HIV/AIDS Glossary

Chronic HIV Infection

Synonym(s): Asymptomatic HIV Infection, Clinical Latency

The stage of HIV infection between acute HIV infection and the onset of AIDS. During chronic HIV infection, HIV levels gradually increase and the number of CD4 cells decrease. Declining CD4 cell levels indicate increasing damage to the immune system. Antiretroviral therapy (ART) can prevent HIV from destroying the immune system and advancing to AIDS.

Related Term(s): Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, Acute HIV Infection, HIV Progression

Image(s):

(Click to enlarge)
Progression of HIV infection to AIDS illustrated with test tubes, CD4 cells, and virions.

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