The Differences Between HIV And AIDS

Even though HIV is the virus that eventually mutates into AIDS, there are several differences associated with being infected with HIV and being infected with AIDS. It is possible for a person to have HIV, but never get to the point where they are carrying the AIDS virus. However, a person cannot have AIDS, without having already been infected with the HIV virus. HIV has five separate stages, with the last stage of the virus being AIDS.

The Window Stage

The window stage is actually a terrifying stage of the virus. During this time, a person that has become newly infected with the virus may not show any signs that they have it. The individual may not be ill at all, and may not test positive for the virus, if they are taking a screen. However, even though the individual does not know at this point that they are carrying the virus; it is possible to infect others. During this stage, the virus is extremely contagious.

The Seroconversion Stage

During the second stage of infection, which is known as the seroconversion stage, an individual that has the virus is still extremely infectious. During the second stage of the virus, an individual’s body will start producing antibodies to the virus. It is at this stage, that the virus can be detected on tests that are designed for diagnosis. Symptoms of the condition start to occur as well. Fever like symptoms such as rashes, fatigue, and fever will begin at this point.

The Asymptomatic Stage

It is during the third stage of the virus, where an individual may not show any signs that they are infected with the virus. During this time, they will not have an increase in the viral amount that is within their bodies. This is the period of the virus that can last up to ten years, and in some cases, longer. Individuals that have reached this stage of the virus are still not considered to be infected with the AIDS virus.

The Symptomatic Stage

Once the stage where no symptoms are present ends, an infected individual will then pass into the symptomatic stage. There are two categories within this stage. There is the early-stage and there is the mid-stage. The symptoms an individual gets are based upon the stage that they are in. The early or onset stage will enable an individual to showcase various symptoms such as excessive weight loss, rashes, and fatigue. These are the symptoms that are most common with the virus.

As the virus continues to compromise the immune symptom of the individual that it has infected, the infected individual will move into the next stage of the symptomatic stage. The next stage is known as mid-stage. The symptoms associated with being in this stage include: diarrhea, cold sores, significant amounts of weight loss, and oral thrush.

AIDS: The Final Stage

The final stage that a person who has HIV goes through is AIDS. A person with AIDs has a lower t-cell and CD4 count in their bodies. Individuals infected with AIDS will have counts that measure 200 or less. Their immune symptoms will be compromised which leaves them susceptible to a variety of diseases. Surprisingly enough, in most cases where an individual has AIDS, it is not AIDS that kills them; it is a symptom that they develop from the condition that takes their lives.

Key Differences

HIV is a virus, while AIDS is a syndrome. HIV replicates itself, and keeps itself centered on destroying the immune system. AIDS consists of a variety of medical issues, which include: lower CD4 an T-Cell counts, and a persistent amount of other infections. A person does not catch AIDS. AIDS is contracted when the HIV virus has reached its final state of infection.