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HIV Diagnosis

HIV may manifest, at first, as symptoms of the common flu or fail to produce any symptoms at all.  A diagnosis, therefore, may be difficult to initially come to. 

If you believe you have been exposed to HIV, it is important to get tested early.  The diagnosis of HIV infection is based on laboratory detection of infection through blood, oral fluid, or urine specimen.  AIDS, the advanced stage of HIV, can be diagnosed in HIV-infected persons based on laboratory evidence of immunodeficiency (lowered levels of CD4+ cells) or clinically by onset of any of a specific list of opportunistic diseases that occur namely in patients whose immune systems are impaired by the AIDS virus.

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Written by: the Healthline Editorial Team
Medically reviewed : Jennifer Monti, MD, MPH

This feature is for informational purposes only and should not be used to replace the care and information received from your health care provider. Please consult a health care professional with any health concerns you may have.
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