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The only way to know whether or not you have HIV is to get tested. When you know your HIV status, you can make smarter and healthier choices to prevent getting or transmitting HIV.

Some people experience flu-like symptoms 2-4 weeks after infection. Some symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Rash
  • Night sweats
  • Muscle aches
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Mouth ulcers

Some people do not feel sick at all during acute HIV infection.

Stage 1: Acute HIV Infection

In the acute HIV infection stage, people have a large amount of HIV in their blood, and they are very contagious. Some people experience flu-like symptoms as the body’s natural response to infection, but some people may not get sick right away or at all.

Stage 2: Chronic HIV Infection

The chronic HIV infection stage is also called asymptomatic HIV infection or clinical latency because the HIV is still active but reproduces at very low levels. During this phase, people may not have any symptoms or get sick but can transmit HIV. Without proper medication, this period may last a decade or longer, but some may progress faster.

Stage 3: Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS)

AIDS is the most severe stage of HIV infection. People receive an AIDS diagnosis when their CD4 cell count drops below 200 cells/mm. People with AIDS can be very infectious. Without treatment, people with AIDS typically survive about three years.

Newly Diagnosed? What’s next?

Starting HIV Care
It is still possible for you to live a long, happy, healthy life with HIV when you start and stay in HIV care. We encourage you to talk regularly with your doctors about health problems, treatment, and how you are feeling.

HIV treatments and medications are available to help slow the progression of the virus in your body. Starting HIV treatments is essential to reducing the amount of HIV in your blood to a low, undetectable level.

If you’re newly diagnosed with HIV, you may be seeking tips to help keep up with your daily HIV care:
  • Create a routine
  • Get a weekly or monthly pill box
  • Set a regular alarm
  • Write a daily log
  • Use a phone application
  • Setup automatic refills
  • Phone a friend
  • See your doctor regularly
Starting HIV Care
Staying in HIV Care
HIV treatment is a lifelong commitment. If left untreated, HIV attacks your immune system and allows other types of life-threatening infections to develop.

Every 3-6 months, doctors will conduct various tests to determine your current CD4 and viral load counts.

  • CD4 Test
    CD4 cells (aka T-cells) are responsible for fighting infections. A low number of CD4 cells means that you are at higher risk for developing opportunistic infections.
  • Viral Load Test
    A viral load test will measure the amount of HIV in your blood. A high viral load means that more HIV is present.
If you take HIV medication daily as prescribed and reach an undetectable viral load, you have essentially no risk of transmitting HIV to an HIV-negative partner.
Staying in HIV Care
Living Well with HIV
With proper care and treatment, people living with HIV can lead a normal life with a normal job. People living with HIV have the right to request reasonable accommodations in the workplace.

Exercise & Nutrition
Regular physical exercise and a healthy nutritious lifestyle are important for everyone regardless of whether or not you’re HIV-positive. People living with HIV can do the same types of physical activity and exercises as people who do not.

Food & Safety
Because HIV suppresses your immune system, food safety is important to prevent infections. A healthy diet is essential to maintaining overall good health.

Safe, decent, and affordable housing are linked to successful HIV outcomes. With stable living conditions, people with HIV have better access to medical care, support services, and HIV treatment. Check out the Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS for housing needs.
Living Well with HIV
Returning to HIV Care
If you’ve stopped seeing your doctor consistently for HIV treatment, it is important to return to care. Taking your HIV medication every day as prescribed is key to staying healthy.

Do not be afraid of how your healthcare provider may react to your return. Talk openly and honestly with them to find ways to address the reasons for you stopping in the first place.

You can also reach out to a local HIV/AIDS service organization, peer navigator, or case manager to help you determine the programs and services that are right for your return.
Returning to HIV Care

Get Involved

Reach Out to Local HIV Organizations

HIV service organziations can always use a lending hand with onsite or mobile testing events, fundraising activities, professional services, and administrative support. Reach out to see how you can get involved.

Get Involved in HIV Awareness Days

There are several HIV awareness related holidays throughout the year. Use these days as opportunities to raise awareness and encourage people to get tested or seek care.

Learn & Stay Up to Date

Checkout the latest webinars, conferences, social media channels, and events to learn about the latest tools and resources in HIV prevention, care, and treatment.


A Safety Manual
LGBT Glossary
Anti-Stigma HIV language
Anti Stigma Guidelines
PrEP Facility
Address and Hours
Alamo Area Resource Center (AARC)
303 North Frio, 78207 8a-5p Mon-Fri
Matthew Chase Cates, MD 8a-4p Mon-Fri Tonya Clark-Perez, PA 8a-4p Mon, Wed Ruth Serrano-Pena, MD 8a-12p Mon-Thurs
Jeremy – PrEP Navigator (210) 625-7200
CentroMed – Santa Rosa Family Medicine
315 North San Saba Suite 103, 78207 8a-5p Mon-Fri
Rafael Martinez, MD Amanda K. Miller, PA
(210) 922-7000
BEAT Aids – San Antonio Care Center
230 E. Fredericksburg Rd, 78212 8:30a-5p Mon-Fri
(210) 212-2271
San Antonio Aids Foundation (SAAF) The Care Clinic
818 E. Grayson St, 78208
Waridibo Allison, MD
(210) 225-4715