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HIV/AIDS Information for Providers

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This page is for healthcare providers. For more general information, see our STD page.

HIV (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 (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). AIDS 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 3 stages:

  1. Acute HIV infection—Flu-like symptoms lasting a few weeks, usually within a month of infection.
  2. Clinical latency—Asymptomatic phase lasting a few years to a few decades.
  3. AIDS—Severe, potentially fatal phase where white blood cell counts fall below 200/mm or certain opportunistic illnesses appear.

Report within 3 business days.

Complete the confidential HIV/AIDS Case Report Form. Fax it to (253) 798-7666 or mail it to Washington State Department of Health, Assessment Unit, PO Box 47838, Olympia, WA 98504-7838.

Learn how you can prevent disease transmission.

Safe injection practices benefit both providers and patients. Find out more by visiting CDC's Injection Safety page or check out the One and Only campaign.