What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Hiv And Aids
When first infected with HIV, a person may have:
- increased number of infections
- infections that are more severe than is typical
Without treatment, HIV can lead to a very weakened immune system and progress to AIDS. Illnesses that happen in AIDS are called “AIDS-defining conditions.”
AIDS-defining conditions include:
- very fast and severe weight loss
- a lung infection called pneumocystis pneumonia
- Kaposi sarcoma
What Is Usually The First Sign Of Hiv
- Swollen lymph nodes: Lymph nodes are a part of the bodys immune system that helps get rid of bacteria and viruses. An HIV infection, like many other infections, can cause the inflammation of lymph nodes, which can be felt as round or nodular swellings in the armpit, groin, and neck. The swelling is often associated with aches and pains in these areas.
Aids Is The Final Stage
Controlling HIV with medications is crucial to both maintaining quality of life and helping prevent progression of the disease. Stage 3 HIV, also known as AIDS, develops when HIV has significantly weakened the immune system.
According to the CDC National Prevention Information Network, CD4 levels give one indication that HIV has progressed to its final stage. CD4 levels decreasing below 200 cells per cubic millimeter of blood is considered a sign of AIDS. A normal range is considered 500 to 1,600 cells/mm3.
AIDS can be diagnosed with a blood test to measure CD4. Sometimes its also determined simply by a persons overall health. In particular, an infection thats rare in people who dont have HIV may indicate AIDS. Symptoms of AIDS include:
- persistent high fevers of over 100°F
AIDS is the final stage of HIV. According to AIDSinfo, it takes at least 10 years without treatment for most people with HIV to develop AIDS.
At that point, the body is susceptible to a wide range of infections and cant effectively fight them off. Medical intervention is necessary to treat AIDS-related illnesses or complications that can otherwise be fatal. Without treatments, the CDC estimates the average survival rate to be three years once AIDS is diagnosed. Depending on the severity of their condition, a persons outlook may be significantly shorter.
Read Also: Can You Get Hiv From Sweat
Stage : Asymptomatic Infection
This stage comes after the acute infection stage and is commonly called the clinical latency, chronic, or asymptomatic infection stage. At this stage of HIV, most of the earlier symptoms of the condition fade, and a person might start to feel better.
This stage can last for up to 10 years or even longer. But even though a person might not be showing symptoms at this stage, the virus is still active and spreading.
At this stage of the virus, a blood test will be able to indicate how active the virus is and how much of an effect it’s having on your immune system. A person at this stage is also infectious. If the condition goes untreated, it will continue to progress, damaging the immune system.
What Is The Hiv Prognosis If Not Treated
If untreated, HIV infection will progress to AIDS and the mortality rate is 90 percent. Though it cannot be cured, with appropriate treatment and precautions, patients can live up to a normal life expectancy .
The cause of death in HIV is usually due to serious complications from unusual opportunistic infections because of a weakened immune system or side effects of antiviral therapy.
Read Also: Can You Get Hiv From Trying On Clothes
Who Is At Risk For Hiv Infection
Anyone can get HIV, but certain groups have a higher risk of getting it:
- People who have another sexually transmitted disease . Having an STD can increase your risk of getting or spreading HIV.
- People who inject drugs with shared needles
- Gay and bisexual men, especially those who are Black/African American or Hispanic/Latino American
- People who engage in risky sexual behaviors, such as not using condoms
The 3 Stages Of Hiv And How It Can Develop Into Aids
- The first stage of is called acute HIV and causes flu-like symptoms like fever, chills, and fatigue.
- During stage two of HIV, symptoms subside and you may even start to feel better.
- In the last stage of HIV, called AIDS , the immune system becomes severely damaged and the body has trouble defending itself against infections.
HIV presents in three stages. It starts with flu-like symptoms and can progress to severely damage your immune system if left untreated.
Here’s what you should know about the stages and symptoms of HIV and how to navigate testing and treatment.
Important: HIV is a rare yet serious infection. You may be at an increased risk if you frequently have unprotected sex with multiple partners or share needles.
Don’t Miss: When Will Cure For Hiv Be Found
How To Delay The Progression Of Hiv To Aids
How does HIV turn into AIDS? Is it possible to delay the process? Yes. There is currently no cure for AIDS, but the condition can be delayed to give the person a longer period of good health. Each class of the medications works differently to control the virus. It is advisable to use a combination of three drugs from two classes.
- Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors . This class includes drugs like efavirenz, etravirine and nevirapine. These drugs work by disabling a protein required by the HIV virus to reproduce.
- Nucleoside or nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors . This class of drugs includes abacavir. The drugs work by producing faulty protein that resemble those used by the HIV virus to reproduce.
- Protease inhibitors . This class includes atazanavir, darunavir, fosamprenavir and indinavir. These drugs inhibit protease, a protein required by the HIV virus to reproduce.
