HIV symptoms

HIV or the human immunosufficiency virus is a disease that is transmitted either sexually or through body fluids. This disease attacks the immune system of the human body. It attacks and destroys the T cells in the body. These are the cells that give the body the ability to fight off diseases. When enough of these cells have been depleted the body is no longer able to fight off certain diseases anymore. Once this happens the condition is then diagnosed as AIDS.

Early symptoms of HIV can be mild and most people will even be asymptomatic. This period of time is from the time a person becomes infected up to three months afterwards. In this time period, the body is starting to build up antibodies to the virus. The symptoms that have been reported in this timeframe have been aches, chills, fever, flu like symptoms, rash, and swollen lymph glands. Even though most people are asymptomatic they are still contagious during this period of time and can pass the virus on to others. The only way to find out if HIV is present at this stage is to do a lab work up or blood testing.

The next phase of HIV is known as the later HIV period. This period of time is where a person is continuing to build up more of a viral load and is destroying more of the T cells. People can seroconvert from HIV to AIDS in different periods of time that can be up to ten years after they are infected with the virus before they have what is considered full blown AIDS. Each individual is different in the amount of time it takes to seroconvert from HIV to AIDS. The symptoms of later HIV are chronic yeast infections and thrush, fever and night sweats, sudden unexplained weight loss, rashes on the body that are unexplained, fatigue, chronic diarrhea, coughing and shortness of breath, and small purple lesions that appear on the face and body.

The latest HIV period tends to occur most often ten years or so after a person is infected with the virus. This is the time that most people will seroconvert to AIDS. The symptoms of HIV during this period of time are severe chilling with consistent fevers of over 100 degrees, soaking night sweats, white patches that occur on the inside of the mouth and throat, headaches, chronic diarrhea that persists over one month, dry hack cough and being short of breath, blurred vision and weight loss.

People who have HIV are much more likely to develop certain cancers. This is due to their decreased ability to fight off infection and other invaders of the body. These cancers include Kaposi’s Sarcoma which is a cancer that causes tumors to appear on the skin. These tumors are red in color and form in the blood vessels. This disease is incurable.

Another cancer that is common among those who have HIV is cervical cancer. The cervix is at the opening of the uterus of a woman. Women who have HIV are much more likely to have HPV or the human papilloma virus. They are much more likely to develop cervical cancer due to this. Cervical cancer is usually diagnosed by doing a pap smear during a woman’s yearly physical. If this type of cancer is caught early it can be treated.

Those who have HIV also are much more likely to have lymphoma. Lymphoma is a cancer that starts in the lymphocytes in the immune system. These are produced in the lymph glands so tumors are frequently found there. Since the lymphatic system works with the entire body, lymphoma has a high rate of spreading to other organs of the body. There are many types of lymphoma and treatment is particular to the specific type of tumor that is involved.

HIV has no cure at this time however there are medications now that can slow down the progression of the disease. Due to these medications people have been able to slow down the progression of seroconverting to AIDS to longer than fifteen years. Researchers are working hard to try to find a cure for HIV and AIDS as we speak.

Last updated on Sep 4th, 2009 and filed under Immune System. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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