Symptoms Of Hiv/aids And Stages
Many people donât have symptoms at first, and sometimes even for years or decades. But there are signs that can happen, such as flu-like symptoms soon after you become infected with HIV. Even if you donât feel sick, HIV damages the immune system. It hijacks infection-fighting white blood cells called CD4 cells and uses them to churn out thousands of copies of itself. Without treatment, HIV destroys so many of these cells that your body canât protect you from life-threatening infections. If your CD4 count drops below 200, you have AIDS.
There are three stages of HIV infection:
Stage 1: This the earliest stage. You may also hear it called the âacuteâ stage. You might have a fever, rash, fatigue, chills, and other flu-like symptoms. But you might not have any symptoms. If you do, they may start 2-4 weeks after youâre infected. During this time, the virus quickly makes many copies of itself.
Stage 2: During this stage, HIV continues to reproduce, and it slowly damages your immune system over time. You might not feel sick or have symptoms. But HIV isnât gone, and you can still spread it to other people. This stage can last for years or even decades.
Stage 3: This is when you have AIDS. Your immune system has been severely damaged, leaving you vulnerable to other illnesses. With AIDS, many people have symptoms such as chills, fever, sweats, swollen lymph glands, weakness, and weight loss.
Managing Stress And Getting Support
Looking after your mental wellbeing and emotional health is just as important as taking care of your body.
Finding out you have HIV can be a shock, and it may take you some time to adjust. Talking to your friends and family, and other people living with HIV, can really help when things get difficult. You could look for a peer mentoring or buddying service in your area.
Once you adjust to living with HIV, its a good idea to think about what you want out of life. What are your goals? Whats important to you? Maybe you want to study, travel, have a family or change career? Dont let HIV stop you, theres no reason why it should.
How Is Hiv Diagnosed
An HIV antibody test, either from a blood sample or an oral sample , can tell whether you have been infected. A negative test result means no HIV antibodies were found. This usually means you are not infected. However, if you engaged in behavior that could spread the virus within three months of having the test, antibodies may not be detectable and you should be re-tested. A positive test result means antibodies to HIV were found. This means you are infected with the virus and can pass HIV to others even if you have no symptoms. You are infected for life. Even if you think you have a low risk for HIV infection, consider getting tested whenever you have a regular medical check-up.
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Stage : Acute Hiv Infection
Within 2 to 4 weeks after infection with HIV, about two-thirds of people will have a flu-like illness. This is the bodys natural response to HIV infection.
Flu-like symptoms can include:
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Mouth ulcers
These symptoms can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks. But some people do not have any symptoms at all during this early stage of HIV.
Dont assume you have HIV just because you have any of these symptomsthey can be similar to those caused by other illnesses. But if you think you may have been exposed to HIV, get an HIV test.
Heres what to do:
Hiv Is More Complex Than You Might Think
Newspaper and magazine articles often refer to HIV as if it were just one entity, but there are in fact two strains of the virus: HIV-1 and HIV-2. Most of the HIV infections in the United States and around the world are HIV-1. If its not treated, HIV-1 causes AIDS, the CDC notes. The other type of HIV HIV-2 is found mostly in West Africa. Its rare in the United States and is also less likely to lead to AIDS.
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What Is The Best Way To Prevent Flu
The flu vaccine is the best way to protect you and your loved ones against the flu. If you are vaccinated, you are less likely to get the flu. And, if you do get sick, your illness will likely be milder, which helps keep you out of the hospital.
People with HIV should get a flu shot every year. It can provide safe and effective immunity throughout the flu season.
People with HIV should receive the flu shot rather than the nasal spray. The shot does not contain live flu virus whereas the nasal spray contains flu virus that is alive but weakened. People with weakened immune systems may have a higher risk of complications from the nasal spray.
You cannot get the flu from the flu shot. You should tell your provider if you are allergic to eggs or have had a bad reaction to other vaccines in the past before you receive the flu shot.
Visit vaccines.gov for more information about the flu vaccine and different ways to pay for vaccines.
Use the Flu Vaccine Finder to find a flu vaccine in your area.
Getting Your Hiv Test Results
Most HIV test results are available within a week.
If the test result is negative, you may receive your results within a few days.
If the initial test result is positive, then additional testing to confirm the result needs to be performed in a reference laboratory and this can take up to a week to get a result.
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Stds Make It Easier To Get Hiv
Having an STD can make it easier for you to get HIV. When you have an STD, it can change the cells in your vagina, penis, rectum, or mouth. Sometimes these changed cells cause visible open sores or ulcers, but cells can also be changed without any signs or symptoms.
