Progression of HIV infection from seroconversion to AIDS:
1. Primary infection—virus enters body, infects cells in blood, mucosa, which drains to lymph nodes & spleen.
2. Infection established in lymphoid tissues—which leads to viremia and symptoms: fever/chills, headaches, nausea/vomiting, fatigue, weakness, arthralgias, sore throat, stiff neck, photophobia, irritability, & rash, etc. platelets decreased, sed rate increased. These symptoms disappear. It is during this period that seroconversion occurs: anti-HIV antibodies appear.
3. Latency—3-12 year period in which antiviral immune activity is ongoing, production of virus continues, symptoms mild if present at all, 2 million or so viruses produced per day.
4. Symptomatic, chronic HIV infection—anergy, syncytium production, oral/genital herpes simplex & candidiasis usually develop, oral hairy leukoplakia, CMV, EBV infections, opportunistic infections.
5. Full-blown AIDS—CD4+ T-cell count < 100, 1 or more opportunistic infections, one or more tumors or cancers, including Kaposi sarcoma, lymphomas, or cancer of rectum/tongue.
6. **To diagnose infection, anti-HIV antibodies are detected, so until seroconversion occurs, infection is not diagnosable.
7. As the CD4+count declines, the patient progresses along the above continuum from HIV+ to full-blown AIDS.