How long has HIV been in my system?

Question

Have been wondering about this exactly how long the virus can be in your system, and yet still test negative (for HIV). I have had 2 tests previously, both negative. When I became violently ill a couple of months ago and tested positive - my doctor was saying I may have had it for awhile (T cell count of 30). I also read that thrush, and MAC are also a result of someone having HIV in the system for a long time

Answer

You don't indicate when your prior tests were in relation to this one. It would be highly unlikely that you had an illness a couple of months ago, tested positive, and have an absolute CD4 count of 30. Are you sure that 30 is not the percentage of CD4 cells? Thrush and MAC are indeed infections that happen in people who have very low CD4 counts.