These changed cells make it easier for HIV to enter your body. That means that if you already have an STD and you have unprotected sex with someone with HIV, youre more likely to contract HIV from the encounter.
Additionally, people who have both an STD and HIV are more likely to spread HIV to partners. Having an STD and HIV increases the amount of the HIV virus in semen or vaginal fluid. The increased amount makes it more likely that the virus will get passed on to a sexual partner.
Some STDs are more closely linked with HIV than others. For example, a 2010 study in Florida found that 42 percent of people with infectious syphilis also had HIV. Gonorrhea and herpes have also been found to have strong links to HIV.
Its important to remember that many STDs have no symptoms and that a person can have HIV for years before any symptoms begin. This means that its very possible to have an STD, HIV, or both and not know it.
This is why safe sex practices are so important. Unless you and any sexual partners have recently been tested for STDs and HIV, its best to use protection every time.
Hiv Transmission In Australia
In Australia, HIV is commonly transmitted through:
- Unprotected anal or vaginal sex .
- Sharing any needles, syringes, or other injecting equipment.
- From mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding This can occur when the mother doesnt know she is HIV-positive, or is not on effective treatment.
- Tattooing or other procedures that involve unsterile or reused equipment.
- Needle stick injuries.
HIV is not transmitted by:
- kissing, hugging, massaging, mutual masturbation and other body contact
- social interaction
- sharing food, dishes, utensils, drinking glasses
- air, breath, or being coughed or sneezed on
- mosquito, insect or animal bites
- use of communal facilities .
It is perfectly safe to consume food and drinks prepared by someone who is HIV-positive even if theyre not receiving treatment.
People with HIV who are on treatment and achieve and maintain an undetectable HIV viral load cannot transmit HIV sexually.
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When Should I Get A Flu Shot
Flu season can begin as early as October and last as late as May. By October or November is the ideal time to be vaccinated, but you can get it as late as December.
The flu shot starts to work about 2 weeks after you get it. Thatâs why you need to get it early in the fall. The longer you go without it, the more likely you are to get the flu or have complications.
Integrase Strand Transfer Inhibitors
Integrase inhibitors stop the action of integrase. Integrase is a viral enzyme that HIV uses to infect T cells by putting HIV DNA into the human DNA.
Integrase inhibitors are usually among the first HIV drugs used in people who have recently contracted HIV. This is because they work well and have minimal side effects.
The following drugs are integrase inhibitors:
- tenofovir disoproxil fumarate
As a stand-alone drug, tenofovir alafenamide fumarate has received full FDA approval to treat chronic hepatitis B but only tentative FDA approval to treat HIV. A person with HIV who takes tenofovir alafenamide fumarate will likely receive it as part of a combination HIV drug, not as a stand-alone drug.
Tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, emtricitabine, and lamivudine can treat hepatitis B as well.
Zidovudine was the first FDA-approved HIV drug. Its also known as azidothymidine or AZT. Zidovudine is rarely used in adults now. Its mainly given to babies born to HIV-positive mothers as a form of post-exposure prophylaxis .
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What Are The Symptoms Of Hiv/aids
The first signs of HIV infection may be flu-like symptoms:
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Mouth ulcers
These symptoms may come and go within two to four weeks. This stage is called acute HIV infection.
If the infection is not treated, it becomes chronic HIV infection. Often, there are no symptoms during this stage. If it is not treated, eventually the virus will weaken your body’s immune system. Then the infection will progress to AIDS. This is the late stage of HIV infection. With AIDS, your immune system is badly damaged. You can get more and more severe infections. These are known as opportunistic infections .
Some people may not feel sick during the earlier stages of HIV infection. So the only way to know for sure whether you have HIV is to get tested.
Are People With Hiv At High Risk For Serious Flu Illness
Yes. People with HIV or AIDS are at high risk of developing serious flu-related complications, especially people who have a very low CD4 cell count or who are not taking medicine to treat HIV .
Other groups at high risk include people with other chronic health conditions and adults age 65 and older.
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Talk To A Healthcare Provider
Theres no cure for HIV yet, but prescription medications can help slow the progression of the virus. Drugs can also improve HIV symptoms and make living with the condition more comfortable.
This medication list is a brief overview of the types of drugs that are available to treat HIV. Talk to a healthcare provider about all of these options. They can help you determine your best treatment plan.
Treatment Helps Prevent Transmission To Others
- If you have an undetectable viral load, you have effectively no risk of transmitting HIV to an HIV-negative partner through sex.
