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A 21-year-old male asked:

If someone was raped as a child, would it be likely to have hiv 18 years later without any symptoms and living a normal life? the raped occurred 18 years ago. the person lives a perfect normal life. average weight and no symptoms or sickness during those

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge
Internal Medicine 41 years experience
HIV : Hiv infections can have a prolonged and varied course. There are 3 stages if the disease: stage 1: primary infection: this stage presents post initial infection with HIV and is manifested by fever, malaise, mouth sores, sore throat, sore muscles. The is stage can last several weeks stage 2: latency: this stage can last 2 weeks to 20 years where one may experience few or no symptoms. The HIV virus lies latent within the cytoplasm of the host cells. A person is highly contagious during all stages if HIV infection and can spread to others. The virus may attack CD4 t cells, the cells that make up the body's immune system. Stage 3: aids, the final stage in hiv, is defined by the defined low CD4 t cell count, where a person's immune system has become largely ineffective to fight off illness. Aids is characterized by infections by opportunistic illnesses, cancers and other conditions. If the person who raped this child was infected with HIV or aids, then there is a chance that he/she is carrying the disease and is infectious. As you can see, the latency stage of HIV can last up to 20 years where no symptoms may be apparent. Getting an HIV test is highly recommended.
Dr. Stephen Christensen
Family Medicine 35 years experience
According : According to a 2010 review in "the journal of the american medical association, " fewer than one-half of one percent of untreated hiv-infected individuals remain asymptomatic for up to 20 years. Most people with untreated HIV infection develop aids within a decade of infection. Treatment with antiviral drugs improves survival and helps prevent progression to aids. The chance of HIV infection in the person mentioned in your question is very low. If you suspect HIV infection, a simple blood test will address your concerns. Your doctor can answer any questions you may have about this test.

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Last updated Oct 4, 2016

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