Saturday, April 1, 2023

How Long Can Hiv Hide In Your Body

Stage : Chronic Hiv Infection

Real Question: How Long Does it Take to Test Positive for HIV?

After the acute stage has ended and if the person has not received treatment the virus remains active, reproducing at very low levels but continuing to damage immune cells.

At this stage, there are usually no symptoms or very mild ones. This is why doctors sometimes call stage 2 asymptomatic HIV infection or clinical latency. The virus can still pass to others during this stage, even if it causes no symptoms.

Without treatment, this stage can last for 10 years or more before the person develops stage 3 HIV.

However, modern antiretroviral medications can stop the infection from progressing. These drugs greatly reduce the amount of HIV in the body, the viral load, to very low levels.

When the viral load is so low that tests cannot detect it, HIV can no longer damage the immune system or transmit to other people. Some people refer to this as undetectable equals untransmittable or U=U.

A person with stage 2 HIV who takes effective antiretroviral therapy may never develop stage 3 HIV.

How Does Acute Hiv Affect The Body

Once a person contracts HIV, the acute infection takes place immediately.

Symptoms of the acute infection may take place days to weeks after the virus has been contracted. During this time, the virus is multiplying rapidly in the body, unchecked.

This initial HIV stage can result in flu-like symptoms. Examples of these symptoms include:

However, not all people with HIV experience initial flu-like symptoms.

The flu symptoms are due to the increase of copies of HIV and widespread infection in the body. During this time, the amount of CD4 cells starts to fall very quickly. The immune system then kicks in, causing CD4 levels to rise once again. However, the CD4 levels may not return to their pre-HIV height.

In addition to potentially causing symptoms, the acute stage is when people with HIV have the greatest chance of transmitting the virus to others. This is because HIV levels are very high at this time. The acute stage typically lasts between several weeks and months.

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
  • pneumonia

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.

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How Long Does It Take For Hiv To Progress To Aids

How long does it take for HIV to progress to AIDS? In all but a few rare cases, if left untreated, HIV will progress to a stage of infection called AIDS. This is when the immune defenses have been compromised, and the body is less able to defend itself against potentially life-threatening infections.

Aids Phase Can Go Undetected For Years

Whats that rash?: with pictures

AIDS has a ”silent infection” phase that can persist for several years and cannot be detected by standard tests, researchers reported Tuesday at the 4th International Conference on AIDS.

The full implications of this discovery aren`t yet clear to scientists, who say the virus that

causes AIDS-human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV-is emerging as one of nature`s most complex microbes.

”This virus can fly below the radar of the immune system, and that`s something we haven`t seen before,” Dr. William Haseltine of Harvard University told the conference.

The AIDS virus can turn itself off for years or wrap itself in a coating of sugar molecules so it goes undetected by the body`s immune system, Haseltine said.

The tests widely used to determine HIV infection are antibody tests that detect proteins produced by the body in reaction to infection. If an infected person fails to produce antibodies, the tests won`t identify an infection.

Scientists long have known there is a ”window” between initial infection with HIV and the time when enough antibodies have been produced to be detected by the test. They usually estimated this period at a few weeks to as much as six months.

It now appears the period of silent infection can last for years.

Using a new genetic test called the polymerase chain reaction technique, Dr. Steven Wolinsky of Northwestern University found that the AIDS virus had infected one patient at least 3 1/2 years before he tested positive for the antibodies.

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Where Else Could The New Coronavirus Persist After Recovery From Covid

Other sites where coronavirus has been detected include the placenta, intestines, blood and of course the respiratory tract. In women who catch Covid-19 while pregnant, the placenta develops defects in the motherâs blood vessels supplying the placenta. However, the significance of this on fetal health is yet to be determined.

The new coronavirus can also infect the fetus via the placenta. Finally, the new coronavirus is also present in the blood and the nasal cavity and palate for up to a month or more after infection.

The mounting evidence suggests that SARS-CoV-2 can infect immune-privileged sites and, from there, result in chronic persistent â but not latent â infections. It is too early to know the extent to which these persistent infections affect the health of an individual like the pregnant mother, for example, nor the extent to which they contribute to the spread of Covid-19.

Like many things in the pandemic, what is unknown today is known tomorrow, so stay tuned and be cautious so as not to catch the infection or, worse yet, spread it to someone else.

Heres Where Coronavirus Hides In Your Body

A new study provides the best look yet at how COVID-19 worksand how it might be beaten.


