Late-stage HIV infection
If HIV has a chance to cause a lot of damage to your immune system, you may become ill from certain very serious infections and cancers. At this stage you may be given a diagnosis of AIDS.
But many people have had an illness which has led to them being diagnosed with AIDS, and then completely recovered and lived for many years, even decades, in very good health.
An AIDS diagnosis is usually based on the presence of certain illnesses.
Many people never experience late-stage HIV infection. It depends on a range of factors, including how well you respond to treatment and on lifestyle factors that influence your health, such as diet, exercise and smoking.