Friday, January 27, 2023

How Do You Know If You Have Hiv Symptoms

What Does Hiv Do To A Person

10 Facts You Have to Know About HIV/AIDS

HIV infects white blood cells of your immune system called CD4 cells, or helper T cells. It destroys CD4 cells, causing your white blood cell count to drop. This leaves you with an immune system that cant fight off infections, even those that wouldnt normally make you sick.

HIV initially makes you feel sick with flu-like symptoms. Then it can hide in your body for a long time without causing noticeable symptoms. During that time, it slowly destroys your T-cells. When your T-cells get very low or you begin to get certain illnesses that people with healthy immune systems dont get, HIV has progressed to AIDS.

AIDS can cause rapid weight loss, extreme tiredness, mouth or genital ulcers, fevers, night sweats and skin discolorations. Other illnesses and cancers often happen in people living with AIDS and can cause additional symptoms.

Whats a retrovirus?

A retrovirus is a virus that works backward from the way human cells do. Human cells have instructions that send a message to make building blocks for your body .

Retroviruses have their instructions written on RNA. When a retrovirus invades your cells, it changes its RNA to look like your cells instructions . Then it cuts your cells DNA and inserts its instructions into them. Your cell then acts as though the virus instructions are its own.

Stage : Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome

This is the most severe HIV stage, where the bodys immune system has been severely weakened.

It becomes more difficult to ward off certain infections, known as opportunistic infections, or diseases.

Infections and diseases

HIV makes it easier for opportunistic infections to take hold.

Some of these include:

Menstrual changes

People with HIV may eventually experience changes to their menstrual cycle. Their periods may be lighter or heavier than usual, or they may not have a period at all.

More severe premenstrual symptoms have also been noted.

Increased outbreaks of other sexually transmitted infections

For people who already have another STI, HIV can lead to worsening symptoms.

Human papillomavirus , which can cause genital warts, is more active in those with HIV.

The infection can also cause more frequent and intense outbreaks of genital herpes that can be more difficult to treat.

Pelvic inflammatory disease

PID is an infection of the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries that can lead to:

  • pain during penetrative sex and when urinating
  • irregular bleeding
  • increased vaginal discharge

In HIV-positive people, it can be harder to treat. Symptoms may also last longer than usual or return more often.

Other symptoms

The human immunodeficiency virus causes HIV infections, attacking the immune system and weakening the bodys defense against infections and diseases.

Key ways to reduce the risk of HIV include the following:

How To Tell If Symptoms Are Hiv

There are three types of HIV tests:

  • An NAT involves drawing blood from a vein. It can tell if you have HIV or how much virus is present in your blood. While an NAT can detect HIV sooner than other types of tests, this test is very expensive and not routinely used for screening individuals unless they recently had a high-risk exposure, or a possible exposure and have early symptoms of HIV infection. This test takes several days for results to come back.
  • An antigen/antibody test is recommended for testing done in labs and is now common in the United States. It involves drawing blood from a vein, and results take several days to come back. There is also a rapid antigen/antibody test available that is done with a finger prick and takes 30 minutes or less to get results.
  • HIV antibody tests only look for antibodies to HIV in your blood or oral fluid. In general, antibody tests that use blood from a vein can detect HIV sooner after infection than tests done with blood from a finger prick or with oral fluid. Antibody tests can detect an HIV infection 23 to 90 days after exposure. Most rapid tests and the only currently approved HIV self-test are antibody tests. They take 20 minutes or less to provide results.

Keep in mind, any positive result would necessitate a second test to confirm it. The only test that would not require a second confirmatory test is the NAT.

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A Timeline Of Hiv Symptoms

What is HIV?

HIV is a virus that compromises the immune system. Theres currently no cure for it, but there are treatments available to reduce its effects on peoples lives.

In the majority of cases, once HIV infection takes hold, the virus stays in the body for life. However, unlike what may occur with infections by other types of viruses, HIV symptoms dont suddenly appear and peak overnight.

If left untreated, the disease progresses over time through three stages, each with its own set of possible symptoms and complications some severe.

Regular antiretroviral treatment can reduce HIV to undetectable levels in the blood. At undetectable levels, the virus wont progress to the later stages of HIV infection. In addition, the virus cant be transmitted to a partner during sex.

What Are The Stages Of Hiv

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HIV has three stages:

Stage 1: Acute HIV

Some people get flu-like symptoms a month or two after theyve been infected with HIV. These symptoms often go away within a week to a month.

Stage 2: Chronic stage/clinical latency

After the acute stage, you can have HIV for many years without feeling sick. It’s important to know that you can still spread HIV to others even if you feel well.

Stage 3: AIDS

AIDS is the most serious stage of HIV infection. In this stage, HIV has severely weakened your immune system and opportunistic infections are much more likely to make you sick.

