HIV and AIDS are often terms that are confused.
However, the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) are not the same thing.
When you have HIV this does not mean that you have necessarily contracted AIDS, but a person with AIDS has HIV.
To summarize, if an individual is HIV positive and not treated with treatment then he or she will be an AIDS patient.
Here are the different stages of evolution of HIV:
- The primary infection:
This period is the infestation of the body by the virus (HIV). There are not necessarily any physical symptoms. The body tries to fight the infection and the immune system develops antibodies. During this phase, there is a high risk of transmission.
- The asymptomatic phase:
Once the body is contaminated with HIV, it follows a stage that can last for years, between 5 and 10 years during this, there are no symptoms. The immune system weakens, the number of CD4 lymphocytes decreases, it will be said that the individual is “HIV-positive”. However, we still do not speak of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.
- The acceleration phase:
The immune system is becoming weaker and the virus is intensifying, greatly reducing the number of CD4 cells.
- The AIDS stage:
The individual who was HIV-positive is now an AIDS patient. Opportunistic diseases multiply and collapse the immune system, cancers can develop. Without antiretroviral therapy, this stage can be fatal.
Because prevention is better than cure, to avoid any risk of contamination, protect yourself with condom!