One year after infection, HIV usually has no symptoms. Even without HIV treatment, people usually remain in fairly good health for several years. People living with HIV will look and feel completely well. The only indication that they are HIV-positive is likely to be testing positive on an antibody blood test.
The length of time that someone has no symptoms, even without treatment, varies from person to person but it can be as long as ten years. One year after infection, most people will still be in the "asymptomatic" phase -- this means they have no symptoms.
Although a person may not have symptoms and may not feel unwell, the sooner they begin to take HIV treatment, the better. Beginning HIV treatment promptly can limit damage to the immune system and prevent future illnesses occurring. It can also mean that the person is highly unlikely to pass their infection on to a sexual partner.
If you suspect that you could have been exposed to HIV one year ago, the only way to find out if you have HIV or not is to take a test. Antibody tests are highly accurate.
More on HIV Symptoms at TheBody.com
To find out more about the symptoms of HIV infection, we recommend the following articles:
In addition, our Q&A experts sometimes address questions about symptoms in our "Ask the Experts" forums. Here are some of those questions and our experts' responses:
- HIV symptoms after 10 months
I'm having HIV symptoms 10 months after possible exposure -- hives, shortness of breath, facial wasting and herpes. I've had a negative HIV tests at month six and month ten.
- how soon do HIV symptoms appear?
I have heard the most people show no symptoms at all soon after infection, so what is the truth? Or is it about a 50/50 chance the symptoms will appear?