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Asymptomatic HIV infection

  • Alternative Names

    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.

    Support Groups

    See: AIDS - support group

    Expectations (prognosis)

    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 AIDS.


    People with asymptomatic infection can progress to symptomatic HIV infection, develop opportunistic infections associated with HIV, and transmit HIV to other people. In addition, pregnant women with asymptomatic HIV infection can still transmit HIV to their fetus.

    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.