The Progression of HIV

Stages of HIV

According to the CDC, HIV presents itself in three different stages. These stages include the following:

  • Stage 1: Acute HIV Infection – Sometimes, people may not see any symptoms within the first 2 to 4 weeks of infection, leaving them unaware that they have contracted the disease. Others experience flu-like symptoms. These flu-like symptoms may be an indicator that you have contracted the virus during recent sexual activity or drug use.
  • Stage 2: Clinical Latency – This stage is often known as an asymptomatic HIV infection or chronic HIV infection. Most patients do not have any symptoms during this phase due to the virus reproducing at low levels. The length of this stage depends on a patient’s ability to consistently take their antiretroviral medications. Regularly taking HIV medications will prolong this stage and the advancement of the disease.
  • Stage 3: AIDS – AIDS is the final progression of HIV. The immune system is almost completely compromised and you are vulnerable to several illnesses. Your symptoms may depend on the illness you contract.

As you can see, HIV can be hard to detect without specific testing. Symptoms are often non-existent. If you are experiencing STD related or flu-like symptoms, visit an HIV specialist. Even if you do not experience these symptoms, you should get tested regularly after sexual intercourse. You may be in the first stage of HIV.

Why Visit an HIV Specialist?