Screening, prevention and treatment resources
This page is for healthcare providers and medical professionals. For general information, see our Sexually Transmitted Disease page.
What is HIV/AIDS?
HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, is an infection that weakens the immune system. If the virus destroys too many white blood cells, the infected person can develop AIDS. AIDS, or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, is the most severe stage of HIV infection.
HIV treatments help suppress the virus, slowing or stopping disease progression. No cure exists yet for the virus. People with HIV typically progress through three stages:
- Acute HIV Infection—Flu-like symptoms lasting a few weeks, usually within a month of infection.
- Clinical Latency—Asymptomatic phase that lasts a few years to a few decades.
- AIDS—A severe, potentially fatal phase where white blood cell counts fall below 200/mm, or where certain opportunistic illnesses appear.
Providers must report HIV/AIDS infections.
Healthcare providers and health facilities must report AIDS, HIV and most other sexually transmitted infections within 3 working days.
There are 2 ways to report HIV/AIDS:
- Fax the Confidential HIV/AIDS Case Report Form to (253) 798-7666.
- Mail the Confidential HIV/AIDS Case Report Form to:
Washington State Department of Health
PO Box 47838.
Olympia, WA 98504-7838.