Let’s get into the basics. What is HIV? How does it affect a person’s health? What can you do about it?

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is not the same thing as Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (or AIDS). HIV is an infection, and an HIV test will show if somebody has had the infection for at least a few weeks, showing that they are “HIV-positive”. Left untreated, HIV infection can gradually reduce the ability to fight other infections or diseases that a typical immune system can fight.

There are a few important, and interesting things to know about how HIV is passed from one person to another, the different stages of HIV, and how it can be treated.

What is it?

HIV is a virus that weakens your immune system. But how?

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Acute HIV

Acute HIV is the first stage of HIV infection. Levels of HIV are typically highest in the body in the first few weeks after infection occurs. In this time frame typical antibody tests can’t detect HIV.

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Asymptomatic Infection and AIDS

After a while, typically 8-10 years, guys with HIV who haven’t been diagnosed, or aren’t being treated, may experience new and more intense symptoms and develop AIDS.

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HIV Testing & Treatment

The only way to find out if you are HIV-positive is to get tested, and your best bet for your long-term health is to treat it right away.

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Questions & Answers

What else might gay guys want to know about HIV?

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