Can a person have HIV infection but remain well?

Yes. Adults are usually infected with HIV for years while remaining clinically well (asymptomatic HIV infection). Only after this long latent period do the clinical signs of HIV infection develop (symptomatic HIV infection). In children the latent period may be as short as a few months. HIV infection is only called AIDS when the patient becomes seriously ill due to HIV related infections. Therefore, AIDS is the most advanced and serious form of HIV infection.

AIDS is the most advanced and serious stage of HIV infection.

HIV is frequently transmitted by people who appear to be clinically well and do not know that they are infected with HIV.

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