You Have A Canker Sore
Canker sores are tender, round, whitish pits in the lining of your mouthand they can be caused by inflammation as your body tries to fight off HIV, says Horberg.
They often cause a stinging sensation, and are more sensitive to acidic foods like lemons. It should be noted, however, that canker sores happen for a variety of different reasons too, like stress, food allergies, or hormonal changes.
How Is Hiv Treated
HIV is treated with a combination of medicines taken by mouth every day. This combination of pills is called antiretroviral therapy .
Taking a combination of types of pills, rather than just one, is the most effective way to keep HIV from multiplying and destroying your cells. There are also combination pills that have several medications in a single pill. Your healthcare provider will carefully select a combination specifically for you.
The goal of ART is to reduce HIV in the blood to an amount thats not detectable by an HIV test and to slow HIVs weakening of your immune system.
Medications used to treat HIV
Each type of pill used in ART has a different way of keeping HIV from making more copies of itself or from infecting your cells. There can be many different brand names of the same type of ART drug.
Types of ART medications include:
- Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors .
- Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors .
- Protease inhibitors .
- Combination of HIV medicines.
Symptoms Of The Early Stages Of Hiv
Symptoms of HIV can vary between individuals however the first signs of infection generally appear within the first 1-2 months. Many, but not all, people will experience severe flu-like symptoms which is your bodys natural response to the virus. This is called the seroconversion period.
Its during this time that its crucial to identify if HIV is the cause, as your viral load is very high which greatly increases the risk of passing it on. And the only way to know for sure is by getting tested.
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Early Signs And Symptoms Of Hiv
How long does it take to show symptoms of HIV? Some people experience flu-like symptoms at the start of an HIV infection. These early HIV symptoms usually develop within 2-4 weeks in an infected person and may last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. This early stage of the viral infection is known as an acute HIV infection.
Possible early symptoms include:
Itâs worth keeping in mind that such early symptoms can also be caused by other health conditionsânot just HIV. In short, if youâre experiencing these symptoms, it doesnât necessarily mean that you have HIVâwhich is why STI testing and consulting with your healthcare provider can be helpful next steps to take.
How Can I Ensure I Get A Diagnosis Sooner Rather Than Later
All you need to determine whether or not you are infected is a simple blood test. This test checks for the presence of antibodies produced by the body in an attempt to fight HIV.
If you believe you have been exposed to HIV, contact your healthcare provider immediately and schedule an appointment to get tested. In addition to your own healthcare provider, your local health department, STD clinic, or family planning clinic can help you get tested. To find a testing clinic in your area, visit the CDC’s National HIV Testing Resources site.
While the average length of time from exposure to the presence of detectable HIV antibodies is 20 days, it can sometimes take as long as six to 12 months before antibodies are present. Because of this, your healthcare provider may recommend testing at one month, three months, six months, and one year after the initial exposure.
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Think You Might Have Hiv These Are The Hiv Symptoms To Look For
The editors at Health are a dedicated team of experienced health editors, writers, and other media professionals who strive to bring trustworthy and responsible health and medical content to their readers. As a team, we have decades of experience in health journalism and have worked at legacy publishers and some of the biggest news and media companies in the U.S.
Human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, attacks the body’s infection-fighting immune system. Without treatment, HIV can lead to AIDS . At the start of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, people who were infected with HIV quickly progressed to serious disease. But today’s treatments help lower the amount of virus in the bloodso people who are HIV-positive can live healthier, longer lives and not necessarily progress to AIDS.
More than one million people in the US live with HIV, and scarily, one in seven of them don’t know they have it. HIV symptoms can be hard to detect. Within a month or two of HIV entering the body, 40% to 90% of people experience flu-like symptoms known as acute retroviral syndrome . But sometimes HIV symptoms don’t appear for yearsor even a decadeafter infection.
HIV symptoms for women and for men are often the same here are 16 of the most common signs.
What Can Effective Hiv Treatment Do
HIV medication keeps you healthy so you can live a normal lifespan.
Treatment can also reduce your viral load to undetectable levels so that you wont be able to pass on HIV to anyone else. It can take up to six months from starting treatment to become undetectable, so its important to test and start treatment on time.
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Hiv: A Brief Overview
HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, is a sexually transmitted virus that spreads through exposure to certain body fluidsâlike genital secretions or blood. HIV transmission can also occur from a mother to a child during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding.
