Common Specialities
{{speciality.keyWord}}
Common Issues
{{issue.keyWord}}
Common Treatments
{{treatment.keyWord}}

HIV Infections - Stages And Symptoms

Dr. Rakesh Sharma 87% (11 ratings)
DDF, FCCP, MD , MBBS
General Physician, Delhi  •  29 years experience
HIV Infections - Stages And Symptoms

HIV or the human immunodeficiency virus is the lentivirus which causes HIV infection and leads to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or AIDS.

The symptoms of HIV vary from person to person. There are three main stages of HIV infections, where each stage has different symptoms.

Here are some facts about the three stages of HIV infections along with the accompanying symptoms.

Acute HIV Infection Stage: This is the first stage of HIV infection and after three to four weeks of becoming HIV infected, people experience symptoms, which are similar to flu. This flu usually does not last more than two weeks.

Symptoms include:

  1. Fever
  2. Rashes on the body
  3. A sore throat
  4. Swelling of different glands
  5. Headache
  6. Joint and muscle pain
  7. Improper digestion

These symptoms appear and indicate that the body is reacting to the HIV. Infected cells circulate throughout the blood, and the immune system produces HIV antibodies in order to attack the viruses. This process is termed as seroconversion, and it takes place within 45 days of getting infected. The levels of virus in your blood are quite high during this stage.

Clinical latency stage: This is the second stage of HIV infection, which follows the early stage. This stage is also known as chronic HIV stage. During this stage, HIV is active, but is reproduced at a very low level. People in this stage may not receive symptoms related to HIV or may get mild indications.

In case of people who do not take medicines for HIV treatment, this stage lasts for a long period. Some people, however, progress faster through this stage. Medicines should be taken to keep the virus in check. During this stage, people can transmit HIV to others very easily in spite of not experiencing any symptoms. People who are on medication stay suppressed virally and have a low level of HIV in their blood, and the risk of transmission is less.

Symptomic HIV infection or AIDS stage: This is the third stage of HIV infection, which is characterized by severe damage to the immune system of an HIV-virus affected person. A patient is likely to have serious infections and gets bacterial or fungal diseases. The infections are termed as opportunistic infections. The patient is now said to be having AIDS.

The symptoms of this stage are:

  1. Loss of weight
  2. Diarrhoea
  3. Sweating at night
  4. Fevers and persistent coughing
  5. Problems in the mouth and skin
  6. Infections on a regular basis
  7. Illness and development of other diseases.

HIV infection affects the body via three stages and leads to AIDS in the third stage. Each stage is accompanied by several symptoms. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a general physician.

3475 people found this helpful