Stage : The Asymptomatic Stage
Once a person has been through the acute primary infection stage and seroconversion process, they can often start to feel better. In fact, HIV may not cause any other symptoms for up to 10 or even 15 years .
However, the virus will still be active, infecting new cells and making copies of itself. HIV can still be passed on during this stage. If left untreated, over time, HIV infection will cause severe damage to the immune system.
What Are The Symptoms Of Hiv In Women
Like many health conditions, HIV has unique symptoms for both males and females. Unfortunately, it is not possible for men and women who are concerned about HIV to compare their symptoms. In fact, the medical community recommends individual research for everyone. If your symptoms are similar to that of HIV, you should schedule an appointment with a licensed physician. While it is perfectly okay to conduct HIV research, people should never try to self-diagnose.
Your body is unique, so why would your symptoms be any different? This is where a lot of people go wrong, they instantly compare their symptoms with other HIV sufferers. There is just too much room for error when making symptom comparisons in people who are not familiar with HIV.
HIV Symptoms Unique Per Gender
Gender is important when it comes to diagnosing HIV. Since women and men do not share the same symptoms, it is important to seek advice from an experienced medical professional. It is natural for people to delay treatment for all medical conditions. In this case, you may be concerned about the discrimination and stigma associated with the HIV diagnosis. Some HIV sufferers admit to delaying treatment because they felt shame for not doing enough to protect themselves. Whatever the case may be, it is important to address your symptoms immediately.
Noticing HIV Female Symptoms
Understand False Positives
Emergency Drugs For Hiv
If a person doubts that he or she has been exposed to HIV in the last 72 hours, they need to take anti-HIV medications immediately to stop the infection. These are known as Post-Exposure Prophylaxis .
The PEP treatment is of 4 weeks duration. Its side effects are nausea, diarrhea, and headache.
The STD Express Clinic provides Emergency HIV treatment.
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How Can You Tell If You Have Hiv
The only way to know for sure if you have HIV is to get tested. You cant rely on symptoms to tell whether you have HIV.
Knowing your HIV status gives you powerful information so you can take steps to keep yourself and your partner healthy:
- If you test positive, you can take medicine to treat HIV. By taking HIV medicine daily as prescribed, you can make the amount of HIV in your blood very lowso low that a test cant detect it . Getting and keeping an undetectable viral load is the best thing you can do to stay healthy. If your viral load stays undetectable, you have effectively no risk of transmitting HIV to an HIV-negative partner through sex.
- If you test negative, there are more HIV prevention tools available today than ever before.
- If you are pregnant, you should be tested for HIV so that you can begin treatment if you’re HIV-positive. If an HIV-positive woman is treated for HIV early in her pregnancy, the risk of transmitting HIV to her baby can be very low.
Use the HIV Services Locator to find an HIV testing site near you.
HIV self-testing is also an option. Self-testing allows people to take an HIV test and find out their result in their own home or other private location. You can buy a self-test kit at a pharmacy or online, or your health care provider may be able to order one for you. Some health departments or community-based organizations also provide self-test kits for free.
Early Symptoms Of Hiv
Some people experience fever-like symptoms at the onset of HIV infection. These early HIV symptoms usually develop within 2-4 weeks in an infected person and last from a few days to a few weeks. This early stage of the infection is called Acute HIV infection. Many people trivialise the early symptoms by saying that it is a normal condition.
Things to watch out for include fever, headache, muscle aches and joint pain, skin rash, sore throat, painful mouth sores, swollen lymph nodes or swollen glands, mainly in the neck, diarrhoea, weight loss, cough, chills, night sweats and mouth ulcers. It is similar in men and women.
It is important to remember that these early symptoms can be caused not only by HIV but also by other health problems. In short, if you experience these symptoms, it does not mean that you have HIV. You should take the proper tests for the same.
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To 28 Days After Exposure
The exception: a symptom called lymphadenopathy, the sometimes painful swelling of lymph nodes in areas of the body such as the neck, armpits, or groin region. Even when the other symptoms have disappeared, lymphadenopathy may continue for months or even longer.
“The important thing to remember is that the resolution of symptoms does not mean the infection is gone,” says Dennis Sifris, MD, an HIV specialist with the Lifesense Disease Management Group, located in South Africa. “HIV is not like hepatitis, which can spontaneously clear. HIV is forever and is better treated sooner rather than later.”