HIV attacks and impairs the bodyâs immune cells, which weakens the immune system and can eventually progress to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome if it isnât treated. AIDS can be a life-threatening condition, particularly if HIV treatment is not initiated promptly, which is why HIV testing is crucial for protecting your health. HIV infection passes through an earlier stage before the development of AIDS: acute HIV, the period right after the infection began. If untreated, the infection progresses to chronic HIV and ultimately AIDS.
Learn more: What is the difference between HIV and AIDS?
Complications Of Hiv In Women
It is during chronic HIV infection when women might experience health changes different from anyone else. While it is possible to not experience any complications for quite some time, they can eventually developand there are several HIV-related health changes during chronic HIV infection that are specific to women.
What Else Should I Know
Treatment has improved greatly for people with HIV. By taking medicines and getting regular medical care, HIV-positive people can live long and healthy lives.
People with HIV need a medical care team for the best treatment and support.
If you or someone you know has HIV or AIDS it is important to:
- goes to all doctor visits
- takes all medicines exactly as directed
- goes for all follow-up blood tests
- understands what HIV/AIDS is and how it spreads
- is physically active, gets enough sleep, and eats well
Find more information at:
Confusion Or Difficulty Concentrating
Cognitive problems could be a sign of HIV-related dementia, which usually occurs late in the course of the infection, when a person has developed AIDS.
In addition to confusion and difficulty concentrating, HIV-related dementia might also involve memory problems and behavioral issues, such as anger or irritability.
It may even include motor changes: becoming clumsy, lack of coordination, and problems with tasks requiring fine motor skills such as writing by hand.
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The Truth About Hiv Symptoms In Women
HIV symptoms are broad, general, and can be mistaken for lots of other health conditions. The body only has so many ways to signal that its under attack fever, sore throat, muscle aches, rashesis it the flu? Is it HIV? Its hard to know.
And doing a quick google search for HIV symptoms can be scary, misleading, or overly clinical. Plus, a lot of the information available online doesnt acknowledge that there may be symptoms women experience that men cant. The focus of the media when it comes to HIV/AIDS has been mostly male-centric since the early days of the disease. And unfortunately, a lot of the information available online continues this assumption and uses male symptoms as the standard, ignoring information specifically for women. Crazy, right?
The truth is, women can and do become infected with HIV/AIDS every day. HIV is the leading cause of death worldwide among women of reproductive age and half of adults living with HIV worldwide are women .
Even so, the symptoms of HIV are mostly the same for men and women and can vary from person to person. So, if you think you may have been exposed to the disease or if youre experiencing troubling symptoms, go see your healthcare provider right away.
- Swollen Lymph Nodes
Even though symptoms vary from person to person, there are a few symptoms that can only effect women.
Hiv/aids Symptoms Specific To Women
A woman with HIV/AIDS may have opportunistic infections different from men. These include:
- Frequent or severe vaginal infections
- Abnormal Pap smears
- Pelvic infections such as pelvic inflammatory disease that are difficult to treat
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should make an appointment with your healthcare provider to get tested.
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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 Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Hiv
No two people with HIV will have the same symptoms, and some may not have any at all. But the infection can cause some common changes over time.
In the first few weeks: These first, flu-like symptoms happen because your body is reacting to HIV. Your immune system is trying to fight it off. The symptoms at this stage can include:
- Aches and pains in muscles and joints
Keep in mind that even if you have these symptoms, that doesnât automatically mean you are HIV-positive. Many different illnesses can cause these problems. Talk to a doctor or an HIV testing facility if you think you might be infected.
At this early stage of HIV infection, itâs important to know that you may not get accurate results from an HIV test. It can take 3-12 weeks for enough signs of the virus to show up on routine tests for the infection, which measure antibodies against HIV. A new kind of screening, called a nucleic acid test, can detect the virus itself during this early stage, but itâs expensive and not usually used for routine HIV testing.
Let the testing site or your doctor know if you think you might be recently infected. Also, be sure to use a condom every time you have sex, and take other steps to prevent spreading the virus.
After years with untreated HIV, youâre likely to get infections caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi that your body is no longer strong enough to fight off. They can be a sign that your infection has gone from HIV to AIDS. You might have:
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What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor
- Am I at high risk for HIV?
- What can I do to reduce my risk of HIV?
