Although HIV is the virus that causes AIDS, there is a difference between being infected with HIV and having AIDS. A person can have HIV without having AIDS, but can not have AIDS without HIV. There are five stages of HIV infection, the latest AIDS.
The first stage of HIV infection is called the “window period.” It is a period when the infected person can not be sick and can not leave positive tests, but will have a high viral load and highly infectious.
Seroconversion is the second stage of infection by HIV and another period in which the infected person is highly infectious. Seroconversion is during the body develops antibodies to HIV that can be detected on tests. Several are also symptoms of infection, including fever, rash, fatigue and neurological symptoms.
The asymptomatic period is the status of HIV infection in which the person may show no symptoms or have any viral load increase. This period can last up to ten years, especially with treating physician. HIV-positive patients in the asymptomatic period are not considered with AIDS.
Once the asymptomatic period ends, the individual will pass HIV positive symptoms early and middle period. Early period symptoms include rash, fatigue, weight loss and other symptoms common to the disease. As the disease involves much of the immune system, the symptoms of the middle period as weight loss, persistent oral ulcer, the candidiasis oral and diarrhea are common.
AIDS is the final stage of HIV infection is characterized by a CD4 or T cell count less than 200 and / or certain opportunistic infections. AIDS is considered a separate HIV infection because it requires specific criteria before being diagnosed.
Difference between HIV and AIDS
HIV is the virus that reproduces within certain immune cells. AIDS is a syndrome composed of various medical problems, including low CD4 counts and the presence of one or more opportunistic infections. One does not “catch” AIDS, but AIDS develops as a worsening of the HIV infection.