When To Contact A Doctor
Anyone who is showing symptoms of HIV should contact a doctor as soon as possible. This is especially important if the individual has recently had sexual contact with someone else or shared a needle with someone else.
HIV can remain asymptomatic for a long time. For this reason, anyone who has recently had unprotected sex and is concerned about exposure to HIV should contact a doctor as soon as they can, even if they do not have any symptoms. The same goes for anyone who has recently shared a needle.
It can be difficult to discuss the possibility of having HIV. However, without proper treatment, HIV can be life threatening. In these situations, it is very important for people to put their long-term health first and to discuss the matter with a doctor.
Whats The Difference Between Hiv And Aids
HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. HIV and AIDS are not the same thing. And people with HIV do not always have AIDS.
HIV is the virus thats passed from person to person. Over time, HIV destroys an important kind of the cell in your immune system that helps protect you from infections. When you dont have enough of these CD4 cells, your body cant fight off infections the way it normally can.
AIDS is the disease caused by the damage that HIV does to your immune system. You have AIDS when you get dangerous infections or have a super low number of CD4 cells. AIDS is the most serious stage of HIV, and it leads to death over time.
Without treatment, it usually takes about 10 years for someone with HIV to develop AIDS. Treatment slows down the damage the virus causes and can help people stay healthy for several decades.
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.
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The First Stage Of Hiv: Acute Infection
Acute infection can occur through exposure to the bodily fluids of an infected person. Any behaviour that involves you being or becoming exposed to someone elses bodily fluids carries a risk of infection.
The most common methods of HIV transmission are unprotected sexual activity and the sharing of needles, especially by drug users. Additionally, HIV-positive pregnant women, women in labour and those breastfeeding their babies are also able to infect their children.
Tips For Staying On Top Of Your Hiv Medications
Taking ART correctly and consistently is your best hope for preventing the progression to AIDS and preserving your health for many years. Use these tips to stay on track:
- Remind yourself. Whether you mark it off on a calendar, set an alarm or timer, or check it off your to-do list, creating a daily reminder can help you stay on track.
- Store your meds in a visible spot. Keep your medications in the same spot all the time. Choose somewhere where youll see them easily for example, next to the kitchen or bathroom sink, or near your bed. Have a travel medicine container thats filled with the dose for each day while youre at work or away from home you should also keep extra doses with you in case something unexpected comes up.
- Stay organized. That means staying on top of your prescriptions. You must never run out, because running out can have serious consequences. Make sure you have an ample supply on hand at all times, including extras in case theres a holiday coming up when the pharmacy may be closed. Pay attention to weather forecasts, too: If severe weather is on the way, get your refills early. Insurance and pharmacy changes can be a barrier to care as well make sure you know where to find your medications and how much they will cost.
There are many tips and strategies for staying on track with your medicines. The goal is to find a plan that works for you.
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Can Hiv/aids Be Prevented
You can reduce the risk of spreading HIV by:
- Getting tested for HIV.
- Choosing less risky sexual behaviors. This includes limiting the number of sexual partners you have and using latex condoms every time you have sex. If your or your partner is allergic to latex, you can use polyurethane condoms.
- Getting tested and treated for sexually transmitted diseases .
- Not injecting drugs.
- Talking to your health care provider about medicines to prevent HIV:
- PrEP is for people who don’t already have HIV but are at very high risk of getting it. PrEP is daily medicine that can reduce this risk.
- PEP is for people who have possibly been exposed to HIV. It is only for emergency situations. PEP must be started within 72 hours after a possible exposure to HIV.
NIH: National Institutes of Health
How Long Does It Take Hiv To Turn Into Aids
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What Factors Affect The Progression Of Hiv Into Aids
There are a number of factors which influence the progression of HIV for every infected person. These include:
- Nature of transmission
- Incubation period of the virus in the bloodstream.
- The number of viral particles transferred from the HIV-positive person to the other.
- Any simultaneous viral or bacterial infection.
- The strain of virus being transmitted.
- Biochemical abnormalities, .
- Heredity and genetic make-up.
- Immunosuppressive behaviour .
- Access and commitment to, and discipline over, ARVs and/or a prescribed HIV treatment plan.