- How can I make sure I take my medications correctly?
- What can I do to protect myself from other illnesses?
- How can prevent the spread of HIV?
- What do my test results mean?
- What do my blood counts mean?
- What vaccinations should I get?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Treatments have come a long way since the height of the AIDS epidemic. You have the best chance of living a long life if youre diagnosed early and are able to get on and stick with ART medications. People living with HIV today are able to work, have active social lives and families, and pursue fulfilling relationships. In fact, this can have a positive impact on your well-being.
While weve come a long way with treatments, unfortunately, social stigmas around HIV still persist. In addition to the feelings of fear and uncertainty a new diagnosis can bring, you may wonder how those around you will respond. If youre hesitant to get tested or get treatment, or if you just arent sure what your next steps are, you can reach out to a community organization that specializes in HIV. Remember that you are deserving of support, compassion and high-quality healthcare.
When To See A Healthcare Provider
If you suspect you’ve been exposed to HIV and have flu-like symptoms, see a healthcare provider or go to a clinic to be tested. These early symptoms can be caused by any number of illnesses and don’t necessarily mean you have HIV, but the only way to know for sure is to get tested.
Some people who’ve been exposed to HIV never develop symptoms. So if you think you’ve been exposed to HIV and don’t have flu-like symptoms, you should get tested, as well. That’s especially true if you engage in behavior that is considered higher risk for contracting HIV, including injecting intravenous drugs or having unprotected sex with multiple people.
The sooner you get tested, the sooner you can start medication to bring and keep your HIV at undetectable levels.
Once you have a confirmed HIV diagnosis, it’s important to stay in close contact with healthcare providers. Reach out if you notice any changes to your health, including seemingly unrelated or minor things like menstrual cycle changes or an increase in UTIs.
Since HIV puts you at increased risk of complications from infection, talk to a healthcare provider about what to do if there is a change in your health, such as if you get the flu or are exposed to Salmonella .
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How Are Hiv And Aids Treated
Medicines can help people with HIV stay healthy. They can also prevent HIV from progressing to AIDS.
Health care providers prescribe a combination of different medicines for people with HIV and AIDS. They must be taken exactly as prescribed or they won’t work. These medicines:
- help keep the number of CD4 cells high
- reduce the viral load of HIV
Regular blood tests will check the number of CD4 cells in the body and the viral load.
If an HIV-positive person’s CD4 count gets low, doctors prescribe daily antibiotics. This prevents pneumocystis pneumonia, which happens in people with weakened immune systems.
Youre Breaking Out In A Rash
Some people who experience HIV symptoms notice a light red rash all over their bodies, including their arms, torso, and legsalthough it can appear in just one or two spots.
Its a general redness, not discrete red bumps. If youve ever had a drug reaction rash, its similar to that, says Horberg.
It usually lasts at least a week, and most patients say its not itchy its a reaction to fever along with your bodys natural inflammation response as it fights off infection.
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Your Neckand Armpits And Groinare Swollen
Your lymph nodeslocated in your neck, armpits, and groinmanufacture infection-fighting cells, and theyre working overtime at the same time theyre under direct attack from HIV. Thats why over a third of people whove been exposed to the virus notice these glands appear bigger than normal, explains Horberg.
If you feel several swollen lymph nodes in different locations, its definitely a symptom to check with your doctor stat.
When Do The Early Signs And Symptoms Of Hiv Appear
HIV early signs and symptoms may appear after about 2-6 weeks after exposure to the virus. In most patients, the symptoms gradually resolve over a few weeks some patients have mild or no symptoms. Later in the disease process , stages 2 and 3. The early symptoms reoccur and become more severe.
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Common Hiv Symptoms In Women Include:
- Pain and fever symptoms as a result of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
- Yeast, bladder, or urinary infections
- Additional STD outbreaks, such as Human papillomavirus
- Changes in menstrual cycle
One of the most common HIV symptoms in women is having an irregular period, which could cause changes in bleeding, discharge, or PMS symptoms. Additionally, many HIV-positive women experience pain in their upper belly or during sex.
Since the virus also increases the bodys susceptibility to other sexually-transmitted infections, infertility is a high risk for women with HIV.
Seeking treatment as soon as possible is the best course of action, so getting tested often is crucial for anyone who is sexually active or may otherwise contract HIV.
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.
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