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Asymptomatic HIV infection

  • Alternative Names

    HIV infection - asymptomatic


    Asymptomatic HIV infection, by definition, does NOT have symptoms typically associated with HIV, such as:

    • Fever
    • Opportunistic infections (opportunistic means they occur because the weakened immune system provides the "opportunity" for infections to take hold. Serious opportunistic infections include Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia, cytomegalovirus, and Mycobacterium avium).
    • Oral thrush (also an opportunistic infection, but not life-threatening and does not require a seriously weakened immune system to occur)
    • Weight loss

    Signs and tests

    The diagnosis of HIV infection is based on standard blood tests such as the HIV antibody test (ELISA). A Western blot confirms the diagnosis.

    How well an HIV-infected person's immune system is functioning can be determined by measuring the level of certain white blood cells called CD4 lymphocytes (also known as helper T lymphocytes).