Stages & Symptoms Of HIV

Acute Primary HIV Infection

This is the stage just after someone has contracted HIV.

Lasts 2 - 4 weeks

No symptoms (asymptomatic)


Flu-like symptoms which might include:

Levels of HIV are very high during this time and the risk of passing the virus on through unprotected sex is increased.

Asymptomatic HIV Infection

During this stage there are no symptoms but HIV is active and multiplying and doing damage to the immune system.

Lasts up to 10 years

Some people may experience swollen lymph nodes or glands.

Symptomatic HIV Infection

By now HIV has damaged the immune system so much that it can no longer fight off infections and diseases that a healthy immune system can easily keep at bay. The body becomes vulnerable to opportunistic infections.

Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS)

Advanced HIV with AIDS-defining symptoms.

A person with AIDS can live around 3 years without HIV treatment

At this stage it is still possible to start treatment and recover from AIDS.