A Conversation for AIDS HIV - General Information
amdsweb Started conversation Oct 25, 2002
A great article!
Even though it can take 5-10 years for people with HIV to develop AIDS, the range is actually much greater (18 months - 15+ years), and the advent of HAART (combination antiviral therapy) has made many feel that AIDS can be delayed for many years (some would even go as far as to say decades!).
HIV infection manifests in 3 phases:
1) Seroconversion - typically 6-8 weeks after infection. Approx 75% of newly infected people suffer a feverish illness during seroconversion, and 60% have a rash. Many have swollen glands, and oral/genital ulcers are commonly seen. This period lasts 2-6 weeks, and resolves without specific treatment. During this period, the T-helper cell count (CD4 count) drops dramatically, and OIs can be seen even at this early stage. A severe seroconversion illness is thought by many to be a predictor of early progression to AIDS.
2) The latent phase - the asymptomatic phase prior to full-blown AIDS.
Some people are lucky enough to have a very prolonged latent period. These so-called 'long-term non-progressors' are thought to have subtle differences in their immune system. Some have strong responses from T-cells called CD8 cells, and others seem to lack a chemical called CC5, which aids the entry of the virus into CD4 cells. However, even these people will eventually progress to full-blown AIDS without the help of HAART.
Dr Hell Posted Oct 27, 2002
There's a more exact description of that coming up, including an explanation of why the 'latency' time shouldn't be called a 'latency' time in a strict sense. Keep your eyes peeled for the next ones.
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