What Can Hiv Do To The Body

What Can Hiv Do To The Body – Medically reviewed by Daniel Murrell, MD – by Rachel Nall, MSN, CRNA – Updated April 24, 2020

HIV attacks a specific cell of the body’s immune system. It is known as CD4 helper cell or T cell. When HIV destroys this cell, it becomes more difficult for the body to fight other infections.

What Can Hiv Do To The Body

What Can Hiv Do To The Body

When HIV is left untreated, even a minor infection, such as a cold, can become much more severe. This is because it is difficult for the body to respond to new infections.

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HIV not only attacks CD4 cells, it also uses the cells to make more viruses. HIV destroys CD4 cells by using their replication machinery to make new copies of the virus. This eventually causes the CD4 cells to swell and burst.

When the virus has destroyed a certain number of CD4 cells and the CD4 count falls below 200, a person progresses to AIDS.

However, it is important to note that advances in HIV treatment have enabled many people living with HIV to live longer and healthier lives.

HIV is transmitted through contact with the following bodily fluids, which are the most likely to cause HIV transmission:

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Sex without a condom and sharing needles – even tattooing or piercing – can cause HIV transmission. However, if an HIV-positive person can achieve suppression of the virus, then he will not be able to transmit HIV to others through sexual contact.

A person has achieved viral suppression when they have fewer than 200 copies of HIV RNA per milliliter of blood.

HIV does not always multiply quickly. If left untreated, it can take years for a person’s immune system to show signs of immune dysfunction and other infections. See a timeline of HIV symptoms.

What Can Hiv Do To The Body

Even without symptoms, HIV can still be in the body and can still be transmitted. Adequate treatment that suppresses the virus halts the progression of immune dysfunction and AIDS. Adequate treatment also helps restore the damaged immune system.

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Symptoms of an acute infection may appear several days to weeks after being infected with the virus. At this time, the virus multiplies rapidly in the body, unchecked.

Flu symptoms are caused by increased copies of HIV and the infection spreading throughout the body. During this time, the CD4 cell count begins to drop very rapidly. The immune system is then activated, causing CD4 levels to rise again. However, CD4 levels may not return to pre-HIV levels.

In addition to potentially causing symptoms, the acute stage is when people with HIV have the greatest chance of passing the virus to others. This is because HIV levels are very high at this time. The acute stage usually lasts from several weeks to months.

The chronic stage of HIV is known as the latent or asymptomatic stage. At this stage, the person will usually not have as many symptoms as in the acute phase. This is because the virus does not multiply as quickly.

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However, a person can still transmit HIV if the virus is untreated and they still have a detectable viral load. Without treatment, the chronic stage of HIV can last for many years before progressing to AIDS.

Advances in antiretroviral treatment have greatly improved the outlook for people living with HIV. With proper treatment, many HIV-positive people can achieve viral suppression and live long, healthy lives. Learn more about HIV and life expectancy.

A normal CD4 count ranges from about 500 to 1,600 cells per cubic millimeter of blood (cells/mm3) in healthy adults, according to HIV.gov.

What Can Hiv Do To The Body

A person may also be diagnosed with AIDS if they have had an opportunistic infection or another AIDS-defining condition.

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People with AIDS are vulnerable to opportunistic infections and common infections that can include tuberculosis, toxoplasmosis, and pneumonia.

People with weakened immune systems are also more susceptible to certain types of cancer, such as lymphoma and cervical cancer.

The most important factor affecting the progression of HIV is the ability of the virus to suppress itself. Taking antiretroviral therapy regularly helps many people slow the progression of HIV and achieve viral suppression.

However, different factors affect the progression of HIV, and some people progress through the phases of HIV more quickly than others.

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Following a healthy lifestyle and seeing a doctor regularly can have a huge impact on a person’s health.

Treatment for HIV usually includes antiretroviral therapy. It is not a specific regimen, but a combination of three or four drugs. The US Food and Drug Administration has currently approved nearly 50 different medications to treat HIV.

Antiretroviral therapy works to prevent the virus from replicating itself. This maintains immunity and slows down the progression of HIV.

What Can Hiv Do To The Body

Most health care providers will start people with HIV on a combination of three medications from at least two different drug classes. These classes, from most frequently prescribed to least frequently prescribed, are:

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HIV does not cause many outward or noticeable symptoms until the disease is advanced. For this reason, it is important to understand how HIV is transmitted and ways to prevent transmission.

Health care providers generally recommend that people get an HIV test at least once a year if they have had sex with someone in the past without a condom or sharing a needle. People who have previously had HIV will also benefit from episodic testing.

If a person has been infected with HIV within the past 72 hours, they should consider post-exposure prophylaxis, otherwise known as PEP.

People with ongoing exposure to HIV can benefit from pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and regular testing. PrEP is a daily pill, and the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends a PrEP regimen for people at increased risk of HIV infection.

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Advances in HIV treatment mean that people are living longer with the condition than ever before. Regular testing and good health care can reduce transmission.

If you are infected with HIV, getting treatment early can prevent further transmission to others and also prevent the disease from progressing. Treatment is vital to prevent the disease from progressing to AIDS.

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What Can Hiv Do To The Body

Our experts are constantly monitoring the health and wellness space and we update our articles as new information becomes available. Although there is no cure for HIV, early detection and effective treatment can enable a person living with HIV to live a normal life. However, if HIV remains untreated, it can progress to four serious stages. Therefore, it is important to get tested for HIV if you are concerned that you may be at risk.

Are Hives A Symptom Of Hiv?

The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) attacks a person’s immune system and affects their ability to fight disease and infection. Therefore, without treatment, HIV can be life-threatening. Early signs and symptoms of HIV vary from person to person and can easily be mistaken for other illnesses. Getting tested regularly for HIV can help reduce the long-term health consequences that can result from HIV.

If left untreated, HIV usually progresses through four stages. With access to treatment, most people living with HIV will stay healthy and never experience the late stages. This depends on how early HIV is detected and how well the person responds to treatment, along with other lifestyle factors.

The primary infection stage lasts only a few weeks, during which a person may experience flu-like symptoms such as fever, stomach upset, sore throat, or muscle aches. About one-fifth of people suffer enough to see a doctor, but HIV is rarely diagnosed this way alone.

At this stage, the immune system begins to respond to the virus by producing HIV antibodies and cytotoxic lymphocytes – a process known as seroconversion. A third-generation HIV test performed before this process is completed may be negative or inconclusive.

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Apart from swollen glands, the person is largely asymptomatic at this stage and often feels better. On average, this asymptomatic stage lasts about ten years, but can last up to 15 years. HIV antibodies can now be found in the blood and therefore the HIV test gives a positive result.

At this time, HIV is active in the lymph nodes, infecting new cells and making copies of itself. A viral load test measures the small amount of HIV that has cleared from the lymph nodes. This information is very important for HIV treatment.

The immune system is severely damaged by HIV over the years. Lymph nodes and tissues are damaged or destroyed. The body cannot keep up with the replacement of lost T-helper cells as the HIV infection becomes stronger and more diverse.

What Can Hiv Do To The Body

Symptoms develop with immune system failure and may include weight loss, chronic diarrhea, night sweats, and fever. Symptoms worsen when the immune system begins to slow down. This is the time when infections known as “opportunistic” infections and cancer can occur.

Immune System Function, Conditions & Disorders

As the immune system becomes increasingly compromised and illnesses increase in frequency and severity, a diagnosis of AIDS is made. AIDS means acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, potentially

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