Late Stage Hiv/aids Symptoms
For many years, a diagnosis of HIV and AIDS was panic-inducing. Now, medications are available that can prevent and dramatically slow down the progression of these diseases, allowing people to live more normal lives. However, there is still no cure for HIV and AIDS. As the disease progresses, it may be prudent to consider how you or your loved one would like to be treated later in its development. This guide will help you understand the HIV/AIDS symptoms you might encounter in the later stages of the illness.
How Does Hiv Spread Throughout The Body
HIV cannot reproduce on its own, so it must get into these cells so that it can copy itself.
First, the virus attaches itself to a T-helper cell and fuses with it . It then takes control of the cellâs DNA, makes copies of itself inside the cell, and finally releases more HIV into the blood.
HIV will continue to multiply and spread throughout the body. This is a process called theâ¯HIV lifecycle.
What Impact Does The Virus Have On World Populations
Almost every HIV infected person will eventually develop and die from AIDS, if the virus is untreated. The World Health Organization estimates that 70 million people have been infected with HIV and 35 million people have died of AIDS since the beginning of the pandemic. Currently, about 0.8% of adults between 15 and 49 years of age worldwide are living with HIV. Sub-Saharan Africa continues to be the most affected region, reporting an average of 1 in 20 adults living with HIV. In the United States the widespread availability of medications that treat HIV has meant that many fewer people with HIV progress to AIDS, but in less economically developed parts of the world many people still die of the disease.
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What Happens If You Dont Treat Chronic Hiv Infection
If you donât treat chronic HIV infection, your illness is likely to progress to the third and final stage, AIDS. This usually happens after 10 or more years of chronic HIV infection, though it sometimes happens sooner.
At this point, serious damage to your immune system makes it harder for your body to fight off certain infections and cancers. These âopportunisticâ infections and cancers often happen in people with a weakened immune response.
This is very serious. People with AIDS who donât get treatment typically survive about 3 years. And with AIDS, youâre also more likely to have a high viral load that spreads more easily to sexual partners.
Stage : Asymptomatic Stage
Aside from swollenglands, a person is largely symptomless at this stage and often starts to feelbetter. On average, this asymptomatic stage lasts for around ten years, but canlast up to 15 years. HIV antibodies can now be found in the blood and thereforean HIV test will give a positive result.
HIV is active withinthe lymph nodes at this time, infecting new cells and making copies of itself. Aviral load test measures the small amount of HIV which gets away from the lymphnodes. This information is very important in the treatment of HIV.
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Pronounced Fatigue And Weakness
The weakened state of the immune system and the lack of nutrients can often make people feel extremely tired and weak. They may need frequent breaks when trying to complete daily tasks, and they might not be able to walk for very long before taking another break. This can often be frustrating, particularly for active people who previously enjoyed a greater sense of independence and also the ability to undertake more physical activities.
Early Symptoms In Primary Hiv
The first noticeable stage is primary HIV infection. This stage is also called acute retroviral syndrome , or acute HIV infection.
It usually causes flu-like symptoms, so its possible for someone in this stage to think they have severe flu or another viral illness rather than HIV. Fever is the most common symptom.
Other symptoms include:
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Latency Can Cause A Break In Symptoms
After initial exposure and possible primary infection, HIV may transition to the clinically latent infection stage. Due to a lack of symptoms in some people, this is also referred to as asymptomatic HIV infection.
According to HIV.gov, latency in HIV infection can last up to 10 or 15 years. This means that the virus is replicating much slower than before. But it doesnt mean that HIV is gone, nor does it mean that the virus cant be transmitted to others.
What Are Symptoms Of Hiv
The first symptoms of HIV are called primary or acute HIV infection. These early symptoms usually occur two to four weeks after a person is infected with the virus.
Acute HIV infection symptoms last about 2 weeks and are usually mild. People often dont realize they have HIV at this point. Early symptoms may include:
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What Are The Symptoms Of Hiv And Aids
Within 2 to 4 weeks after infection with HIV, some people may have flu-like symptoms, such as fever, chills, or rash. The symptoms may last for a few days to several weeks. Other possible symptoms of HIV include night sweats, muscle aches, sore throat, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, and mouth ulcers. Having these symptoms do not mean you have HIV. Other illnesses can cause the same symptoms. Some people may not feel sick during early HIV infection . During this earliest stage of HIV infection, the virus multiplies rapidly. After the initial stage of infection, HIV continues to multiply but at very low levels.
More severe symptoms of HIV infection, such as a badly damaged immune system and signs of opportunistic infections, generally do not appear for many years until HIV has advanced to AIDS. People with AIDS have badly damaged immune systems that make them prone to opportunistic infections.
Without treatment with HIV medicines, HIV infection usually advances to AIDS in 10 years or longer, though it may advance faster in some people.
HIV transmission is possible at any stage of HIV infectioneven if a person with HIV has no symptoms of HIV.
How Is Hiv Spread
The spread of HIV from person to person is called HIV transmission. HIV is spread only through certain body fluids from a person who has HIV. These body fluids include:
- Rectal fluids
- Breast milk
HIV transmission is only possible through contact with HIV-infected body fluids. In the United States, HIV is spread mainly by:
- Sharing injection drug equipment , such as needles or syringes, with someone who has HIV
The spread of HIV from a woman with HIV to her child during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding is called perinatal transmission of HIV. For more information, read the HIVinfo fact sheet on Preventing Perinatal Transmission of HIV.
You cannot get HIV by shaking hands or hugging a person who has HIV. You also cannot get HIV from contact with objects, such as dishes, toilet seats, or doorknobs, used by a person with HIV. HIV is not spread through the air or water or by mosquitoes, ticks, or other blood-sucking insects. Use the HIVinfo You Can Safely ShareWith Someone With HIV infographic to spread this message.
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Stage : Acute Hiv Infection
About after HIV enters the body, it can show up as symptoms that last for days or weeks.
During this period, people may experience:
- swollen glands in the throat, groin, or armpits
- sores or ulcers in the mouth or genitals
- nausea, vomiting, or both
This is known as the seroconversion period. Seroconversion is when the body begins to produce antibodies against HIV. This is the bodys natural response to detecting an infection.
In this phase, there tends to be a large amount of HIV in the blood. It replicates rapidly, so the risk of transmitting the virus to others is high.
Not everyone develops symptoms at this stage. Others experience mild flu-like symptoms that largely go unnoticed. This means that people can contract HIV without knowing it, which makes testing very important.
If a person thinks they may have been exposed to HIV, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional for advice and to ask them about a preventive medication called post-exposure prophylaxis .
Healthcare professionals can order tests to check for HIV. can detect the virus after 10 days, while others must be taken 90 days after exposure. People often need to take more than one test to get accurate results.
Stage : Chronic Hiv Infection
In this second phase, HIV is still reproducing at very low levels within the body, and it continues to damage immune cells. People typically do not experience symptoms or get sick from the virus during this stage.
This stage is also known as asymptomatic HIV infection, or clinical latency.
Without medication, the chronic stage of an HIV infection can last for a decade or more. People can still transmit the virus to others during this time.
Antiretroviral therapy slows or stops the progression of HIV. People who take antiretroviral drugs as prescribed may remain in the chronic HIV stage for life and never develop stage 3 HIV.
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Cdc Stages Of Hiv Infection
- Acute retroviral syndrome: This is an illness with symptoms like mononucleosis. It often develops within a few days of infection with HIV, but it also may occur several weeks after the person is infected. The symptoms can range from mild to severe and usually disappear on their own after 2 to 3 weeks. But many people do not have symptoms or they have such mild symptoms that they don’t notice them.
- Stage 1 : There are no AIDS-related conditions AND the CD4+ cell count is at least 500 cells per microlitre or the percent of CD4+ cells is at least 29% of all lymphocytes.
- Stage 2 : There are no AIDS-related conditions AND the CD4+ cell count is 200 to 499 or the percent of CD4+ cells is 14% to 28% of all lymphocytes.
- Stage 3 : The CD4+ cell count is lower than 200, the percent of CD4+ cells is less than 14% of all lymphocytes, or an AIDS-related condition is present.
In general, the higher the CD4+ count, the less likely it is that opportunistic diseases will occur. Most people who have untreated HIV experience a gradual drop in the number of CD4+ cells. Each person responds uniquely to this decline.
What Is Hiv And Aids
HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus, which is the virus that causes HIV infection. The abbreviation HIV can refer to the virus or to HIV infection.
AIDS stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. AIDS is the most advanced stage of HIV infection.
HIV attacks and destroys the infection-fighting CD4 cells of the immune system. The loss of CD4 cells makes it difficult for the body to fight off infections and certain cancers. Without treatment, HIV can gradually destroy the immune system and HIV infection advances to AIDS.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Chronic Hiv Infection
The first possible symptoms of HIV infection may develop within 2-4 weeks after youâre exposed to the virus. You might notice flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, and rashes. Or you could have no symptoms at all.
In this first stage of HIV/AIDS the virus reproduces itself very quickly and spreads all over your body. This makes the virus especially easy to transmit to others through sexual contact. The virus starts to destroy infection-fighting cells in your immune system called CD4 T cells, or sometimes just âT cells.â
Once you reach the second stage of HIV/AIDS — chronic HIV infection — the virus has started to reproduce at a far slower pace. Even without treatment, many people in this stage donât notice any HIV-related symptoms for 10 years or more. Thatâs why some doctors also call it âasymptomatic HIV infectionâ or âclinical latency.â
Still, in some cases, you might get mild infections with symptoms like:
- Weight loss
- Oral yeast infection
Whether you have symptoms or not, without treatment, HIV continues to take a relentless toll on your immune system. Your HIV levels go slowly up and your CD4 levels go slowly down until the illness progresses to the most serious stage: AIDS.
