What is the difference between being HIV+ and having AIDS?
When and individual tests positive for the HIV virus, it means he or she has been exposed to and contracted the HIV virus. If the virus remains undiagnosed or untreated, AIDS is a condition that will develop over a period of years once the HIV virus has significantly damaged the immune system. It can take as little as 5 and as long as 10 or 12 years to develop what is called full blown AIDS. When the individual has developed AIDS, he or she is now susceptible to certain illnesses and infections that are common among AIDS patients.