Unfortunately, it may no longer be true that there is a time period of several years between diagnosis and the need for treatment – instead this time-span is shortening” according to author and San Diego Naval Center investigator, Nancy Crum-Cianflone MD. “Early diagnosis is important for several reasons including that patients can enter into medical care and begin treatment before the immune system becomes weak and opportunistic infections develop.
Source: Crum‐Cianflone et al. Is HIV Becoming More Virulent? Initial CD4 Cell Counts among HIV Seroconverters during the Course of the HIV Epidemic: 1985-2007. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 2009; 48 (9): 1285 DOI: 10.1086/597777