How long can you live with HIV?
There is no generalized definitive period for which a person with HIV can live. In the case of an untreated HIV infection, the overall mortality rate is more than 90%. The average time from infection to death is eight to ten years. This may; however, vary from person to person. Many factors affect survival:
With the increasing use of antiretroviral therapy (ART) and the introduction of better antiviral regimens, survival with HIV infection has increased over time. The survival, however, is not yet equivalent to that in uninfected individuals.
What are the four stages of HIV?
HIV infection can present in the following four stages:
- This is the earliest stage of HIV infection.
- It appears generally within two to four weeks after HIV infection.
- The symptoms during this stage include:
- In the acute stage, the virus multiplies rapidly and spreads throughout the body.
- HIV targets and destroys the CD4 cells (the infection-fighting cells of the immune system); in this stage of HIV infection, the level of HIV in the blood is very high. The high levels increase the risk of HIV transmission or spread.
- This is the best stage to start ART because this stage gives significant health benefits.
Chronic HIV infection
- This is the stage of asymptomatic HIV infection or clinical latency.
- In this stage, the symptoms of stage one go away but the HIV infection continues to multiply in the body, though at very low levels.
- The symptoms subside as the virus overpowers the immune system and progressively kills the CD4 cells to destroy the body’s immunity.
- If ART is not given, a chronic HIV infection usually advances to AIDS in 10 years or longer. In some people, however, it may advance faster.
- If ART is administered, the person may stay in this stage for several decades.
- Although it is still possible to transmit HIV to others during this stage, taking ART exactly as prescribed will maintain an undetectable viral load in the person. So, they have an effectively negligible risk of transmitting HIV to an HIV-negative partner through sex.
Moderately symptomatic stage
- In this stage, due to disease progression, certain symptoms appear:
- Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) is the final and most severe stage of HIV.
- In this stage, HIV reduces CD4 cell counts to very low levels (less than 200 units), which severely damages the immune system.
- The weak immune system cannot fight bacteria, viruses and fungi that are unable to cause diseases in other healthy people (opportunistic infections). Opportunistic infections are infections and infection-related cancers that occur more frequently or are more severe in people with weakened immune systems than in people with healthy immune systems.
- Once a person progresses to AIDS, they have a high viral load and can transmit HIV to others very easily.
- In the absence of treatment, people with AIDS typically survive for about three years.
What is the window period for HIV?
The window period refers to the time after the HIV infection, when the presence of HIV in the blood cannot be detected by a diagnostic test. It takes a different amount of time for HIV to show up on different HIV tests. The length of the window period depends on the type of test a person takes. The advanced tests (called the fourth-generation tests) can give an accurate result within four weeks of the infection, while others may take two to three months.
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HIV/AIDS Facts: What Is HIV?
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is the precursor infection to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). HIV is transmitted through blood and genital secretions; most people get it through sexual contact or sharing needles for illegal IV drug use. HIV can be controlled by a strict drug regimen, but left unchecked, it leads to AIDS. In AIDS, the immune system collapses and the body falls prey to secondary, opportunistic infections and cancers that typically kill the person.
What Are HIV & AIDS?HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, or AIDS. Learn about HIV positive, being HIV positive, how HIV infection spreads, T-Cell counts, antiretroviral therapy (ART), viral load, Truveda, and other HIV/AIDS therapies.
HIV TestingHIV antibody tests detect antibodies the body produces to neutralize the virus. HIV RNA testing uses polymerase chain reaction to detect HIV RNA in a person's blood. It usually takes one to three days to get results.
HIV vs. AIDSHuman immunodeficiency virus causes HIV infection. Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a condition that results after HIV has extensively damaged a person's immune system. Risk factors for HIV and AIDS include use of contaminated needles or syringes, unprotected sex, STDs, receiving a blood transfusion prior to 1985 in the United States, having many sex partners, and transmission from a mother to her child.
How Do Integrase Strand-Transfer Inhibitors Work in Antiretroviral Therapy for HIV Infection?Integrase strand-transfer inhibitors (INSTIs) are one of the latest additions to the classes of drugs used in antiretroviral therapy (ART) for human immunodeficiency (HIV) infection. INSTIs are often a part of fixed-dose, single pill, combination drug formulations for ART. INSTIs can help prevent HIV from progressing into AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).
How Effective Is ART for HIV Infection?Antiretroviral therapy (ART) for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection is a treatment regimen used to reduce the amount of the virus in the body (viral load). There is no cure for HIV, but antiretroviral therapy given as a combination of different drugs can slow the progress of the infection and reduce the chances of transmission to others.
How Long Does It Take to See Signs of HIV?The signs and symptoms of HIV may first appear within two to four weeks of infection. The stage in which the symptoms appear is called the stage of acute HIV infection. The symptoms appear due to the resistance or fight of the immune system against HIV. Early diagnosis and treatment of HIV gets the best results.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) infection left untreated causes AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). Still incurable, AIDS describes immune system collapse that opens the way for opportunistic infections and cancers to kill the patient.
- Early symptoms and signs of HIV infection include flu-like symptoms and fungal infections, but some people may not show any symptoms for years.
- Highly active antiretroviral therapy (ART) is the standard treatment for HIV infection. These combination drug regimens have made HIV much less deadly, but a cure or vaccine for the pandemic remains out of reach.
- HIV is usually transmitted through sexual contact or sharing IV drug needles, but can also infect someone through contact with infected blood.
- Sexual abstinence, safe sex practices, quitting IV drugs (or at least using clean needles), and proper safety equipment by clinicians and first responders can drastically reduce transmission rates for HIV/AIDS.
What Are NRTIs in Antiretroviral Therapy For HIV Infection?Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. NRTIs were the first drugs developed to manage HIV and remain a mainstay of antiretroviral therapy (ART) combinations. HIV progressively weakens the immune system, leading to acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), when the body is no longer able to fight infection effectively. HIV has no cure and can only be controlled by lifelong medication.
How do protease inhibitors work in antiretroviral therapy for HIV infection?Protease inhibitors are one of the classes of drugs in the combination of drugs used for antiretroviral therapy (ART) for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Protease inhibitors may be one class of drugs included in the ART cocktail for HIV to prevent its progression into AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome), which may cause death from secondary infection or cancer after the collapse of the immune system.
What Are NNRTIs In Antiretroviral Therapy for HIV Infection?Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs) are one of the classes of drugs that form part of the antiretroviral therapy (ART) for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. An NNRTI drug may be part of a cocktail of ART drugs that each target HIV at different points in its replication cycle to help lower the level of virus in the body and prevent HIV from causing AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). AIDS may lead to death from secondary infections after immune system collapse.
What Are the Single-Tablet ART Regimens for HIV Infection?Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) for HIV is usually tailored to suit individual requirements. Currently, seven classes of drugs are available individually, but can be combined for a complete ART regimen, which usually contains three different drugs targeting the virus at different stages of replication. ART regimens are increasingly combined in single-tablet formulations to help patients comply with treatment and avoid the disease progressing into AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).
What ART Drugs Prevent HIV Entry into the Human Immune Cell?Three classes of drugs developed to treat HIV/AIDS work by preventing entry of the human immunodeficiency virus into the immune cells, preventing the virus from replicating and destroying the immune system. These classes (which are typically combined with two or more other HIV drugs) include fusion inhibitors, chemokine receptor antagonist (CCR5 antagonist) and Post-attachment inhibitor (entry inhibitor).