Screening, prevention and treatment resources
This page is for healthcare providers and medical professionals. For more general information on HIV, please 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. Short for 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 three stages:
- Acute HIV Infection—Flu-like symptoms that last 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 three working days.
There are two ways to report HIV/AIDS:
- Fax the Confidential HIV/AIDS Case Report Form to (253) 798-3824.
- Mail the Confidential HIV/AIDS Case Report Form to:
Washington State Department of Health, Assessment Unit
PO Box 47838.
Olympia, WA 98504-7838.