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If you have contracted AIDS/HIV, how do you know?

Without getting blood tested, how can you know whether or not you have contracted the virus? Are there any noticable signs, such as fatigue or skin pigment changes? And typically, how long can the virus stay dormant inside you before it starts to effect your day-to-day life?

Note: I haven't contracted the virus, I know for sure but am just curious about the disease and why it should be so hard to cure.

HIV has NO symptoms for several years after someone gets infected, although few people do have flu-like symptoms within a few months after getting infected.

Because there are no symptoms until the immune system has been severely damaged, the ONLY way to find out if you are infected is to be tested. The tests used, either blood test or oral swab, detect antibodies to the virus. More than 98% of people who are infected would test positive within 3 months, but in very rare cases, it could take up to 6 months for someone to test positive.

Important: Because of lack of symptoms, you can not tell that someone is infected just by looking at them. Once someone is infected, they CAN pass the virus to others, even if they have no symptoms and do not yet test positive.

The virus is never actually dormant, but the length of time that someone with HIV could remain healthy depends on many things, including their health prior to infection, their response to the virus, their response to treatment, and whether or not they are following through with treatment prescribed by their HIV specialist. As I mentioned, someone could be HIV positive for several years (possibly 10-12), be healthy, and not even know they are infected.

There is no cure for HIV, mainly because the virus mutates (changes) so much, so one treatment or vaccine may kill some mutations, but not others. There are treatments that can help people live longer, healthier, and increase the amount of time between diagnosis of HIV and diagnosis of full blown AIDS. (HIV destroys CD4 cells. Diagnosis changes to AIDS when the CD4 count drops to 200 or below.)

Well, if your hand is wider than your face...... Report Abuse

You get tested.

Once exposed to HIV, the virus takes (in many cases) over a month for your body to develop antibodies for it. If you're tested before this occurs, you may test negative - giving you a false sense of security.

The only foolproof way to know you're negative is to abstain from sex for up to 6 months and get tested again.

Nope - no changes in your body....

The virus is NOT DORMANT. It is quietly destroying your immune system and is very active.

When your immune system is too low/compromised, then you will start getting infections and then start having physical changes (but that is very late in the infection).

The only way to know is to get a HIV test; you can get them free at the health department and planned parenthood clinics.

A blood test is the gold standard. It is so hard to cure because it is a virus and there are no medications that cure viruses.

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