Long Term Diagnosed
HIV medication is very effective and if you were diagnosed before your immune system became too damaged you can expect your life expectancy to be almost the same as it would be without the virus.
We have come a long way from the 1980s and 1990s and HIV is now a manageable, long-term condition. The latest studies suggest that if you are diagnosed with HIV at the age of 20, and you remain healthy and follow a prescribed drug regimen to keep your CD4 count at the highest possible level, your life expectancy will barely be affected. This also means that you will need to consider how to manage your health into your old age, as you learn to live with the inevitable effects of ageing in addition to being HIV positive.
There are many steps that you can take to stay healthy with HIV. Besides finding the right combination of medication, people who live long-term with HIV adopt an all-round healthy lifestyle. A good state of mental health will keep your stress levels low and allow you to pursue a fulfilling, happy life.
If you're struggling with depression or anxiety, seek the help of a psychiatrist or a local HIV services organisation for counselling. If you haven't yet started taking any kind of drugs for HIV, a healthy diet and a regular exercise are important to keep your immune system strong. Then when the time comes to start your medication, you will be in a great position for your body to handle it.