Can you live with AIDS without knowing?

Likelihood of hiv infection in a single exposure

People with HIV infection or AIDS are at a higher risk of developing certain types of cancer than those without the infection. They also share the same risks for many other cancers. People with HIV or AIDS may have the opportunity to reduce their risk for certain cancers, or to detect them in their early stages, when they are more likely to be treated effectively.

The risk of developing some of the most common types of cancer in people with HIV may be reduced by avoiding certain risk factors. For example, not smoking or injecting drugs, and avoiding or limiting alcohol consumption may help reduce the risk of some cancers. Some cancers associated with HIV and AIDS are caused by viruses that can be spread through sexual activity, so safer sex practices may contribute to protection against certain cancers.

In people with cervical cancer, cervical cancer can often be detected in its early stages or even prevented by regular screening. Testing is done more frequently if the person has HIV infection. HIV experts recommend that HIV-infected women undergo a Pap test as soon as possible after receiving an HIV diagnosis. Depending on the results of the Pap test, additional testing may be required. How often women with HIV require a Pap test depends on the results of the first Pap test.

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H

This study, conducted in the United States, focused specifically on people who had access to medical care. Thus, all participants were enrolled in Kaiser Permanente, an integrated provider of health insurance and medical care in California, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

However, the research team also examined for evidence of chronic liver disease (including hepatitis B or C), chronic kidney disease, chronic lung disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or cancer.

However, the potential limitation of this study is that people with HIV tend to visit their doctors regularly and get screened more frequently than other people and, as a result, chronic health problems may be diagnosed at an earlier age.

‘Community health workers acting with mothers with HIV’. Baylor College of Medicine Children’s Foundation – Malawi / Robbie Flick. Creative Commons license.SEARCH study finds universal ‘diagnosis and treatment’ strategy reduces childhood HIV.

My husband has hiv, but I am still healthy.

Without treatment, HIV infection progresses in phases and worsens over time. HIV gradually destroys the immune system and eventually causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).

There is no cure for HIV, but treatment with anti-HIV drugs (known as antiretroviral therapy or ART) can delay or prevent HIV from progressing from one stage to another. Anti-HIV drugs help people with HIV live longer, healthier lives. One of the main goals of ART is to reduce a person’s viral load to an undetectable level. An undetectable viral load means that the concentration of HIV in the blood is too low to be detected by a viral load test. People with HIV who maintain an undetectable viral load have no effective risk of transmitting HIV to their HIV-negative partner through sex.

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How long can a person with hiv live without treatment?

AIDS stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and defines the series of symptoms and infections that are associated with acquired immune system deficiency. HIV infection is considered the underlying cause of AIDS. The level of immunodeficiency and the occurrence of certain infections are used as indicators of whether HIV infection has progressed and caused AIDS (see question 4).

HIV infection causes progressive depletion and weakening of the immune system. This leads to increased susceptibility of the body to infections and cancers and can lead to the development of AIDS (see questions 2 and 4).

AIDS is identified on the basis of certain infections. Stage I HIV disease is asymptomatic and is not considered AIDS. Stage II (includes mild candidiasis and frequent upper respiratory tract infections), stage III (includes chronic unexplained diarrhea persisting for more than one month, various bacterial infections and pulmonary tuberculosis) and stage IV HIV disease (includes cerebral toxoplasmosis, candidiasis of the esophagus, trachea or lungs and Kaposi’s sarcoma) are used as indicators of AIDS. Most of these conditions are easily treatable opportunistic infections in healthy individuals.