General Question

silky1's avatar

What is the overall outlook for someone who has the HIV virus and now has been diagnosed with terminal cirrhosis of the liver?

Asked by silky1 (1500 points ) April 15th, 2011

Life expectancy.

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12 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

Well, the cirrhosis is not good. Are they on the transplant list? Do you know if they were graded? I think cirrhosis is either A B or C? C being the worst? I might be confusing it with something else. I think the problem is it can’t be reversed, but if caught early one can stop its progression and live a long time. Caught late, a severe case, would mean a transplant is necessary to survive. Only a personal physician would know how far along the disease is.

I don’t know if HIV makes the liver problem worse directly. HIV cuts down a persons immunity as it progresses, and superinfections and cancers are not faught well by the body so they can get out of control. Any weakness can lead to a downward spiral if the fighter cells are in low numbers. Many of the new drugs are very effective for HIV. I have friends who have lived for years and years with HIV.

filmfann's avatar

A friend of mine died last week from a heart attack.
3 years ago, the doctors told him he had 5 months to live, due to lung cancer that was inoperable.
So, he beat their prediction by over 2½ years, and didn’t even die by what they thought was gonna kill him.

Don’t put any faith into any predictions. Tell your friend to be healthy, and fight.

Judi's avatar

the operative word here is “Terminal.” I am sorry ;-(

JLeslie's avatar

@Judi I guess that makes sense. I had not really latched on to the word terminal. :( Does that typically mean weeks? Months?

Judi's avatar

It means that tehy are not looking at a transplant. My mom was diagnosed with cirrosis and liver cancer and died less than 6 weeks later. I’m sure others last longer, but if it were treatable the doctor would have used that word instead of terminal (I would guess.)

JLeslie's avatar

@Judi I see. I wonder if being HIV positive means they cannot be a candidate for transplant? Very sad.

YoBob's avatar

Here’s the bottom line.

All of us have an expiration date and nobody knows when that is. Life is a terminal condition. So… you can either sit around worrying about how many years/months/days/hours you have left or go out and enjoy the life you have right now. The harsh reality is you might outlive any of us.

prolificus's avatar

I’ve a friend who’s had HIV and has lived a decade plus past expectancy doctors gave him. I’ve an uncle who has end stage cirrosis of the liver. He was expected to die two years ago. I had an aunt who overcame a stroke and bunch of other ailments, only to die in her sleep after getting over the flu.

@YoBob is right… Enjoy the life you have now.

Seelix's avatar

Sadly, I would think that being HIV positive may affect a person’s status as eligible/not eligible for transplant… I can see how doctors may want to give an available liver to someone who is otherwise healthy. It’s sad, and wrong, but possible (maybe even probable).

I’m sorry to hear that someone you know is going through this (I don’t know whether it’s your situation or the situation of a loved one).

SpatzieLover's avatar

Terminal cirrhosis is in some ways much worse than the HIV. Infections are something the person would have to attempt to avoid.

However, I am no expert…My guess would be that the pills to keep said patient from developing AIDS, may have had an impact on the liver function. The meds were necessary to fight the HIV.

I do know that HIV can affect liver and kidney function. This may be an indicator that the has AIDS, or will soon.

People can and have lived with full blown AIDS for many years past the “expected” dates given by doctors.

cazzie's avatar

The liver problems could have come from other things. Often HIV patients have forms of Hepatitis. They won’t be eligible for a transplant. From http://www.emedicinehealth.com/liver_transplant/article_em.htm

Who may not be given a liver: A person who needs a liver transplant may not qualify for one because of the following reasons:

Active alcohol or substance abuse: Persons with active alcohol or substance abuse problems may continue living the unhealthy lifestyle that contributed to their liver damage. Transplantation would only result in failure of the newly transplanted liver.

Cancer: Cancers in locations other than just the liver weigh against a transplant.

Advanced heart and lung disease: These conditions prevent a transplanted liver from surviving.

Severe infection: Such infections are a threat to a successful procedure.

Massive liver failure: This type of liver failure accompanied by associated brain injury from increased fluid in brain tissue rules against a liver transplant.

HIV infection

I am so sorry. It will be terminal. People suffering from this liver disease can live for quite a while and are often sent home with nursing care coming in. It’s horrible. With the added HIV, perhaps the trip will be quicker if infections create breathing difficulties and the patient can be kept in the hospital.

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