How long does it take for HIV to turn into AIDS?


Quick Answer

As of 2014, HIV turns into AIDS in an average of eight to 11 years, according to Aids.org. The rate varies by person, and is influenced by a person's health status and behaviors. Medical treatments slow down the rate at which the AIDS virus weakens the immune system. There are also medical treatments for diseases associated with AIDS, such as pneumonia.

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Full Answer

Early detection of an HIV infection is critical to patient survival rates, according to AIDS.org. AIDS.gov explains that there are three stages of infection with the AIDS virus. The first stage is the acute infection. In this stage, large amounts of the virus are produced in the body, resulting in flu-like symptoms that many patients describe as the worst flu they have ever experienced. The second stage is clinical latency, when HIV reproduces at low levels though it's still active. Many patients are symptom free during this stage. Without medical treatment, clinical latency lasts an average of 10 years. Proper medical treatment can extend the clinical latency stage to several decades. HIV is considered to have become AIDS when a patient's CD4 is below 200 cells/mm.

According to AIDS.gov, survival rate from the time the disease progresses to AIDS is an average of three years. One of the defining symptoms of AIDS is wasting syndrome, which results in patients losing 10 percent or more of their body weight.

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