computer simulation model of HIV progression, Nakagawa showed that LE from birth was 71.5 years, with 10.5 years lost to HIV infection, in a scenario in which diagnosis occurred at a late stage of HIV infection , but under a scenario of earlier diagnosis , LE from birth was 75.0 years, with only 7.0 years lost, on average, due to HIV. Thus, earlier diagnosis of HIV might go some way to improve LE further.
Treating Hepatitis C Matters
When you see your doctor and start treatment for a chronic hep C infection, you can prevent these problems, improve them, or keep them from getting worse. New drugs can clear the virus from your body in a few months with fewer side effects than older medicines. If thereâs no virus in your blood 3 months after treatment, youâre considered cured.
Getting rid of the infection protects others, too. Hepatitis C spreads through blood-to-blood contact. You could infect a loved one if you accidentally use their toothbrush or cut yourself and donât clean up the blood properly. People who get hep C treatment greatly lower the odds that they will pass the virus to someone else.
If you arenât sure if you have hepatitis C, talk to your doctor to see if you should get tested. Learn why you should get tested for hepatitis C.
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Stage : Acute Hiv Infection
After a person comes into contact with HIV, the virus replicates quickly, and the blood contains high levels of the virus. At this time, it can easily transmit to others through blood, semen and preseminal fluids, rectal fluid, vaginal fluid, and breast milk.
Within 24 weeks of exposure to the virus, some people develop a nonspecific syndrome with a fever and other flu-like symptoms. This may last for several days or weeks.
Not everyone experiences these symptoms, however. If a person does not undergo testing, it is possible for HIV to progress without any indication that it is in the body.
The flu-like symptoms of a stage 1 HIV infection may include:
- swollen glands
- nausea or vomiting
These symptoms are collectively known as a seroconversion illness. They represent the bodys natural response to an infection as it attempts to kill off the virus. However, the human body cannot completely remove this virus once it is present.
At this stage, the virus replicates using the bodys CD4 T cells and spreads throughout the body. In doing so, it destroys CD4 T cells.
Eventually, this process stabilizes. The immune system reduces the number of viral particles, and levels of CD4 T cells may rise. However, the number of these cells may not return to its original level.
Blood And Vessel Problems
People with hepatitis C often get a condition called cryoglobulinemia. This happens when certain proteins in your blood stick together in cold weather. They can build up in vessels and block blood flow, which causes swelling and damage. The condition can affect your skin, organs, nerves, and joints.
Hepatitis C also can cause problems with blood itself. You may not make enough white blood cells, which fight infections, or platelets, which help your blood clot.
The infection can also make you bruise easily or get red or purple spots under your skin. Those are signs of a bleeding disorder called immune thrombocytopenic purpura.
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Aids Or Hiv Life Expectancy Without Medication
How long can you live with HIV or AIDS if you chose not to treat with ART combinations or other prescription drugs? In the absence of such therapy, a patient should expect to see a notable decrease in life expectancy.
In countries where health care and ARTs arent readily accessible, HIV rates are above 20 percent. Shorter HIV life expectancy in these regions, combined with a high incidence of AIDS in younger age groups, boosts their overall mortality rate.
Population studies proved that AIDS patients who did not take HIV medications survived for roughly three years. Once they developed a dangerous opportunistic illness, life expectancy with AIDS decreased to one year or less.
Thats why HIV and AIDS remain a serious threat to public health, and why early detection is absolutely critical to long-term survival.
Joint And Muscle Pain
A condition called arthralgia causes joint pain and is common in people with hepatitis C. Itâs different from arthritis, which causes pain and swelling in joints. But infected people can also get hepatitis C-related arthritis.
Fibromyalgia, which causes body aches and muscle pain, is also common in people with hepatitis C.
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What Do I Need To Know About Dating With Hiv
Some people feel like their love lives are over when they find out they have HIV, but its just not true. People with HIV can have fulfilling romantic and sexual relationships. People living with HIV can have relationships with partners who dont have HIV or with partners that are also living with HIV . HIV treatment helps keep you healthy and helps you avoid passing HIV to someone else. If your partner does not have HIV, they can also take a medicine called PrEP that can help protect them from getting HIV through sex.
Its important to tell your sexual partners about your HIV status. That way, you and your partners can make more informed decisions about safer sex, testing, and treatment that are right for the both of you.
Its normal to be worried about how your partners going to react. And theres no way around it: some people might get freaked out. If that happens, try to stay calm and talk about your plan to stay healthy and how they can stay HIV negative. It might help to give your partner a little time and space to process. You could also suggest they talk with your HIV doctor about ways to protect themselves from HIV.
If you tell someone you have HIV and they hurt you, shame you, or make you feel bad, its not ok. You deserve to be with someone who respects and cares about you, and there are plenty of people out there who will.
Can Hiv Be Cured By Natural Remedies
There is no cure for HIV. It cannot be treated or managed without proper medical therapy. It is important to seek healthcare as soon as a person is exposed to a potential risk of HIV infection. This will facilitate early diagnosis and treatment. It can be dangerous to seek nonscientific and unapproved treatment approaches. This will cause the management more difficult and may even lead to fatal complications.
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Growing Older With Hiv
Today, thanks to improvements in the effectiveness of treatment with HIV medicine , people with HIV who are diagnosed early and who get and stay on ART can keep the virus suppressed and live long and healthy lives. For this reason, nearly half of people living with diagnosed HIV in the United States are aged 50 and older. Many of them have been living with HIV for many years others were diagnosed with HIV later in life.
Thats a significant change from the early years of the epidemic when people who were diagnosed with HIV or AIDS could expect to live only 1-2 years after their diagnosis. This meant that the issues of aging were not a major focus for people with HIV disease.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , in 2018, over half of people in the United States and dependent areas with diagnosed HIV were aged 50 and older. In addition, people aged 50 and older accounted for 17% of the 37,968 new HIV diagnoses in 2018 in the United States and dependent areas. Though new HIV diagnoses are declining among people aged 50 and older, around 1 in 6 HIV diagnoses in 2018 were in this group.
People over age 50 with HIV make up 46.8% of the over half a million clients served by the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program . In 2019, 92.2% of clients aged 50 and older receiving RWHAP HIV medical care were virally suppressed, which was higher than the national RWHAP average .
Stage : Acute Primary Infection
The early symptoms of HIV can feel like having the flu. Around one to four weeks after getting HIV, you may start to experience these flu-like symptoms. These normally dont last long . You may only get some of the symptoms and some people dont have any symptoms at all.
Symptoms can include:
- joint aches and pains
- muscle pain.
These symptoms happen because your body is reacting to the HIV virus. Cells that are infected with HIV are circulating throughout your blood system. In response, your immune system tries to attack the virus by producing HIV antibodies this process is called seroconversion. Timing varies but once you have HIV it can take your body up to a few months to go through the seroconversion process.
Having these symptoms alone does not mean you definitely have HIV. The only way to know if you have HIV is by taking a test. You should always visit your healthcare professional if youre worried about or think youve been at risk of getting HIV, even if you feel well and dont have any symptoms. They can then arrange for you to get tested.
HIV will not always show up in a test at this early stage, and you may need to test again later to confirm your result . Your healthcare professional will talk to you about the timing of your test and answer any concerns. Its important not delay speaking to a healthcare worker if you are worried about HIV.
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