HIV infection - asymptomatic
When a person without symptoms should receive therapy remains controversial. People who are asymptomatic but who have CD4 lymphocyte counts of less than 200 should take treatment to suppress the HIV infection (called antiretroviral therapy). This therapy boosts the immune system and helps prevent opportunistic infections.
Most doctors also recommend antiretroviral therapy for some individuals with CD4 counts between 200 and 350, and perhaps for those with even higher CD4 counts (depending on the level of HIV in the person's blood). However, factors other than blood test results must be considered, such as patient readiness and ability to stick to the therapy regime, before prescribing antiretroviral therapy.
There is currently no cure for HIV infection or AIDS. However, antiretroviral therapy and HAART can dramatically improve the length and quality of life of people infected with HIV, and can delay the onset of
People with asymptomatic infection can progress to
Calling your health care provider
Call your health care provider if you have HIV and you develop fevers, weight loss, swollen glands, night sweats, or any other persistent symptoms. You will need to be checked, and your doctor might consider giving you antiretroviral therapy.
Review Date: 12/01/2009
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.