Everybody knows about the kind of damage that AIDS can do to an individuals 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 AIDS.
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 4 Stages
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.
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 bodys 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.
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.