Stages of HIV/AIDS


According to NIHAIDS info-stages of HIV Infection without treatment, HIV
advances in stages, overwhelming your immune system and getting worse over
time. There are three (3) stages of HIV infection, which are;
(1) Acute HIV infection (2) Clinical latency (3) AIDS (Acquired immunodeficiency
syndrome). However there is good news by using HIV medicines (called antiretroviral
therapy or ART) Consistently, you can prevent HIV from progressing to AIDS.

Acute HIV infection stages
Within 2-4 weeks after HIV infection, many but not all people develop
flu-like symptoms often described as the worst flu ever. Symptoms can include
fever, swollen glands, This is called Acute Retroviral syndrome (ARS) or
primary HIV infection, and it is the body natural response to the HIV
infection.
During this early period of infection, large amount of virus are being
produced in the body .The virus uses CD4 count to replicate and destroy them in
the process. Because of this, your CD4 Cells can fall rapidly. Eventually your
immune response will being to bring the level of the virus in your body back
down to a level called a viral set point which is relatively stable level of
virus in the body. At this point, the CD4 count begin to increase, but may not
return to reinjection levels, it may be particularly beneficial to health to
begin ARVs during the stage.
During the acute HIV infection stage, you are at high risk of
transmitting HIV to your sexual or drugs using partners because the levels of
HIV in the bloodstream are very high. For this reason, it is very important to
take steps to reduce the risk of transmission.
Clinical latency stage
After the acute stage of HIV infection, the disease moves into a stage
called the clinical latency stage. Latency means a period here a virus is
living or developing in a person without producing symptoms. During the
clinical latency stage, people who are infected with HIV experience no
symptoms, or only mild ones (this stage is sometimes called asymptomatic HIV
infection or Chronic HIV infection). During this stage, the HIV virus continues
to reproduce at very low levels, although it is still active.
If someone is HIV positive and not on ART(antiretroviral therapy), then
eventually the viral load will begin to rise and the CD4 count will begin to
decline. As this happens, the person may begin to have constitutional symptoms
of HIV as the viral level increases in the body.
AIDS
This is the stage of HIV infection that occurs when your immune system
is badly damaged and you becomes vulnerable to opportunistic infections. When
the number of the CD4 cells falls below 200 cells per cubic millimetres of
blood(200cells/mm3),he/she progressed to AIDS (in someone with healthy immune
system,CD4 count are between 500 and 1600 cells/mm3).
Without treatment, people who progresses to AIDS typically survive about
3 years. Once you have a dangerous opportunistic infections, life expectancy
without treatment falls to about 1 year. However, if you are taking your ART
and maintain a low viral load, then you may enjoy a near normal life span (NIHAIDS
info-stages of HIV infection).(web-U.S Department of health and human
services).
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