Opportunistic infections are ones that someone with a healthy immune system could typically fight off. When HIV has advanced to AIDS, these illnesses take advantage of your weakened immune system.

Youre more likely to get certain cancers when you have AIDS. These cancers and opportunistic infections together are called AIDS-defining illnesses.

To be diagnosed with AIDS, you must be infected with HIV and have at least one of the following:

  • Fewer than 200 CD4 cells per cubic millimeter of blood .
  • An AIDS-defining illness.

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Can Hiv Be Prevented Or Avoided

The best way to prevent HIV is to not have sex with a person who has HIV, or share a needle with a person who has HIV. However, there is also a medicine called PrEP that people can take before coming into contact with HIV that can prevent them from getting an HIV infection.

PrEP stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis. It is for people who are at long-term risk of getting HIV either through sexual activity or by injecting drugs. If youre taking PrEP and come into contact with HIV, the medicine makes it difficult for HIV to develop inside your body.

Other ways to prevent HIV include:

  • When you have sex, practice safer sex by using a condom. The best condom is a male latex condom. A female condom is not as effective but does offer some protection.
  • Do not share needles and syringes.

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Fever And Night Sweats

People with HIV may experience long periods of low-grade fever. A temperature between 99.8°F and 100.8°F is considered a low-grade fever.

The body develops a fever when something is wrong, but the cause isnt always obvious. Because its a low-grade fever, those who are unaware of their HIV-positive status may ignore the symptom.

Sometimes, night sweats that can interfere with sleep may accompany fever.

Women with HIV can experience changes to their menstrual cycle. Their periods may be lighter or heavier than normal, or they may not have a period at all.

HIV-positive women may also have more severe premenstrual symptoms.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Later Hiv

As HIV weakens someones immune system, they may experience signs of other illnesses:

  • an increase in herpes or cold sore outbreaks
  • swollen glands in the groin, neck or armpit
  • long-lasting diarrhoea

But remember: people who dont have HIV can also get any of these they can be the signs of other illnesses.

A weakened immune system may leave someone more open to serious infections such as:

What Everyone Needs To Know About Hiv

How I Discovered I was HIV Positive

HIV may be the story line of your favorite movies . But unfortunately, because these films take place in the early 1990s, many people wrongly assume HIV is a virus of the past.

With the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services reporting nearly 35,000 new infected individuals in the United States in 2019 for a total of more than 1.2 million HIV-positive people in the country data shows that HIV continues to touch the lives of people today.

Here, HIV expert Emily Rymland, D.N.P., F.N.P-C, clinical development manager at Nurx, and Amy Pearlman, M.D., a health expert with Promescent, are sharing their expertise on the virus and the disease it can cause. Learn more about the prevalence of HIV, the difference between HIV vs AIDS, HIV symptoms, how it typically spreads, and how to treat HIV.

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Canadian Flight Attendant Theory

A Canadian airline steward named Gaëtan Dugas was referred to as Case 057 and later Patient O with the alphabet letter O standing for outside Southern California, in an early AIDS study by Dr. William Darrow of the Centers for Disease Control. Because of this, many people had considered Dugas to be responsible for taking HIV to North America. However, HIV reached New York City around 1971 while Dugas did not start work at Air Canada until 1974. In Randy Shilts 1987 book And the Band Played On , Dugas is referred to as AIDSs Patient Zero instead of Patient O, but neither the book nor the movie states that he had been the first to bring the virus to North America. He was incorrectly called Patient Zero because at least 40 of the 248 people known to be infected by HIV in 1983 had had sex with him, or with a person who had sexual intercourse with Dugas.

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Homeless People And Intravenous Drug Users In New York

A volunteer social worker called Betty Williams, a Quaker who worked with the homeless in New York from the seventies and early eighties onwards, has talked about people at that time whose death would be labelled as junkie flu or the dwindles. In an interview for the Act Up Oral History Project in 2008, she said: Of course, the horror stories came, mainly concerning women who were injection-drug users who had PCP pneumonia , and were told that they just had bronchitis. She continues: I actually believe that AIDS kind of existed among this group of people first, because if you look back, there was something called junkie pneumonia, there was something called the dwindles that addicts got, and I think this was another early AIDS population way too helpless to ever do anything for themselves on their own behalf.

Julia Epstein writes in her book Altered Conditions: Disease, Medicine and Storytelling that: As we uncover more of the early history of HIV infection, it becomes clear that by at least the 1970s the virus was already making major inroads into the immune systems of a number of diverse populations in the United States and had for some time been causing devastation in several countries in Africa.

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Hiv Tests For Screening And Diagnosis

HIV tests are very accurate, but no test can detect the virus immediately after infection. How soon a test can detect HIV depends upon different factors, including the type of test being used. There are three types of HIV diagnostic tests: nucleic acid tests , antigen/antibody tests, and antibody tests.

