Q and A

Question

How long can HIV hide before showing symptoms?

How long can HIV hide in one’s body before showing symptoms?

Answer

Hi

Thanks for your question.

The range for this is very wide.

Most people – maybe 4 in 5 (80%) get symptoms of early infection. These are usually about 14 days after infection (range about 4 to 21 days). See: seroconversion symptoms.

These range from being mild and flu-like to rare cases when people are hospitalised.

But 1 in 5 (20%) might not get any symptoms at all.

After this, without treatment, HIV can take from 2 to 20 years to cause enough immune damage for symptoms of other infections start to show.

This is why regular routine HIV testing is recommended for people at risk of catching HIV.

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