People with HIV who commence treatment early and who maintain effective control of their HIV viral load have a life expectancy no different from the general population. This has been clearly demonstrated in large studies of people in high income countries with access to best practice HIV clinical care.

However, HIV infection could still damage the immune system. HIV potentially causes premature ageing of the immune system, which means there may be at risk of disease at an earlier age or at slightly increased rates compared to the general population.

Potential health issues may include cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic kidney disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, frailty, and neurocognitive deficits.