As of 2015, a person that is HIV positive has a lifespan length of more than 15 years, according to Healthline. New medications helping to prolong the life expectancy for HIV-positive individuals contributes to this lengthy lifespan.
The human immunodeficiency virus, or, HIV, destroys immune cells and makes the immune system weak, explains Healthline. The body struggles with fighting off infections when the immune system is vulnerable, and these infections can cause death by continuing to damage a weak immune system. Most HIV-positive patients die from another health reason rather than from the virus itself. Additionally, early detection methods help to improve the amount of time an HIV-positive individual lives in comparison to previous discoveries, when infected patients had a life expectancy of about a decade. In the past, HIV-infected individuals developed AIDS within a decade and died within two years of getting AIDS.