IN THIS ARTICLE
What Is the Prognosis for HIV/AIDS?
There is no cure for HIV infection. Before there were treatments for the virus, people with AIDS lived only for a couple of years. Fortunately, medications have substantially improved the outlook and survival rates. Prevention efforts have reduced HIV infection in young children and have the potential to limit new infections in other populations.
ART extends the average life expectancy, and many people with HIV can expect to live for decades with proper treatment. An increasing number have a normal life expectancy if they adhere carefully to medication regimens. Medications help the immune system recover and fight infections and prevent cancers from occurring. If ART is not taken regularly and doses are missed, the virus may become resistant, and the manifestations of AIDS may develop.
Drugs used to treat HIV and AIDS do not eliminate the infection. Although effective ART reduces the risk of transmitting HIV, it is important for the person to remember that he or she is still contagious even when receiving effective treatment. Intensive research efforts are being focused on developing new and better treatments. Although currently there is no promising vaccine, work continues on this front.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/31/2017
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