Dr BoB!!Could HIV keep dormant or am i crazy!?I promise to donate,please help!

Question

Dear Dr Bob: I recently read some articles and began to worry about if the virus of HIV could keep dormant status inside one person ,so the person would have no response to HIV ,thus tests may miss this kind of person. Then 10 years later(whatever how many years) ,the HIV virus become active again and the person suddenly become positive! could this things happen or it's just my crazy thoughts and misunderstanding? I really want to hear from you and know the real answer!promise to donate!please help!

Answer

Hello,

Your fears are unwarranted. Once someone is infected with HIV he will test HIV positive following seroconversion. Most HIVers will have detectable levels of anti-HIV antibodies in their blood within four to six weeks. A small percentage may take a bit longer to seroconvert (three to six months). But as for being infected with HIV and then having the virus "keep dormant" for 10 years and not test HIV positive on HIV screening tests, no, this does not happen. Perhaps your misunderstanding stems from comments about symptoms and/or opportunistic infections related to HIV/AIDS. It is possible to become HIV infected and be essentially asymptomatic (but still test HIV positive!) for 5-10 years. HIV is a very slow infection; it gradually wipes out the body's immune system and eventually leaves it vulnerable to opportunistic infections and malignancies.

Thanks for your support of The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation (www.concertedeffort.org). It's warmly appreciated.

Dr. Bob