When Does HIV Become AIDS?

Worsening Early Symptoms

As the immune system worsens, a variety of complications start to take over. For many people, the first early symptoms of HIV infection are large lymph nodes or "swollen glands" that may be enlarged for more than three months. Other symptoms often experienced months to years before the onset of AIDS include:
 
  • Lack of energy
  • Weight loss
  • Frequent fevers and sweats
  • Persistent or frequent yeast infections (oral or vaginal)
  • Persistent skin rashes or flaky skin
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (in women) that does not respond to treatment
  • Short-term memory loss.
     
Some people develop frequent and severe herpes infections that cause mouth, genital, or anal sores, or a painful nerve disease called shingles. Children may grow slowly or be sick a lot.
 

Early Symptoms of HIV Turning to AIDS

The term AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) applies to the most advanced stages of HIV infection. The definition of AIDS includes all HIV-infected people who have fewer than 200 CD4+ T cells per cubic millimeter of blood. (Healthy adults usually have CD4+ T-cell counts of 1,000 or more.)
 
(Click AIDS Symptoms for more information on early HIV/AIDS symptoms.)
 

HIV Information

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