How The HIV Virus Progresses
Everybody knows about the kind of damage that AIDS can do to an individual’s life. It is a disease that is often
deadly and it continues to spread around the world at an unprecedented rate. Very few people are clear on the
progression of the disease from the HIV virus to full-blown AIDS, however, so in this article,
we have decided to go through the progression of the disease to let you know exactly what leads to a case of
As with any type of disease, the time that it takes the HIV virus to fully translate into the dreaded AIDS
disease tends to vary from individual to individual. Some people can live with AIDS for years, while others fall
quickly to the disease. On average, a person can expect a period of time between seven and ten years between
contracting the HIV virus and having full-blown AIDS.
Consequently most people who contract the HIV virus have a life span of roughly ten to twelve years after
infection. Individual cases can deviate from the norm in a major way, however, with some individuals dying from
AIDS a mere six months after becoming infected with the HIV virus. Individuals who have fallen victim to the HIV
virus through a blood transfusion tend to be the quickest to progress through the stages of the disease. To that
end, it is very important to detect the HIV virus early so that you can seek treatment to ensure that the disease
does not progress very quickly.
The progression of the AIDS disease is split into four separate steps: primary HIV infection, the clinically
asymptomatic stage, symptomatic HIV infection, and the progression from HIV to AIDS.
The first stage occurs when an individual contracts the virus, and a short phase of flu-like symptoms may
manifest. About twenty percent of all individuals that are in the stage of primary HIV infection will have symptoms
that will be serious enough to cause them to wonder if they should visit a doctor or not. Unfortunately, not many
people act on the symptoms.
Did You Know?
The best and most certain way of not getting HIV or AIDS is to avoid contact with
body fluids from an infected person. Contact can occur during homosexual or heterosexual
Body fluids find an opening in the body and the infection is passed to another
person. The virus can get into the vagina, anus, mouth, and eyes. A person with an open cut or
wound can allow the virus into their body. If you are in the medical profession, it is urgent you
take precautions while handling patients. Gloves, masks, and goggles are necessary to protect from
accidental infection of the HIV virus.
Research on the HIV virus and the disease of AIDS has been continuing since the
early 1980’s. The epidemic is growing and scientists and researchers are constantly working on
vaccines and new therapies for AIDS and other HIV associated conditions.
There are over 30 HIV vaccines that are being tested on humans, and there are many
other drugs for HIV or AIDS related infections that are still being developed and tested by major
laboratories. Researchers are still trying to trace how the disease progresses and how it damages
the immune system.
During the second stage, known as the clinically asymptomatic stage, an individual may be free from any of the
major symptoms of AIDS for a period of up to ten years. There is not much HIV in the bloodstream at this stage, but
the disease is still transmissible. Antibody tests can be used in order to determine whether or not an individual
is HIV-positive at this stage.
In the third stage of HIV infection, the body’s immune system becomes damaged in many different ways. The lymph
nodes often do not function as well as they used to, and the T-cells of the body that help to defend against
invaders will often become overcome by the ever-mutating virus. Also, the body may not be producing T-cells at the
rate that it once did, causing the immune system to become more compromised. Many different AIDS-related diseases
may manifest at this stage.
You can’t get the virus by breathing the same air as an AIDS patient. It is not an
You can only get the infection by coming into direct contact with body fluids of a
person who has the HIV virus.
The fourth stage of HIV infection results in an individual being diagnosed with full-blown AIDS.
Severe types of AIDS-related diseases are often present at this stage and there is little that can be done to
prevent the damage.