Symptoms of HIV and AIDS
HIV symptoms are quite tricky because they will not show right away after the initial infection. In fact, it might take 10 years before an infected person feels sick. It is possible for people to feel healthy for a long period after infection. HIV can take a long time before showing any symptoms and can take even longer if the infected person is taking HIV medicines. This long period is the main reason why it is important to get a HIV test regularly, especially for sexually active individuals. The same case applies to people who inject drugs using shared needles.
Early Symptoms Of HIV
After infection, you might feel feverish in the first 2 to 4 weeks. You may also feel sick and achy. These symptoms may resemble flu symptoms and are caused by the reaction of the body to the HIV virus. At this stage, the body has a lot of the virus and this means that you are highly infectious. These symptoms last for a few weeks. When they disappear, it takes years before any symptoms appear. Always keep in mind that a person who is infected can spread the virus whether they have the symptoms or not.
Later Symptoms of HIV/AIDS
The HIV virus targets cells in the body referred to as CD4 cells (T cells). These cells play a significant role in helping the body fight different diseases. Without these cells, the body can be really affected by infections that would not normally hurt it. Over a long period of time, HIV damages the body system and this is what leads to AIDS.
A person has AIDS when they start getting rare infections. These are also called opportunistic infections because they would not affect most people who are not HIV positive. A person can also have some types of cancer. Having AIDS might also mean that the body has lost a lot of CD4 cells. In most cases, this will happen about 10 years after the infection without treatment. With treatment, AIDS can be delayed and in some cases, it might never develop.
Signs Of AIDS
Video Credit: Signs of Disease
The following are some of the signs of AIDS
– Sore throat
– Thrush (this is a thick whitish coating in the mouth or on the tongue)
– Yeast infections
– Bad infections
– Tiredness, lightheadedness and dizziness
– Chronic pelvic inflammatory disease
– Easy bruising
– Losing too much weight too fast
– Diarrhea, night sweats, and fever for long periods
– Firm or swollen glands in the groin, throat or armpit
– Purplish growths inside the mouth or on the skin
– Shortness of breath
– Deep coughing spells that might be dry
– Bleeding from the anus, vagina, mouth, or nose
– Rashes on the skin
– Numbness in feet, hands and loss of muscle and reflex control. Some people may be unable to
move and lose muscle strength.
It is important to learn all you can about HIV signs and symptoms. However, you should keep in mind
that there are some symptoms which are gender specific. Check out the: