Q and A

Question

Can I really have a normal life expectancy?

I’ve been reading posts and articles from i-base since I was diagnosed 11 months ago. Thank you so much for providing this platform. My question is about longevity. All health care professionals say that it is possible to live a full life with HIV but how realistic is that? And if it is possible why are there still people who are dying daily from the disease (I live in South Africa)? My biggest fear as well is to look symptomatic, I take my medication daily, I go to gym and I eat healthy often. I’m only 27yrs old and this has become my biggest fear realized. I have a daughter to live for I don\'t want to die and leave her without a mother. My family doesn’t know about my status, I’m just so ashamed.

Answer

Thanks for getting in touch.

Though HIV is a very stigmatized health condition, you have nothing to feel ashamed about. Your condition is very manageable and if you’re on treatment and your viral load is undetectable you cannot transmit HIV through sexual intercourse.

With regards to life expectancy, its common to worry about this. However, HIV is now a very treatable condition, so yes you can expect to have a similar life expectancy to what you would have had, had you not become positive. For more please see Q10 here:

http://i-base.info/qa/what-are-the-most-asked-questions

People who die from HIV will be people who have been diagnosed with a very low CD4 and people who’ve acquired other infections.

14 comments

  1. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Danny, Sorry, it sounds tough at the moment. But you need to have a test to confirm your rapid test result. It’s good that you are ready to move on with life. Can you find support in the country where you live? There’s a question answered here that links to Muslim organisations in the UK and in South Africa.

  2. Danny

    I just diagnosed my hiv status to be positive. Im using rapid hiv test kit. And a faint line appear on test line while a dark line appear on control line. So i assume that i have hiv since a my condition no very well. Bcs i have a few symptoms of hiv. So now i am move on with life trying to accept it with open hearts. My parents doesn’t know abt this since im a bit ashamed of my self to tell them abt this. Iam 20 yrs old and still young. Sometimes iam thinking about how my future gonna be. Its a bit hard since im still studying my degree. But i have a few questions. 1. If i go to the government clinic to run for blood test , are they going to recorded the result permanently on my health history. 2. If i want to do a treatment which hospital should i go whether private or government? 3. Am i able to get married soon if i have hiv bcs as a muslim we have to run a test hiv at government hospital before the married process so they could obtaining my results.

  3. Roy Trevelion

    Hi PN,
    Yes – of course you can get married! There’s good news from Lisa’s reply above, “Your condition is very manageable and if you’re on treatment and your viral load is undetectable you cannot transmit HIV through sexual intercourse.”

  4. PN

    am single and am on second line can i marry get married?

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