Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection
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- HIV-1 and HIV-2 are the etiologic agents of HIV infection and AIDS.
- HIV infection is lifelong.
- For most infected individuals, a long clinically asymptomatic period (5–15 years in adults, frequently shorter in children) is followed by the development of generalized nonspecific signs and symptoms (weight loss, adenopathy, hepatosplenomegaly) and mild clinical immunodeficiency.
- Eventually, after progressive immunologic deterioration, patients are susceptible to a wide variety of opportunistic infections and cancers, which represent the clinical syndrome known as AIDS.