Monday, April 15, 2024

What Are The 3 Stages Of Hiv Infection

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How Can I Identify Stage 2 Of Hiv

3 HIV Stages Explained

In stage 2 of HIV is called the clinical latency stage. The virus is still active in your body during this time, but you may show little to no symptoms. At this stage, your immune system has lost its battle against HIV, and the virus will work to kill CD4 cells, the cells that coordinate with your immune system to trigger a response to infection. People who treat their HIV with antiretroviral therapy can remain in this stage for several years. The virus can still be passed to others during this stage, but the risk is lower with ART treatment.

Stage : Clinical Latency

In this stage, the virus still multiplies, but at very low levels. People in this stage may not feel sick or have any symptoms. This stage is also called chronic HIV infection.

Without HIV treatment, people can stay in this stage for 10 or 15 years, but some move through this stage faster.

If you take HIV medicine exactly as prescribed and get and keep an undetectable viral load, you can live and long and healthy life and will not transmit HIV to your HIV-negative partners through sex.

But if your viral load is detectable, you can transmit HIV during this stage, even when you have no symptoms. Its important to see your health care provider regularly to get your viral load checked.

How Does Chronic Hiv Infection Affect Other Conditions

As more and more people with HIV live into old age, doctors have found that chronic HIV infection might raise your risk for other illnesses like heart disease, high blood pressure, and peripheral neuropathy.

The increases arenât generally huge and scientists arenât yet sure why they happen. But research continues to provide information to help us get to the bottom of these issues.

Show Sources

American Heart Association: âAs HIV patients live longer, heart disease might be their next challenge,â âWhats the connection between high blood pressure and HIV?â

Hypertension: âHypertension in HIV-Infected Adults.â

Johns Hopkins Medicine: âHIV Neuropathy.â

Mayo Clinic: âHIV/AIDS.â

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Testing And Next Steps

If you are experiencing early signs of HIV or suspect you’ve been exposed to someone with the condition, getting tested is the next step.

“If you notice any early signs of HIV or have been exposed to a person who has it, get tested immediately. If you test negative but continue to engage in high-risk activities like unprotected sex, then you should get tested every three to six months,” says Gulick.

General advice: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , it’s advisable for everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 to get tested for HIV at least once. If you are sexually active, they advise that you test at least once a year.

You can get an HIV test at any of the following places:

  • Private clinics
  • Family planning clinics
  • Community health centers

If you test positive for HIV, you should know that with proper management and treatment, the virus can be kept well under control and you can live a long and healthy life. If you are unsure of what test you should be taking, speak to your doctor first for a recommendation.

Whatpart Of The Body Does Hiv Infect

HIV Infection: Causes, Symptoms, Stages of HIV Infection, Treatment

HIV infects our immune system. This is the part of our body that stops us getting sick. HIV infects a type of white blood cell in our immune system called a T-helper cell . These cells keep us healthy by fighting off infections and diseases. However, HIV hides inside these cells, tricking the body so that the immune system cant find and destroy it.

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If I Have Hiv How Can I Keep From Spreading It To Others

The best ways to keep from spreading HIV to others are many of the same ways you use to protect yourself:

  • Let sexual partners and anyone you inject drugs with know that you have HIV.
  • Follow your treatment plan and dont miss medications. If you have an undetectable viral load, you greatly reduce the risk of transmitting HIV through sex.
  • Talk to your sexual partner about taking PrEP.
  • Dont share needles or other equipment to inject drugs.
  • Limit the number of sexual partners you have.
  • If youre pregnant and have HIV, following your treatment plan, including ART medications, can reduce your risk of transmitting the virus to your child.

Cd4 Cell Count For T Cells

CD4 cell count was the first marker doctors used to predict the rate of HIV progression to AIDS. CD4 cells, aka T cells, are white blood cells that find and eliminate invading germs. Measuring the number of these cells in the body allows doctors to determine a persons risk of contracting opportunistic infections like pneumonia.

