Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, also known as Stage 3 (AIDS), occurs when HIV is allowed to progress. This advanced form of HIV significantly damages the immune system and requires medical treatment.
As the premiere medical home for individuals living with HIV in New Mexico, UNM Truman Health Services has the resources and medical professionals that provide the confidential, compassionate care you need.
What is Stage 3 (AIDS)?
Stage 3 (AIDS) is a medical condition caused by HIV. HIV is a virus that attacks the immune cells of the body. With antiretroviral treatment, the progression of HIV can be limited to prevent Stage 3 (AIDS). But, without medical intervention, HIV can progress to Stage 3 (AIDS).
Stage 3 (AIDS) and the Immune System
The body’s immune system fights off more than the common cold – it is responsible for healing the body and even responding to allergic reactions. When HIV progresses to Stage 3 (AIDS), the immune system is weakened and a person is more likely to contract an opportunistic infection. If an individual already has another infection, such as Hepatitis C or Herpes, these conditions can become more severe and life-threatening.
Stage 3 (AIDS) Symptoms
A person can only be diagnosed with Stage 3 (AIDS) after testing positive for HIV and developing an opportunistic infection. The progression to Stage 3 (AIDS) has symptoms that include:
- “Wasting” or rapid loss of weight
- Skin discoloration
- Neurocognitive issues (memory loss, depression, etc.)
- Loss of energy
- Swelling of lymph nodes
Because Stage 3 (AIDS) symptoms can be commonly mistaken for other illnesses, it is important to get tested for HIV often. UNM Truman Health Services offers free, confidential rapid HIV testing so you can know your status. It takes less than 30 minutes.
Stage 3 (AIDS) Treatment in Albuquerque
Because of the variety of HIV treatment options available, Stage 3 (AIDS) is less common than it used to be. But, if you are experiencing symptoms, it is important to get tested for HIV immediately. Contact us today to set up your testing appointment.