We Know That Men Who Have Sex With Men In Illinois Are At Higher Risk For Hiv What About Women Who Have Sex With Women
It is not a personâs gender, sexual orientation, race or class that puts them at risk for HIV. People are at risk for HIV when they practice risky behaviors. Women who identify as lesbian or gay can be at risk for HIV by practicing any of the behaviors that place women at risk. Lesbian women have become infected with HIV by using injection drugs or having unprotected sex with male or female partners who are already infected with HIV. Women who have sex with other women should follow guidelines in this fact sheet to protect themselves, and can call the Illinois AIDS/HIV/STD Hotline at 800-243-AIDS for specific information.
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Get Tested For Hiv Early
If early HIV symptoms in women are present, just like in men, it is a good idea to get tested right away. However, it is important to remember that HIV does not always show signs or symptoms. If you are sexually active, you should be tested regardless. Luckily, there is an easy and convenient way to test from home! Heres how it works:
- Order: Order your HIV test online. It will arrive in 1-3 days in a discreet package. You may want to consider a combination panel kit, which allows you to screen for multiple infections at once. These include the 5-panel Safe Box, 8-panel Uber Box, the Love Box for you and your partner to test together, and the comprehensive 14-panel Total Box.
- Test: It only takes about 5 minutes to use your test. This can be done at any time and from any place.
- Return: Send your sample back to the lab. We even provide a pre-paid addressed return envelope.
- Get Results: Your lab-certified results will soon be available online!
Now you can better recognize early HIV symptoms in women and men. This will better prepare you to identify any problematic health signs you may experience. That said, the best thing you can do for your sexual health is to get tested. Its the only way to know for sure that you know your status! Dont stress, just test.
Reviewed by Luis Ferdinand M. Papa, MD, MHA
Phase : Advanced Infection
During the last stage of the infection, your immune system is severely damaged. Standard run of the mill illnesses can now become life threatening. With a weakened immune system, you may notice that you frequently get colds, flus, and fungal infections and have a harder time fighting them off.
If youve detected the infection by this point, treatment will greatly improve your ability to live a normal lifestyle.
During this stage, you might experience the following AIDS symptoms:
- swelling of the lymph nodes in the armpits, groin, or neck
- memory loss, confusion, or neurological disorders
In addition, HIV poses a greater risk for women who are pregnant. In these cases, HIV can cause other complications. For instance, the virus may be passed onto a pregnant womans unborn child. An infected mother can also spread HIV to her baby through breastfeeding. With treatment, these risks can be minimized or eliminated. To be clear, an HIV-positive woman can still give birth to a healthy HIV-negative child with the proper treatment prior to delivery.
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Early Hiv Symptoms In Women
Even when the symptoms appear, you cant always that it is HIV. The signs could also mean other things.
That said, here are some early HIV symptoms:
Fever Dry cough Weight loss
Again, these are some very common signs that may or may not mean you have HIV. So, two things to note here: the severity of these symptoms can vary and you may not see them all together do not panic just because youre noticing these signs.
There are some HIV symptoms that are specific to women.
If youre infected, you may notice menstrual irregularities. The periods could be heavier or lighter than normal. You may even miss your period.
Furthermore, as the infection grows, you could experience more severe premenstrual symptoms like abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, irritability, anxiety, acne, sore breasts, and so on.
Pelvic inflammatory disease is also a common HIV symptom among women. Its an infection in reproductive organs, affecting uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. While PID itself is easy to treat in general cases using antibiotics, the task gets challenging in women who are HIV positive.
What Are The Signs Of An Hiv Infection
Fever is usually the first sign of an HIV infection. Many people also experience other flu-like symptoms as the disease manifests itself two to four weeks after exposure. This early, acute phase of HIV can last up to several weeks. Some of the other possible signs of the infection include:
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Weight loss
Knowing you have HIV is almost impossible without a test. Thats because the disease can masquerade as other illnesses and sometimes may not have symptoms at all at first. At least 13% of people with HIV dont even know they have the virus. This makes it much more likely that they will spread the disease to others. If youve had unprotected sex recently, the only way to know if you have HIV is to get tested.
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Hiv Aids Signs And Symptoms In Women
As women and men usually have equivalent signs and symptoms, there are some that influence mainly women:
Variations in your period: You might have light or even more substantial flow of blood, jump periods, or even have thoroughly poor PMS. Pressure or even further STDs, that are usual with HIV, could potentially cause these problems. However, they may additionally occur due to the viruss influence on your defense mechanisms that might have an effect on your endocrine system.