An initial HIV test usually will either be an antigen/antibody test or an antibody test. If the initial HIV test is a rapid test or a self-test and it is positive, the individual should go to a health care provider to get follow-up testing. If the initial HIV test is a laboratory test and it is positive, the laboratory will usually conduct follow-up testing on the same blood sample as the initial test. Although HIV tests are generally very accurate, follow-up testing allows the health care provider to be sure the diagnosis is right.

Resources for FDA-approved laboratory tests, self-tests, and testing of self-collected samples are available. Learn more about testing in nonclinical settings and screening in clinical settings.

Lack Of Symptoms In Early Stages

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ARS is common once a person develops HIV. But this isnt the case for everyone as, according to HIV.gov, symptoms may not appear for a decade or longer.

Although the virus replicates quickly in the weeks after contracting it, symptoms in early HIV only tend to show up if the rate of cell destruction is high.

This doesnt mean that cases of HIV without symptoms are less serious or that an asymptomatic person cant transmit the virus to others.

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How Hiv Is Not Spread

The virus doesn’t survive well outside the body. So HIV cannot be spread through casual contact with an infected person, such as by sharing drinking glasses, by casual kissing, or by coming into contact with the person’s sweat or urine.

It is now extremely rare in Canada or the United States for HIV to be transmitted by blood transfusions or organ transplants.

Where Can You Find Support As You Manage A Long

Being diagnosed with HIV can lead to feelings of anxiety and depression, as it can be very difficult news to take in. There is still a lot of shame and stigma surrounding HIV. Stereotypes from the 1980s about HIV and AIDS being a death sentence often prevent people from getting tested our of fear. Depression is actually twice as common in people with HIV however, help is available and you dont have to face this by yourself.

Counselling and psychotherapy can help you to understand underlying issues and make longer-term changes to shift your perspective on life. Your GP will be able to help you find a trained counsellor or psychologist to talk to. You may also benefit from antidepressants or anti-anxiety medication, which your doctor can prescribe.

Alternatively, there are specialist helplines designed to help people with HIV.

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Symptom : Nausea Vomiting And Diarrhoea

Many people experience digestive system problems as a symptom of the early stages of HIV. However, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea can also appear in later stages of infection, usually as the result of an opportunistic infection.

It is important to stay hydrated. Diarrhoea that is unremitting and not responding to usual therapy might be an indication of HIV, and it would be best to seek the advice of a doctor to help determine its cause.

What Are The Treatments For Hiv/aids

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There is no cure for HIV infection, but it can be treated with medicines. This is called antiretroviral therapy . ART can make HIV infection a manageable chronic condition. It also reduces the risk of spreading the virus to others.

Most people with HIV live long and healthy lives if they get and stay on ART. Itâs also important to take care of yourself. Making sure that you have the support you need, living a healthy lifestyle, and getting regular medical care can help you enjoy a better quality of life.

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Early Symptoms In Primary Hiv

The first noticeable stage is primary HIV infection. This stage is also called acute retroviral syndrome , or acute HIV infection.

It usually causes flu-like symptoms, so its possible for someone in this stage to think they have severe flu or another viral illness rather than HIV. Fever is the most common symptom.

Other symptoms include:

Recognizing The Symptoms Of An Hiv Rash

  • 1Check for a rash that is red, slightly raised, and very itchy.XResearch sourceDale Prokupek, MD. Internist. Personal interview. 16 April 2020. HIV rash usually causes blotches and spots on the skin, red for people with fair skin and dark purplish for people with dark skin.
  • The severity of the rash varies from patient to patient. Some get a very severe rash that covers a large area, while others only have a minor rash.
  • If the HIV rash is the result of antiviral medications, the rash will appear as raised reddish lesions that cover your whole body. These rashes are called drug eruptions.
  • 2Note if the rash appears on your shoulders, chest, face, upper body, and hands. This is usually where the HIV rash shows up on your body. However, the rash tends to disappear by itself within a few weeks. Some people mistake it for an allergic reaction or eczema.
  • HIV rash is not transmittable, so there is no risk of spreading HIV via this rash.
  • 3Pay attention to other symptoms that may occur when you have HIV rash. These include:XResearch source
  • Nausea and vomiting
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    To 14 Days After Exposure

    Known as acute retroviral syndrome, or ARS, the acute stage occurs immediately after being infected, when the immune system has yet to control the virus. During this time, an estimated 40 percent to 90 percent of people will experience mild to moderate flu-like symptoms, whereas the rest wont experience any symptoms at all.

    Although these signs typically appear within 7 to 14 days of exposure, they can also crop up as early as 3 days. Around 30 percent of people with ARS will develop a maculopapular rash of pink to red bumps, usually on the upper half of the body. The rash will sometimes gradually converge into larger, raised hives.

    Other common ARS symptoms include:

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