What is HIV?
HIV, which is an acronym of Human Immunodeficiency Virus, is serious illness where the virus of HIV puts the immune system at danger, leading to multiple health disorders. Majority of people fail to survive from HIV. HIV happens to be in three stages, where each stage defines the intensity of the disease. Let’s understand the basics, or say, the in depth details related to HIV through the different stages involved in the same.
Life Expectancy with HIV: How Long Can Someone Live With HIV?
The research on HIV, its symptoms and causes has been done since years, and the same is in continuation. As of now there is no cure for HIV or AIDS, but there are medications and treatment which can make the remaining life of the patient easier, and extend the duration of the patient’s life. As, HIV can be distinguished or categorized in three different stages, the life expectancy for different stage is different and also depends upon the infected percentage of your immune system.
As per the statistics reported from 1996-1997, an HIV positive person has a life expectancy of almost 19 years, say if the person has been found infected at the age of 20, he shall live further till he is 39-40 years old. However, there has been an immense inclination found in life expectancy since then, and as reported in the year 2011, the increased life span of 19 years was found to extend up to 53 years, where supposedly if a person is found HIV positive at the age of 20, he can live as long as 73-74 years old.
A HIV positive woman has lesser life expectancy than men, but with the advanced treatment methods, the life expectancy in the current scenario has been increased, where initially it was reported to be around 38 years old and now has been found to extend up to 49 years old. The increase in the life expectancy of a person with HIV has increased thanks to the advanced medicines and treating methods.
The HIV positive people and their life expectancy also depends on their background, with background here we mean the area or the habitat to which they belong. The life expectancy in black people is found to be lesser than the white ones. The statistics have proved, in gay men, the life expectancy has improved from 40 years to 51 years.
There is an age gap of 13.1 years found between HIV-negative life expectancy and HIV-positive. This age gap has not improved since 2011, thus, researchers today are looking for factors so that this age gap may be reduced.
What are the Stages & Symptoms of HIV?
First Stage of HIV: If you are suffering from HIV since 2 to 6 weeks, then it is known as primary HIV infection or acute retroviral syndrome. Symptoms of first stage HIV subside in 1 to 2 weeks and consist of:
Second Stage of HIV: In this stage, the immune system deteriorates. Doctors name this stage as clinical latent period or asymptomatic. Although this is the acute stage in HIV, still people tend to ignore the symptoms found in the second stage, as they hardly notice any change in their body. People, who are in second stage of HIV, may live up to 10 years or more.
Third Stage of HIV: Third and last stage of HIV is AIDS. This stage comes when CD4 in the patient drops below 200. Even in the third stage, people hardly notice the presence of HIV or AIDS in their body, and hence do not consider it important to consult an expert doctor, thus putting their lives in danger. Symptoms of third stage HIV are:
- Unexplained weight loss.
- Night sweats.
- Fever that last more than 10 days.
- Feeling tired all the time.
- Shortness of breath.
- Severe and long lasting diarrhea.
- Yeast infection in your mouth and throat.
- Swollen lymph nodes in the neck.
People, who are at last stage of HIV AIDS, may live up to three years. In other case, if the patient fails to notice the symptoms, and does not consult the doctor at the right time, then the life expectancy may be lesser than 3 years.
Test for HIV
In situations where you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above, you need to consult expert medical practitioners at the right time, as controlling the disease in its initial stage is very important. Do not hesitate to consult, as referring to your doctor is the first thing you need to do; otherwise you are just leading yourself to acute and more severe conditions and that in most cases results in death. HIV test is not a complicated test and does not need much time. It involves taking up blood sample, and sending it to the lab for testing. On the other hand, you can order home HIV test to be done by medical centers that allow home test options. Ordering the HIV test kit online is yet another alternative, which lets you have results in as less as 15 to 20 minutes.