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
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Days Weeks Months Or Years
Written by Bhavyajyoti Chilukoti | Updated : December 1, 2017 8:27 AM IST
If a person is HIV-positive, then how long does it take for them to get AIDS is a common query that most people have. Given the fact that the human immunodeficiency virus virus can remain dormant in the body before it can lead to an infection and if a person gets infected, will it progress slowly or will the person die within a short time? However, in reality, for an HIV infection to turn into full-blown acquired immune deficiency syndrome , it depends on a lot of factors, says Dr V Sam Prasad, Country Programme Director, AIDS Healthcare Foundation. Here are few Frequently Asked Questions about HIV.
How long does it take to acquire full blown AIDS?
The important thing to keep in the mind is it doesn’t matter whether you suffer from any co-infection or other health problems, it takes the same time for an HIV infection to turn into full-blown AIDS. In India, a span of 8 – 10 years is what it takes for an untreated HIV infection. This includes the HIV-positive patient suffering from various other infections before leading to full-blown AIDS. For the infection to be categorised as full-blown AIDS, the person should harbour more than two to three infections, have a low CD4 count and very high viral load. Read about the diagnosis of HIV and AIDS.
If I Am Diagnosed With Hiv Can I Tell When I Got It
In general, NO. A skilled healthcare provider can generally estimate how long you have been infected by looking at the levels of virus in your body, your CD4 count, and whether or not you have had any opportunistic infections. If you are currently suffering from symptoms of acute HIV infection, a healthcare provider can usually conclude that infection occurred within the past few weeks.
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Lack Of Symptoms In Early Stages
ARS is common once a person develops HIV. But this isnt the case for everyone as, according to HIV.gov, symptoms may not appear for a decade or longer.
Although the virus replicates quickly in the weeks after contracting it, symptoms in early HIV only tend to show up if the rate of cell destruction is high.
This doesnt mean that cases of HIV without symptoms are less serious or that an asymptomatic person cant transmit the virus to others.
How Long Does It Take For Hiv To Develop Into Aids
The time of seroconversion to AIDS, and eventually death, varies from one person to another. Its influenced by important things like getting tested, adhering to HIV treatment and practicing safe lifestyle choices. There is, however, a pattern that has been observed among people living with HIV, in terms of the time it takes to develop AIDS:
- Rapid progressors take 1-3 years.*
- Average progressors take 8-10 years.*
- Slow progressors take 15 years.
*These figures have been taken from the NCBI and are understood to reflect a progressive timeline for HIV-positive people who do not take ARVs.
There is a small group of people who are classified as non-progressors. The slow progression of these individuals is thought to be as a result of genetically inherited factors.
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Hiv And Aids Diagnosis
HIV tests check your blood or fluid from your mouth for antibodies that your body makes in response to the virus. You can take them at a doctorâs office, a community health center, a hospital, or at home.
When you have HIV, your doctor will keep an eye on how much of the virus is in your system. You might hear them call it your âviral load.â Two things will tell them if your infection has become AIDS:
- Your CD4 count. A person with a healthy immune system has 500 to 1,600 CD4 cells in a cubic millimeter of their blood. A person with AIDS has fewer than 200. This number is called your âCD4 count.â
- AIDS-defining infections. These are also called opportunistic infections. These generally happen in people who have a CD4 count below 200. Viruses, bacteria, or fungi that donât usually make healthy people sick can cause these infections in someone with HIV or AIDS.
How long it takes HIV to become AIDS is different for everyone. If you donât get treatment, it might take 10 to 15 years. With treatment, you may never have AIDS.
How Do I Know If I Have Hiv
The only way to know for sure if you have HIV is to get tested. Testing is relatively simple. You can ask your health care provider for an HIV test. Many medical clinics, substance abuse programs, community health centers, and hospitals offer them too.
To find an HIV testing location near you, use the HIV Services Locator.
HIV self-testing is also an option. Self-testing allows people to take an HIV test and find out their result in their own home or other private location. You can buy a self-test kit at a pharmacy or online. Some health departments or community-based organizations also provide self-test kits for a reduced cost or for free.
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Stage : Chronic Hiv Infection
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.
For more in-depth information and resources on HIV and AIDS, visit our dedicated hub.
How Is Hiv Transmitted Or Spread
The following are the means by which the HIV virus is spread:
Vertical transmission. HIV can be spread to babies born to, or breastfed by, mothers infected with the virus.
