Stage : Acute Hiv Infection
Within 2 to 4 weeks after infection with HIV, about two-thirds of people will have a flu-like illness. This is the bodys natural response to HIV infection.
Flu-like symptoms can include:
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Mouth ulcers
These symptoms can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks. But some people do not have any symptoms at all during this early stage of HIV.
Dont assume you have HIV just because you have any of these symptomsthey can be similar to those caused by other illnesses. But if you think you may have been exposed to HIV, get an HIV test.
Heres what to do:
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.
Can You Survive Hiv 1
A person with HIV can live for a long period of time without being diagnosed with HIV. However, if an untreated HIV infection is present, the overall mortality rate is more than 90%. Infections usually last between eight and ten years before they become fatal. It varies from person to person, but it is possible.
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How Long Does It Take To Show Symptoms Of Hiv
Some people notice flu-like symptoms 1-4 weeks after they’re first infected. They often only last a week or two. This stage is called acute or primary HIV infection.
Then, you may go for 10 years or more without further symptoms. This is called asymptomatic HIV infection. Even though you feel fine, the virus is still active in your body. And you can still give it to someone else.
Once HIV has seriously harmed your immune system, you’re at risk for diseases that a healthy body could fight off. In this stage, symptomatic HIV infection, you start to notice problems caused by those “opportunistic” infections.
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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Prevention Of Acute Hiv Infection
There are ways to minimize the risk of contracting HIV, or passing the infection on to other people:
- Practice safe sex: use condoms during all types of sexual contact and limit the number of partners
- Practice safe needle use: use only sterile needles and equipment if injecting substances. Safe needle use should also be observed by healthcare workers and tattooists
- Get diagnosed early, which can inform choices such as treatment and behavior toward other people
Anyone who is sexually active is recommended to get tested for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases at least once a year. Any positive results should be disclosed to sexual partners so precautions can be taken. More frequent testing is recommended for anyone in a high risk group, such as someone who:
- Is in a relationship with a person who is HIV-positive
- Has multiple sexual partners
How Does It Get Into The Body
The following fluids are known to contain HIV virus from an infected person.
These fluids will mostly get into your bloodstream through the following ways.
- Through cuts or sores on your skin
- Injecting directly into the body which can happen through injecting equipment or contaminated needles
- Through the lining of the anus and other genital parts
- Through the lining of your eyes or mouth
Here is how the HIV virus enters and affects the body upon exposure to the virus. Once the virus cells enter the body, they circulate round the body at high speed and infect the CD4 cells which are the core cells of the immune system.
Once the HIV virus have entered the CD4 cells, they use them to multiply and make thousands of themselves. In the process, the immune system of the victim is destroyed. As these cells are leaving, they kill the CD4 cells.
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What Is Acute Hiv Infection
Acute HIV infection, also known as an early or primary retroviral infection, is a condition that develops within two to four weeks of contracting human immunodeficiency virus .
Symptoms of acute HIV infection are similar to other viral infections, such as the flu or mononucleosis . For this reason, many people do not realize they have been infected with HIV. A blood test is the best way to confirm an HIV infection.
There are two types of HIV: HIV-1 and HIV-2. HIV-1 is the more common form of HIV found in the United States. The term HIV in this resource refers to HIV-1, unless otherwise stated.
HIV attacks the body’s immune cells. Without treatment, a person with HIV becomes more likely to develop infections or infection-related cancers. The last stage of HIV infection is AIDS , when the immune system is severely damaged.
There is currently no effective cure for HIV infection but, with the right treatment and medical care, the outlook for people with HIV is good.
What Is The Treatment For Hiv
The treatment for human immunodeficiency virus involves a combination of medications known as antiretroviral therapy . ART cannot cure HIV however, it can increase the survival rate of patients.
ART halts the multiplication of the virus and reduces the amount of virus in the body to help the patient stay healthier.
Once the treatment has been started, the patient must remain compliant with the dosage for the medicines to be effective. Noncompliance can result in developing resistance to the medicines.
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How Is Hiv Transmitted
Human immunodeficiency virus is transmitted by coming in direct contact with certain body fluids of the person infected with HIV. These fluids are as follows
- Receiving blood products that are contaminated with HIV
- Getting stuck with an HIV-contaminated needle
Hence, taking precautions either while having sex or sharing a needle is the best way to prevent HIV.
First Stage: Acute Hiv Infection Symptoms
Most people don’t know right away when they’ve been infected with HIV. But they may have symptoms within 2 to 6 weeks after theyâve gotten the virus. This is when your body’s immune system puts up a fight. It’s called acute retroviral syndrome or primary HIV infection.
- Ulcers in your mouth, esophagus, anus, or genitals
- Headache and other neurological symptoms
If you have symptoms like these and might have come into contact with someone with HIV in the past 2 to 6 weeks, go to a doctor and ask that you get an HIV test. If you donât have symptoms but still think you might have come into contact with the virus, get tested.
Early testing is important for two reasons. First, at this stage, levels of HIV in your blood and bodily fluids are very high. This makes it especially contagious. Second, starting treatment as soon as possible might help boost your immune system and ease your symptoms.
A combination of medications can help fight HIV, keep your immune system healthy, and keep you from spreading the virus. If you take these medications and have healthy habits, your HIV infection probably wonât get worse.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Hiv
Not everyone will have identical symptoms because it depends on the person and what stage of the disease they are in.
