Key Points

• About 20% of HIV-infected persons are unaware of their status because they look and feel healthy.

• Primary HIV infection manifests as a flulike syndrome 1 to 6 weeks after exposure.

• Symptoms include fever, pharyngitis, rash, myalgias, and meningismus; viral load is very high.

• The asymptomatic phase (8-12 weeks later) can persist for many years.

• The lower the viral set point, the better is the long-term prognosis. More than one fifth of people infected with HIV are unaware of the infection because they look and feel healthy. Family physicians are likely to be the first health

Box 17-2 WHO Clinical Staging of HIV/AIDS

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