The experience of someone with HIV has changed dramatically since effective HIV treatment has been available. Anti-HIV drugs prevent HIV from replicating in the body. Most people can therefore live a long time with the virus. The last phase of the illness, AIDS, can now be avoided.
Regular blood tests enable doctors to determine the best time to begin HIV therapy.
Many people, however, first find out about their HIV infection when they are taken to hospital with a serious illness. By that time, HIV has already caused damage to their body, which cannot entirely be reversed.
The course of untreated HIV infection can differ greatly from person to person. However, it is possible to describe typical phases.
More detailed information on HIV treatment can be found here.