for Veterans and the Public
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How long can people infected with HIV expect to live?
In the early days of the epidemic, the answer would have been simple--and hard to take. After becoming infected with HIV, people could expect to get AIDS within about 10 years, and then live only 1 to 2 years more.
But things have changed dramatically since then. We have excellent treatments for HIV, and people who are able to start them before their immune system declines significantly and take them as prescribed generally do very well. We have good tests to monitor how well treatment is working against the virus, and to help choose a new treatment if an old one stops working. With proper medical care, most people with HIV can expect to have good health and to live long lives.