Does asymptomatic mean without symptoms for those living with HIV infection?

Suzanne Willard, William L. Holzemer, Dean J. Wantland, Yvette P. Cuca, Kenn M. Kirksey, Carmen J. Portillo, Inge B. Corless, Marta Rivero-Mendez, Maria E. Rosa, Patrice K. Nicholas, Mary Jane Hamilton, Elizabeth Sefcik, Jeanne Kemppainen, Gladys Canaval, Linda Robinson, Shahnaz Moezzi, Sarie Human, John Arudo, Lucille Sanzero Eller, Eli BunchPamela J. Dole, Christopher Coleman, Kathleen Nokes, Nancy R. Reynolds, Yun Fang Tsai, Mary Maryland, Joachim Voss, Teri Lindgren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Throughout the history of the HIV epidemic, HIV-positive patients with relatively high CD4 counts and no clinical features of opportunistic infections have been classified as asymptomatic by definition and treatment guidelines. This classification, however, does not take into consideration the array of symptoms that an HIV-positive person can experience long before progressing to AIDS. This short report describes two international multi-site studies conducted in 2003-2005 and 2005-2007. The results from the studies show that HIV-positive people may experience symptoms throughout the trajectory of their disease, regardless of CD4 count or classification. Providers should discuss symptoms and symptom management with their clients at all stages of the disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)322-328
Number of pages7
JournalAIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Asymptomatic
  • HIV infection
  • Symptoms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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