Doctor's Notes on HIV and AIDS
Human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, is a virus that is transmitted by contact with body fluids of an infected person. The HIV virus weakens the body’s immune system, making it more difficult to fight infections and cancer. AIDA or acquired immune deficiency syndrome is the more advanced stage of infection. HIV infection progresses to AIDS when certain infections or cancers are present or when a person’s CD4 cell (a type of immune cell) count is less than 200.
The initial infection with HIV may or may not cause symptoms. Some people get flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough, fatigue, and muscle aches, within a few weeks after they have been infected. A person can have HIV for many years before developing any symptoms. Signs and symptoms associated with the progression of HIV infection to AIDS can include
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.