There are three stages of human immunodeficiency virus . Each stage has a unique set of symptoms. These include the following
Stage 1: Acute HIV infection
This stage starts around two to four weeks after getting HIV. The symptoms are similar to those of the flu, which last for a week or two. Symptoms include the following
Symptoms Of Acute Hiv Infection
Many people develop symptoms of acute HIV infection two to four weeks after contracting HIV. Symptoms can last for several weeks and are similar to other viral infections such as flu. Signs and symptoms can include the following, starting with the most common:
- Sore throat
Some HIV-infected people do not have any symptoms, or may have symptoms that are mild and not particularly troublesome.
All these symptoms can also be caused by other illnesses. If a person has symptoms following potential exposure to HIV, they should be tested for HIV as soon as possible. People concerned that they may be experiencing symptoms of acute HIV can also use the free Ada app to carry out a symptom assessment.
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Latency Causes A Break In Symptoms
After initial exposure and possible primary infection, HIV may transition into a stage called clinically latent infection. Its also referred to as asymptomatic HIV infection due to a noticeable lack of symptoms. This lack of symptoms includes possible chronic symptoms.
According to HIV.gov, latency in HIV infection can last for 10 or 15 years. This doesnt mean that HIV is gone, nor does it mean that the virus cant be transmitted to others. Clinically latent infection may progress to the third and final stage of HIV, also referred to as AIDS.
The risk for progression is higher if a person with HIV isnt receiving treatment, such as antiretroviral therapy. Its important to take prescribed medications during all stages of HIV even if there arent any noticeable symptoms. There are several medications used for HIV treatment.
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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Getting Tested For Hiv
HIV testing is important. Someone living with HIV who isnt getting treatment can still transmit the virus, even if they have no symptoms. Others may pass the virus to others through an exchange of bodily fluids. But todays treatment can effectively eliminate the risk of transmitting the virus to a persons HIV-negative sexual partners.
According to the CDC , antiretroviral therapy can lead to viral suppression. When someone with HIV can maintain an undetectable viral load, they cant transmit HIV to others. The CDC defines an undetectable viral load as fewer than 200 copies per milliliter of blood.
Taking an HIV test is the only way to determine whether the virus is in the body. There are known risk factors that increase a persons chance of contracting HIV. For example, people whove had sex without a condom or shared needles may want to consider seeing their healthcare professional about getting tested.
Treatment Initiation According To Cd4 Count
In 2008, a subset analysis of the Strategic Management of Antiretroviral Therapy study found that although deferring treatment until the CD4+ T-cell count dropped below 200 cells/µL had been the standard of care, initiation of combined antiretroviral therapy at higher CD4 counts was associated with decreased morbidity and mortality in HIV disease.
Similarly, the National Institutes of Health Comprehensive International Program of Research on AIDS HT 001 clinical study showed that starting antiretroviral therapy at CD4 T-cell counts between 200-350 cells/µL improves survival compared with deferring treatment until the CD4 T-cell count drops below 200 cells/µL, which was the standard of care at the time.
Interim analysis of CIPRA HT 001 showed that of 816 HIV-infected adults with early HIV disease, 6 of those who began antiretroviral therapy within 2 weeks of enrollment died, while 23 participants in the standard-of-care group died. Among participants who began the study without tuberculosis infection, 18 individuals in the early treatment group developed tuberculosis, while 36 people in the standard-of-care group developed tuberculosis.
These interim results were statistically significant and led to ending the trial early to offer antiretroviral therapy to all participants in the standard-of-care group with a CD4+ T-cell count of less than 350 cells/µL.
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The Asymptomatic Stage Of Hiv
Once seroconversion is over, most people feel fine and dont experience any symptoms. This is often called the asymptomatic stage and it can last for several years.
Though you might feel well at this stage, the virus is active, infecting new cells, making copies of itself and damaging your immune systems ability to fight illness.
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.
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Can Hiv Take 10 Years To Show Up
It is possible for HIV to go without causing any further symptoms for many years after the initial symptoms have disappeared. As a result of this virus, your immune system is progressively damaged. The process can take from one person to another, but may take up to 10 years, during which you will feel and look your best.
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. You can also buy a home testing kit at a pharmacy or online.
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 free.
Read the U.S. Food and Drug Administrations fact sheet on the OraQuick In-Home HIV Test, the only FDA-approved in-home HIV test.
The coronavirus pandemic has made it more difficult for some people to access traditional places where HIV testing is provided. Self-testing allows people to get tested for HIV while still following stay-at-home orders and social distancing practices. Ask your local health department or HIV service organization if they offer self-testing kits.
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How To Tell If Symptoms Are Hiv
There are three types of HIV tests:
- An NAT involves drawing blood from a vein. It can tell if you have HIV or how much virus is present in your blood. While an NAT can detect HIV sooner than other types of tests, this test is very expensive and not routinely used for screening individuals unless they recently had a high-risk exposure, or a possible exposure and have early symptoms of HIV infection. This test takes several days for results to come back.
- An antigen/antibody test is recommended for testing done in labs and is now common in the United States. It involves drawing blood from a vein, and results take several days to come back. There is also a rapid antigen/antibody test available that is done with a finger prick and takes 30 minutes or less to get results.
- HIV antibody tests only look for antibodies to HIV in your blood or oral fluid. In general, antibody tests that use blood from a vein can detect HIV sooner after infection than tests done with blood from a finger prick or with oral fluid. Antibody tests can detect an HIV infection 23 to 90 days after exposure. Most rapid tests and the only currently approved HIV self-test are antibody tests. They take 20 minutes or less to provide results.
Keep in mind, any positive result would necessitate a second test to confirm it. The only test that would not require a second confirmatory test is the NAT.