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 Micherine,
    Different countries around the world can recommend different HIV meds. But you can see from this guide that the best combination is the one that suits you as an individual. So it depends on individual aspects of your medical history and your choice. You can talk to your doctor about your choice of treatment and find out what meds are available to you.

  2. micherine

    like which plz?

  3. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Micherine,
    Aluvia+Combivir look like they are working well. But there are more modern HIV meds that are easier to take and just as effective. Can you ask at the clinic if you could switch to modern HIV treatment (ART)?

  4. micherine

    am taking Alluvia+Combivir

  5. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Micherine,
    The answer above says: 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.
    Your HIV treatment looks like it’s working well. Your CD4 count is strong and viral load is undetectable. So it looks great. What meds are you taking?

  6. micherine

    I am 21 an in Cameroon I was tested positive in February 2016 with Cd4 of 342 ,in November I had cd4 630,and in January 2018 I was seen as undetectable .I want to know my life expectancy and am also single and need a man in my life

  7. Rebecca McDowall

    Hi Dragan,
    A viral load of 35 and of 0 would be seen as the same thing. This is because viral load testing isn’t accurate enough give us exact results. Anything under 50 is called ‘undetectable’. Your CD4 count increase is very good and these are great responses to treatment. For a detailed explanation of how viral load testing works please see our treatment training manual.

  8. Dragan

    Today I received my new result and CD4 is 441, and PCR 35 (last time CD4 was 367 and PCR 0). Therapy is aluvia+combivir). Is it possible to have increasing in CD4 and PCR at the same time. Doctor told me that it is no time for changing therapy and that it is common to have situation like this when you have increasing in CD4 (I don’t think so).
    Plaese, can you give me some advice…

  9. Simon Collins

    Hey – your results are great – why are you worried?

    The steady increase in your CD4 count is perfect and you are now over 350.

    Your viral load is undetectable and so can’t get any better.

    Continue to be good at not missing doses though.

  10. Dragan

    I am 35 years old, and today I received my CD 4 results and it is 367.
    In Decembar 2011 it was 245 (no signs of any illness). I have started with my therapy on January 10th this year (Aluvia+Combivir). My viral load is “undetectable” (since May 2012). Are this results good enough? I am not completely satisfied….Can you give me some information on this? Thank you.


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