The novel coronavirus can stow away in your throat without you knowing it, and every time you cough youre broadsiding the people around you with the virus. To stay healthy and contain SARS-CoV-2, stay home and keep your distance.

Population-wide efforts to control coronavirus might not be so straightforward, however. The coronavirus is a clever, elusive, and tough little pathogen that could defy normal vaccines.

Those are two of the main takeaways from an important new study by a team of 18 scientists in Germany.

Working in two separate laboratories, the scientists carefully studied the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in the bodies of nine patients, taking daily measurements in order to understand each phase of the infection.

The team completed its study in early March and, its findings in the journal Nature this month. Active virus-replication in the upper respiratory tract puts the prospects of COVID-19 containment in perspective, the scientists wrote.

Close observers of coronavirus studies hailed the German teams work. Theres huge news in the Nature paper, David Ostrov, a professor in the Department of Pathology, Immunology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Florida College of Medicine, told The Daily Beast.

Some of the news is good.

Its probably safe for a hospital to release a COVID-19 patient 10 days after they start showing symptoms.

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After I Begin Hiv Treatment How Long Does It Take For The Risk Of Sexually Transmitting Hiv To Become Effectively Zero

There is effectively no risk of sexual transmission of HIV when the partner living with HIV has achieved an undetectable viral load and then maintained it for at least six months. Most people living with HIV who start taking antiretroviral therapy daily as prescribed achieve an undetectable viral load within one to six months after beginning treatment.

A persons viral load is considered durably undetectable when all viral load test results are undetectable for at least six months after their first undetectable test result. This means that most people will need to be on treatment for 7 to 12 months to have a durably undetectable viral load. It is essential to take every pill every day to maintain durably undetectable status.

Living With Hiv Doesnt Have To Be A Burden Protect Yourself And Your Loved Ones With Advanced Hiv Care And Monitoring In North Texas

How close are we to eradicating HIV? – Philip A. Chan

While receiving a positive HIV test can certainly be frightening, living with HIV does not mean what it once did. In fact, countless men and women go on to lead normal, healthy, fulfilling lives when their HIV is treated appropriately and monitored regularly. To learn more about how to manage HIV, the importance of monitoring undetectable HIV, and what treatments are available to you, call the welcoming team at Health Services of North Texas today. We look forward to helping you enjoy life once again with comprehensive HIV/AIDS services in Denton, Wylie, and Plano, TX.

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A Latent Infection Versus A Persistent Viral Infection

But there is another way that a virus can hide in the body and reemerge later.

A latent viral infection occurs when the virus is present within an infected cell but dormant and not multiplying. In a latent virus, the entire viral genome is present, and infectious virus can be produced if latency ends and the infections becomes active. The latent virus may integrate into the human genome â as does HIV, for example â or exist in the nucleus as a self-replicating piece of DNA called an episome.

A latent virus can reactivate and produce infectious viruses, and this can occur months to decades after the initial infection. Perhaps the best example of this is chickenpox, which although seemingly eradicated by the immune system can reactivate and cause herpes zoster decades later. Fortunately, chickenpox and zoster are now prevented by vaccination. To be infected with a virus capable of producing a latent infection is to be infected for the rest of your life.

Stage : Acute Hiv Infection

After a person comes into contact with HIV, the virus replicates quickly, and the blood contains high levels of the virus. At this time, it can easily transmit to others through blood, semen and preseminal fluids, rectal fluid, vaginal fluid, and breast milk.

Within 24 weeks of exposure to the virus, some people develop a nonspecific syndrome with a fever and other flu-like symptoms. This may last for several days or weeks.

Not everyone experiences these symptoms, however. If a person does not undergo testing, it is possible for HIV to progress without any indication that it is in the body.

The flu-like symptoms of a stage 1 HIV infection may include:

  • swollen glands
  • nausea or vomiting

These symptoms are collectively known as a seroconversion illness. They represent the bodys natural response to an infection as it attempts to kill off the virus. However, the human body cannot completely remove this virus once it is present.

At this stage, the virus replicates using the bodys CD4 T cells and spreads throughout the body. In doing so, it destroys CD4 T cells.

Eventually, this process stabilizes. The immune system reduces the number of viral particles, and levels of CD4 T cells may rise. However, the number of these cells may not return to its original level.

Read Also: Can Hiv Lay Dormant

How Long Do Viruses Hang Out In Your Body

16:12 minutes

This story is a part of Science Fridays coverage on the novel coronavirus, the agent of the disease COVID-19. Listen to experts discuss the spread, outbreak response, and treatment.

