Not so long ago, it was pure fantasy to imagine that someone with HIV could live to a ripe old age. But today that’s exactly what researchers are beginning to suggest. At least one credible study makes the case that people with the virus can live as long — and in some cases longer — than their HIV negative counterparts.
The study took a look at nearly 23,000 people with HIV who were taking the medication, in the U.S. and Canada, spanning 2000 to 2007. It found that, among certain subgroups, estimated life span was equal or greater than the general population.
The devil is in the details, of course. The same social and economic barriers that affect most every other aspect of life also affects the longevity of people with HIV.
But we’re taking this as a very, very good sign, so let’s keep up the good work boys, and let’s keep looking for ways we can get similar results for all poz folks rather than just the most fortunate among us.
Here are five reasons HIV positive guys are living longer…
1. The sooner you know, the better.
You can’t do a damn thing about your HIV if you don’t know you have it. Those who get tested regularly and identify their HIV infection early on are in a much better position to address it successfully.
Speaking of which.
2. Early treatment is the biggest factor in living a normal life span.
The study found that the group who did best started HIV treatment before their t-cells fell below 350. This t-cell number has become a common marker for when to begin taking medications, but not everyone strictly follows it. The men studied who did start treatment with higher t-cells have a life expectancy of 75 years overall, which is equal to the national average for men.
Gay men who started treatment early got two bonus years, with an average life expectancy of 77 years. That’s over the national average for men.