What Are the Four Stages of HIV?

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Human immunodeficiency virus or HIV is a concern for many men and women throughout Denton and Collin Counties. HIV care is necessary for reducing the risk of the disease moving toward its more advanced stages. The purpose of HIV treatment is to keep you in the early stages of the disease. Our team at Health Services of North Texas encourages you to seek proper HIV care as soon as possible if you experience this condition.

Here is a look at the four stages of HIV and how they can progress in Denton, Plano, and Wylie, TX.

Infection

The first stage of HIV entails an infection. The immune system will respond to the virus after you are infected by producing antibodies to keep the virus under control.

You may experience flu-like symptoms after becoming infected with HIV. You may notice a fever, headaches, and a sore throat. Some rashes may also develop around various parts of your skin. The initial signs will last for a few weeks on average as the body continues to respond to the new infection.

Asymptomatic

You can develop asymptomatic HIV during the second stage. An asymptomatic disease does not produce any noticeable symptoms. The stage could last for years, as the body’s immune system continues to become weak despite the person not being aware of the infection.

You will require an HIV test if you are uncertain if you have this virus. You can discover if you are in the asymptomatic stage of HIV through an exam. Our team at Health Services of North Texas in Denton, Plano, and Wylie, TX can help you with the test as necessary.

Symptomatic

You will become symptomatic if HIV has spread through your body unchecked. The immune system will become weak after a few years of untreated HIV, thus producing noticeable symptoms after a while. Some of these symptoms include fatigue, mouth ulcers, persistent diarrhea, and unexplained or unintentional weight loss.

You could also develop infections like toxoplasmosis or Kaposi sarcoma. These infections occur in people with weakened immune systems.

AIDS

The last stage of HIV occurs when the condition evolves into acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or AIDS. A doctor can determine if the patient’s condition has become AIDS by reviewing the CD4 count in a blood sample. The CD4 count measures the white blood cells necessary for keeping your immune system intact. A low count will suggest you have AIDS and are at risk of death from routine infections. A doctor could also review any opportunistic infections like Kaposi sarcoma to determine if you have AIDS.

Contact us for help with managing your HIV in Denton and Collin counties

While an HIV diagnosis can be worrisome, it does not mean your condition will advance to AIDS. You can safely live with HIV for years with the right treatments and therapies.

You can request our support at Health Services of North Texas in Wylie, Denton, or Plano, TX if you require assistance managing HIV. You can contact us for a confidential review of your situation. You may qualify for free testing and support and coverage through Ryan White Services. We will also ensure your general safety and privacy during this tough and sensitive time in your life.