Sexual contact. In adults and adolescents, HIV is spread most commonly by sexual contact with an infected partner. The virus enters the body through the lining of the vagina, vulva, penis, rectum, or abraded or irritated tissues in the lining of the mouth through sexual activity.
Blood contamination. HIV may also be spread through contact with infected blood. However, due to the screening of donated blood for evidence of HIV infection, the risk of acquiring HIV from blood transfusions is extremely low.
Needles. HIV is frequently spread by sharing needles, syringes, or drug use equipment with someone who is infected with the virus. Transmission from patient to health care worker, or vice-versa, through accidental sticks with contaminated needles or other medical instruments, is rare.
No known cases of HIV/AIDS have been spread by the following:
Enlarged lymph nodes
An HIV-infected child is usually diagnosed with AIDS when the immune system becomes severely damaged or other types of infections occur. As the immune system deteriorates, complications begin to develop. The following are some common complications, or symptoms, of the onset of AIDS. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
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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.
- Black/African Americans and Hispanic/Latino Americans. They make up a higher proportion of new HIV diagnoses and people with HIV, compared to other races and ethnicities.
- People who engage in risky sexual behaviors, such as not using condoms.
Factors such as stigma, discrimination, income, education, and geographic region can also affect peoples risk for HIV.
How To Live Healthily With Hiv
Besides the answer to “how does HIV turn into AIDS?” here are also tips about how to live healthily with HIV.
1. Eat a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet is the key to boosting your immune system. You need to eat a well-balanced diet that is rich in nutrients. Some good options are whole grains, lean meat, fresh vegetables and fruits.
2. Avoid Wrong Types of Foods
Avoid foods which you are allergic to. In addition, you need to avoid raw sea food, half cooked meat, raw eggs and unpasteurized dairy products. They may cause foodborne illness and the level of severity of consequences is multiplied in HIV patients.
3. Get Vaccinations
Since you are more susceptible to common infections, you should get immunized against them. At the same time, you should avoid vaccines that are made using live viruses which can cause diseases since your immune system is already weakened.
4. Take Care with Pets and Other Animals
Pets and animals may carry parasites that will cause infections in people with HIV. For example, cats carry feces that can cause toxoplasmosis. Always wash your hands after handling animals.
5. Avoid Getting Stressed
If you feel stressed, increase your sleep time, and try stress relieving practices such as breathing exercises. This is because stress lowers the level of immunity in your body, and this can increase your chances of developing AIDS faster.
6. Dont Engage in Risky Sexual Behavior
7. Improve Your Lifestyle
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How To Prevent Hiv From Advancing To Aids
AIDS is the most advanced stage of HIV. The best way to avoid AIDS is to start antiretroviral therapy as soon as possible. Taken every day as prescribed, these drugs will keep you healthy and make your viral level so low, it canât be detected. Sticking to the right treatment can keep AIDS at bay for years and decades. It also practically eliminates the chances that youâll pass HIV to your sexual partners and others. Many HIV-positive people live normal life spans.
Office on Womenâs Health: âHow is AIDS different from HIV?â and âOpportunistic Infections and Other Conditions.â
CDC: âHIV/AIDS: Statistics Overview â âAct Against AIDS: Basic Statistics â and âHIV in the United States: At a Glance.â
Medline Plus Medical Dictionary: âImmunodeficiency.â
AIDS.gov: âHIV Lifecycle.â
New York University Institute of Human Development and Social Change Center for Health, Identity, Behavior and Prevention Studies: âHIV/AIDS Info.â
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases: âHIV/AIDS.â
Department of Health & Human Services AIDSinfo: âHIV Overviewâ and âHIV Treatment.â
The Foundation for AIDS Research: âThirty Years of HIV/AIDS: Snapshots of an Epidemic.â
World Health Organization: “HIV/AIDS.”
What Are The Symptoms Of Hiv/aids
The first signs of HIV infection may be flu-like symptoms:
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Mouth ulcers
These symptoms may come and go within two to four weeks. This stage is called acute HIV infection.
If the infection is not treated, it becomes chronic HIV infection. Often, there are no symptoms during this stage. If it is not treated, eventually the virus will weaken your body’s immune system. Then the infection will progress to AIDS. This is the late stage of HIV infection. With AIDS, your immune system is badly damaged. You can get more and more severe infections. These are known as opportunistic infections .
Some people may not feel sick during the earlier stages of HIV infection. So the only way to know for sure whether you have HIV is to get tested.
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