- Having an undetectable viral load may also help prevent transmission from injection drug use. We dont have data about whether having an undetectable viral load prevents transmission through sharing needles, syringes, or other injection equipment . It very likely reduces the risk, but we dont know by how much.
- Having an undetectable viral load also helps prevent transmission from mother to baby. If a mother with HIV takes HIV medicine as prescribed throughout pregnancy, labor, and delivery and gives HIV medicine to her baby for 4 to 6 weeks after birth, the risk of transmitting HIV to her baby can be 1% or less.
- Having an undetectable viral load reduces the risk of transmitting HIV to the baby through breastfeeding, but doesnt eliminate the risk. The current recommendation in the United States is that mothers with HIV should not breastfeed their babies.
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Facts About Hiv/aids Everyone Should Know
Learning the truth about HIV and AIDS can help prevent transmission and save lives beginning with your own.
Contracting the human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, is no longer seen as a death sentence in developed countries, which have the resources to treat it. Still, millions of people around the world contract HIV and die of the last stage of the viruss infection: acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, or AIDS.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , an estimated 1.1 million Americans over the age of 13 were living with HIV at the end of 2014.
There are a lot of reasons why people need to know about HIV/AIDS, from determining whether they are at risk themselves to even how to speak sensitively to someone who has the disease, says Steven Santiago, MD, the chief medical officer of Care Resource, a nonprofit HIV/AIDS organization in South Florida. Here are 10 facts that you should know.
Hiv And Mental Health
Receiving a diagnosis of HIV and living with the condition can have significant effects on a persons mental health.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, people living with HIV are twice as likely to have depression than those without HIV. They are also at a higher risk for mood, anxiety, and cognitive disorders.
There are specific sources of stress relating to the condition, such as having to find and manage medical support, managing the lifelong use of medications, and dealing with the stigma and discrimination associated with HIV.
Some antiretroviral drugs may also cause mental health side effects, such as anxiety.
Many mental health problems are treatable. Talking therapies, medications, and social support can all help.
The CDC provide a list of services that can help people manage the stigma and discrimination linked with HIV and receive additional support.
For more information about where to find support when living with HIV, people can visit the HIV.gov website.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Later Hiv
As HIV weakens someones immune system, they may experience signs of other illnesses:
- weight loss
- 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:
Does Hiv Viral Load Affect Getting Or Transmitting Hiv
Yes. Viral load is the amount of HIV in the blood of someone who has HIV. Taking HIV medicine daily as prescribed can make the viral load very lowso low that a test cant detect it .
People with HIV who take HIV medicine daily as prescribed and get and keep an undetectable viral load have effectively no risk of transmitting HIV to an HIV-negative partner through sex.
HIV medicine is a powerful tool for preventing sexual transmission of HIV. But it works only as long as the HIV-positive partner gets and keeps an undetectable viral load. Not everyone taking HIV medicine has an undetectable viral load. To stay undetectable, people with HIV must take HIV medicine every day as prescribed and visit their healthcare provider regularly to get a viral load test. Learn more.
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Avoid Excessive Alcohol Or Drug Use
If you are living with HIV, there are specific risks associated with alcohol and recreational drug use that you should be aware of. Alcohol can damage the liver which the body uses to process anti-HIV drugs, so it is good to keep your alcohol consumption within the recommended limits. Heavy drinking and taking recreational drugs can also weaken your immune system, making it harder for your body to recover from infections.
Certain anti-HIV drugs can interact with recreational drugs and alcohol to cause unwanted side effects, some of which can be severe. For example, you could feel dizzy or pass out, making you potentially vulnerable. If you are worried about drug interactions, have an honest conversation with a healthcare professional and they will be able to advise you. You should also be aware that being under the influence of alcohol or other drugs may stop you taking your HIV medication properly, for example, you may forget to take a dose or too much alcohol may make you vomit. If you are sick within one hour of taking your HIV medication you should retake the dose.
If youre concerned about your alcohol or drug use, talk to a healthcare professional for advice and support.
Should I Get A Pneumonia Vaccine
Pneumonia means any infection of the lung. The pneumonia vaccine prevents one specific type of pneumonia thatâs caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria. This is the most common kind in the U.S. outside of hospitals and institutions.
The CDC says anyone at high risk for pneumonia, including those with HIV/AIDS, should get the pneumonia vaccine. There are actually two pneumoncoccal vaccines. Both are recommended for persons with HIV/AIDS, but they cannot be given at the same time. Talk to your doctor about your health situation and how best to receive these vaccines.
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