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.
Read Also: Can You Get Hiv Oral Sex
More On Hiv Testing At Thebodycom
To find out more about HIV testing, we recommend the following articles:
- I was worried about symptoms and I told my doctor. He ordered some blood tests but not an HIV test he said if I had any disease it would show in my regular blood work. Does that sound right to you?
- Confused about ResultsMy fiancé recently went to have a check up at his new provider, where they performed a routine examination and blood test. He didn’t know he would be tested for HIV, but when he went in for the results, the doctor told him that they had tested his blood for HIV and got “abnormalities” on the test.
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.
Also Check: How Long Hiv To Aids
Hiv : Causes Symptoms Prevention And Treatment
When Charlie Sheen recently broke the news of his HIV-positive status on American television in 2015, the world sat up and took note.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , more than 1.1 million people are currently HIV infected in the USA, and as many as 15 percent remain unaware of their infection.
HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. This virus infiltrates and destroys the CD4 cells, which are a type of T-helper cells or white blood cells that play an important role in the immune system.
These cells navigate the entire body through the bloodstream and are responsible for detecting any cellular anomalies as well as signs of an infection or disease. Thus, they essentially work as foot soldiers in the bodys natural defense system.
As the HIV virus breaks down more and more of CD4 cells over time, the immune system is rendered weak and incapacitated to fight off everyday infections and more serious ailments such as cancer.
Once contracted, the impact of these conditions is also far more amplified and dangerous. In fact, for an HIV victim, even the most minor sickness can end up being fatal if not attended to properly as the damage tends to progressively worsen.
Some research demonstrates that there is a disparity in gender incidence for HIV infection and shows that HIV-1 prevalence among girls and young women is double that among males of the same age.
Lack Of Symptoms In Early Stages
ARS is common once a person has HIV. Still, this isnt the case for everyone. Some people have HIV for years before they know they have it. According to HIV.gov, symptoms of HIV may not appear for a decade or longer. This doesnt mean that cases of HIV without symptoms are less serious. Also, a person who doesnt experience symptoms could still transmit HIV to others.
Symptoms in early HIV tend to appear if the rate of cell destruction is high. Not having symptoms can mean that not as many CD4 cells, a type of white blood cell, are killed early on in the disease. Even though a person has no symptoms, they still have the virus. Thats why regular HIV testing is critical to prevent transmission. Its also important to understand the difference between a CD4 count and a viral load.
Don’t Miss: How Long Does It Take To Become Undetectable Hiv
What Is Acute Hiv Infection
There are three stages of HIV infection:
- Stage 1:Acute HIVinfection
- Stage 2:Chronic HIV infection
- Stage 3:AIDS
Acute HIV infection is the first stage of the infection. Usually within two to four weeks of infection, two-thirds of those with HIV will experience flu-like symptoms. These symptoms may last for several days or even weeks. However, some people may experience no symptoms at all.
In this stage, there is a large amount of HIV in your blood, which is known as the viral load. Studies have noted incredibly high viral loads during the acute stage, meaning you are more contagious at this time.
Is It Safe For Children With Hiv To Receive Routine Immunizations
MMR, or measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine, is safe to give to children with HIV, unless they have a severely weakened immune system.
DTaP/Td vaccine is safe to give to infants and children with HIV.
Hib and Hep B vaccines are safe to give to children with HIV.
Hepatitis A and B vaccines are safe to give to HIV-positive children.
VZIG should be considered for known HIV-positive children, depending on their immune status.
A yearly influenza vaccine is recommended for children with HIV, as well as any individual living in the same household as a child with HIV. There are two types of influenza vaccine children and adults with HIV should receive the “shot” form of the vaccine–not the nasal spray form, as it contains a live virus. Pneumococcal vaccine can be safely administered to age-appropriate HIV-infected children.
Always consult with your child’s doctor regarding immunizations for an HIV-infected child.
Recommended Reading: Hiv Screen 4th Generation Wrfx Non Reactive
The Difference Between Hiv And Aids
It is incorrect to use HIV and AIDS interchangeably. While an HIV infection is a starting point, AIDS is its most advanced and final stage. Thus, a person with HIV need not progress to this late-stage condition called AIDS, but a person with AIDS has to have contracted HIV first.
HIV is a virus that targets and destroys a type of white blood cell called a CD4 cell, thereby diminishing the bodys natural immunity against infection and illness over time. AIDS, on the other hand, is the final outcome, which manifests itself in the form of a syndrome when an HIV patient fails to undergo the stipulated treatment.
Conversely, people who get tested and diagnosed early and subsequently adhere to the doctor-prescribed treatment regimen for HIV are unlikely ever to develop AIDS.
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 Aids Before Hiv
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 .
Is There A Cure For Hiv
There is no cure for HIV. But if you acquire the virus, there are drugs that help suppress the level of HIV in the body and prevent its spread to other people. Doctors use a combination of drugs called HAART to treat HIV/AIDS. Although it is not a cure, HAART has greatly reduced the number of deaths from HIV-related complications in the United States. HIV has become like a chronic disease, and people living with HIV receiving successful treatment can live a long and healthy life.
