Q and A


My parents have just been diagnosed HIV positive

My father is in his 50s recently tested positive for AIDS (CD4 is 23) and is on treatment (Bikvarty). Seems he contracted it 6 years ago.

My mother also tested positive but we do not know her numbers yet as she has not had an appointment yet. She would have been exposed 5years ago. She plans to start treatment ASAP.

Is there hope for them? I am very worried. My children love their grandparents very dearly.

Thank you in advance for your reply!



Thanks for your email and for letting us post the answer online.

I am sorry to hear about your parents being diagnosed HIV positive but there are lots of reasons to be hopeful and positive.

Firstly, now they know their HIV status, they can benefit from treatment (ART). This is highly effective, even after a late diagnosis.

Although there isn’t a test to know how long someone has been HIV positive, your father’s low CD4 count makes it possible that he has been positive for at least several years. It is good that he is now on treatment which should help his CD4 count to steadily increase to a stronger level.

It is good that your mother also starts ART, whatever her own CD4 count and viral load is.

Now both your parents are receiving care there are lots of reasons to be hopeful. ART starts to work from the very first pill and viral load should quickly become undetectable, often within the first month. This lets the immune system become stronger again.

So long as your parents are careful to take daily treatment, they should have both a good life and good quality of life.

People starting ART with a CD4 count less than 50 has a slightly higher risk of new infections over the first few months. Their doctor needs to know about any new symptoms.

There is more information in this online Introduction to ART:


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