How Is Life Expectancy Calculated
Life expectancy is the average number of years that a person can expect to live.
More precisely, it is the average number of years an individual of a given age is expected to live if current mortality rates continue to apply. It is an estimate that is calculated by looking at the current situation of a group of people and projecting that into the future.
However, HIV is a relatively new disease and HIV treatment is a rapidly changing area of medicine. It is therefore hard to know whether our current experience will be an accurate guide to the future.
At the moment, there are large numbers of people living with HIV in their twenties, thirties, forties, fifties and sixties. Current death rates are very low, resulting in encouraging figures for future life expectancy. But we have very little experience of people living with HIV in their seventies or eighties, so we know less about the impact HIV may have later in life.
Also, health care for people with HIV is likely to get better in the future. People living with HIV will benefit from improved anti-HIV medications that have fewer side effects, are easier to take and are more effective in suppressing HIV. Doctors understanding of how best to prevent and treat heart disease, diabetes, cancers and other conditions in people with HIV is improving. This could mean that people actually live longer than our current estimates suggest.
Other Ways Hiv May Affect Your Life
- you will not be able to donate blood or organs
- you will not be able to join the armed forces
- you may have difficulty getting life insurance to cover a mortgage loan but life insurance is not compulsory when taking out a mortgage unless it’s an endowment mortgage, and there are now specialist life insurance policies for people with HIV
What Is The Difference Between Hiv And Aids
The term AIDS refers to the most advanced stages of HIV infection. Most of the conditions affecting people with AIDS are opportunistic infections that generally do not affect healthy people. In people with AIDS, these infections are often severe and sometimes fatal because the immune system is so ravaged by HIV that the body cannot fight off the infection. Symptoms of opportunistic infections common in people with AIDS include:
- coughing and shortness of breath
- seizures and lack of coordination
- difficult or painful swallowing
- severe headaches
People with AIDS also are particularly prone to developing various cancers. These cancers are usually more aggressive and difficult to treat in people with AIDS.
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What Do I Do If I Find Out I Have Hiv
Millions of people have HIV youre definitely not alone. Most people get at least one STD in their lifetime, and having HIV or another STD is nothing to feel ashamed of or embarrassed about. It doesnt mean youre dirty or a bad person.
Finding out that you have HIV can be really upsetting. You might feel mad, embarrassed, scared, or ashamed at first. But youll probably feel better as time goes by having a good support system and getting counseling really helps. There are medicines you can take to help you stay healthy, and lots of ways to avoid giving HIV to anyone you have sex with. The reality is, people with HIV can be in relationships, have sex, and live normal lives by taking a few precautions.
Although theres no cure for HIV, there are medicines that help people with HIV live longer, healthier lives. HIV treatment called antiretroviral therapy lowers the amount of virus in your body . This does two things:
Slows down the effects of HIV in your body, which keeps you healthy.
Lowers or even stops your chances of giving HIV to sexual partners.
Some people on ART have such a small amount of virus in their body, they cant transmit HIV to their sexual partners at all.
Even if youre feeling totally fine right now, see a doctor as soon as you can so you can talk about the best ways to stay healthy. The Centers for Disease Control and Preventions hotline can help you find a doctor near you who specializes in treating HIV: 1-800-CDC-INFO .
What Is Antiretroviral Therapy
Antiretroviral therapy is used in the treatment and prevention of HIV infection. Antiretroviral drugs work against HIV by stopping or interfering with the reproduction of the virus in the body. Antiretroviral drugs have been able to slow the progression from HIV to AIDS, so that some persons who are HIV positive have lived twenty or more years without developing the symptoms of AIDS. This is a real triumph, as HIV positive persons are able to live relatively normal and active lives, provided they take ART treatment regularly .
When taken the right way, ART greatly reduces the amount of HIV in the blood . In some individuals taking these drugs the HIV viral load becomes undetectable, and when this happens there is little if any risk they will transmit HIV to a partner . It isnt known if someone with an undetectable HIV viral load is able to transmit the virus through sharing needles and injecting equipment, though.
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Symptoms Of Hiv Infection
Most people experience a short flu-like illness 2 to 6 weeks after HIV infection, which lasts for a week or 2.
After these symptoms disappear, HIV may not cause any symptoms for many years, although the virus continues to damage your immune system.
This means many people with HIV do not know they’re infected.
Anyone who thinks they could have HIV should get tested.
Some people are advised to have regular tests as they’re at particularly high risk.
How Can I Live A Healthier Life With Hiv
IIf you have HIV, you can help yourself by:
- Getting medical care as soon as you find out that you have HIV. You should find a health care provider who has experience in treating HIV/AIDS.
- Making sure to take your medicines regularly
- Keeping up with your regular medical and dental care
- Managing stress and getting support, such as from support groups, therapists, and social service organizations
- Learning as much as you can about HIV/AIDS and its treatments
- Trying to live a healthy lifestyle, including
- Eating healthy foods.This can give your body the energy it needs to fight HIV and other infections. It can also help you manage HIV symptoms and medicine side effects. It may also improve absorption of your HIV medicines.
- Exercising regularly. This can strengthen your body and immune system. It may also reduce the risk of depression.
- Getting enough sleep. Sleep is important for your physical strength and mental health.
- Not smoking. People with HIV who smoke have a higher risk of developing conditions such as certain cancers and infections. Smoking can also interfere with your medicines.
It is also important to reduce the risk of spreading HIV to other people. You should tell your sex partners that you have HIV and always use latex condoms. If your or your partner is allergic to latex, you can use polyurethane condoms.
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You Cant Avoid Other Hiv
Myth. People with HIV can get infections like pneumonia, tuberculosis, candidiasis, cytomegalovirus, and toxoplasmosis. The best way to cut the risk is to take HIV medications. People with advanced HIV infection can prevent some of these infections with specific drugs in addition to antiretroviral therapy. You can lessen exposure to some germs by avoiding undercooked meat, litter boxes, and contaminated water.
What Is The Life Expectancy For People Living With Hiv In The Uk
A study published in 2014 looked at the outcomes of over 20,000 adults who started HIV treatment in the UK, between 2000 and 2010. The analysis didnt include people who inject drugs, who tend to have poorer outcomes than other people, but otherwise included a wide range of adults living with HIV.
The key finding was that people who had a good initial response to HIV treatment had a better life expectancy than people in the general population.
Specifically, a 35-year-old man who had a CD4 cell count over 350 and an undetectable viral load one year after starting HIV treatment could expect to live to the age of 81. A 50-year-old man with the same results after one year of treatment was predicted to live to the age of 83. In the general population at this time, men in these age groups were expected to live to 77 and 78 years.
A 35-year-old woman and a 50-year-old woman with the same results could expect to live to 83 and 85 years. This compares to 82 and 83 years in the general population.
“A person living with HIV has a similar life expectancy to an HIV-negative person providing they are diagnosed in good time, have good access to medical care, and are able to adhere to their HIV treatment.”
A 35-year-old man with any of those results could expect to live to 70-72 years. A 50-year-old man was predicted to live to 75-77 years. Women of the same ages could expect to live around two years longer than the men.
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Dealing With Discrimination When You Have Hiv
We’ve come a long way in our understanding of HIV and AIDS, but discrimination against people with HIV/AIDS is still rampant. Advances in research have made it possible to live with the disease, as people do with other chronic illnesses. But the greatest challenge for many people is still the stigma that accompanies the illness.
You may worry about what others will think about your diagnosis. Or you may fear coming out as gay or bisexual, or as an intravenous drug user. These worries and fears can encourage behaviors that put you and others at risk. These behaviors include:
Avoiding getting tested for HIV
Not using condoms
Hiding an HIV-positive status from sex partners
Avoiding medical care that can save or prolong your life
Not taking medication as directed
Hiding health problems from your family
The burden of AIDS is much higher among African-Americans. Homophobia and fear of people with HIV/AIDS are particularly strong in the African-American community. These fears mean that many people are afraid to acknowledge their sexual orientation or HIV-positive status. For these reasons, many prefer to risk infection rather than face the stigma of HIV/AIDS.
Can Hiv Be Prevented
To reduce the risk of getting HIV, people who are sexually active should:
- use a latex condom every time they have sex
- get tested for HIV and make sure all partners do too
- reduce their number of sexual partners
- get tested and treated for STDs having an STD increases the risk of getting infected with HIV. To find a testing site, visit the CDC’s National HIV and STD Testing Resources.
- consider taking a medicine every day if they are at very high risk of getting infected
- Do not inject drugs or share any kind of needle.
- Do not share razors or other personal objects that may touch blood.
- Do not touch anyone else’s blood from a cut or sore.
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New Guidance On Couples Hiv Testing And Counselling
In addition to correct and consistent use of condoms, counsellors may suggest that the HIV-positive partner take antiretroviral drugs, regardless of his or her immune status. Studies show that this can both keep the positive partner healthier for longer, and reduce the risk they will pass the virus to their loved one. This finding prompted WHO to issue new guidance on couples HIV testing and counselling in April 2012 including antiretroviral therapy for treatment and prevention in serodiscordant couples.
