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Can HIV take longer than 6 months to become active?

Q: If a person has a CD4 count of around 325, could you tell as to when exactly did s/he contact HIV? I have read that the incubation period of HIV would be 3 to 6 months. Are there any cases in whom the incubation period would extend to years, say 5 to 10 years? Would the insurance company pay the assured sum to the nominee, if the death of the assured has occurred because of AIDS?

A:I am afraid there is no defined relationship between CD4 counts and the time since HIV infection except that as a general rule the CD4 count falls as time progresses and the human body slowly loses its ability to respond. Many factors can contribute to the lowering of the CD4 count and also, conversely to maintaining or even boosting the count. These factors include the presence or absence of other infections, nutritional status, rest etc. The usual HIV test becomes positive generally by about 3 months but in some cases may take longer. It is for this reason that people are advised to get a test done 3 months after exposure and again at 6 months if the 3 month test is negative. The time taken for the infected person to manifest as AIDS also varies. Half the infected persons remain well even after about 10 (9.8) years. The cover provided by insurance companies varies and is best ascertained from them.


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