Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) weakens the immune system. It usually spreads through bodily fluids like blood, semen and breast milk. Currently there is no cure for the infection, but it can be managed with the antiretroviral therapy (ART) which can then help people afflicted with the disease to live long and healthy lives. If left untreated, HIV can progress to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), making one susceptible to developing severe and chronic illnesses that may ultimately prove to be fatal.
Early detection of HIV leads to better control over the disease. Unfortunately, symptoms of HIV resemble those of the common cold or flu and are distinguishable only in the first few weeks after inception. Once the disease progresses to the chronic stage, it does not display any symptoms. It is therefore paramount to be aware of its symptoms and stay on a constant lookout for these.
1) Fever and Shivers
HIV infection can lead to a rash or breakout that is light and red all over, very similar to an allergic reaction. It can either appear locally at a spot or two or cover the entire body. Non-itchy in nature, the rash can last a week or less.
3) Sore Throat
4) Body Ache and Lethargy
As your body fights the HIV infection, it grows tired and aches all over. The ache is relentless, you are unable to find a comfortable position and want to sleep in the whole day. This usually happens in the first week following the infection.
5) Swelling in Neck, Armpits and Groin Area
The lymph nodes are responsible for manufacturing infection-fighting cells. As these are located in the neck, armpit and groin region, one may note a swelling in these around the same time. This is one of the most tell-tale symptoms of HIV and should be immediately brought to the attention of a medical expert.
6) Yeast Infection
When you are HIV-positive, the natural microscopic fungi in your mouth and vagina go in overdrive causing a yeast infection. As a yeast infection can be caused by other reasons also, therefore it is important to consult your doctor.
7) Mouth Ulcers
8) Unexplained Weight-Loss
In its advance stage, HIV causes a lot of muscle loss, kills appetite and prevents the body from absorbing nutrients from the little food that one takes. This is called wasting. Evident over a long period of time, it can be avoided if HIV is detected early and is managed professionally.
Other symptoms of an HIV infection include meningitis or an upset stomach causing diarrhea, vomiting and nausea. Though these symptoms are similar to those in any other viral infection, remember it is difficult for the body to fight HIV on its own and it needs all the help it can get.
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