Q and A


My viral load is undetectable and I am worried about my life expectancy?

I was tested in December 2011 and my CD4 count was 245 (with no indicators of any illness). What is my life expectancy? I have started my therapy on January and on may my PCR was undetectable. My first line therapy is Aluvia (lopinavir/ritonavir) and Combivir.

I am 100% dedicated to therapy.

Best regards


Thanks for posting a question  and allowing us to post the answer online.

It is great that you have had such a good response to treatment, and also that you are committed to treatment.

As long as you continue to be careful taking your meds, your viral load should stay undetectable. This means that you can continue to use the same treatment for many years. The only reason to change would be if you get side effects to these drugs, in which case you could switch to alternatives.

Several research group have looked at the impact of treatment on life expectancy. For people recently diagnosed this gets pretty close to that of an HIV negative person.

For example, one study predicted that a 25 year old diagnosed today with access to treatment could have an average life expectancy of over 70.

You didn’t say how old you are, but you were only diagnosed recently, so it is common to still worry about this. As you get used to dealing with this new aspect of your life, you will realise that the treatment will last for a long time, and that it is good to get back to planning other things you want to do.

Over the long run, this also makes it important to look at other life style factor that affect your health, such as smoking, staying active and eating a healthy diet.

Please let us know if we can help further, or again in the future.


  1. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Russel,

    Many thanks. Great news indeed.

  2. Russel

    Great news guys


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