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Watch Out You may have Signs and Symptoms of Contracted HIV

Today, the number of HIV victims have been drastically increasing. The alarming number may be due to people being sexually active nowadays.

HIV is spread mainly by having sex or sharing injection drug equipment such as needles with someone who has HIV. Only certain fluids—blood, semen, pre-seminal fluid, rectal fluids, vaginal fluids, and breast milk—from an HIV-infected person can transmit HIV.  Contact between broken skin, wounds, or mucous membranes can also transmit the disease.

HIV can be combated when discovered early. Here are the signs and symptoms that you might have contracted the said disease:

Fever

The fever, if it occurs at all, is often accompanied by other usually mild symptoms, such as fatigue, swollen lymph glands, and a sore throat.

At this point the virus is moving into the blood stream and starting to replicate in large numbers. As that happens, there is an inflammatory reaction by the immune system.

Fatigue

The inflammatory response generated by your besieged immune system also can cause you to feel tired and lethargic. Fatigue can be both an early and later sign of HIV.

Achy muscles, joint pains, swollen lymph nodes

Lymph nodes are part of your body’s immune system and tend to get inflamed when there’s an infection. Many of them are located in your armpit, groin, and neck.

Sore throat and Headaches

As with other symptoms, sore throat and headache can often be recognized as HIV only in context. If you’ve engaged recently in high-risk behavior, an HIV test is a good idea. Get tested for your own sake and for others: HIV is most infectious in the earliest stage.

Skin rash

Skin rashes can occur early or late in the course of HIV/AIDS. Ron, an HIV patient says: “They were like boils, with some itchy pink areas on my arms,” Ron says. The rashes can also appear on the trunk of the body.

If [the rashes] aren’t easily explained or easily treated, you should think about having an HIV test.

Skin rashes can occur early or late in the course of HIV/AIDS. Ron, an HIV patient says: “They were like boils, with some itchy pink areas on my arms,” Ron says. The rashes can also appear on the trunk of the body.

If [the rashes] aren’t easily explained or easily treated, you should think about having an HIV test.

Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea

Anywhere from 30% to 60% of people have short-term nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea in the early stages of HIV. These symptoms can also appear as a result of antiretroviral therapy and later in the infection, usually as the result of an opportunistic infection.

Weight Loss

Once called “AIDS wasting,” weight loss is a sign of more advanced illness and could be due in part to severe diarrhea.

If you’re already losing weight that means the immune system is usually fairly depleted. This is the patient who has lost a lot of weight even if they continue to eat as much as possible.

Dry Cough

A dry cough was the first sign Ron (HIV patiend) had that something was wrong. He at first dismissed it as bad allergies.

But it went on for a year and a half—and kept getting worse. Benadryl, antibiotics, and inhalers didn’t fix the problem. Neither did allergists.

This symptom—an insidious cough that could be going on for weeks that doesn’t seem to resolve—is typical in very ill HIV patients.

Pneumonia

The cough and the weight loss may also presage a serious infection caused by a germ that wouldn’t bother you if your immune system was working properly.

There are many different opportunistic infections and each one can present differently. In Ron’s case, it was Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP), aka “AIDS pneumonia,” which eventually landed him in the hospital.

Night sweats

About half of people get night sweats during the early stages of HIV infection. These can be even more common later in infection and aren’t related to exercise or the temperature of the room.

Similar to the hot flashes that menopausal women suffer, they’re also hard to dismiss, given that they soak your bedclothes and sheets.

Nail Changes

Another sign of late HIV infection are nail changes, such as clubbing (thickening and curving of the nails), splitting of the nails, or discoloration (black or brown lines going either vertically or horizontally).

Often this is due to a fungal infection, such as candida. Patients with depleted immune systems will be more susceptible to fungal infections.

Yeast Infections

Another fungal infection that’s common in later stages is thrush, a mouth infection caused by Candida, a type of yeast.

It’s a very common fungus and the one that causes yeast infections in women. They tend to appear in the mouth or esophagus, making it difficult to swallow.

Confusion or difficulty concentrating

Cognitive problems could be a sign of HIV-related dementia, which usually occurs late in the course of the disease.
In addition to confusion and difficulty concentrating, AIDS-related dementia might also involve memory problems and behavioral issues such as anger or irritability.

It may even include motor changes: becoming clumsy, lack of coordination, and problems with tasks requiring fine motor skills such as writing by hand.

Cold sores or genital herpes

Cold sores (oral herpes) and genital herpes can be a sign of both ARS and late-stage HIV infection.

And having herpes can also be a risk factor for contracting HIV. This is because genital herpes can cause ulcers that make it easier for HIV to enter the body during sex. And people who have HIV tend to have more severe herpes outbreaks more often because HIV weakens the immune system.

Tingling and weakness

Late HIV can also cause numbness and tingling in the hands and feet. This is called peripheral neuropathy, which also occurs in people with uncontrolled diabetes.

This is when the nerves are actually damaged. These symptoms can be treated with over-the-counter pain relievers and antiseizure medicines such as Neurontin (gabapentin).

Menstrual irregularities

Advanced HIV disease appears to increase the risk of having menstrual irregularities, such as fewer and lighter periods.

These changes, however, probably have more to do with the weight loss and poor health of women with late-stage infection rather than the infection itself.

Infection with HIV also has been associated with earlier age of menopause (47 to 48 years for infected women compared to 49 to 51 years for uninfected women).

 

Source: Health , Viral For Real

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