Prior to 1996, scientists estimated that about half the people with
HIV would develop AIDS within 10 years after becoming infected. This
time varied greatly from person to person and depended on many factors,
including a person's health status and their health-related behaviors.
Since 1996, the introduction of powerful anti-retroviral therapies has
dramatically changed the progression time between HIV infection and the
development of AIDS. There are also other medical treatments that can
prevent or cure some of the illnesses associated with AIDS, though the
treatments do not cure AIDS itself. Because of these advances in drug
therapies and other medical treatments, estimates of how many people
will develop AIDS and how soon are being recalculated, revised, or are
currently under study.
As with other diseases, early detection of infection allows for more
options for treatment and preventative health care.