In addition to Zambia, which has recommended early ARVs for the positive partner in a serodiscordant couple since 2010, other countriesincluding Canada, China, Kenya and many in western Europecurrently recommend or are considering the use of ARVs to reduce HIV transmission in serodiscordant couples.
Comorbidities And Healthy Aging
Because modern-day HIV medications are highly effective and well-tolerated, interventions that improve the life expectancies of people living with HIV will need to address other health conditions that may affect people living with HIV at a disproportionate rate or more severely.
Improving the health of people growing older with HIV is a critical priority, said Harris, Rabkin and El-Sadr, in an editorial published in AIDS. Older adults living with HIV may experience more severe side effects of antiretroviral medications, higher risk of kidney disease, declines in bone mineral density, peripheral neuropathy and cardiovascular disease. An estimated 6.9 million people living with HIV will be over age 50 by the year 2020.
The greying of the epidemic raises important questions regarding understanding the effect of aging on people living with HIV, the effect of HIV infection on the aging process, and optimal approaches to HIV prevention among older adults, said Harris and colleagues.
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How Can You Help Someone Who Has Been Newly Diagnosed With Hiv
There are many things that you can do to help a friend or loved one who has been recently diagnosed with HIV:
If you are the sexual partner of someone who has been diagnosed with HIV, you should also get tested so that you know your own HIV status. If you test negative, talk to your healthcare provider about PrEP , taking HIV medicine daily to prevent HIV infection. PrEP is recommended for people at high risk of HIV infection, including those who are in a long-term relationship with a partner who has HIV. If you test positive, get connected to HIV treatment and care as soon as possible.
Whether Youre Caring For A Partner Family Member Or Friend With Hiv There Are A Few Things You Can Do To Help Them:
- Listen. An HIV diagnosis can feel like the world has been turned upside-down. Listen to their concerns and fears, as well as their hopes for the future.
- Educate yourself. If your partner has been diagnosed, you will need to take extra precautions to avoid getting HIV.
- Remember that they are the same person as before the diagnosis. They will still enjoy the same activities and should eventually expect to have the same hopes for the future. Your life together can get back to virtually normal, especially if the person follows the treatment plan.
- Help them take their medication as directed. This will ensure that HIV has a minimal impact on your lives.
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It’s Difficult To Get Hiv From Casual Contact
Fact. You can’t catch or spread HIV from hugging someone, using the same towel, or sharing the same glass. It’s very rare to get HIV from a blood transfusion — the U.S. blood supply is carefully tested. However, you can get the disease from having unprotected sex, sharing needles, or getting a tattoo from unsterilized equipment.
Caring For An Hiv+ Family Member Or Friend
HIV cannot penetrate healthy skin. In order for it to enter the body, there must be a break in the skin. As a safeguard against contact with blood or body fluids, a person providing care for bleeding wounds should wear disposable gloves. This is a precautionary measure to ensure that the person is not exposed to the virus through tiny cuts in the hands that may be unnoticed.
The infected person should reserve a thermometer for personal use. It should be washed with warm soapy water after each use, soaked in rubbing alcohol for 10 minutes, dried and stored.
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Research And Statistics: How Many People Have Hiv/aids
In 2019, close to 37,000 people were diagnosed with HIV in the United States, according to the latest figures available from the CDC. The annual number decreased by approximately 9 percent between 2015 and 2019.
The CDC further estimates that roughly 1.2 million people in the United States were living with HIV at the end of 2019, and that about 13 percent of those individuals were unaware they were HIV-positive.
Anyone can acquire HIV, but the prevalence of HIV is not the same in all communities and varies depending on social and demographic factors.
Take Care Of Yourself
- If your sexual partner has been diagnosed with HIV, you also need to get tested. If you test negative, talk to your doctor about ways to prevent exposure.
- Until your partners viral load has become undetectable, be careful to avoid any exposure to the virusapart from sexual transmission, you also need to avoid sharing items like toothbrushes, razors, etc. Also, handle any exposed items with gloves.
- Get support if you need it. Sometimes you may need to talk about your own fears and concerns, and a support group can be very helpful in expressing your feelings without feeling guilty.
- Keep healthy. Taking care of your own health will ensure you can be the best support possible for your partner or family member when they need you.
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The Reality Of Discrimination
Experts warn that “addictphobia” has contributed to discrimination against those who were infected with HIV through IV drug use. “Addictphobia” refers to negative beliefs and misconceptions about people who use illegal drugs. Among these false notions are the ideas that addiction is a moral failing and that addicts are unable or unwilling to change. These prejudices have slowed the availability of treatment centers for people who abuse drugs. As a result, people who are HIV-positive, African-American, and use IV drugs often face three stigmas. This heavy burden can increase isolation, anxiety, distress, and depression among those who are HIV-positive.