How long can you have hiv without knowing it

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7 Symptoms of the early stages of HIV

how long can you have hiv without knowing it

Living with HIV - managing symptoms and life expectancy

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Yes, we can! This chapter explains some basic but complex issues, including how your immune system works and the way that HIV makes you sick. HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. The term immunodeficiency means a weakened immune system. HIV is a virus that weakens your immune system, which is the internal system that defends your body against disease. Your immune system is supposed to protect you from infections, but HIV can sneak past it and then attack your body from the inside. If your immune system becomes weak enough, you can become sick from other infections.

HIV is a virus that compromises the immune system. In the majority of cases, once HIV infection takes hold, the virus stays in the body for life. If left untreated, the disease progresses over time through three stages, each with its own set of possible symptoms and complications some severe. Regular antiretroviral treatment can reduce HIV to undetectable levels in the blood. The first noticeable stage is primary HIV infection. Fever is the most common symptom. Symptoms can continue for up to several weeks.

The only way to know for sure if you have HIV is to get tested. Knowing your HIV status gives you powerful information so you can take steps to keep yourself and your partner s healthy:. There are several symptoms of HIV. Not everyone will have the same symptoms. It depends on the person and what stage of the disease they are in. Within 2 to 4 weeks after infection with HIV, about two-thirds of people will have a flu-like illness.

Symptoms of HIV can vary between individuals however the first signs of infection generally appear within the first months. And the only way to know for sure is by getting tested. The fever, usually one of the first symptoms of HIV, is often accompanied by other mild symptoms, such as fatigue, swollen lymph glands, and a sore throat. At this point the virus is moving into the blood stream and starting to replicate in large numbers. As that happens, your immune system induces an inflammatory reaction. The inflammatory response generated by your besieged immune system can cause you to feel tired and lethargic.

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HIV timeline: What are the stages?

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