- Entry or fusion inhibitors. Entry inhibitors include enfuvirtide and maraviroc. These drugs delay the development of AIDS by inhibiting the entry of the HIV virus into the CD4 cells.
- Integrase inhibitors. Integrase inhibitors include raltegravir, elvitegravir and dolutegravir. Integrase is a protein used by the HIV virus to insert its DNA into the CD4 cells. These drugs function by inhibiting it.
When to Start Drugs
All people with HIV should be on antiretroviral drugs. However, drugs are particularly necessary in these situations:
Possible Side Effects
Multiclass Combination Drugs Or Single
The following combination drugs include both NRTIs and NNRTIs:
- doravirine, lamivudine, and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate
- efavirenz, lamivudine, and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate
- efavirenz, lamivudine, and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate
- · efavirenz, emtricitabine, and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate
- emtricitabine, rilpivirine, and tenofovir alafenamide fumarate
- emtricitabine, rilpivirine, and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate
Symfi and Symfi Lo are made up of the same generic medications. However, Symfi Lo contains a smaller dose of efavirenz.
The following combination drugs include NRTIs, an INSTI, and the CYP3A inhibitor cobicistat:
- elvitegravir, cobicistat, emtricitabine, and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate
- elvitegravir, cobicistat, emtricitabine, and tenofovir alafenamide fumarate
The following combination drugs include at least oneNRTI and an INSTI:
- abacavir, dolutegravir, and lamivudine
- bictegravir, emtricitabine, and tenofovir alafenamide fumarate
- dolutegravir and lamivudine
The following combination drug includes an NNRTI and an INSTI:
- dolutegravir and rilpivirine
The following combination drug includes NRTIs,a PI, and the CYP3A inhibitor cobicistat:
- darunavir, cobicistat, emtricitabine, and tenofovir alafenamide fumarate
Many HIV drugs can cause temporary side effects when first used. In general, these effects can include:
Recommended Reading: How To Know If You Get Hiv
Spreading Hiv And Stds
HIV and STDs are both contracted by having unprotected sexual contact of any kind. This includes vaginal, anal, and oral sex.
But sexual contact isnt the only way to contract an STD or HIV. Pathogens like HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C can also be spread by sharing needles or other drug paraphernalia.
Birthing parents can also pass HIV and some STDs on to babies while pregnant, during delivery, or through breastfeeding. For example, chlamydia and gonorrhea are two types of pathogens that can be passed to a baby during delivery.
Risks Of Contracting Hiv And Stds
Just as HIV and STDs are spread in the same ways, they can also share some of the same risk factors. A risk factor is anything that makes you more likely to contract a condition or disease.
For HIV and some STDs, risk factors include:
- having unprotected sex of any kind
- sharing injection needles
- sharing tattoo or piercing needles
- having sexual encounters under the influence of drugs or alcohol
The risks of contracting HIV or an STD are also higher among some populations and groups. This can be due to a variety of factors, like:
- lack of access to healthcare
- discrimination faced in accessing healthcare
- population size
47 percent of primary and secondary syphilis were among men who have sex with men. But STDs are common among all Americans. Its important for anyone of any gender or sexuality who has one or more risk factors to get tested and treated.
Also Check: How Long Can Hiv Live Outside The Body
How Is Hiv Treated
Treatments for HIV typically involve antiretroviral therapy. This isnt a specific regimen, but instead a combination of three or four drugs. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has currently approved nearly 50 different medications to treat HIV.
Antiretroviral therapy works to prevent the virus from copying itself. This maintains immunity levels while slowing the progression of HIV.
Before prescribing medication, a healthcare provider will take the following factors into consideration:
- a persons health history
- the levels of the virus in the blood
HIV doesnt cause a lot of outward or noticeable symptoms until the disease has progressed. For this reason, its important to understand how HIV is transmitted and the ways to prevent transmission.
HIV can be transmitted by:
- having sex, including oral, vaginal, and anal sex
- sharing needles, including tattoo needles, needles used for body piercing, and needles used for injecting drugs
- coming into contact with body fluids, such as semen, vaginal fluid, blood, and breast milk
HIV is not transmitted by:
- breathing the same air as a person living with HIV
- getting bitten by a mosquito or other biting insect
- hugging, holding hands with, kissing, or touching a person living with HIV
- touching a door handle or toilet seat thats been used by an HIV-positive person
Keeping this in mind, some of the ways a person can prevent HIV include:
Symptoms can take years to appear, which is why its so important to get tested regularly.
Hiv And Aids Treatment
More than 25 antiretroviral therapy drugs are approved to treat the virus. Your doctor will prescribe a mix of these medications.
The drugs will help stop HIV from making copies of itself. That will keep you healthy and lower your risk of spreading it.
Thereâs no cure for HIV or AIDS. ARTâs goal is to lower your viral load and keep your immune system healthy. The idea is to lower the viral load to âundetectableâ and keep it that way, by taking your medicine every day as prescribed.
