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?


Modern HIV drugs mean that life expectancy is now similar for HIV positive people to the general population.

This is based on being diagnosed early and having access to treatment.

The wide range of factors related to life expectancy include: where you live, your income, access to health care, lifestyle (alcohol, drugs, tobacco, exercise and diet) and other infections like hepatitis, genetics and chance – good or bad luck.

Several large studies have been published showing that life expectancy for HIV positive people is very good, and near to an HIV negative person.

Without treatment, HIV will slowly progress in nearly everyone. This speed that HIV progresses varies from a few years to more than 20 years.

Note: this answer was updated in January 2018 from a question posted in August 2008..


  1. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Clement,

    Do you mean someone who cannot, or is struggling to come to terms with their status?

  2. clement

    How do you deal with someone who is at a denial stage

  3. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Esther,
    Please ask your doctor to look at your skin and check that this is not a serious reaction to your meds.

    Some HIV meds can cause dry skin and pigment changes. You can ask if there are other meds you can take.

    Here is the i-Base guide to skin rash with tips on how to treat and soothe your skin.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *