HIV Becoming Less Potent?

It seems a new study has shown that the HIV virus has actually evolved to become less aggressive than it used to be. Researchers have found that it is now taking about a decade longer for the virus to develop into AIDS.

Don’t judge a book by its cover however – reading the study carefully and all the articles, the study was only performed in Africa thus far. There is no research like this that has taken place in Europe or here in the States as of yet. So when you see the internet throwing around articles like “HIV evolves into less deadly form” don’t think for a second that means you can breathe a little bit lighter the next time you happen to engage in unprotected sex.

HIV is still a very serious STD and is yet incurable. Fever, Enlarged lymph nodes/glands, sore throat, rashes, muscle aches, headaches, weight loss, fatigue, night sweats are the first symptoms that can develop anywhere between 2-4 weeks. Secondary infections, if left untreated for too long, are immunity suppression (immunosuppression), cancer and neurological symptoms such as confusion, depression, and/or anxiety.

The real scary part though is that the majority of people infected may not experience any symptoms at all for months or even years, but can still transmit the disease to others. This is exactly why some STDs like HIV are referred to as “The Silent Killers” – Chlymidia and Syphilis are included. Thus far, approximately 40 million deaths have been accounted for by AIDS.

The only way to determine whether you are infected is to be tested for an HIV infection after the correct window periods have passed. Plus, thanks to technology, there is now early detection tests available too that no longer cost thousands of dollars like for instance the HIV RNA test that is conclusive just after 11 days from possible exposure.

It is always recommend that if you are sexually active with different partners that you (and optimally those partners) get tested once a year, if not twice a year, for a basic screening that covers Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Syphilis HIV and Herpes. If you have questions about symptoms and/or testing, call a specialist at 1-800-805-3602.