Therefore, when an HIV-infected person becomes seriously ill for the first time, or when the number of immune cells left in his or her body is less than a certain level, he or she is considered to have AIDS.
AIDS is a very serious stage in which the body has very little defense against all kinds of infections. In fact, not everyone living with HIV is necessarily infected with AIDS, but they can infect others during their lifetime.
How long does it take for HIV to become AIDS?
Without medication, the average HIV infection progresses to AIDS in 10 years, which is 10 years for a well-nourished person. But a person who lives in a poor area and is not well nourished may move much faster towards AIDS and eventually death.
Antiviral drug treatment can prolong the time between HIV infection and the onset of AIDS. New drugs have been developed that allow an HIV-infected person to live longer before developing AIDS. But these drugs are very expensive and scarce and are not available in many poor countries, and those infected in these countries are dying faster.
Unfortunately, studies show that many people think that there is a cure for AIDS, which makes them feel safer and more at risk, but they are wrong. There is no definitive cure for AIDS.
There are only antiviral medications that slow the progression of HIV to AIDS, in which case a person can live a healthy life for several years.
In some cases, antiviral therapy loses its effectiveness after a few years, and in other cases, the person recovers from AIDS but lives with HIV for decades, but these people are forced to take strong medications for the rest of their daily lives. Unpleasant side effects are associated.
There is still no definitive cure for HIV, and so far the only way to stay safe is not to become infected.
As the immune system weakens, over time the body prepares for infections and cancers that are not commonly seen in normal people, such as lung disease, severe and chronic diarrhea, chronic fever, weight loss, and personality disorders. , خود show their brain and skin diseases that will eventually lead to the death of the infected person.
The symptoms of HIV infection are very complex and have several stages, not all of which are necessarily seen in infected people.
These steps are:
Early stage of HIV infection: (first stage)
This stage lasts for several weeks and is usually accompanied by a cold-like condition that occurs immediately after infection. This cold-like condition is sometimes referred to as seroconversion. (Symptoms such as fever, sore throat, enlarged lymph nodes, joint and muscle pain, headache, weakness and lethargy, anorexia, nausea and vomiting, weight loss, diarrhea and sometimes skin rashes or nervous manifestations)
In about 20% of cases, the symptoms are such that the person sees a doctor but is usually undiagnosed, and even if the HIV antibody test is done at this time, it may still not be positive.
During this stage, there is a large amount of HIV in a person’s peripheral blood, and the immune system begins to respond to the virus by producing antibodies (antibodies) and cell-killing lymphocytes (cytotoxic lymphocytes).
It takes about 2 to 12 weeks and sometimes up to 6 months from the onset of the AIDS virus to a positive laboratory test.
The percentage of the main symptoms of the acute phase of primary HIV infection is given in the table below:
Frequency of signs
51% of skin grains (beech)
37% of mouth ulcers
54% joint pain
44% Inflammation of the throat (pharyngitis)
32% weight loss of more than 2.5 kg
68% boredom and lethargy
49% of muscle pain
46% of fever and skin rash
The only sure way to diagnose HIV infection is to get tested for HIV antibodies, and HV infection cannot be diagnosed based on clinical signs.
Asymptomatic stage (second stage)
This stage lasts an average of 10 years and, as the name implies, is devoid of any symptoms, although swollen lymph nodes may be present (lymphadenopathy).
HIV levels in the peripheral blood drop to very low levels, but the disease is still contagious and HIV antibodies in the blood can be evaluated.
Recent research has shown that HIV is not inactive during this stage and is very active in the lymph nodes. Many T-helper cells become infected and die, and many viruses are produced.
There is a new laboratory test that measures the small amount of HIV that is released from the lymph nodes. This test measures HIV-RNA (RNA is the genetic material of HIV). This test is called a viral load test, which plays a very important role in Treatment of HIV infection.
Symptomatic stage of HIV infection (stage three)
Over time, the immune system loses its power, for the following three main reasons.
1. Tissues and lymph nodes are damaged due to years of activity
2. And HIV mutates and its infection intensifies. In other words, T-helper becomes stronger and more diverse to destroy cells.
3. The body does not have the ability to replace lost T-helper cells.
Immune system defects cause symptoms that are mild at the beginning of many symptoms. But with a weakened immune system, the symptoms get worse.
Progress from HIV to AIDS
With more damage to the immune system, the disease progresses until the diagnosis of AIDS is made. In the UK, a diagnosis of AIDS is now confirmed when an HIV-positive person develops a certain number of opportunistic infections or cancers, although an HIV-positive person can be seriously ill but not diagnosed with AIDS.