HIV infection with symptoms

The longer you live with HIV without treatment, the greater your risk of developing symptoms. These can be caused by opportunistic infections that take advantage of your weakened immune system, certain cancers, or the direct effects of HIV on the body. When someone gets ill in one of these ways, they are said to have symptomatic HIV.

If you start treatment before you develop symptoms and you don't experience problems with it, you may never have any symptoms at all.