Q and A


Can I have the same life expectancy as hiv negative person?


If I adhere to my drugs, maintain a high CD4 count and CD4%, plus undetectable viral load, can I have the same life expectancy as an HIV negative person?


Being HIV positive does not mean that your life will necessarily be shorter than somebody who is HIV negative. Several studies have reported that life expectancy is very close, with perhaps another 50 years for someone diagnosed now with HIV in their 20s.

HIV treatment is one of the most effective treatments that are available, when compared to many other illnesses.  Newer generations of HIV drugs have fewer side effects and also lessen pill burden. The survival rate has increase many folds over the years and it will continue to do so.

Estimating life expectancy for an individual is not possible. These are studies based on average results. Another study from Europe estimated that an individual diagnosed in his/her 20s with HIV, who starts appropriate treatment at the appropriate time, would have a life span that stretches into their late 50s early 60s. The estimates of life expectancy with HIV continue to rise each year.

We get many questions similar to yours they are available at the Q&A section.

Good luck and all the best.


  1. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Sunny,

    Did you mean unprotected sex? You have a strong CD4 count and your CD4:CD8 ratio is within the normal range for people who are HIV negative.

    However, it’s a good idea to talk to the doctor about your symptoms and ask for a diagnosis.

  2. Sunny

    Hi , I had a protected sex with a prostitute 1.5 year ago . Now I have some symptom like skin rashes, tiredness, joint pain , eye floater and tinnitus . I am very worried now . I had done the CD4 count now and it is 1257 and CD8/CD4 ratio is 1.54. I am sacred of going for HIV test . I had done the hepatitis b,c and FTA test and all are negative. Please advice.

  3. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Rasal,

    Info about life expectancy can be found here:


    HIV is now a very manageable health condition and one that is easily treated.

  4. Rasal

    What’s it like living with HIV today. Can you survive?

  5. Dink

    According to an article published in the 15 May 2014 issue of the peer reviewed journal AIDS (London, England) “Impact on life expectancy of HIV-1 positive individuals of CD4+ cell count and viral load response to antiretroviral therapy” the answer to the question is yes. The conclusion reached by the authors was “Successfully treated HIV-positive individuals have a normal life expectancy. ” A high CD4 count and undetectable viral load are indicative of successful treatment.

    The article can be accessed at:

  6. Simon Collins

    Several recent studies have modelled life expectancy to be almost the same for HIV positive and HIV negative people. Both average out to around 80 year old with only a few months difference based on HIV status.

    But for the general population, there is a wide range for life expectancy and 80 is just an average. A recent life expectancy study predicted that soon 10% of the general population might life to reach 100.

    These studies often are based on assumptions that someone has an uncomplicated medical history. For example that hepatitis or TB coinfection is not a problem.

    Other studies report real life differences comparing HIV positive to HIV negative people. These usually recognise that HIV positive people as a population group have higher risk for other health complications. One easy example is that the percentage of HIV positive people who smoke is higher than the percentage of smokers in the general population. The same is probably true for alcohol use, recreational drug use, hepatitis coinfection and TB coinfection.

    Many of these risks include modifiable factors where an individual can influence their risk of later health complications.

    So please don’t take these studies as limiting your life. Historically, since the introduction of treatment, life expectancy studies have each year become more optimistic, and this is likely to continue.

    See this study for more information:

    May M et al. Impact of late diagnosis and treatment on life expectancy in people with HIV-1: UK Collaborative HIV Cohort (UK CHIC) study. BMJ 343, doi: 10.1136/bmj.d6016, 2011.

  7. Andrew

    Retirement age in the Uk would not be reached.
    I would estimate that most people would hope to achieve early to late 70s?
    Could this age be achieved as a positive or is it still unknown due to relatively recent effective antiretoviral discovery and at present not much current patient long term survival experience.?

  8. Andrew

    Late 50s or early 60s does not seem to be a very long lifespan?


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