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What Happens If You Do Treat Chronic Hiv Infection

Itâs important to keep in mind that there is no cure for HIV/AIDS. Once you have the virus, youâll need treatment to keep its worst effects at bay. That said, treatment of chronic HIV infection works very well, especially if you start it early.

Treatment involves antiretroviral therapy, or ART. This is a combination of medicines that helps stop HIV from making copies of itself. That gives your body a chance to raise the levels of CD4 cells that help fight off opportunistic infections.

Properly followed, the right prescription of antiretroviral therapy can bring your HIV viral load down so low that it canât be detected by current blood tests. This not only makes you healthier, it also makes you less likely to pass the virus on to a sexual partner. Someone with an undetectable viral load has almost no chance of passing the virus to a partner.

This undetectable viral load is the goal of ART. Maintain it, and you and your doctors may be able to keep AIDS at bay for decades. This effectively keeps you in this second stage of HIV/AIDS, chronic HIV infection, almost indefinitely.

In fact, most people in the U.S. with HIV who get ART treatment will never develop AIDS.

How Is Hiv Transmitted

The Stages of HIV Infection (Part 2 of 3)

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.

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How Do I Take Care Of Myself With Hiv

The best way to take care of yourself while living with HIV is to follow your treatment plan.

  • Make sure to take your medications as prescribed and on time.
  • Show up to all appointments so your healthcare team can monitor how youre feeling and know if theres a need to adjust your treatment.
  • Follow your healthcare providers recommendations on how to avoid additional illnesses.

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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Does Hiv Go Away

HIV doesnt go away on its own. It inserts itself into your DNA so your cells think that its a part of you. There can be many years without symptoms after initial infection, but HIV can still be damaging your immune system even if you dont feel sick.

There may be periods while on medication where the virus is not detectable by an HIV test. In these cases, HIV can be hiding in your body, undetected. It can wake up and start destroying your cells again in the future.

This is why continuing to take HIV medication, even if you dont feel sick or the virus is undetectable, is extremely important. Without treatment, HIV will weaken your immune system until you cant fight off other serious illnesses.

What Is The Hiv Life Cycle

HIV Drugs and the HIV Lifecycle

HIV attacks and destroys the CD4 cells of the immune system. CD4 cells are a type of white blood cell that play a major role in protecting the body from infection. HIV uses the machinery of the CD4 cells to multiply and spread throughout the body. This process, which is carried out in seven steps or stages, is called the HIV life cycle.

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How Does Hiv Affect A Person In The Long Term

Though the outlook has gotten much better for those with HIV, there are still some long-term effects that they might experience.

As time passes, people living with HIV may begin to develop certain side effects of treatment or HIV itself.

These may include:

The body may also undergo a shift in how it processes sugars and fats. This can lead to having more fat in certain areas of the body, which can change the bodys shape. However, these physical symptoms are more common with older HIV medications. Newer treatments have far fewer, if any, of these symptoms affecting physical appearance.

If treated poorly or left untreated, HIV infection can develop into stage 3 HIV, or AIDS.

A person develops stage 3 HIV when their immune system is too weak to defend their body against infections. A healthcare provider will likely diagnose stage 3 HIV if the number of certain white blood cells in an HIV-positive persons immune system drops below 200 cells per mL of blood.

Life expectancy is different for every person living with stage 3 HIV. Some people may die within months of this diagnosis, but the majority can live fairly healthy lives with regular antiretroviral therapy.

