How long after infection does thrush typically appear?

Question

Dear Dr., I'm very confused. All the literature I've found on HIV says that, on average, people infected with HIV don't have symptoms for 5 to 10 years. If this is the case, how long does it take for CD4 cells to diminish to the point that symptoms like thrush appear?

Answer

That is correct-- on average, it takes 5-10 years for symptoms to appear. It also takes about 5-10 years for someone's CD4 cells to drop below 350, which is about the point where many people begin to develop thrush. I guess I don't understand the source of your confusion-- hope this helps.