Treatment during these early stages of the illness can have huge health benefits, especially with an approach known as antiretroviral therapy, or ART.
Stage : Seroconversion Illness
The primaryinfection stage only lasts for a number of weeks, during which the person maysuffer from flu-like symptoms such as fever, upset stomach, sore throat ormuscle pain. About one fifth of people would suffer enough to see a doctor butHIV is rarely diagnosed on this alone.
At this point, the immune system is starting to react to the virus by producing HIV antibodies and cytotoxic lymphocytes a process known as seroconversion. A third generation HIV test carried out before this process is complete may be negative or inconclusive.
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Howcan I Test For Hiv
It is entirely yourchoice whether you test for HIV on its own, or as part of a screen in combination with othersexually transmitted infections . Testing for several STIs provides amore complete view of your current sexual health.
Better2Know providesvarious HIV tests which can be taken at different times, depending on how longhas passed after your last incident of concern.
Our HIV testingoptions include:
- 28-Day HIV DUO Test this test is extremelyaccurate at 28 days and is recommended by the UKs HIV testing guidelines.
- 28-Day 5th Generation HIVTest thisadvanced test distinguishes between the three markers of HIV and will tell you which you have tested positive for.
- 10-Day HIV RNA PCR Test this test can be taken 10days after an incident of concern, providing the earliest possible indicationof an HIV infection.
- Instant HIV Test available at 26 days, thistest will provide results within 20 minutes at your appointment.
You may decide to testfor HIV as part of a Better2Know screen, in combination with other STIs.Testing for several infections, our screens are designed to provide total peaceof mind surrounding your sexual health.
Our HIV screeningoptions include:
Stages Of Hiv Infection
Stages of Infection
There are four stages of HIV and as with all illnesses, how it progresses, how long it takes and the affect it has on the individual depends on a number of factors for example, general health, lifestyle, diet etc.
Stage 1: Infection
HIV quickly replicates in the body after infection. Some people develop short lived flu-like symptoms for example, headaches, fever, sore throat and a rash within days to weeks after infection. During this time the immune system reacts to the virus by developing antibodies this is referred to as sero-conversion.
As the name suggests, this stage of HIV infection does not cause outward signs or symptoms. A person may look and feel well but HIV is continuing to weaken their immune system. This stage may last several years and without a HIV test many people do not know they are infected.
Over time the immune system becomes damaged and weakened by HIV and symptoms develop. Initially they can be mild but they do worsen, symptoms include fatigue, weight loss, mouth ulcers, thrush and severe diarrhoea. The symptoms are caused by the emergence of opportunistic infections they are referred to as opportunistic infections because they take advantage of a persons weakened immune system. Some examples of opportunistic infections are PCP, toxoplasmosis, TB and kaposi sarcoma.
Stage 4:AIDS/Progression of HIV to AIDS
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The Four Stages Of Hiv Explained
Although there is no cure for HIV, early detection and effective treatment can enable a person with HIV to lead a normal life. However, if HIV is left untreated, it can advance through four serious stages. Therefore, it is important to get tested for HIV if you are concerned that you may have been at risk.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus attacks a persons immunesystem, impacting their ability to fight diseases and infections. Therefore, withouttreatment, HIV can be life-threatening. The early signs and symptoms of HIV vary from person-to-personand can easily be mistaken for other illnesses. Testing for HIV regularly helpsto minimise the long-term health consequences that HIV can have.
If left untreated,HIV usually progresses through four stages. With access to treatment, mostpeople with HIV will remain healthy and will never experience the late stage.This does depend on how early HIV was detected and how well a person respondsto treatment, amongst other lifestyle factors.
Clinical Latency Stage Of Hiv Infection
The symptoms during ARS may last for a few weeks, according to the National Institutes of Health.
After this point, the infection progresses to the clinical latency stage, a period during which the virus reproduces at very low levels, but it is still active.
Also known as asymptomatic HIV infection or chronic HIV infection, the clinical latency stage typically causes no HIV-related symptoms.
For people who are not taking any anti-retroviral medication for their infection, the clinical latency stage lasts for 10 years, on average, but it may progress quicker.
ART, though, can keep the virus from growing and multiplying, prolonging the clinical latency state for several decades.
It’s important to note that people living with HIV in the clinical latency stage are contagious and can still transmit the virus to other people. But, as the CDC notes, people who take ART exactly as prescribed and maintain an undetectable viral load have effectively no risk of transmitting HIV to their HIV negative-partner through sex.
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