The diagnosis of HIV & AIDS can be one of the most difficult things a patient can hear. At Banner Health, we are with you every step of the way through not only treatment, but support and education as well.
AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which kills or impairs cells of the immune system and continues to destroy the body's ability to fight infections and certain cancers. HIV is most commonly spread by sexual contact with an infected partner.
Some people may develop a flu-like illness within a month or 2 after exposure to the HIV virus, although, many people do not develop any symptoms at all when they first become infected. In addition, the symptoms that do appear, which usually disappear within a week to a month, are often mistaken for those of another viral infection.
Persistent or severe symptoms may not surface for 10 years or more after HIV first enters the body in adults, or within 2 years in children born with an HIV infection.
As the immune system deteriorates, complications begin to surface. The following are the most common complications, or symptoms, of AIDS. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
Today, there are medical treatments that can slow down the rate at which HIV weakens the immune system, but currently there is no cure for the disease.