Throughout the pandemic, scientists have been learning more about SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID. But there are still big questions, like how long the virus can survive in your body.

This week, infectious disease specialist Diane Griffin talks about how virusesfrom SARS-CoV-2 to HIV to measlespersist in the body, and how this can provide new insights into how long people might stay contagious.

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

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How To Avoid Getting Hiv

Abstinence, or not having sex, is the only type of protection that works every time. But if you are having sex, you can lower your risk if you:

  • Use a condom every time you have sex
  • Get tested for HIV and STDs
  • Limit the number of people you have sex with
  • Donât inject yourself with drugs

Talk to your doctor right away if you think youâve been exposed to the virus. They can help you figure out next steps.

Are These Figures Always Accurate

In some situations, these figures should be interpreted with caution:

  • When tests are done with samples of fingerprick blood or oral fluid , their window periods are likely to be longer.
  • Individuals who are taking pre-exposure prophylaxis or post-exposure prophylaxis may have a delayed antibody response, extending the window period.
  • The data are based on individuals with HIV-1 subtype B and its possible that tests are less sensitive to other subtypes.

British HIV Association, British Association for Sexual Health and HIV and British Infection Association. Adult HIV Testing Guidelines 2020.

Delaney KP et al. Time from HIV infection to earliest detection for 4 FDA-approved point-of-care tests. Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, abstract 565, 2018.

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Hiv Exploits Gene Expression Noise

The team found that HIV is able to generate an active or a dormant state by taking advantage of a normal phenomenon inside cells that is called random fluctuations in gene expression.

Because of random fluctuations in gene expression, which scientists also call noise, two cells with exactly the same genetic makeup can produce different amounts of the same protein. The difference can be enough to influence cell function and fate.

HIV expresses its genes inside the host cell using a mechanism called alternative splicing, which enables it to slice up its genetic material and assemble it in a variety of arrangements.

How Long Does It Take For Hiv To Show Up

6 Sleeper-Agent Pathogens That Can Make You Sick

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , early-stage HIV symptoms typically occur around two-six weeks following exposure . With that in mind, the majority of people with HIV will develop antibodies around this time and should test positive if they have the infection.

See also:Can I Boost my CD4 Count?

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What Are The Factors That Affect Disease Progression

The most important factor affecting HIV progression is the ability to achieve viral suppression. Taking antiretroviral therapy regularly helps many people slow the progression of HIV and reach viral suppression.

However, a variety of factors affect HIV progression, and some people progress through the phases of HIV more quickly than others.

Factors that affect HIV progression can include:

  • Ability to achieve viral suppression. Whether someone can take their antiretroviral medications and achieve viral suppression is the most important factor by far.
  • Age when symptoms start. Being older can result in faster progression of HIV.
  • Health before treatment. If a person had other diseases, such as tuberculosis, hepatitis C, or other sexually transmitted diseases , it can affect their overall health.
  • Timing of diagnosis. Another important factor is how soon a person was diagnosed after they contracted HIV. The longer between their diagnosis and treatment, the more time the disease has to progress unchecked.
  • Lifestyle. Practicing an unhealthy lifestyle, such as having a poor diet and experiencing severe stress, can cause HIV to progress more quickly.
  • Genetic history. Some people seem to progress more quickly through their disease given their genetic makeup.

Some factors can delay or slow the progression of HIV. These include:

Living a healthy lifestyle and seeing a healthcare provider regularly can make a big difference in a persons overall health.

Hiv’s Dormant Period Helps It Spread As Part Of Virus Evolutionary Survival Strategy

Scientists have long thought that HIV’s tendency to lay dormant within a person for 10 years or more was due to the behavior of the cells it infects or an error in the diseases programming, but new evidence suggests that this inactivity may be an evolutionary strategy to help the virus to survive and spread. With this knowledge, scientists may be able to better target reservoirs of the virus which exist within the 35 million people around the world infected with HIV, and someday find a way to wipe it completely from their systems.

“This discovery changes our perspective on HIV latency and contributes to our understanding of what it is going to take to cure HIV,” Robert Gallo, a biomedical researcher at the University of Maryland School of Medicine who was the first to find that HIV leads to AIDS, said in a statement.

The virus’s long hibernation, which can last for decades in people with HIV , appears to boost its ability to live and spread within people, researchers have now shown in a pair of studies published in Cell on Thursday. The authors call this latency the greatest barrier to eradicating HIV in patients because the virus can dodge the immune system and conventional therapies while dormant.

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