How Long Does It Take To Contract H.i.v?


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Jase answered
Did you really ask this question?

There are too many factors to give you an answer. Not only that, there are too many conflicting studies. Some indicate that you have to be exposed on multiple occasions. Some indicate that it can take as long as 2 years to sero-convert.

Here is some basic info:

Once exposed, your body attacks the virus and some say it does a great job of killing it. After all, it's not a strong virus, just a smart one. While your body attacks the initial infection, you are in a state called Primary HIV. It is possible, depending on your health, that your body can kick the virus and you will never develop AIDS. There is even a test going on for a serum that you can take if you fear exposure that will boost your bodies ability to fight the virus before it becomes permanent.

During Primary HIV, the virus changes forms and your body changes attack mechanisms accordingly. We can tell this by sorting through various proteins in the blood. These proteins only exist in people who have been exposed to the virus. But that doesn't necessarily mean that you have HIV. There are 8 known proteins that your body produces in response to being exposed to hiv before your body thinks it has the war won. When that happens, you body produces the HIV antibody (thinking that it will kill the virus and leave you healthy). The problem is that the HIV antibody doesn't do anything to the virus because it has changed.

The common tests for HIV only test for elevated levels of the HIV antibody (which should only exist if you have been exposed and gone throught the fighting process). It can take as little as a month or as long as a year to build up enough HIV antibodies to register Positive on the Western Bloc test. You can have the P24 Antigen test (which checks for the proteins I mentioned earlier), but it is really outrageously expensive (25,000 in 1990).

I was the first person in a national study on primary HIV that started in 1990. By 1995, they had only managed to find 13 people in the entire US for the study because it is really difficult to tell when someone has been exposed to the virus, but hasn't "sero-converted" (developed antibodies). Some people believe that you have to be exposed to the virus on multiple occasions to contract HIV.

Once you have been exposed, you can experience a brief flu like period where your immune system focuses on killing the virus. But that's about it. Sometimes, you can be exposed and not know that you have the virus for 20 years. It all depends on your health and how you treat your mind and body.

But to answer your question more succinctly, it can take as little as a second to contract HIV if you receive an infected blood transfusion or have unprotected sex where there is fluid exchanged. But it can take as long as a year before you can test positive for it and as long as 20 years before the effects of the virus are evident.


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