Recommended Reading: Can Hiv Spread Through Saliva
What Is The Life Expectancy For People Living With Hiv In The Uk
A study published in 2014 looked at the outcomes of over 20,000 adults who started HIV treatment in the UK, between 2000 and 2010. The analysis didnt include people who inject drugs, who tend to have poorer outcomes than other people, but otherwise included a wide range of adults living with HIV.
The key finding was that people who had a good initial response to HIV treatment had a better life expectancy than people in the general population.
Specifically, a 35-year-old man who had a CD4 cell count over 350 and an undetectable viral load one year after starting HIV treatment could expect to live to the age of 81. A 50-year-old man with the same results after one year of treatment was predicted to live to the age of 83. In the general population at this time, men in these age groups were expected to live to 77 and 78 years.
“A person living with HIV has a similar life expectancy to an HIV-negative person providing they are diagnosed in good time, have good access to medical care, and are able to adhere to their HIV treatment.”
A 35-year-old woman and a 50-year-old woman with the same results could expect to live to 83 and 85 years. This compares to 82 and 83 years in the general population.
A 35-year-old man with any of those results could expect to live to 70-72 years. A 50-year-old man was predicted to live to 75-77 years. Women of the same ages could expect to live around two years longer than the men.
How Does Hiv Become Aids
HIV wrecks CD4 T cells white platelets that assume an enormous job in helping your body battle infection. The fewer CD4 T cells you have, the more vulnerable your safe framework becomes. You can have an HIV disease, with few or no side effects, for quite a long time before it transforms into AIDS. AIDS is analyzed when the CD4 T cell tally falls underneath 200, or you have an AIDS-characterizing inconvenience, for example, genuine contamination or malignant growth.
Also Check: Does Cookie Johnson Have Hiv
How Do You Get Hiv
HIV infection can occur in the following ways:
- Unprotected sexual intercourse, especially receptive anal intercourse
- Multiple sexual partners
- Sexually transmitted diseases: Chlamydia and gonorrhea infections increase the HIV transmission risk by three times syphilis raises the transmission risk by seven times and genital herpes raises the infection risk by 25 times during an outbreak
- Sharing IV needles or injections
- Receiving HIV infected blood products
- Needle-stick injuries
- Maternal HIV infection : The risk of transmission can be reduced at birth by practices like cesarean delivery and prenatal antiretroviral therapy in the mother, and antiretroviral therapy in the newborn immediately after birth
A Timeline Of Hiv And Aids
The HIV.gov Timeline reflects the history of the domestic HIV/AIDS epidemic from the first reported cases in 1981 to the presentwhere advances in HIV prevention, care, and treatment offer hope for a long, healthy life to people who are living with, or at risk for, HIV and AIDS.
View a timeline of the current Ending the HIV Epidemic initiative. Please visit HIVHistory.org for a timeline of the global and domestic response to the HIV epidemic.
Also Check: When To Get Tested For Hiv
Tips For Taking Your Medications
Besides knowing “how does HIV turn into AIDS?” You may want to know how to take the medications correctly. Medications for HIV need to be taken consistently. Otherwise, the virus can become resistant to the drugs and reproduce itself faster. Here are a few tips to help you take your medications in the right way and prevent an early onset of AIDS:
- Start taking your medication at the right time. When you start taking antiretroviral drugs, you will need to keep taking them for the entire life. So make sure you are ready to this serious commitment. Before starting taking ARVs, you can test yourself for consistency by taking a piece of candy at a specific time every day. Your performance with this will help you know whether you are ready to start taking the drugs.
- Have a reminder. You can choose to set an alarm or a reminder on your phone or simply check off a to-do list. This will help you always remember to take your drugs.
- Store the drugs correctly. Ideally, you should keep them at a spot where you can always see them, such as near to your bed. When travelling, you should have a container with the medications.
- Have sufficient amounts of the medications at all times. It is important to keep more than your need of the drugs at all times in case anything happens. Whenever you almost run short of the drugs, you need to visit the pharmacist to avoid a last minute rush.
Hiv Is An Infection That Can Lead To Aids
HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. Its a virus that breaks down certain cells in your immune system . When HIV damages your immune system, its easier to get really sick and even die from infections that your body could normally fight off.
About 1.1 million people in the U.S. are living with HIV, and more than 38,000 new infections happen every year. Most people with HIV dont have any symptoms for many years and feel totally fine, so they might not even know they have it.
Once you have HIV, the virus stays in your body for life. Theres no cure for HIV, but medicines can help you stay healthy. HIV medicine lowers or even stops your chances of spreading the virus to other people. Studies show that using HIV treatment as directed can lower the amount of HIV in your blood so much that it might not even show up on a test when this happens, you cant transmit HIV through sex.Treatment is really important . Without treatment, HIV can lead to AIDS. But with medicine, people with HIV can live long, healthy lives and stop the spread of HIV to others.
Recommended Reading: What Do Hiv Sores Look Like