You May Like: Hiv Causes Hair Loss
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.
Signs And Symptoms Of Hiv In Children You May Be Missing
Infected babies don’t always show signs and symptoms of HIV. So how can you tell if your child has it? And what should you do if he does?
HIV cases in the Philippines increased from last year . While ways to prevent the disease are in place, what happens when those infected–whether unaware of the infection or not–decide to have children?
Would the infection be passed on to the infant? Is there a way to prevent mother-to-child transmission? How can one deal with a child who is infected with HIV?
You May Like: How Long Does Hiv Last
What Are The Symptoms Of Hiv/aids
Some people may develop a flu-like illness within a month after exposure to the HIV virus. But many people do not develop any symptoms at all when they first become infected. In addition, the symptoms that do appear, which usually disappear within a week to a month, are often mistaken for those of another viral infection. These may include:
Enlarged lymph nodes
Persistent or severe symptoms may not surface for 10 years or more after HIV first enters the body in adults, or within 2 years in children born with an HIV infection. This “asymptomatic” period of the infection is highly variable from person to person. But, during the asymptomatic period, HIV is actively infecting and killing cells of the immune system. Its most obvious effect is a decline in the blood levels of CD4+ T cells a key immune system infection fighter. The virus initially disables or destroys these cells without causing symptoms.
As the immune system deteriorates, complications begin to surface. The following are the most common complications, or symptoms, of AIDS. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
Some people develop frequent and severe herpes infections that cause mouth, genital, or anal sores, or a painful nerve disease known as shingles. Children may have delayed development or failure to thrive.
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. Because HIV infection at this stage usually causes flu-like symptoms, its possible for someone in this stage to think their symptoms are due to a severe flu rather than HIV. Fever is the most common symptom.
Other symptoms include:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , primary HIV symptoms may show up two to four weeks after initial exposure. Symptoms can continue for up to several weeks. However, some people may exhibit the symptoms only for a few days.
People with early HIV sometimes dont show any symptoms, yet they can still transmit the virus to others. This is attributed to the fast, unrestrained viral replication that occurs in the early weeks after contracting the virus.
Don’t Miss: Does Hiv Cause Hair Loss
How To Prevent Hiv In Children
The infection has almost been eliminated in high-income countries thanks to timely prevention, testing, and treatment options. However, the situation is still grim in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asian countries . Here are some measures to prevent HIV in children:
- The best way to prevent HIV in kids is to prevent mother-to-child transmission. The administration of antiretroviral drugs at the initial stage of pregnancy can help preserve the immunity, promote growth and development, and increase the life span. Also, children who acquired the infection perinatally and received drug therapy showed 80% or higher increase in the survival rate .
- If the mother is HIV positive when she is pregnant, the delivery is done through a c-section to prevent the baby from contracting the virus through the birthing canal.
- Such mothers must not breastfeed the baby and use alternatives instead .
- If the child wants to get a tattoo or piercing done, then make sure to contact a professional who follows all the safety guidelines with the equipment used for the procedure . Ideally, children under the age of 18 should avoid getting tattoos, although some parents might want to get the childs ears or nose pierced.
- When your child is due to get a vaccination or an injection for any reason, ensure that the medical professional is using fresh and unused syringes to prevent transmission of infections.
Next, we answer some more commonly asked questions about HIV in children.
Who Should Get Tested And How Often
The CDC recommends that people within the age gap of 1364 years should make it a point to get tested at least once in their lifetime. Furthermore, people who are in high-risk populations should exercise greater precaution and get tested often, which is every 36 months.
To be more certain, you must speak with your healthcare provider to get a fair assessment of your risk factors and accordingly determine how often you should get tested for HIV.
Recommended Reading: How Did Nba Youngboy Get Herpes
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
What Are The Symptoms Of Hiv
Many people do not notice symptoms when they first acquire HIV. It can take as little as a few weeks for minor, flu-like symptoms to show up, or more than 10 years for more serious symptoms to appear, or any time in between. Signs of early HIV infection include flu-like symptoms such as headache, muscle aches, swollen glands, sore throat, fevers, chills, and sweating, and can also include a rash or mouth ulcers. Symptoms of later-stage HIV or AIDS include swollen glands, lack of energy, loss of appetite, weight loss, chronic or recurrent diarrhea, repeated yeast infections, short-term memory loss, and blotchy lesions on the skin, inside the mouth, eyelids, nose, or genital area.
Also Check: Does Cookie Johnson Have Hiv Aids
How Does The Hiv Test Work
The HIV test is done using your blood or saliva samples to detect the presence of HIV specific antibodies in the body. These antibodies are proteins produced by your body in response to an active HIV infection that help to fight the culpable virus.
The detection of such antibodies is taken to be a conclusive sign of an ongoing infection, except in cases where these antibodies might be passed on by infected mothers to their newborns who then carry them in their system for as long as 18 months.
Such diagnostic tests do not provide the complete picture, however. They simply indicate if you are infected or not, without highlighting the possibility of AIDS, nor the extent or the progression of the disease.