Lower tummy aches: Its certainly one of the signs and symptoms of contamination of the uterus, ovaries, and also fallopian tubes, referred to as pelvic inflammatory disease . For certain females, its one of the initial warning flags they have got HIV. Together with lower tummy discomfort, PID may cause:
- Abnormal release from your vagina
- Pain throughout sexual activity
- Aching in your right upper tummy
Vaginal yeast bacterial infections: A lot of women with HIV get these frequently 4 or even more times annually. Oftentimes they are the initial symptom you may have the virus. Once you get one, you may have:
- Dense, white colored release from your vagina
- Discomfort at the time of intercourse
- Ache whenever you pee
- Vaginal burning up or even swelling
Both women and men with HIV could possibly get a yeast infection of the mouth, known as thrush or even oral yeast infection. It brings about inflammation along with a fluffy, white colored coating in your mouth, tongue, as well as neck.
Symptoms And Stages Of Hiv Infection
- There are three stages of HIV infection. The symptoms vary in type and severity from person-to-person.
- Stage 1 after initial infection can feel like flu but not everyone will experience this.
- Stage 2 is when many people start to feel better and may last for 10 years or more. During this time a person may have no symptoms.
- Stage 3 is when a persons immune system is very badly damaged and can no longer fight off serious infections and illnesses.
- The earlier a person is diagnosed with HIV and starts treatment, the better their health will be over time.
- Some people dont get any symptoms during stages 1 and 2, and may not know they have the virus, but they can still pass on HIV.
The signs of HIV infection can vary in type and severity from person-to-person, and some people may not have any symptoms for many years.
The stages below describe how HIV infection progresses in the body if it is left untreated. Without antiretroviral treatment for HIV, the virus replicates in the body and causes more and more damage to the immune system.
However with effective treatment, you can keep the virus under control and stop it from progressing. This is why its important to start treatment as soon as possible after testing positive.
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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.
- Never let someone elses blood, semen, urine, vaginal fluid, or feces get into your anus, vagina, or mouth.
You Might Develop Bacterial Vaginosis
Bacterial vaginosis develops when the bacteria in your vagina change, causing an imbalance of healthy and harmful bacteria. In women ages 15 to 44, its the most common vaginal condition.
BV is more common in women living with HIV, and it can be more difficult to treat. BV, which is actually linked to HIV transmission, is seen as one of the biggest ways a woman can contract HIV, according to a 2013 study. So although BV isnt exactly a sign that you have HIV, it does mean youre more likely to get it. And if you already have HIV, even if you dont know it, you may be more likely to transmit it if you also have BV.
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What Happens In Case You Are Affected With Hiv
HIV is generally passed by sexual activity, injecting medicine use, unintentional blood exposure, and also transfers from mom to baby in pregnancy period. HIV can never be transferred via sweating, rips, saliva, fecal matter or human waste, or even urine. At the time of the starting contamination, HIV replicates intensely, infecting as well as eliminating a whole range of CD4 T-cells. In reply, the bodys natural immune system defenses are positively, as well as the contamination is slowly got in control.
In this particular persistent phase of contamination, the virus doesnt go away. Rather, it moves into a certain time of latency that can last from 8 to 12 years. In this amount of time, the viruses will constantly Generate Duplicate in silence, frequently with minimal symptoms of sickness. In reality, it is generally merely while opportunistic contamination initially comes up that an individual actually starts to reckon that he or she might have HIV. At this time, the disease fighting capability is generally reduced, sometimes seriously so.
Common Symptoms Of Hiv In Women
When you first become infected by the human immunodeficiency virus , the symptoms tend to be very mild, causing people to dismiss them easily. However, if you are HIV-positive, then even without experiencing the symptoms, it is still possible for you to pass on the virus to others. Many times it happens that women may experience different HIV symptoms than those seen in men. While many of the symptoms are the same in both men and women, but there are some symptoms that differ between them as well. Knowing and identifying these symptoms on time will help you get treated and prevent the infection from progressing to AIDS.
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What Exactly Is A Retrovirus
A retrovirus is known as retro mainly because it transcribes its actual genetic system in reverse. In the majority of existing creatures, a cells natural substance is encoded from DNA to RNA. A retrovirus is different because it works in the reverse path, by using its RNA coding to generate DNA within an affected cell. Once this happens, the recently generated DNA is entered into the host cells nucleus, essentially hijacking its original equipment so as to generate several replicates of by itself, each one able to infecting as well as destroying a lot of different other host cell count. HIV preferentially targets white blood cells known as helper T-cells Main among these are generally CD4 T-cells, whose task is to activate the bodys defense system.