Dealing with the Symptoms of HIV

by Editorial Team May 29th, 2019 | Health News
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According to the CDC, more than a million adults and adolescents in the US are thought to be living with HIV. Nearly 15% of those don’t know they have it.

People might not have any noticeable symptoms when they contract the virus. Many of the symptoms associated with acute HIV can mirror other conditions or be vague, so they might not at first be recognized as symptoms of HIV.

When people are diagnosed with HIV, many of them recall having experienced flu-like symptoms a few months before the diagnosis.

Chronic HIV

Once the virus has become established in the body, it becomes known as chronic stage. Some of the symptoms at this stage include things like diarrhea that lasts for longer than a week followed by periods of HIV constipation, shortness of breath or a dry cough, painful or difficult swallowing, unusual blemishes or white spots in and/or around the mouth, and more. Then again, many HIV-positive people have no symptoms at all.

This stage of HIV can last for years, and like with many diseases, the mental health of the patient can suffer greatly.

Without proper treatment, this virus will continue to wreak havoc on the immune system. This makes early diagnosis and treatment incredibly important. Otherwise, the virus can move into stage 3, which is also known as AIDS.

Treatment for HIV can benefit both the health of the infected person and that of their partner. If the treatment of an HIV-positive person leads to an undetectable viral load and viral suppression, according to the CDC, they’ll effectively have no risk of transmitting it.

Symptoms of AIDS

Once HIV weakens the immune system to a certain point, the patient will develop AIDS. An AIDS diagnosis means that they’re experiencing immunodeficiency. This means their body is no longer able to fight off different conditions or infections that the immune system would previously have been able to deal with easily.

AIDS itself doesn’t cause too many symptoms. With AIDS, patients might experience symptoms that come from opportunistic diseases and infections. These are conditions that tend to take advantage of the decreased immune function in the body. Some of these include things like pneumonia-like symptoms, a loss of vision, fever, vomiting, and more. The specific symptoms will vary depending on which complications and infections affect the patient’s body.

If someone is experiencing any sort of symptoms at all, and has either contracted HIV or thinks they might have been exposed to it at some point in the past, it’s critical that they seek out medical advice as soon as they possibly can. Opportunistic diseases and infections can be life-threatening if they aren’t treated quickly enough.

Certain conditions, like Kaposi sarcoma, aren’t very common in people who don’t have AIDS. In fact, contracting one of the conditions like this might even be the first sign of HIV in those who’ve never had themselves tested for the virus.
It’s always critical to be tested early and often if you or someone you know is in the high-risk groups for AIDS.

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All health and medical information is provided for educational purposes and is not meant to replace the medical advice or treatment of your healthcare professional.