Q and A


How long can someone live with HIV?

How long can a man live with HIV if he was around 18 years old and was healthy when he was infected, both with and without medication?


This is a very good question, but no-one can predict how long another person will live.

Many issues that need to be taken into account and yet you still will only get a guess for an average age. These include socioeconomic factors, which country you live in, income, lifestyle (alcohol, drugs, tobacco, exercise and diet), access to health care, other infections like hepatitis, genetics and chance – good or bad luck.

However, there was a good study published in the Lancet, in the 26 July 2008 issue, that looked at life expectancy for HIV positive people. It provided robust and compelling results from a large cohort of HIV positive people from developed countries, that life expectancy is very good, and near to an HIV-negative person.

They reported that a 20-year-old individual starting HAART could expect to live for another 43 years on average. A 35-year-old could expect 32 more years of life. One of the comments by an Australian scientist was

Information on this website is provided by treatment advocates and offered as a guide only. Decisions about your treatment should always be taken in consultation with your doctor.


  1. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Jsimine,

    If you’ve been testing negative, then you will be negative. The only reason why you would need to test again is if you and your husband have had unprotected sex since your last test. However, if he’s on treatment then this is a form of protection. Please see the results of the PARTNER study:


    If you’re husband isn’t on treatment then you may be at risk. However, because his CD4 is below 200 he should be on meds. The reasons for why its important that he’s on meds are given here:


  2. jsimine

    My husband is positive with a CD4 of 163. I’m negative. I’ve already had blood test done three time in two months. They are always negative. Do I need to test again?

  3. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Klipgal,

    I’m sorry to hear that you’ve just been diagnosed. How are you doing?
    As your 6 months pregnant its important that you start taking ARVs. These are drugs that are used to help control your HIV. Was this discussed yesterday? Taking ARVs will help you. They also reduce the risk of transmission to your baby.

    Many women who find out that they are positive late in pregnancy, still have negative children. It is though, like I said important that you are on ARVs. For more information about HIV and pregnancy, please see here:


    Good luck and if you need any more info, please do contact us.

  4. Klipgal

    I went to the clinic yesterday for my pregnancy of 6 months. I tested positive. What is the danger to my baby?

  5. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Nunu,

    How long you can live without taking ARVs will depend from person to person. If you are living with HIV, then it is important to take ARVs. It is the taking of ARVs that will help you live a near to normal life.

  6. Nunu

    How long do live if you are not taking ARVs

  7. Hi Ashok, there is definitely HIV treatment in Nepal. HAART and ART are the same thing. ART is the more modern way to refer to HIV treatemnt.

  8. Ashok

    I am HIV positive male of 32 years from nepal. Is there Haart treatment available in nepal or only Art available?

  9. Hi Babaj

    HIV treatment needs to include three different drugs.

    Tencitab includes two drugs – tenofovir plus emtricitabine. The other medicine includes three – the same two in Tencitab plus efavirenz.

    You only need to take the clinic med with three drugs. Do not take Tenitab as well.

    The side effects you are getting are linked to the efavirenz but should get better soon. Are you taking this medicine at night before you slepp?

    See this link for more information.

    Please talk to your doctor about all these things.

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