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how long?
Nov 6, 2010

if someone has hiv... but not tested, meaning that person is not on any kind of treatment because he/she doesnt know that he/she is infected. how long does a person live with the virus before they develop aids?

Response from Dr. Young

Hello and thanks for your post.

Unfortunately, the answer to your question is very highly variable and individual. Some persons advance very quickly from infection to AIDS, others progress very slowly. On average, this process takes several years.

The only way to know one's immune health status is to get periodic laboratory monitoring. Symptoms alone are a terrible way to gauge immune health, since some persons with advanced immune suppression may actually have few symptoms (or at least until a serious, or life-threatening illness occurs). We generally recommend that all HIV+ individuals get laboratory monitoring every 3-6 months.

Hope this helps, BY



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