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 infection with HIV, most recently AIDS.
The first stage of HIV infection is called “period window “. It is a period when the infected person can not be sick and can not leave positive tests, but have a high viral load and highly infectious.
Seroconversion is the second stage of HIV infection and is another period when the infected person is highly infectious. Seroconversion is during the body develops antibodies to HIV that can be detected on tests. Several symptoms of infection also occur, including fever, rash, fatigue and neurological symptoms.
The asymptomatic period is the status of HIV infection in which the person may be asymptomatic or have any increase in viral load. This period can last up to ten years, especially with medical treatment. Positive period in asymptomatic HIV patients are not considered AIDS.
Once the asymptomatic period ends, the individual will go through symptoms HIV positive period early and medium. Symptoms of period early include rash, fatigue, weight loss and other symptoms common to the disease. As the disease involves much of the immune system, symptoms of the middle period as weight loss, persistent mouth ulcer, oral candidiasis and diarrhea are more common.
AIDS is the final stage of HIV infection is characterized by a CD4 or T cell count of 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 consisting of various medical problems, including low CD4 count and the presence of one or more opportunistic infections. One does not “catch” AIDS, but AIDS develops as a worsening of HIV infection.