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. kevin

    I’m only 30 years old and I’m HIV positive. I found out three months ago.I have being given ARV but still now I have not started medication. I’m healthy but I keep on reducing weight.Kindly advise me..

  2. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Kevin,

    There are many reasons why you could be losing weight, given that your diagnoses is new it may be due to stress. Without knowing more about you, I really can’t say.

    With regards to the ARVs. If you want to control your HIV, you will need to take your medication. If you don’t your CD4 will drop and your viral load will rise. For more info about starting meds, please see here:


  3. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Thando,

    If you let me know where you live, I’ll see if I can find a support group for you.

  4. Thando

    Going throughout the posts usually help me when am feeling stressed and knowing that I am not the only one in this world
    But i’d appreciate it if only I can get someone to talk to because they people I was relying on are now not talking to me anymore..
    One counsellor’s wife thought i want his husband lol and I mean the husband is very old he was just helpeing me keep it together by telling me what i need to know aboyt the virus
    And another one has went AWOL so i was wondering if it’s possible for you to refer me to someone?
    Or if someone is not ashamed he/she can leave his/her e-mail address
    Cause I feel like i am still ashamed and I need to talk to someone who’s on the same situation as Me

  5. Deepak

    Plz help,
    I had unprotected sex with unknown girl.Only few seconds vaginal sex.After 12 days 2,3 rashes noticed on my chest.Feeling not well due to anxiaty and tension.What i can do in this situation.Plz help me

  6. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Snowy,

    ARVs in India are free. Therefore, you sister should be getting these for free. Her TB medication should also be free. Is she currently on medication for her HIV? If she is what is she taking? Do you know what her CD4 count is?

    Is she attending a clinic at the moment? Does she have any other health problems?

  7. Snowy

    I’m from south India my sis got infected from her husband n now he is no more n she is suffering from HIV n recently got TB positive …. My sis thought is very small n she don’t want to share to our relative …now here my family is facing that problem … We have financial problem so is there any help care for HIV patient We really need help to check up in good hospital …

  8. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Sammy,

    Because you’re pregnant its very important that you start ARVs and as soon as possible. If you don’t use ARVs you risk transmitting HIV to your baby. For more about this please see here:


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