May 26, 1998
I was curious...suppose someone is unaware of their status and for the sake of my question, lets say they are positive, if their immune system had significant damage, isnt the likely hood quite high that they would get some type of infection, opportunistic or otherwise, that would be bad enough to send them to a Doctor or Hospital? Or are there people out there who can be symptom free even with a badly damaged system?
Response from Dr. Currier
Many people think that if someone has HIV they will be sick, but this is not true. Some people can have the virus and be infected for many years and have no symptoms while others get sick right away. This period of time can last as long as 10 years. Because of this it is recommended that people who think they may have been exposed to the virus get tested rather than waiting until they are sick. Too often people wait until they are sick, and the immune system is damaged making it harder to treat. Hope this helps.
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