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"How does acute HIV differ from HIV?"

ZocdocAnswersHow does acute HIV differ from HIV?


I am a 35-year-old man who has been HIV-positive for 3 years. I'm doing everything my doctor recommends, but I don't entirely understand her prognosis. She keeps talking about 'acute HIV'. How is that different from HIV?


As an HIV positive man, it is imperative that you stay educated about your disease and ask your doctor to explain your treatment and prognosis clearly so the two of you can maintain a healthy therapeutic alliance. "Acute HIV" is another name for "primary HIV infection" which is the second stage of HIV The stages of HIV are this: 1. Transmission (when you acquire the virus), 2. Primary HIV infection (when the virus initially replicates), 3. Seroconversion( when you're body begins fighting the virus, and when the HIV test becomes positive), 4. Clinical latent period (you feel fine and disease is silent), and finally AIDS which is divided into 3 stages and basically is when you immune system as trouble fighting off infections. It is the goal of your treating physician to keep you in stage 4 with medicines. Since you are 3 years out from testing positive for HIV (stage 3), you have past the primary HIV infection stage or "acute HIV." With today's medical therapy, it is possible in many patients to keep the virus in the latent (silent phase) for many years. Ask your doctor to tell you what your viral load is. That, along with your T cell count, is how physicians determine whether you are in the latent stage. You will likely remain HIV positive for the rest of your life. Therefore it is imperative to remain on the medicines your doctor has prescribed for you. Good luck.

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