Third Stage: Aids Symptoms

AIDS is the advanced stage of HIV infection. This is usually when your CD4 T-cell number drops below 200 and your immune system is badly damaged. You might get an opportunistic infection, an illness that happens more often and is worse in people who have weakened immune systems. Some of these, such as Kaposis sarcoma and pneumocystis pneumonia , are also considered âAIDS-defining illnesses.â

If you didnt know earlier that you were infected with HIV, you may realize it after you have some of these symptoms:

  • Being tired all the time
  • Swollen lymph nodes in your neck or groin
  • Fever that lasts more than 10 days

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Rates Of Hiv Disease Progression

The rate of HIV progression depends on immune function and genetics. There are two main categories of progressors:

  • Rapid progressors: HIV rapidly progresses to AIDS, taking only a few years versus the standard ten.
  • Long-term nonprogressors: the infected person shows no symptoms of HIV, and progression to AIDS can take over 12 years.

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Stages of HIV Infection



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Stage : Asymptomatic Stage

Aside from swollenglands, a person is largely symptomless at this stage and often starts to feelbetter. On average, this asymptomatic stage lasts for around ten years, but canlast up to 15 years. HIV antibodies can now be found in the blood and thereforean HIV test will give a positive result.

HIV is active withinthe lymph nodes at this time, infecting new cells and making copies of itself. Aviral load test measures the small amount of HIV which gets away from the lymphnodes. This information is very important in the treatment of HIV.

What Are The Three Stages Of Hiv

HIV treatment can help in controlling the progression and spread of the virus – the most common of these treatments being antiretroviral therapy .

However, if someone experiences an asymptomatic HIV infection and does not regularly check in on their sexual health or decides not to receive the correct treatment, the virus can begin to progress into different stages and can continue to be transmitted to others. In fact, its estimated that around 40% of new HIV infections are transmitted by people who arent aware that they have the virus .

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Symptoms And Stages Of Hiv Infection


  • There are three stages of HIV infection. The symptoms vary in type and severity from person-to-person.
  • Stage 1 after initial infection can feel like flu but not everyone will experience this.
  • Stage 2 is when many people start to feel better and may last for 10 years or more. During this time a person may have no symptoms.
  • Stage 3 is when a persons immune system is very badly damaged and can no longer fight off serious infections and illnesses.
  • The earlier a person is diagnosed with HIV and starts treatment, the better their health will be over time.
  • Some people dont get any symptoms during stages 1 and 2, and may not know they have the virus, but they can still pass on HIV.

The signs of HIV infection can vary in type and severity from person-to-person, and some people may not have any symptoms for many years.

The stages below describe how HIV infection progresses in the body if it is left untreated. Without antiretroviral treatment for HIV, the virus replicates in the body and causes more and more damage to the immune system.

However with effective treatment, you can keep the virus under control and stop it from progressing. This is why its important to start treatment as soon as possible after testing positive.

The Quest For Understanding Of Hiv

Pin on HIV/AIDS Infographics

Since the discovery of HIV and its link to AIDS, great strides have been made in understanding its biology and in developing effective treatments. The difficulty in dealing with HIV on a global scale is largely due to the fact that HIV infection is far more common in resource-poor countries.

In the developed world, antiretroviral therapy has greatly improved prognosis and increased survival rates. Public education programs have raised awareness such that testing and prevention of infection are more common. Both of these approaches are difficult in countries with undereducated or underfunded populations.

A thorough discussion of the history of AIDS and the biologic link between HIV and AIDS can be found in an article entitled ” The relationship between the human immunodeficiency virus and the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome ” at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases website. The document was originally written in September 1995, before the advent of highly active antiretroviral therapy , which has significantly improved AIDS-free survival in persons infected with HIV. This version was updated March 2010.

Patient confidentiality

HIV-related health information is typically considered separate from other health information and may require separate consent to share or divulge.

Health care workers who are infected with HIV may be required to divulge their status to their employer or patients and may be restricted in the types of procedures they can perform.

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What Are The Types Of Hiv Tests

There are three types of human immunodeficiency virus tests used to diagnose HIV infections, which are

  • Antibody tests: These tests check for HIV antibodies in the blood or oral fluid.
  • Antigen/antibody tests: These help to detect both HIV antibodies and antigens in the blood.
  • Nucleic acid tests: These look for HIV in the blood.

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