More and more individuals stricken with HIV – the human immunodeficiency virus – are living longer and stronger than ever before. With PreP and TasP preventive treatments and medications circulating and new findings like Undetectable = Untransmittable, there is much evidence out there that having HIV no longer means having a death sentence.
However, getting infected with HIV is a life-changing event. With access to treatment, that’s life-changing – not life-ending, you can take care of yourself and look forward to years or even decades of good living.
As recently as the late 1980s, infection with HIV usually meant an early death. Within a few years or even a few months of catching the virus, people would develop AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome), a disease that destroys the body’s ability to defend itself from threats including viruses, bacteria, and some types of cancer cells. Today, people with HIV can expect to live just as long (or nearly as long) as anyone. Amazingly, more than half of people who are infected with HIV today will eventually die of something else.
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